If you still have a separation between regular work and multicultural outreach strategies, then this article is definitely for you.
To summarize it, there is no such thing anymore, as “regular” work. The Canadian market has, in fact, always been composed of cultural and linguistic subdivisions, but they were mostly ignored by everyone except people within those same groups. Now let’s consider the new and changing world of Canadian multicultural marketing.
What it means to be Canadian is not the same now as it used to
If you look at people on Toronto’s streets, foods we eat, music we listen to, then you will start to realize that immigrant cultures are no longer discarded in favour of a larger Canadian identity to be preserved only as oddities in souvenir shops and ethnic food restaurants.
People who come here today are inclined to retain their own cultural identity more than ever before, just as they are adapting to the local language and culture. One doesn’t rule out the other, not anymore, and people’s ethnic identities are preserved and celebrated.
Breaking the wall within the wall
Many marketing companies, brand makers and promoters, seemingly understand this but another important aspect is still somehow left behind. What we mean is that not only new immigrants are ethnic audiences. Even fully adapted and assimilated “old” immigrants still have unique cultural roots that may have been put aside, even partially forgotten, but never fully discarded.
Moreover, children in Canadian schools are taught about different cultures and traditions, and are more likely to identify with the culture that their immigrant parents may have almost shed. This breathes new life into ethno-cultural identities of young people all over Canada, and those young people are all our future customers.
Knowing this, consider the question – who is the typical Canadian consumer today? Who is this segment of population that you can call “default” and apply a non-ethnic marketing strategy? Do they really exist anymore? Have they ever? Not only immigration makes ethnic marketing necessary, or not directly, at least. If you wish your marketing strategy to work, all of it needs to be multicultural, adapted to the segment of population that it targets.
The more ethnic marketing and advertising works for new immigrants, the more it works on old immigrants who wake up to their own cultural identities and embrace them. Automakers, financial institutions, large retailers and more are all catching on to this new ethnic and demographic reality.
All Marketing is Ethnic Marketing
The addition of the Internet to the game has turned it upside down. Consumers cannot be talked “at” anymore. They have to be talked “with”. PR and marketing companies are putting huge budgets into social media campaigns, where consumers are engaged, where a dialogue can be created. This makes marketing companies more attentive to their audiences, dividing them not only by ethnicity anymore, but into more subtle distinctions such as regions, age groups and even dialects within cultures.
Canada is, and has always been, a country of immigrants. We are all immigrants here, with our unique cultural – linguistic heritage, semiotic system and feeling of self within those systems. By respecting and seeking out the self in the consumer, and addressing them in their language – only then your marketing strategy can produce real results in this new reality.
This is applicable to communities, neighbourhoods and other sub categories within the diverse Canadian culture. To understand them is to understand the market. If you wish your multicultural marketing strategy to be led by one of the best ethnic marketing groups in Toronto, call us today!