From big brands to small companies - those who market and sell their products to ethnic minorities are the winners. With a spending power of £300 billion ethnic communities are a "hidden audience" you do not want to ignore.
Last month I attended a very informative and eye-opening seminar run by GottaBe! marketing agency that promoted ethnic marketing as an effective method to drive sales. Tomasz Dyl from GottaBe! explained what "hidden audience" is and why it is worth reaching out to them.
"Hidden" but in Large Numbers
"Hidden audience" - i.e. ethnic minorities that populate the UK in large numbers - are not widely considered as a separate group of consumers. Marketing message of the majority of businesses is not targeted at specific nationalities whose needs and expectations are so diversified that they need the marketing content be adapted to cater for their needs.
To prove that the "hidden audience" is a powerful audience, Tomasz presented a few statistics showing that 9.1 million people living in the UK are from ethnic minorities, that's one in five people who are of ethnic origin. The "hidden audience" is very young - 80% is under 25, and only 5% is over 60.
With a population of over half a million, the Polish community is one of the largest ethnic minorities in the UK. The Polish language is the second most spoken language in the UK - about 1% of the UK's population are Polish speakers.
Ethnic Minorities as Consumers
With large population numbers comes high spending power, and this is what happens with ethnic minorities as consumers. Altogether, their spending power is 300 billion pounds. About one twelfth of all fashion spending comes out of their wallet and what they spend on high-tech goods is above the national average.
Given such a strong spending power, it is surprising that only 1 in 5 UK companies reach out specifically to the ethnic communities. As a result, about 70% of ethnic minorities say that marketing message of UK's mainstream brands has little or no relevance to them and 48% say that they would take more notice if advertising would include a member of their ethnic group.
[slide courtesy of GottaBe Ethnic]
The marketing model recommended by GottaBe! is Multicultural Marketing which involves targeted marketing efforts to specific ethnic groups. This model is much more efficient than for example Total Market Approach where one marketing program is designed to fit all consumers both in general and ethnic markets.
Multicultural Marketing sends your brand message to each ethnic group individually in their native language. It involves addressing specific needs of this group and tailoring your marketing efforts to make them engaged.
I have seen GottaBe! marketing in action and their campaigns targeting Polish community were highly visible in Polish magazines issued in the UK; with their field marketing they were reaching the Poles in places where they can easily be found: Polish shops, beauty salons, community centres and Polish cultural events. All marketing materials were designed to appeal to a Polish consumer and the content was always in Polish language.
Why is this so important?
Native Language = Emotions
Recent study shows that people react more emotionally to communication in their native language. A study conducted by online scientificjournal PLOS ONE was conducted in the context of moral dilemmas and proved that when asked to solve such a dilemma in their native language, people make more intuitive decisions based on emotions, while if the request is in a foreign language, their decision is much more calculated and practical.
The results of this study considered in a wider context reveal that people react more passionately to communication in their first language. This means that if you want your marketing message to resonate emotionally with your target market, you need to communicate it in their native tongue. Since consumer decisions are mostly driven by emotions, you have the power of activating them by choosing the right language to communicate with the hidden audience.