With the 2021 Australian Census revealing the significant increase in the immigrant population Down Under, Identity Communications’ Thang Ngo says marketers now need to consider diverse audiences as part of their mainstream campaign.
Young. Diverse. Godless. Behind these headlines from Australia’s 2021 Census are the migrant communities that have driven these Australian trends.
Diversity is now an integral part of Australia’s demography and culture. The latest census tells us that Australia is now a predominantly migrant country. Multicultural audiences are no longer a separate, minor niche. There is no longer multicultural marketing – it’s all marketing. Marketers need to consider diverse audiences as BAU, a part of their “mainstream” campaign.
Migrants make up more than half the population For the first time, more than half (51.5%) of the 25.5 million population was born overseas or have at least one parent born overseas.
Australia’s population has increased by just over two million in the five years between the 2016 and 2021 censuses. Migration accounted for half of that growth and would have been more if it wasn’t for COVID-19 – 80% of migrants arrived before 2020.
Australia is also more linguistically diverse than ever. More than 5.5 million people now speak a language other than English at home – that’s one in five people – more than at any other time in history and up 800,000 from the previous census.
In Australia’s most populous states, New South Wales and Victoria, that ratio is one in four. In their capital cities, Sydney and Melbourne, the figure rises to one in three.
The top languages spoken in Australia indicate the rise in Asian languages. Around one million people speak a Chinese language and Punjabi has cracked the top six for the first time. Longer-established groups from Europe, such as Greek and Italian, are on the decline, with Italian no longer in the top six.
Australia’s most spoken languages (excluding English)
In terms of arrivals from a non-English-speaking country, India has overtaken China to be the top source country, with migrants born in the Philippines making up the rest of the podium. Migrants from Nepal are the fastest growing, jumping 124% between the last two censuses.
There is good news in relation to Australia’s First Nations population – it has jumped by 25% to more than 812,000 people. First Nations Australians now account for 3.2% of the population, up from 2.8%.
First Nations population by age group
Much work has been done by governments of all levels over time to close the gap in terms of First Nations disadvantage, including increasing the lower life expectancy. The news appears to be good. There’s been a dramatic lift in the number of people aged over 65, which is a continuing upward trend over the past few census periods.
The rise of the millennials With all their angst, millennials are the group to watch, making up one in five Australians. They are now on par with their parents, the baby boomers. Anxious or not, millennials are having children and Generation Alpha has doubled.
Australia by generation segments (smh.com.au)
Look behind the headlines and it is migrants who are fuelling the growth of both groups. Take, for example, migrants from Nepal, the fastest-growing migrant group – they are squarely in the age group of millennials and Gen Alpha.
Nepali migrants by age segment (SBS Census Explorer)
Australia – godly and godless We are now less religious than ever. For the first time, fewer than half (44%) of Australians identified as Christian and the decline of the past decade has been significant. Within Christianity, Catholicism is the largest Christian religion, making up 20% of the Australian population. Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism are the next largest religions.
Today, almost 40% of the population said they have no religion – 20% higher than the previous decade.
The rise in no religion
While Australia generally has been drifting from organised religion, this shift has been made more dramatic due to migration. Over 70% of Mandarin speakers, the most spoken language other than English in Australia, claimed no religion.
Migrants from the Philippines make up the third-largest non-English speaking country of birth – over 76% of Filipino speakers in Australia are Catholic.
There is no multicultural marketing, only marketing Due to the sheer size of the multicultural population in Australia, every statistic we see – millennials, how many cars are purchased, population growth rate, homes purchased, toilet paper bought – all data has been significantly shaped by migrant Australians – over 5.5 million of them.
Multicultural marketing isn’t a different work stream. This audience should be seen as a segment of any mass marketing campaign – a large and highly valuable one. Over one million migrants arrived during the current census period – instant consumers who need to buy clothing, home goods, mobile phones, cars, moisturisers. A migrant typically buys a car within 12 months of arrival, a house within three to four years and an investment property by year five, according to SBS’s Calling Australia Home Research.
Nielsen’s Ethnic-Australian Consumer Report found migrant-Australian FMCG expenditure is growing at a faster rate than Australian-born.
The report predicts migrant-Australians’ spend will grow at a faster rate than their Australian-born counterparts, accounting for over A$4.4 billion in incremental revenue. This will result in the migrant-Australian shopper contributing a total of A$18.7 billion, or 28%, of the total FMCG retail channel.
Brand awareness and loyalty haven’t been built. New migrants don’t yet know the difference between Commbank, ANZ or ING. They haven’t yet developed a preference between Coles, Woolies or Aldi. Category leaders will need to talk to migrants early; if you don’t, you’ll risk a challenger brand getting there first to steal share and loyalty.
Mass marketers are kept awake at night looking for new market segments. The census tells us there are more than 5.5 million reasons to include multicultural Australians into your “mainstream” campaign.
Thang Ngo is a strategist at Identity Communications, Australia’s largest multicultural marketing agency – an IPG Mediabrands company. Twitter @thangngo.
The Office of Responsible Gambling has rolled out the ‘Number that Changed My Life’ campaign to raise awareness of the signs of gambling-related harm and the support available for culturally and linguistically diverse audiences.
“Gambling is an issue for people from all walks of life, however, research shows that people from a migrant background face different issues and significant barriers in seeking help.” the Office of Responsible Gambling’s (the Office) director, Natalie Wright, said. Gambling doesn’t just affect gamblers; it impacts their loved ones as well. It’s important to let people know that if they are affected there’s support for them too”
LOUD created the campaign drawing on insights from a program of in-depth research and extensive consultation with gambling counsellors who work with multicultural clients and those impacted by gambling
“We’re thrilled to be able to bring this next phase of the campaign to the market. The reach and impact of gambling-related harm most often extend beyond the individual to loved ones, so it was critical to get our messaging right for each and every audience we have to reach. The result is a campaign showcasing success stories to build hope, and encourage the audience to
seek help and reaffirm that seeking support can change their lives.” said Lorraine Jokovic, CEO of LOUD.
LOUD and Identity Communications collaborated to execute the campaign across the complex multicultural media landscape.
“We worked with LOUD to ensure that the message for this new audience was unmissable in multicultural media. We have engaged multicultural community groups and other key stakeholders to help spread the message and to reassure our audience that there is no shame in seeking help” said Thang Ngo, managing director of Identity Communications.
Bespoke campaign creative has been developed for the Chinese, Arabic, Vietnamese, Korean and Indian communities. The campaign will air on all media channels including ethnic print, radio, TV, digital, online video, and OOH, and will be supported by community engagement initiatives.
Hindi – https://vimeo.com/731555012
Vietnamese – https://vimeo.com/731557718
Korean – https://vimeo.com/731556094
Mandarin – https://vimeo.com/731557075
Cantonese – https://vimeo.com/731554008
Arabic – https://vimeo.com/731552935
Client: Office of Responsible Gambling, NSW Government
UM’s multicultural marketing agency, Identity Communications, today announces the appointment of Kimberly Stafford (pictured, right) to the newly created role of Business Director to co-lead the agency alongside strategist Thang Ngo (pictured, left).
Anathea Ruys, CEO UM Australia, said Identity is now Australia’s largest and fastest growing multicultural marketing agency and it was imperative its team had the unique marketing techniques required to engage with Australia’s burgeoning ethnic population.
Ruys said: “Over nine years ago UM had the foresight to establish Identity, now with more than 50 per cent of Australia’s population with an ethnic background, reaching this audience has never been more imperative. We are delighted we already had the talent within UM and Kimberly can transfer her specialist skills to engage with this important demographic.”
Stafford’s appointment follows an unprecedented period of agency growth fuelled by the rapid increase in Australia’s multi-cultural population demographic, with the agency adding a mix of organic growth and a raft of new client wins to its client roster, including Australian Government, NSW Government, Sydney Water, SunRice and Cancer Institute NSW.
In her new role, Stafford is charged with managing and growing the business and its team, while Ngo will focus on building Identity’s strategy, product and consultancy offering.
Ngo said he was delighted to partner with such a highly regarded and experienced media and digital craft industry leader with more than two decades of expertise in strategic media investment, implementation and client advice.
Ngo said: “Kimberly’s appointment is fantastic news for both Identity and its clients. We are at a pivotal point in Australia’s population history with the data from the nation’s 2021 Census showing more than half of us were born overseas or have a parent born overseas.
“That’s a timely reminder for marketers to capitalise on this demography and equip their marketing with robust tools and tactics from insights, strategy, channel strategy, non-media channel strategy and translation in order to reach and engage all Australians.
“Implementing marketing tools to cater for this evolving demography can be quite straightforward and accessible and doesn’t require a major overhaul of your marketing department,” he added.
“This is what Identity does best and having Kimberly by my side will ensure Identity has the skills and capabilities to innovate and develop our offering, and find growth opportunities for our clients through innovation and data-led execution,” he concluded.
Previously at UM Australia for more than 15 years, in both group investment director and group director roles, Stafford gained valuable B2C and B2B experience across many industry verticals including finance, computer & hardware devices, entertainment, travel, food and beverage and telco.
Known for her of hands-on leadership style, business acumen and with a history of driving effective planning, optimising media investment, operational excellence and commercial growth, Stafford leads by example – collaborating closely with brand teams, agency partners and senior stakeholders to inspire great work.
Newly appointed business director Kimberly Stafford said: “I am looking forward to bringing my media and investment expertise into the burgeoning field of multicultural marketing with clients now requiring more insights, tools and strategy specialists due to Australia’s rapidly developing diverse consumer demography.
“This is an exciting time to be in media and I can’t wait to join Thang and the very talented Identity team to drive commercial growth for our business and client base.
“I am also delighted I can use the high-performance team culture nurtured and learned at UM and transfer these vital people management skills across to its sister brand, Identity,” she concluded
Stafford joins Identity in early July. A replacement for her role at UM will be announced in due course.
We all live in our own bubble with like-minded friends and familiar work colleagues – COVID lockdowns and travel restrictions have probably made the bubble tighter. But how can we market to Australians if we don’t know who they are beyond our bubble?
The release of the 2021 Census data this week is timely, providing a reality check of what our contemporary Australia looks like.
From recognising Pride Month and celebrating Lunar New Year to commemorating NAIDOC Week, our industry is all over inclusion. So, what does the 2021 Census tell us about Australian consumers? And what are the implications for marketers?
Diversity. Too big to ignore.
Australia is now a predominantly migrant country with more than half (51.5%) of the 25.5m population born overseas or have at least one parent born overseas. If your business is marketing to all Australians, then you need to communicate to Australians from a migrant background.
We are more linguistically diverse than ever, with more than 5.5m people speaking a language other than English at home –almost 800,000 more than the previous Census. Of these, around 800,000 do not speak English well, so your most engaging and hilarious TVC won’t be cutting though.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations are bigger than ever before, with more than 812,000 people, an increase of 25% over the previous Census. Indigenous Australians now account for 3.2% of the Australian population.
Multiculturalism. A valuable thing.
Refugees and asylum seekers dominate media headlines and shape our image of this audience. The reality is very different. Australia’s immigration policy over the past couple of decades have prioritised skilled and business migrants.
Migrants of today typically buy a car within 12 months of arrival, a house with 3 to 4 years and an investment property by year 5 according to SBS’s Calling Australia Home, a research report looking at the settlement journey of new migrants.
Nielsen’s Ethnic-Australian Consumer Report found migrant-Australian FMCG expenditure is growing at a faster rate than Australian-born expenditure. The report predicts migrant-Australians’ spend will grow at a faster rate than their Australian-born counterparts, accounting for over $4.4 billion in incremental revenue. This will result in the migrant-Australian shopper contributing a total of $18.7 billion (or 28%) of the total FMCG retail channel.
Get competitive. Get there first.
Over 1 million migrants settled in Australia between the 2016 and 2021 Censuses. That figure would have been higher if it wasn’t for COVID – about 80% of these arrivals were before the pandemic.
This is almost one million instant consumers who have had to buy clothing, home goods, mobile phones, cars and homes. Contrast this with the natural growth rate, you’ll be waiting decades before babies born today will become affluent consumers.
Get there first if you want to get first mover advantage. Brand awareness and loyalty haven’t been built. New migrants don’t yet know the difference between Commbank, ANZ or ING. They haven’t yet developed a preference between Coles, Woolies or Aldi.
Multicultural media is also less cluttered so building your brand or retail message more cost effectively. It allows challenger brands to act like the ‘big boys’.
Migrants, particularly those with limited English proficiency have a lower churn rate. When we arrived from Vietnam as refugees over four decades ago, the Commonwealth Bank was owned by the Australian Government. We had to open an account with the Commbank to receive our social services payment. Today, Cabramatta, a Vietnamese community hub, has one of the busiest Commbank branches in Australia with 9 ATMs – not bad for a suburb of just over 21,000 people.
Get there early and you’ll reap the rewards in the short and long term.
Talking to diverse audiences. It’s easier than you think.
Some communities are highly concentrated making media targeting highly effective and cost efficient. In NSW, seven in 10 people in the Fairfield local government area speak a language other than English at home, half of the residents in Burwood (NSW) have Chinese ancestry.
This concentration is perfect for geo-targeted digital or OOH media and makes it easier to measure a campaigns success if you can track sales by location.
Don’t go into it with blind faith.
We are now less religious than ever. While still significantly the most common religion in Australia, for the first time, fewer than half (44%) of Australians identified as Christian. Almost 40% of the population said they had no religion and increase of 10% over previous Census.
Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism are the next largest religious affiliations. Marketers will need to consider the trend away from Christian beliefs and values when developing creative. Religious diversity also comes with greater opportunities, Diwali and Ramadan are already starting to emerge as retail occasions in Australia.
Thang Ngo is a strategist at Identity Communications, Australia’s largest multicultural marketing agency – an IPG Mediabrands company. Twitter @thangngo.
Industry figures are leading the way in getting vaccinated against COVID-19, many of them announcing the occasion of double vax via social media. AdNews asked them about their motivation and experiences.
Thang Ngo, MD, Identity Communications:
I live in the Fairfield LGA hotspot. The threat of COVID-19 is real. We’ve been in lockdown since July. The 9pm curfew started this week.
No other community feels the strain of COVID as much as the people of south-west Sydney. Fairfield is one of the most culturally diverse council areas in Australia, where seven in 10 speak a language other than English at home.
We’re a tight-knit community. Under lockdown, we can’t visit loved ones, celebrate festivals or attend religious gatherings. Many humble ma-and-pa businesses are suffering. Dong Son, a Cambodian-Chinese eatery that’s been in Cabramatta for four decades has closed temporarily during. No one knows if it will come back.
Vaccination is the only way we can turn the tide and go back to normal.