Quote EndQuote Cross-Cultural Strategy


Q1. Is ethnic marketing here to stay?

A. Absolutely! Canada is the second most culturally-diverse country in the world. According to Statistics Canada 2006 Census, visible minority residents represented roughly 5.1 million or 16.2% of Canada’s total population.
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Q2. We have a Chinese lady working in the Accounting Department. Can’t she offer the insights we need know?

A. Having an ethnically-diverse staff is a good start. Depending on which Chinese segment you are targeting, your Chinese staff member may not be familiar with the consumer motivations, differences in regional vernacular or aware of new
opportunities to connect and build relationships with new immigrants from mainland China, “astronaut” families from Taiwan or established immigrants from Hong Kong, as examples. In addition, QEQ’s marketing teams, which include cultural advisors who are active leaders in each community we serve, actively seek and initiate opportunities that would benefit our clients.
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Q3. Why don’t you do straight translations?

A. Translation is when the information is interpreted by a translator, to state in another language what is being said in another. Transliteration, or in-language copywriting, is QEQ’s preferred method of re-creating your marketing messaging. The process takes into account cultural innuendos, language, and other factors. For example, references of ’70s icon Gene Simmons from KISS may not resonate across cultures. If a straight translation will do, we will happily refer you.
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Q4. What’s the difference between Mandarin and Cantonese?

A. Mandarin refers to the spoken language predominantly spoken in mainland China. The Mandarin dialect Taiwanese is spoken in Taiwan. Cantonese is predominantly spoken in Hong Kong, as well as in parts of Southern China. It’s important to understand your target to guide which spoken language(s) to use.
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Q5. Our marketing budgets have been cut. Where can we find extra budget to market to such small segments of our customer base?

A. Visible minority communities in Canada’s urban centres could account for 50% or more of your potential customer base; this proportion could represent a significant missed opportunity. Between 2001 and 2006, while Canada’s non-visible minority population grew by 5.4%, the visible minority population increased five times faster.Organizations that do not incorporate strategies to address cultural diversity in their marketing risk a reduction of their regular customer base, little trial or loyalty among the ethnic consumers and a negative impact on their bottom line.
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Q6. Isn’t it expensive to try to reach so many different target segments?

A. Marketing directed to some of our commonly-ignored communities could reap greater financial rewards. Fewer organizations communicate with these smaller communities, who are also hungry for information. In addition, the cost of advertising in these community newspapers and other media options are currently being undervalued by their often unsophisticated media owners, thereby benefiting progressive advertisers.
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Q7. Won’t the customers be disappointed if we advertise in their language, and then when they come in, there’s no one who can speak their language?

A. Sometimes we need to be reminded that 60% of new immigrants can understand and speak English. English may not be their preferred language of choice to consume information or conduct a complicated sales transaction, however, for certain product categories, your staff’s ability to understand limited English, treat these customers with the utmost respect and courtesy, will be key to making a connection.
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Q8. As an ad agency, if we hire you, won’t it seem like we don’t know what we’re doing?

A. It’s common for ad agencies to subcontract out creative, production, research, media buying and planning. The efficiencies for the agency and the expertise gained for the client’s benefit is great. The same goes for subcontracting out to a marketing specialist who lives and breathes Canada’s multicultural markets.
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Q9. We’re already getting an ethnic newspaper to translate our English ads and it seems to be pulling. What else can we do?

A. To step up your game, consider conducting an audit of your ethnic customer experience, from the time they view your ad to after the sale is made. Is there an opportunity to sell more of what you’ve got? How are you generating word-of-mouth advertising for your business? Can your organization benefit from integrating and being a part of your ethnic customer’s community? QEQ can guide your efforts to building customer loyalty, increasing share-of-basket, and increasing frequency of visits.