5 reasons to start targeting ethnic audiences

Today’s consumers are enjoying more power thanks to online growth and increased trends in globalisation.

With plenty of choice in the marketplace, ethnic consumers more often exercise this power to break free from brands that do not address their cultural needs.

 Ethnic media outlets such as ethnic newspapers provide a higher ROI on advertising than mainstream outlets due to their highly targetted/niche audiences.

Ethnic media outlets such as ethnic newspapers provide a higher ROI on advertising than mainstream outlets due to their highly targetted/niche audiences.

Addressing these cultural needs has many benefits:

1 By catering to cultural needs such as translated content and multilingual staff, brands can gain the loyalty of ethnic consumers fast.
2 Ethnic consumers (who speak little or no English) tend to promote “ethnic ready” brands to others in their community and word of mouth spreads faster.
3 Ethnic advertising and marketing is highly targeted, therefore Return On Investment (ROI) is much higher than traditional advertising and marketing.
4 Costs associated with ethnic marketing are significantly lower than their English counterparts.
5 Already English produced content and relationships can be leveraged to target a new set of ethnic consumers, saving both time and costs.

The opportunity in Australia

The good news is Australia seems to have an edge against most countries, which is important since about twenty percent of Australians speak a language other than English. The bad news is, not enough brands are realising the potential of this often missed niche market.

Among the twenty percent of Australians who speak a language other than English, about 17.5% say that their grasp of the English language is not very good – that’s approximately a 3 million-people-strong missed opportunity.

So, what steps can brands and SME’s take to target ethnic consumers?

1 Firstly, check your organisation for staff who are fluent in a second language (and willing to support a new potential ethnic customer base).
2 Select one or two products and services that you can begin with to explore new ethnic markets.
3 Research these markets, understand the culture and their way of life to find the best channels to reach them.
4 Leverage already produced traditional and digital English content. Begin by translating, localising and/or producing content in desired languages.
5 Ensuring the entire organisation is familiar with the direction will help support a new ethnic consumer base and create a positive culturally tuned organisational culture.

Of course, depending on your product, service, market conditions and so many other factors as I see each day in working with clients of all types and sizes – these tips are just to get you started and more often than not, the organisations with a well planned and thought out ethnic marketing strategy are the ones that see the most results.

Have you had experience in being a part of an ethnic marketing campaign? Or maybe you’ve been on the receiving end of being targeted in a campaign? Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.


Written by Mark, founder and CEO of Lexigo: With his passion for technology, business and globalization – Mark is responsible for realising Lexigo's vision and strategic development of Lexigo technologies, with a particular interest in translation process automation, machine learning and multicultural marketing. His experience in a diverse range of fields gives Lexigo a dynamic and fresh approach to the delivery of its products and services.