People of Chinese background make up Australia’s largest multicultural population, at more than 1.2 million members. Along with the 1.4 million Chinese travellers that visit our shores each year, this market segment holds strong spending power, embraces new technologies and products, and gravitates to popular trends.
But these consumers’ shopping habits and media consumption differ from the wider community, right down to how they engage with media. The social platform WeChat dominates their online world, with more than over 3 million users in Australia. Yet most Australian marketers still rely on Facebook and Twitter for social campaigns.
Building a brand presence and position amongst local Chinese people can open doors beyond the Australian market. Just look at how Chemist Warehouse tapped into booming China’s e-commerce industry, demand for provenance and affinity for Australian brands.
In 2015, Chemist Warehouse launched their Chinese e-commerce presence in time for Alibaba’s Single’s Day, the world’s largest online shopping event, becoming the first merchant on Tmall to reach 10 million yuan (AUD1.96 million) in sales – in only 46 minutes. And in JD.com’s recent 618 Festival, Chemist Warehouse was the top seller on Tmall on the festival’s first day. They’ve continued to reap the benefits from a strong cross-border focus, underpinned by the popularity of the brands they sell among Chinese Australians and in the broader Australian market.
Bold action can bring big rewards
Now more than ever is the time to broaden your diversity strategy and look beyond traditional markets. Seize the opportunity to engage multicultural consumers through collective passion points, where they’re receptive to your message. If you can connect with migrants at key touch points in their settlement journey with a message built on cultural understanding and insight, not just a visual representation, you have a greater chance of being unforgettable in an increasingly ignorable advertising environment.
Agencies need to work with their clients and ensure their campaigns are culturally sensitive and resonate with the new audiences, through a greater understanding of who they are, how they interact in the brand category and in what environment.
The changing nature of Australia’s multicultural identity provides uncertainty for agencies, but it also presents opportunities for those brands ready to take the challenge. Taking a leap of faith could reap benefits beyond what they thought possible.