OPINION: Multicultural marketing - a lot of talk but where's the action

Tasneem Ali
By Tasneem Ali | 3 December 2012
Komli’s International Business Development Director, Tasneem Ali

Australia's marketers are among the world’s best when it comes to using non-conventional marketing and in particular understanding multicultural opportunities.

However Aussie marketers are only just now starting to commit real dollars to multicultural marketing as strong results, great ROI and case studies become available and shared.

There’s been a lot of talk about multicultural marketing in Australia but honestly not a lot of action. A bit like Facebook a few years ago. Brands knew they needed to be there, but were a little slow on working out how to harness the powerful opportunity.

With tangible results and metrics just now becoming available for multicultural marketing, now is the time to really start shifting budgets into multicultural markets. Throughout 2012 at Komli we’ve seen significant growth in agency and client direct business, both for the purpose of seeking direct access to multicultural markets here and overseas.

While about 25% of the population in Australia are born overseas, one could argue that at least 25% of most marketing budgets should be targeting multicultural markets. I would actually go even further. Look at Meriton Apartments for example - 75% of their clients are Chinese.

Once the target audience is nominated, what next? What’s an appropriate benchmark for campaign success? At a minimum, experienced multicultural marketers should provide extremely solid CTR.

One recent example in the auto industry tells a great story. A leading car dealership recently wanted to only reach out to Indian and Chinese ethnic nationals in a particular Australian postcode region. The campaign ran across our mobile channel reaching those ethnicities and the campaign achieved a CTR of 0.40% (the industry standard being 0.01%).

The number of places available in the Australian Migration Program for 2012–13 is 190 000, which is 5000 more than the 2011–12 planning level. Of these new 5000 places, 3400 are allocated to skilled migrants.  An important point for advertisers.  Australia’s migration program has grown steadily over the past ten years - from in intake of 108 070 in 2002-2003 to 190 000 currently. Great news for multicultural advertisers!

So where are migrants coming from? Currently the top five source countries for migrants settling in Australia are: New Zealand, China, United Kingdom, India and the Philippines (in that order).

Previously print was the way to access the multicultural sector in Australia. But the combination of digital’s agility and niche targeting ability and multicultural segmentation opportunities is an incredibly powerful partnership.

Tasneem Ali
International Business Development Director

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