Multicultural Marketing: Why Diversity and Inclusion Matter in the Post-Pandemic Recovery
While multicultural marketing is a beneficial practice, it requires specialized insights and actions to avoid stereotypes and cultural appropriations.
“May you live in interesting times.”
Commonly described as a Chinese curse, used by everyone from Joseph Chamberlain to John F. Kennedy, this innocuous sounding statement has become a hard truth for all of us. But we continue to persevere.
Even as lockdown restrictions are partially lifting, individuals are sticking to their “social bubbles” and staying away from crowded spaces. While the pandemic has decelerated economic growth, it has encouraged both big brands and small businesses to reach their audiences with innovative and creative methods. However, to recover sufficiently from the pandemic multicultural communities will be a major factor.
So what is multiculturalism?
It refers to the coexistence of diverse populations which differ according to race, nationality or ethnic origin, colour and religion. And Canada is the perfect melting pot where all these various factors come together to bring out a unique perspective.
Multiculturalism is a vehicle that creates unity out of diversity.
Multiculturalism encourages Canadians of all backgrounds to focus on uniting behind a single idea. To aid this, we need inclusion. However, it’s not so easy. Especially in Media and Communications, which is a mirror of the society. In the pre-COVID setting, a report by MediaCom Canada suggested that only 25% of those who self-identified as a visible minority felt that brands spoke to people of their cultural backgrounds directly.
Why is it important to reach visible minorities in Canada through multicultural marketing?
Between 2006 and 2017, estimates suggested that Canada’s population will grow by 10% but what caught everybody’s attention was that over 80% of that growth will come from the minority communities. Major cities, like Toronto and Vancouver in particular, comprise almost 51% of residents who were not born in Canada but call it home.
We should also take their media consumption behaviour into account. A survey by the Solutions Group in Toronto found that English-language newspapers are read by 50% of the Chinese respondents and 57% of the South Asians. English radio reaches 44% of South Asians and 53% of Chinese. English TV is watched by 74% of South Asian and 65% of Chinese audiences.
Chinese and South Asians also heavily consume ethnic media, with three-quarters of the respondents in each group reporting having accessed an ethnic medium in the past week. There is also a visible shift in Canada’s ethnocultural and racial composition. In 2001, outside of Quebec, Chinese languages were spoken in as many homes as the French language.
The above stats merely scratch the surface and an in-depth research is required to revive Canada’s economy to pre-covid levels. Targeting audiences other than the mainstream population can help businesses reach a sizeable chunk of the urban population in Canada and increase their pool of customers. This can be an effective marketing and business strategy to ensure that your business thrives in the post-COVID world.
Ethnicity is a multidimensional factor that influences the behaviour and attitude of the consumer.
The proper addressing of ethnicity can help marketers prevent risks of narrow targeting of the market sectors. An effective multicultural marketing strategy should involve a deep understanding of the categories within ethnic groups.
Multiculturalism is a fundamental characteristic of Canadian society.
The true resurrection of society can be attributed to the virtue of unity. We have to implement the best practices, take advantage of all the knowledge from all the societies to rise faster, stronger and better.
Interested in creating a multicultural marketing strategy and looking for meaningful ways to reach ethnic audiences in Canada or the US? Submit your media brief through BriefBid Media Navigator and receive proposals with strategy and tactics from various media solutions.
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