Diversity Media, Ipsos Reid launch first-ever multicultural marketing study

Canada's top 13 ethnic communities to be tapped for key insights.

Toronto-based Diversity Media Services (DMS) and Ipsos Reid have partnered to launch Canada’s first national multicultural marketing research study, which will explore the buying behaviours and cultural intricacies of Canada’s 13 largest ethno-cultural groups.

The key aspect of the $3-million study is to hone in on common attributes, rather than explore the uniqueness of each group, Frank Cristiano, director of business development for DMS tells MiC. ‘The focus of the study is not to find out what is different between the cultures, but the subtle intricacies that’s common to every culture, such as family, wealth, companionship,’ he says. ‘The opportunity to leverage common attributes among the groups will allow for more efficient marketing plans and greater return on investment for clients.’

Beginning next March, the study will tap into new immigrants as well as first- and second-generation Canadians – the latter two constituting a consumer block of more than 10 million people.

‘Communicating with this group using messages based on a single common actionable insight provides a greater ROI than building numerous campaigns to target each group,’ adds Cristiano, adding that it will also test the cultural commitment of third-generation Canadians. In total, the study will investigate the relevance of home culture to a group consisting of more than 26 million people or 75% of Canada’s entire population.

Cristiano says they will spend almost $1.6 million in a multi-platform ad outreach campaign in multicultural and mainstream media, targeting these groups in more than 20 languages across Canada, in Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver. ‘The creative will focus on redefining Canadian culture. We want to hear everyone’s voice, since Canada is no longer just hockey or eating pea meal bacon, but also eating a samosa, pasta or Chinese noodles.’

Cristiano says the ad campaign (TV, radio, print, OOH) will also prompt Canadians to participate in an online or automated telephone survey. Print will span newspapers in the top 24 languages spoken in Canada. A viral campaign is also planned, spanning 60 national and international websites in English and other languages, to reach different generations of the targeted groups. The viral campaign will use social websites such Facebook and Twitter, among others. The strategy, says Cristiano, ‘is not to sell ourselves, but to understand what constitutes the new Canada.’

The survey will have a syndicated as well as a customized portion – marketers will be able to participate in the study for product category or brand-specific insights, says Cristiano.

The 13 communities include Chinese, South Asian, Mediterranean (Italian/Greek), Arabic, Tagalog, Vietnamese, Portuguese (Portugal/Brazil), Korean, Persian, Russian, Tamil, Latin American and European (German/Polish/Ukrainian/Romanian).

A core foundation of questions will be asked across all groups with additional question modules defined by industry and companies participating in the study. Core questions will include basic demographics and psychographics as well as tenure in Canada.