Brands cannot afford to neglect multicultural marketing
New research from agency GottaBe!, revealed at the Festival of Marketing, shows why brands will only reach ethnic minority consumers by adapting to their needs
There are over 9.3 million ethnic minorities living in the UK, equating to over 14% of the total population, with an estimated 39% of migrants coming from EU countries. This is only continuing to grow; the latest ONS data from May 2020 shows that in 2019, there were 902,000 Polish people living in the UK, 457,000 Romanian and 351,000 Indian. Clearly, it’s becoming increasingly important to understand multicultural marketing and how to successfully reach different ethnic communities.
The 2021 Census will soon reveal an even clearer, more up-to-date picture, which of course all marketers are eagerly awaiting. Since the recent Brexit vote, more non-EU nationals have moved into the UK, predominantly via study visas - students are coming over for education, before securing jobs after their studies by developing strong working relationships here. They consequently gain the right to remain in the UK through employment.
At the Festival of Marketing, Tomasz Dyl, founder and managing director of agency GottaBe!,pointed out that although one in six people living in the UK are from a Black, Asian or minority ethnic (BAME) background, only one in five UK companies (20%) reach out to these communities. Almost seven out of 10 of ethnic minorities believe that UK media and marketing has little or no relevance to them. Why? Because they are not being represented, and the media does not portray their way of living or use the right methods to reach them.
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When conducting focus groups, surveys and speaking to key BAME influencers, GottaBe! identified three key words describing their experience: forgotten, underrepresented and discriminated against. The recent Black Lives Matter movement has seen a real shift in focus towards these communities and companies need to continue becoming diverse and inclusive. One size does not fit all; communications need to be different in order to reach all in society.
GottaBe! recently conducted an online survey between January and March 2021, with a representation of 38 nationalities, all living in the UK, in order to gain a better understanding of BAME communities, which marketers often refer to as ‘hard to reach’. Only 38% surveyed think that brands are trying to reach or represent them in today’s marketing, an increase from 31% last year. This seven-point annual gain shows a promising rise in the right direction, a pattern which needs to continue.
Over 48% of respondents say they would be more persuaded to buy a product if the brand communicated in their native language, while 29% believe that advertising in English to BAME audiences is ‘simplistic’. So, we as marketers all need to be mindful of that and learn how best to approach and communicate with different communities effectively. Try talking to them in their own language to make it feel more relevant. Simply replace your English text with their translated language for instance, to promote inclusivity and a sense of understanding – it’ll go a long way.
Digital channels and social media are key platforms for ethnic minorities in discovering new products and opportunities. Public transport is a great way to engage with them as they tend to use this to get to work due to the nature of roles and industries they often work in. Promotions and offers are also well considered, according to the reseatrch, and they value referral schemes such as recommending friends for incentives – all things to bear in mind.
Almost two thirds of those surveyed stay loyal for over two years with providers of utilities, insurance and mobile phone contracts, while 48% have only had one or two jobs since arriving in the UK, with 3-5% changing jobs between three and five times. It’s clearly very important to understand that, in terms of recruitment, ethnic minorities tend to be loyal and will stay with a company for a long time. Over 70% plan to stay in the UK indefinitely, with more applying for British passports to have the right to stay permanently.
“Our job is to find the stories that connect with audiences and engage customers.”
Emily Latham, Channel 4
GottaBe! has over 13 years’ experience and a team made out of cultural specialists and over 4,500 brand ambassadors across the UK. For more information about how it can help your business, click here.
Hard to reach? Only if you don’t know how to reach them
As an agency with over 13 years’ experience specialising in multicultural marketing, GottaBe! knows exactly how to reach BAME communities: where they work, what media they rely on and how to communicate with them effectively.
Marketers should be engaging through a combination of programmatic advertising, social media, influencers and ethnic media channels (of which there are over 250 in the UK now - from radio stations like Sunrise Radio, Unity 101 FM and Lyca Radio to newspapers such as Eastern Eye, Bangla Post and Cooltura; online news portals such as Emito.net, ElIberico.com and gg2.net, and narrowcast TV channels such as Zee TV and Islam Channel). Ethnic events such as Diwali in The Square and Mela are also a great way of engaging and building trusted relationships. To help marketers gain a better understanding of multicultural marketing, the team at GottaBe! has put together a number of resources listing key dates for ethnic events here.
At the Festival of Marketing, Dyl was joined by GottaBe!’s client, Sergei Bulgakov, marketing lead for Skrill, who shared his perspective on the importance of ethnic marketing and how it helped Skrill to pivot in recent months. His key takeaway is to “do your research, know your background and pick the right partner”.
Brands see a huge return on investment through reaching out to ethnic minorities and communities living in the UK. This largely untapped area can see companies grow considerably and diversify into new areas, simply through understanding and being .■
Click here to watch the session on demand at the Festival of Marketing