It was a packed house this morning at Doltone House, Sydney for the ‘Diversity DeliversIAA Thought Leadership Breakfast Forum hosted by Mumbrella, where leading diversity/ industry experts were in agreement for the incontestable business case for diversity. Ipsos Australia research indicates that organisations with ethnic and gender diversity at senior levels are financially outperforming their competitors – this is sometimes referred to as ‘The Diversity Dividend’.

During the lively and fascinating panel discussion, which touched on ‘how leading brands are leveraging diversity to deliver better ROI, improved creative outcomes and meaningful insights’, MultiConnexions Director of Strategy and Insights, Kaiyu Li highlighted a phenomenon he called, ‘visiting auntie syndrome’.

“MultiConnexions urges Australia’s leading brands to avoid being perceived as ‘a visiting auntie’ among their target multicultural audiences, where they only – for instance – have a Lunar New Year stall at a festival, or a token campaign every now and then. Relationships are critical, particularly to Chinese and South Asian audiences, and as such, relationship marketing is the key to a brand successfully engaging with these audiences,” said Kaiyu Li, Director of Strategy and Insights, MultiConnexions.

“It’s time to grab your ‘spot on the sofa’ so to speak, and drive a more strategic ‘always on’ approach to engagement with various multicultural audiences with a year-round strategy,’ added Mr Li.

Ms Megan Brownlow, Partner & Editor, Australian Entertainment and Media Outlook, PwC moderated the high-profile panel, which included – in addition to Mr Li – Laura Demasi, Research Director, Ipsos Mind & Mood Report; Melanie Willis, Non-Executive Director, Mantra Group, Southern Cross Media Group, Ardent Leisure Group & Pepper Financial Services Group; and Catriona Noble, Managing Director Retail Distribution, ANZ.

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