Previously, Toyota used a standard, linear approach where its agency, Saatchi & Saatchi, primarily set strategy for the General Market, while three other agencies handled the African American, Asian and Hispanic advertising. Saatchi’s General Market strategy flowed down to the ethnic agencies who would then work in relative isolation. With Total Toyota, all four agencies work collaboratively from the start to develop the focus, purpose, model and proposition of their Total Market campaigns and strategy. While previous marketing efforts were aimed at finding differences between the various ethnic cultural segments, the Total Market approach uncovered similarities and nuances.

The result has been more cross-cultural messaging; creative that is intertwined with cultural cues; greater media impact; and deeper connection with customers. This succeeded because Toyota did a remarkable job developing what we call a cross-cultural communication platform, as well as changed their procurement structure to be in line with the Total Market approach, which meant opening up to agencies and professional service providers with crosscultural led insights, rather than siloed, expertise.

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