Asian multicultural marketing continues to be a discipline that is attracting new categories and brands, as well as welcoming back clients whose Asian programs have heretofore ‘lapsed.’
This trend is underscored by the Census 2010 data which has been released in the last year that confirms that Asians are the fastest growing population in the country (neck and neck with Hispanics), and remain the most attractive segment with respect to many other critical demographics. Some key trends to watch for in 2012 and beyond include: Expansion of active product categories and entrance of new category players in the Asian multicultural space. While the historical “big players” of financial services and telecom will continue to remain active, new growth will come from increasing, or ‘re-activated,’ marketing activity from clients in the automotive, retail, and luxury products sectors.
Healthcare and pharmaceutical marketing programs will also deepen as Asian DTC efforts move beyond the historical focus of the last decade (liver health and osteoporosis) to embrace new disease categories including mental health, cardiovascular, oncology, and others. Major OTC brands will also turn towards the Asian segments for the first time as a new ‘frontier’ that extends their prior successes in Hispanic and African-American marketing. The coming 3-5 years will also welcome new, or fairly ‘inactive’ categories to the Asian market as multicultural marketing as a discipline completes its transition from ‘option’ to ‘imperative.’ Such categories include consumer packaged goods (in its broadest definition), computers/software, travel & leisure, and others. Drive to the Web: Asian marketers will increasingly build their online competencies as the spotlight is maintained on Asian consumers in the USA as the most ‘mature’ users of the web – with respect to their daily/weekly/monthly surfing habits, their leading use of social media, and their leadership among all segments in researching products online, purchasing products online, and conducting financial transactions online.
However, unlike in the general market, growth in online marketing programs will not replace traditional Asian media programs, but rather serve as an essential, integrated ‘complement’ to such programs. This is due to the long history of Asian offline media in the country, the ever-expanding offline content sophistication, the continued strong reach which Asian offline media affords within the top ‘Asian’ cities, and it’s comparative low cost vis a vis media in other consumer segments. As such, the cost barrier-to-entry in building ‘surround-sound’ offline/online programming to reach Asian consumers will continue to remain low, thereby enhancing market attractiveness.
By Saul Gitlin, EVP Strategic Services, Kang & Lee Advertising via Multicultural Marketing News