Ethnic marketing in New Zealand - Alchemy Marketing
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Ethnic marketing in New Zealand

Ethnic Marketing

29 Jul Ethnic marketing in New Zealand

New Zealand’s ethnic diversity – what it means for businesses

 

New Zealand is becoming more ethnically diverse.  At the current migration level of 68,400 new migrants per year, every week there are the equivalent of more than 4 Boeing 777-200’s full of new migrants arriving in New Zealand.  These people need somewhere to live, clothes, food, transport, insurance, banking services, phones, job opportunities and so on.

Many of these new migrants have not yet developed brand loyalty, and indeed, may have no awareness of your product or category.  Having marketing strategies for ethnic audiences can provide you with first mover loyalty of a large and growing consumer base.  The marketing advantage lies in understanding the cultural nuances, drivers and specific platforms for reaching target communities.

This article will explore migration trends for New Zealand, and what the implications are for companies and organisations to build brand awareness and affinity with new migrants through ethnic marketing strategies.

NUMBER OF OVERSEAS-BORN IN NEW ZEALAND IS MORE THAN 1 MILLION

The number of people living in New Zealand who were born overseas, has reached more than 1 million for the first time.  In the 2013 census, 1,001,787 people (25.2%) were born overseas.

The percentages of people living in New Zealand who were born overseas were:

  • 2% in 2013
  • 9% in 2006
  • 5% in 2001

 

People born overseas are coming from an increasingly diverse range of countries:

BirthplaceOverseas-born living in NZ - 2001 CensusOverseas-born living in NZ - 2013 Census% of Overseas-born people - 2001 Census% of Overseas-born people - 2013 Census
England178,203215,58925.5%21.5%
China38,94989,1215.6%8.9%
India20,89267,1763.0%6.7%
Australia56,25962,7128.1%6.3%
South Africa26,06154,2763.7%5.4%
Fiji25,72252,7553.7%5.3%
Samoa47,11850,6616.7%5.1%
Philippines10,13437,2991.5%3.7%
Korea17,93126,6012.6%2.7%
Scotland28,68025,9534.1%2.6%
Tonga18,05122,4162.6%2.2%
USA13,34421,4621.9%2.1%
Netherlands22,23919,8153.2%2.0%
Malaysia11,46016,3531.6%1.6%
Cook Islands15,22212,9542.2%1.3%
Germany8,37912,9421.2%1.3%
Japan8,62210,2691.2%1.0%
Sri Lanka6,1689,5820.9%1.0%
Canada7,7739,5761.1%1.0%
Ireland6,7299,0451.0%0.9%
Other countries130,692175,23018.7%17.5%
TOTAL BORN OVERSEAS698,6281,001,787100.0%100.0%

Source: Statistics New Zealand

While England is still the most common country of birth for overseas-born people in New Zealand, the Asian ethnic group population has almost doubled over the last 12 years.  This has been driven by migration from China, India and the Philippines.

AUCKLAND IS BECOMING INCREASINGLY ETHNICALLY DIVERSE

Almost 2 in 5 people (39.1%) living in the Auckland region were born overseas.

  • 4% of New Zealand’s Pacific people live in Auckland.
  • 2% of New Zealand’s Asian people live in Auckland
  • 7% of New Zealand’s Middle East / African people live in Auckland.

Within Auckland:

  • In the Mangere-Otahuhu Local Board Area, 60% of the population are Pacific people with Samoa being the most common birthplace.
  • In Puketapapa Local Board Area, Asian people comprise 44% of the population, with India being the most common place of birth.
  • 6% of people in Howick Local Board Area were born overseas, and China is the most common birthplace for those born overseas.
  • In the Otara-Papatoetoe Local Board Area, 46.6% of people were born overseas, with Fiji being the most common place of birth.

Auckland is becoming increasing multicultural, and is projected to become even more so.

LANGUAGE DIVERSITY

Languages Spoken2001 Census2006 Census2013 Census
English3,425,3013,673,6263,819,972
te reo Maori160,527157,110148,395
Samoan81,03685,42886,403
Hindi22,74944,58966,309
Northern Chinese*26,51441,39152,263
French49,72253,75749,125
Yue**37,14044,15144,625

Source: Statistics New Zealand

*Northern Chinese includes Mandarin   **Yue includes Cantonese

In 2013, the seven most common languages spoken in New Zealand were English, te reo Maori, Samoan, Hindi, Northern Chinese (including Mandarin), French and Yue (including Cantonese).

Hindi replaced French as the fourth most common language spoken in 2013.

The number of people who could speak Hindi almost tripled between 2001 and 2013, and the number of people who could speak Northern Chinese (including Mandarin) nearly doubled.

More than 87,000 people do not speak English.  Most non-English speakers identified with at least one Asian ethnicity.

Auckland is New Zealand’s most multilingual region, with nearly 30% of people reporting that they speak more than one language.

IMPLICATIONS OF LANGUAGE DIVERSITY

For many migrants, their native language is the one in which they discover and explore the world.  Marketers who can speak to audiences in their own language will have a differential advantage over other businesses who only communicate in English.

With that said, it pays to proceed carefully when translating marketing communications from English into other languages.  It requires an excellent grasp of English and the key messages of the communication piece, as well as a thorough understanding of the culture and language of the native country involved.

Pepsi allegedly paid insufficient attention to translation nuances which led them to translate “Come alive with the Pepsi generation” as “Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the grave.”  Now there’s a brand promise!

WHAT ARE THE OPTIONS TO TARGET MULTICULTURAL MARKETS IN NEW ZEALAND?

Ethnic media is becoming much more established in New Zealand with some good options for many of the key communities, yet interestingly only accounts for a small percentage of total media spend.

New Zealand’s Chinese population is one of the best served with well-established media including dedicated television channels, radio stations and many free Chinese language publications.

The Internet is another popular medium for the Chinese community. One of the most widely used websites is Auckland-based SkyKiwi, which generates over 700,000 daily page views.

The Indian community is also well catered for with popular radio stations and fortnightly print publications.

Having a presence at religious and cultural festivals such as Diwali and Pasifika also provides opportunities for brands to gain exposure with target ethnic communities.

There are increasingly more opportunities now to harness digital’s ability to niche target according to multicultural segmentation.

Businesses may consider hiring “community consultants”, people who are from your target communities and can successfully bridge the gap between cultures, helping with research and insights and promoting your products or services in a culturally appropriate way.

ASPECTS TO CONSIDER

Businesses need to understand their audiences deeply and communicate being respectful of cultural nuances.

It makes sense to follow marketing fundamentals of having a deep knowledge of your customers and their specific needs.  Whilst census data is informative in terms of which countries migrants are from, how recently they have arrived, where they reside and the age and gender structure, this only paints part of the picture.  Qualitative market research to gain insights as to “a day in the life”, your target audience’s values and their challenges can help you build robust target market personas.

Furthermore, ethnic communities are not homogenous.  Their purchasing habits and preferences can vary by length of residency, linguistic adaptation and socio-economic status.

The best approach can sometimes be to focus on commonalities and universal themes such as love for children and wanting what is best for them, or the value of education.

The reality is that New Zealand is a melting pot of cultures and is projected to become even more ethnically diverse. Businesses that can satisfy a mix of diverse customers which includes European New Zealanders, Asians, Pacific people and Maori, will be the successful companies of the future.  What is your business doing to maximize this wonderful opportunity?

If you would like to talk about multicultural marketing opportunities for your business, please feel free to get in touch!

By Carla Sheldon, Marketing Consultant, Alchemy Marketing, carla@alchemymarketing.co.nz

 

 

 

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