Make minority markets matter

Beyond marketing to mainstream New Zealanders, Marketing Minds is well-positioned to reach emerging and hard-to-reach ethnic markets, namely the Chinese, who have high home ownership and make up 10.6 percent of Auckland’s population and 5.3 percent of the New Zealand population. Anne Casey, Head Marketing Consultant at Marketing Minds shares insight into how marketers can better reach these communities.

Is marketing quite segmented when it comes to cultural representation in NZ? 

The migrant segment in New Zealand is expansive, profitable and growing. Over one million Kiwis are born overseas and there has been 11 percent annual growth in migrants since 2013. The local resident Chinese market is estimated to be over 260,000 people (excluding students) and continues to grow by at least 16 percent per annum. For marketers, this growing segment of NZ is often hard to reach as not only is their first and preferred language Mandarin, but their behaviour in consumption of media and use of social media channels are completely different. 

What is cross cultural marketing?

In a few simple words, cross cultural marketing is reaching and communicating with people from other cultures beyond the society’s main culture. It can also be known as ethnic marketing, migrant marketing, niche marketing, inclusiveness marketing and more. As New Zealand’s cultural landscape becomes more diverse, exciting new opportunities increase and brands need to develop and deepen the relationship with this audience in order to continue to remain relevant today and in the future.

What are some of the challenges marketers face in reaching the Chinese market in NZ?

With Mandarin being the first language of a population the size of Hamilton and Rotorua combined, the first challenge marketers face is understanding this audience and the ability to build strategies around this. This poses a risk to the success of effectively marketing to the Chinese and securing new markets for brands. Our solution is to bridge the gap with outside-the-box research and analysis, and provide outside-the-box resourcefulness. Marketing Minds built our own WeChat social monitoring tool to harness information and insights and is able to access data and research not publicly available through our partners and professional networks. This enables Marketing Minds to confirm their direction and provides data for the brand strategies of our clients. It also enables us to create benchmarks and measures for the Chinese marketing channels.

Keeping up to date with the latest (very fast moving) consumer behaviour of the Chinese in China (particularly as they relate to digital/ social media activities), is another barrier. Local Chinese are used to living in a very fast-paced world and so new technology is adopted extremely quickly, and access to information, new brands and services evolves rapidly. There is a need for marketers to have an understanding of these dynamics to effectively market to the Chinese in New Zealand.

WeChat is the biggest channel, are there other channels to consider?

There are the Chinese language media including online forums, TV, radio and press, however, within WeChat itself, it is a media ecosystem that has the most effective and extensive reach possible. This media ecosystem is unlike what marketers will be used to as it ranges from group sharing, to broadcasts, multiple media accounts and influencers.

How can Marketing Minds help?

Marketing Minds can help organisations to understand and reach the Chinese market in New Zealand effectively. We help them navigate this very different world and provide the necessary brand voice, reach, engagement and conversion – along with ensuring the brand voice is maintained and properly reflected in this market. Marketing Minds also assists brands and media agencies plan and access Chinese publishers that often exist only in the WeChat ecosystem. 

Marketing Minds keeps up with trends by staying connected with China through conferences, learning from experts, virtual events and continuously observing changes. This means the team can adapt and bring to its clients the learnings which they can then apply to their business needs where relevant. It also has a strong background and understanding of the Chinese culture through its own team of people, including a lead marketer of Chinese ethnicity with 20+ years marketing experience in New Zealand and various Asian countries. marketingminds.co.nz.

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