Multicultural marketing strategies can help agencies win pitches

Rachael Micallef
By Rachael Micallef | 8 October 2014

Multicultural marketing has long been seen as "too hard" and Australia has fallen behind when it comes to marketing to its multicultural audience compared with other countries, according to specialist agency Etcom. But, the growth of digital and social media is making it easier for brands to take the leap.

With one in four people speaking a language other than English at home in Australia, brands can no longer afford to ignore this segment of the market, Thang Ngo, Etcom general manager told AdNews. He said that bluechip brands have always had an interest in the market but now the building blocks are there for it to move to the mainstream.


Etcom, part of the STW group, is a multicultural communications consultancy and one of a handful of specialist firms in Australia. Ngo said the appetite for mulitcultural marketing in Australia is smaller compared to other countries such as the US but it is becoming an increasingly compelling story for marketers.

With the sector growing in importance, Ngo believes multicultural marketing will eventually be integrated into the mainstream marketing. But for advertisers that want to stay ahead of the curve or gain a leg up in the current market, tapping into the market is key.

“Imagine if you went to a pitch with a new mass market client and being able to say that you can reach an audience that mass communication couldn't reach before,” Ngo said. “All things being equal, that alone will be quite a competitive advantage when you walk into a pitch. And what client wouldn't be impressed by that?”

Ngo said that in the past multicultural marketing was seen as “too hard” and “too difficult” for brands given that multicutlural radio and press often aren't audited and that the expdneiture couldn't be justified. However, with digital and social taking ever larger chunks of marketing budgets, ROI for multicultural campagins is more easily measurable.

“We can actually report on impressions and click through so we're able to actually give a lot more metrics to our clients. It gives them a quantitative and objective measure which I think has actually been really helpful in terms of getting cleints on board,” he said.

“The market is at the right stage now that everyone recognises the spending power of multicultural Australia particularly the new Chinese and Indian migrants. With the bottom line being so tight these days everyone is having to get out of their comfort zone.”

Celebrating the work done in multicultural marketing is the Australian Mulitcultural Marketing Awards (AMMA). Community Relations Commission for a Multicultural NSW (Multicultural NSW), CEO Hakan Harman said that as Asutralia is “one of the most culturally diverse nations in the world, to be successful our marketing needs to speak to all cultures.”

Nominations for the AMMA will close on 10 October. Visit


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