In a previous post, we looked at Hispanic Americans and the impact that they have on marketing in the United States. With marketing, it is important to reach people in such a way that they feel connected to a product or service. Typically, brands that use multicultural marketing are very successful. This is because they are showing each demographic that they care; their product or service connects with them in some way. As we look at the dynamic landscape of the population in the US, let’s focus on another demographic: Asian Americans.
The Profile of Asian American Consumers – Getting Started
Of course, there is great socioeconomic diversity among Asian Americans. But, when talking about the population as a whole, we can make a pretty general statement: Asian American population is growing! In fact, a 2012 Nielsen report said that this group is “the fastest growing multicultural segment of the United States population.” The report also points out that Asian Americans have a higher median household income than the total population. Half of the population over age 25 has Bachelor’s degrees. What does this tell you? It tells you that this group is educated, informed, and offers huge potential for spending.
Speaking the Language
The Nielsen report also says that 77 percent of Asian Americans speak a language other than English at home. What languages are we talking about? Data from the US Census points to Vietnamese having the largest increase. Also, the percentage of Armenian, Korean, Persian, and Tagalog speakers has doubled since 1980. Chinese takes third place behind English and Spanish, with 2.9 million speakers and counting. What do these numbers mean for your business or organization? Research from Common Sense Advisory (See “Can’t Read, Won’t Buy”) points to the fact that customers are more likely to buy a product or service if it is presented to them in a way in which they best understand. In previous blog post, we talked about San Francisco International Airport and the launch of their Chinese website. This is a great example of an organization that is aware of their customer base, identified a need, and then addressed that need.
Beyond language, let’s look at culture, too. It is important to take elements of a host culture and native culture and blend them together. The identity of an Asian American is a mix of Asian and American influences. Advertisers have made strides in using Asian actors in commercials. Of course, Asian culture is not uniform – there are many ethnicities that fall under the umbrella group of “Asian Americans,” but there are a few common values. One is the focus on family. Homes are usually comprised of two married parents. Family influences education. Respect for elders is very important. Focusing on a unifying theme will make it easier to reach Asian Americans rather than focusing on the differences.
Let’s continue quoting the Nielsen report: “Asian Americans spend an average of 80 hours surfing the internet each month.” Their site preferences are similar to the rest of the population (Google, Facebook, Yahoo!, YouTube, and Twitter). It is important to point out, though, that they are very interested in technology and consumer electronics products and are more likely than other groups to buy products online. They are also very active on social media and blogging sites. What do all of these numbers mean? Basically, if you want to reach Asian Americans, it is important to have a solid presence online (website, social media, mobile friendly sites).