As we hit the half-way point of 2017, we think it’s as good a time as any to look into our crystal ball and predict what the future might hold for all things multicultural in Australia. Here is our big 3…

1. Census surprises
June 2017’s second release of insights from Census 2016 has revealed that Australia is even more diverse than what it was in the previous Census.

There has been significant growth in the Chinese speaking community/ Chinese by ancestry community in Australia (Mandarin and Cantonese) – unsurprising to many marketers who are already well-versed with Chinese audiences in Australia. But what may surprise many is the growth of South Asian communities in Australia, especially the Indians.

Australian Census data is a fantastic resource for marketers to quantify the size of an opportunity, and build the business case for multicultural marketing.

2. Blurring
In the more distant past, marketing agencies tended to be ‘full service’, catering to all the marketing requirements of their clients. After that, we have seen a trend towards more niche agencies popping up and working independently as more particular requirements emerged to ensure businesses remain competitive.

We predict the future will again look a little different in this respect.

As businesses increasingly need to be agile, and diversify their ways of making money by moving into new or adjacent areas or even taking a new approach to engaging with their customers, agencies – in turn – are required to be as agile. PwC’s recently published Australian Entertainment and Media Outlook 2017-2021 gave this phenomenon an apt name – blurring. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the world will be going back to the full service agency model, moreover it means that niche agencies will need to collaborate seamlessly with multiple partners. Similarly, mainstream agencies – and their clients – stand to benefit by partnering with specialists.

3. Media – outside the box
As the old adage goes, ‘The only worthwhile ad is one that rings the cash register’.

In the early days, marketers were not exactly spoiled for choice in terms of multicultural media in Australia. Print and radio by and large the only options for effectively reaching multicultural audiences, and they were actually very cost effective means compared to mainstream too.

Since those days, digital/ online has been steadily increasing in the mainstream – and especially since 2014, when online overtook TV for ad spending. Multicultural has been no different in this respect, and these audiences are also consuming digital/ online media with a voracious appetite.

In the future, it will only be increasingly important to reach multicultural audiences via online media and social media – whether they are based in Australia or overseas. We continue to focus on ensuring that our media spend is incisive, and every dollar matters.

TLDR?

The future will see:
1) Chinese and South Asian audience growth
2) Increased partnering for business success
3) Even smarter media buying.

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