26 Feb Making the most of your ethnic dollar
Toronto Feb 26, 2015/ NEW CANADIAN MEDIA
The American Marketing Association (AMA) Toronto chapter held yet another exciting breakfast event on multicultural marketing. Professionals gathered at the famous Spoke Club in Toronto on Thursday Feb. 26th for the event between 0730 and 0930 a.m.
The subject for the morning was ‘Making the most of your ethnic dollar’ and the panel of speakers included the following:
- Mariam Hoosen – Consultant at Mediacom, Former Group Media and Strategy Director, OMD Canada
- Pankaj Mehra – Director, Multicultural Markets, Scotia Bank
- Kiumars (Kiu) Rezvanifar – President, Canadian Ethnic Media Association (CEMA)
- Madeline Ziniak – Former National Vice President, OMNI
Balmoral Multicultural Marketing was the lead sponsor and Sharifa Khan, Founder was the moderator.
The discussion started off by asking the panel what they saw as changes in the ethnic media over the last ten years. Mariam was first to respond bringing in the fact that the digital invasion had changed the way of media consumption and that these days many people consumed media on their smart phones. However it was also noted that among new Canadians, it was largely the younger ones who used Smart phones while the elders were still very reliant on print and radio media.
Pankaj Mehra, Scotia Bank highlighted the point that lack of measurement was there ten years ago and that this was still a lacuna in the ethnic media space. Till agencies have metrics, they were groping in the dark.
Kiu pointed out that costs of production now had come to a fraction of what they were earlier and with advent of the internet on a large scale, consumer’s expectation of high quality material at far lower costs was a reality of today.
Madeline added that while the immigration criteria denoted a certain skill level in English, this was not always the first language for the New Canadian. Languages and cultural nuances were still very critical aspects and many messages and communications required to use cultural references and creative designs to resonate with them.
Third language media was growing in numbers said Madeline and this was being looked at by the Canadian Radio-Television and Communications Commission (CRTC) when granting licenses to new media. She said that they have been working with CRTC to apply a more lenient yardstick when approving third language media and these had start up challenges.
The panel was asked how an ethnic media budget should be created, should it be a percentage of the mainstream budget or should it be a variable figure. With one voice, all agreed and Pankaj verbalized it as dependent on what the marketing objectives were and that ROI needed to be measured not just in terms of immediate bottom line but variables such as corporate image, brand value and intangibles that all go to make the brand salient.
Madeline highlighted the work that Canadian Ethnic Media Association (CEMA) were doing in preparing a directory of all the ethnic media across the country and that in the future, it would look at value added services giving strength and support to ethnic media in attracting marketing dollars.
Kiu highlighted the need for a holistic strategy in that the role of the media was to support the success of the brand and that this encompassed not just traditional and digital media buy but extended into the realm of Public Relations and community outreach. Pankaj added that new Canadians were here because they wanted to be recognized as Canadians first and by their ethnic background second. While this was so, Marian added that it usually took a few generations to feel truly Canadian and even then, cultural ties and nuances never really went away.
Madeline emphasized that all this goes to prove that ethnic media is and will remain very high in the marketing team’s portfolio and that metrics need to be created to gain the confidence of media planners and that CEMA would be looking at this further down the road.
The discussion hour was over before we knew it, much to the dismay of the audience and the session ended with loud applause in appreciation.