It is not enough to understand that Canada is an immigrant country in the sense that immigrants established it. It is very important to understand that it was never a project with a start and end date, from which on it can be considered complete. Not at all. The process is ongoing, and the cultural landscape of the country is changing as we speak. Immigrants have always been the lifeblood of this culture, the very energy that makes it unique.
So what has changed to make ethnic marketing necessary all of a sudden?
Everything. Before the internet, when media were all in English, and there were only a few channels in other languages in the whole country, immigrant populations were either left out of the discourse or faced the need to adapt very quickly to a new socio-cultural environment.
The internet created local media sub-outlets where people can be themselves, speak their own language and most importantly, be understood and heard by others. This is what real multiculturalism is all about. The adaptation to the local language and culture does not go at the expense of ethnic customs, but co-exists with them in parallel.
So what does it have to do with marketing?
Everything. The very ability of people to speak their own language in digital environments makes them much more open to messages that reach them on their terms. Right now, Canada takes in more immigrants than Australia and the UK, competing for the most desirable populations (young professionals, investors, etc.). The number of ethnic groups in the country, and especially in Toronto, is very large. Moreover, their percent of the population is on the rise. Their purchasing power is immense, and we cannot reach them effectively anymore unless we adopt their own cultural code when we approach them.
The New Immigrant is a Young Consumer
In the year 2006, the average Canadian citizen was just over 40 years old. The average immigrant is just over 30. Most are single, young couples or small families. If you know anything at all about the marketing problems that Millennials pose to the Canadian market, then it’s not hard to put 2 and 2 together, and get a picture where the new immigrants are potentially a creating a generation of ethnic Millennials. A generation that will strongly prefer their own circles and able to choose their own information sources. Their options are there for them to choose from and there is no need to guess what their preferences will be.
If You Don’t Reach Out – Others Will
Immigrants are consumers. With the shopping power of working professionals and a situation when they only brought a few possessions from the old country, immigrants are bound to do lots of shopping. Add their young kids to the equation and you will see that they are bound to fuel an immense number of industries and markets.
The competition for this market is on, and whoever still relies on traditional marketing schemes will have a really hard time reaching it.
Furniture, appliances, electronics, household goods, baby strollers and more will be bought and sold within this segment of the population en masse. Additionally, there are banks, mobile companies, telecommunication services, cars, trucks, insurance, mortgages and everything else people require to establish themselves in a new country. The list goes on and on.
As more and more companies scramble to form ethnic marketing strategies in Toronto, we see how amazingly effective it is. We also see that their power is increasing the more they are employed. This approach is adopted by large financial institutions, communications companies, and retailers. Multicultural marketing works.
If you realize the need to adapt your marketing strategy to this new and growing reality, contact us now and work with one of Toronto’s best ethnic marketing agencies.
EthnoDialogue is here for you.