A slow grin spread across my face this afternoon when leading Australian marketing trade publication B&T’s newsletter hit my inbox, and I read the blurb attached to an article titled: Four’ N Twenty Campaigns To Save our Slang.

“Hunt is on to find top Aussie slang,” read the blurb. “We’d like to nominate ‘merci beaucoup’ and 这些馅饼是可怕的,” quipped B&T’s editor.

The French phrase ‘thank you very much’ and the Chinese phrase ‘this pie is awful’ above were obvious nods to Australia’s truly remarkable multiculturalism.

With the complete 2016 Census results set to come out in June this year, one key early finding already released last month was that although our ‘typical Australian’ has both parents born in Australia, the ‘typical New South Welshman’, ‘typical Victorian’, and ‘typical Western Australian’ has at least one parent who was born overseas.

For Australian marketers keeping their finger firmly on the pulse of multicultural Australia, and the latest Census figures, it’s important to bear in mind the below multicultural marketing tips.

Drill down and appreciate differences – and similarities

Let’s look at the example of the family unit, and specifically – a mother. For an Indian mother with a 7 year old child, she will have a very specific idea of what a mother is. This will be vastly different to a Chinese mother with a 7 year old child, or an Australian mother with a 7 year old child.

Marketing messages should be tailored accordingly to tap into audience insights and differences to create a message that truly resonates.

Do away with the ‘too hard basket’

‘I don’t want to do 5 campaigns’… ‘I don’t have time’ … ‘Won’t our mainstream approach do for multicultural audiences?’

The excuses are many, but without emotional insights into your audience, there is no engagement with the brand.

Do away with tokenism

Many brands have an unfortunate tendency towards tokenistic gestures towards various multicultural audiences, which are nothing more than an arbitrary nod to differences. That might include merely having multicultural talent or diverse looking faces feature in an advertisement.

“Well, now I’ve ticked the multicultural box,” says the marketing manager, dusting their hands together with an air of satisfaction.

But the warning is this: If you don’t pay your diaspora audiences the attention they deserve, and develop a relationship with them based on a strong connection, they will not pay your brand any attention either.

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