- In some communities in the Lower Mainland, 70% of new home developments are sold to Chinese buyers, most of whom have come from China.
- 75% of imported luxury automobiles such as Audi, BMW, Lexus and Mercedes-Benz are sold to Chinese customers in BC.
- International arrivals from China increased by 64% in January 2014, the highest growth of any international country.
I once described Asian marketing as akin to teenage sex: Everyone talks about it, everyone thinks everybody else is doing it, but only some are doing it and the ones who are doing it are not doing it particularly well (with some exceptions of course). Admittedly, this is a borrowed analogy but still apt for the times.
In the late-1990s, Hamazaki Wong decided to develop a practice in Asian marketing. After all, the writing was on the wall — the next economic century belonged to Asia. This was buoyed by the 1997 handover of Hong Kong to China and the resulting immigration that transformed Canada’s demography. More recently, the tide from China has redefined market dynamics. So, while the Asian influence has largely come to pass, why has marketing in Canada not kept pace?
- Inertia — Humans are creatures of habit and change can be daunting and difficult. So why revise the way you’ve always done things when it mostly works (at least in the olden days anyway!).
- Internal structure and processes — Big companies move slowly so ingrained structures and processes serve to dull new initiatives such as multicultural marketing. Plus, to do multicultural marketing right, some internal resources need to be dedicated to this endeavour and those resources may not be readily found.
- Money — Budgets need to be allocated to this so money really isn’t the issue (assuming there’s a marketing budget), it’s assigning the money to the budget that’s the issue. This can often be exacerbated by an existing agency partner who wants all the marketing budget to itself rather than spread the wealth and do the right thing.
- Confusion and misinformation — Many companies simply don’t know where to begin when it comes to Asian or multicultural marketing. Media properties are less well developed and those companies who deign to test the market by dipping their toes into the multicultural markets, only to catch a cold, paint a misleading picture of misinformation. Tsk, tsk.
Agree with me? I invite your comments. Or click here to see how Hamazaki Wong can be the newest addition to your team to take your marketing to the next level.