Many of us use traditional ways to market our products and services. However, there are a significant number of diverse communities within our cities that we are not reaching. The time has come for us to start marketing our services to these diverse communities.
Here are 12 ways to begin diversity marketing.
1. Learn your target community: When diversity marketing, the most important thing is to focus on a particular cultural community. You must remember the significant differences and subdivisions within groups like Asians and Hispanics. For example, a person of Asian descent may be Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Malaysian, Philippine, etc. The key is to focus on a particular community just like you would focus on a single object before you take a picture.
2. Be number and color conscious: In many cultural communities colors are very significant. For example, in many Asian countries white signifies death, and red and gold signify good luck, good fortunes and prosperity. Numbers are also very significant as some numbers are lucky and others are unlucky, etc.
Make your office diversity friendly: Make your office diversity friendly. If your target audience are Indo-Canadians, decorate a certain section of your office with Indian artifacts, sovereigns, etc. There are several ways to be inclusive of diversity when setting up your office.
Respect personal space: When dealing with diverse multi-cultural communities, remember to maintain personal space. In North America we are quite comfortable conversing with people who are within 3 meters of us. However, people in many Asian countries maintain a minimum of five meters. Special caution should especially be taken when dealing with customers and co-workers of the opposite sex.
Subscribe to community magazines/newspapers: Many ethnic communities have their own publications, magazines, newspapers and TV shows. Subscribing to these publications can be a valuable investment but many of them are free. Placing an ad in these papers is also a very cheap but focused way of spending your advertising dollars.
Be prepared to bargain: In our world there are two kinds of businesses: people who bargain and people who don't. While pricing your product/services you should always have room to negotiate. If your profits are marginal, adding something extra that sweetens up the deal is a great way to increase the volume of your business.
Partner with ethnic businesses: Many business people know a lot of influential persons in the community. Focus on partnering with a business that compliments your business. Take time to get to know the leaders of these communities because they can endorse your product and help facilitate more business.
Learn a second language: The rewards of learning a second language are huge. We live and work in global markets. Learning a second language is no longer an option; rather it has become imperative to being on the cutting edge. Having another language handy will open up doors that help grow your business.
Get a bi-lingual business card: Do not underestimate the power of your business card. In many Asian countries, giving and receiving a business card is a sign of great respect and honour. It is therefore appropriate to use both hands when giving and receiving a card. Have your business card printed in two languages such as English and Spanish and reserve the front, back, or just a few main characters for a second language. Many of these fonts are available for free online.
10. Celebrate Community Festivals: Once you know your target group, get to know their community and festival holidays. Consider enhancing your business profile by maximizing on these special days. Placing a special ad in their community newspapers such as, "McLauren Associates wish you Diwali". Hold an open house at your business centre, give away sweets, and distribute special post cards printed in the language of your customers and prospects. Also, never take a holiday when your community is busy celebrating.
11. Be an expert on your community: Become a student of your community by reading ethnic newspapers and learning about what is happening in people's home countries. This will allow you to communicate intelligently when you meet a customer from your target area. Become an expert by researching and gathering interesting stats and stories. Get to know who is in your target community, who lives within their families, the places they hang out, the music stations they listen to, etc. This information will be of great value when making your marketing plan. Many ethnic community newspaper editors are constantly looking for news worthy articles. Write an article and send it in. The key is to take your information and create a story.
12. Network: Discover the different ethnic business/social groups meeting in your community, e.g., the Chinese, Indo-American, Vietnamese, and Hispanic etc. Whether you are involved in a small business, or work for an established company, getting to know these ethnic networks will be a valuable experience.
About David McLauren, Ph.D.
David is a diversity specialist who speaks five languages. He brings a wealth of education and expertise to businesses and brilliantly helps companies increase their profits and productivity through diversity.
A highly sought-after keynote speaker, facilitator, and expert on diversity, inclusion, and multi-cultural issues, David consistently energizes, educates, and empowers his audiences.
Call today to book him for your next conference! 888.897.4224
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David McLauren, PhD.