Ten years ago, when I left China and came to Melbourne to study, I could only find Singapore noodles when I was craving for budget Asian food. Today however I can easily find ten types of Chinese food and three different brands of bubble tea. Multiculturalism in Australia has also spread beyond cuisine with the bilingual broadcast at Melbourne airport, multilingual ATMs, and platforms like Alibaba allowing Chinese consumers to buy and ship soymilk makers to their homes in Australia to make their breakfast drinks and herbal soups.

Australia has transformed into one of the most diverse and multicultural countries in the world. According to the ABS, nearly half of Australian residents were either born overseas or have at least one parent who was. The profile of the average Australian consumer is rapidly changing. The ethnic-Australian consumers are younger, have larger households and in many cases are embarking on a series of “firsts” – first job, first home, first child, etc. – and this means they are in acquisition mode for a broad range of products and services. Migrants make an enormous contribution to Australia’s economy and provide over an estimated 10 billion dollars in their first ten years of settlement.

Multiculturalism is no longer optional, but a foundational factor in business and marketing. If brands aren’t focused on reaching multicultural consumers, they are overlooking more than half of potential customers. Cross culture marketing is essential for the growth of Australian businesses and brands. Given my cultural background and work experience in this area in the last decade, I will share some tips for brands and businesses that want to target the local Chinese community and create effective campaigns.

Intention is the first step. Over 72% of consumers are more likely to buy a product or service if advertising is in their native language. However translation alone is not enough. A lot of words in English don’t have Chinese word equivalents, making the literal translations sound ridiculous and often confusing. I often see funny Chinese translations on ads, and personally I am not fed up with these, as I appreciate the efforts and good intention behind them but for others it can be frustrating.

Language is only one layer of the culture association. I believe the more effective way is to create an experience to embrace the culture and traditions that your targeted consumers can associate with.

Australia has transformed into one of the most diverse and multicultural countries in the world. According to the ABS, nearly half of Australian residents were either born overseas or have at least one parent who was.[1] The profile of the average Australian consumer is rapidly changing. The ethnic-Australian consumers are younger, have larger households and in many cases are embarking on a series of “firsts” – first job, first home, first child, etc. – and this means they are in acquisition mode for a broad range of products and services. Migrants make an enormous contribution to Australia’s economy and provide over an estimated 10 billion dollars in their first ten years of settlement.

Multiculturalism is no longer optional, but a foundational factor in business and marketing. If brands aren’t focused on reaching multicultural consumers, they are overlooking more than half of potential customers. Cross culture marketing is essential for the growth of Australian businesses and brands. Given my cultural background and work experience in this area in the last decade, I will share some tips for brands and businesses that want to target the local Chinese community and create effective campaigns.

Intention is the first step. Over 72% of consumers are more likely to buy a product or service if advertising is in their native language. However translation alone is not enough. A lot of words in English don’t have Chinese word equivalents, making the literal translations sound ridiculous and often confusing. I often see funny Chinese translations on ads, and personally I am not fed up with these, as I appreciate the efforts and good intention behind them but for others it can be frustrating.

Language is only one layer of the culture association. I believe the more effective way is to create an experience to embrace the culture and traditions that your targeted consumers can associate with.

GPJ Sophia Wang - Account Director

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