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In 2023, marketers’ understanding of minority groups is more important than ever

By Martin Rothwell | Client relations lead

GottaBe!

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The Drum Network article

This content is produced by The Drum Network, a paid-for membership club for CEOs and their agencies who want to share their expertise and grow their business.

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January 24, 2023 | 7 min read

For The Drum's Predictions Deep Dive, Martin Rothwell of agency GottaBe! looks at how new data will deepen marketers' understanding of minority ethnic groups and supercharge campaigns.

Deepavali

Connection through cultural experiences will speak to minority ethnic groups the most / Debashis via Unsplash

Recent census 2021 data (released in 2022) shows that the UK continues to grow as a hub for diversity. With London now being less than 50% White British and other areas like Birmingham, Leeds, and Manchester continuing to see further cultural diversification, in 2023 it will be more important than ever to understand ethnic minority groups even more deeply.

A recent study published by WPP in collaboration with GroupM and Ogilvy Consulting entitled 'The Consumer Equality Equation Report' found that by 2061, minority ethnic groups will represent a third of the UK population. Minority ethnic groups by then will command an annual disposable income of £575bn.

In that study, 80% of respondents said that brands have a responsibility to reflect modern Britain. In recent years we've seen more brands move to diversity and inclusion. But is it enough?

Sure, we can use the fundamental psychology analysis that, if a person sees someone that looks like them, the content is more likely to resonate with them. However, this analysis is very primitive and it ignores the depth of knowledge you need as a marketer to truly understand your consumers.

How can we understand minority groups better?

Brands must use data insight and first-hand experience to fuel effective communication. The first consideration must always be location: where can you physically reach your desired audience? Given the aforementioned data, we are beginning to get a much clearer picture of where ethnic minority audiences are. Taking on this understanding, marketers can better reach consumers with hyper-localized campaigns across mediums. But what mediums are best to use?

Let's look at the data. Ethnic minority audiences often engage with media in a very different way to the wider population. For example, Global Web Index (GWI) data tells us that Black audiences are 103% more likely to discover brands through music streaming platforms. Insights like this give us great power in reaching diverse audiences (though we should be mindful that individuals consumer media differently).

Data helps us understand minority ethnic consumers by revealing their motivations, behaviors, and challenges. As marketers, we know that consumers' motivations and behaviors vary depending on age, gender, and socioeconomic background, so it should not be overlooked when planning campaigns in 2023.

Based on the above, we’ve highlighted three key aspects that ethnic minority consumers want from brands in 2023.

Authentic representation

In recent years, we’ve seen more of a concerted effort from brands to include visibly- and non-visibly minority-ethnic individuals in marketing materials. However, consumers are aware of performative inclusivity, and are willing to call it out.

For this reason, it's more important than ever to authentically connect with minority ethnic audiences. This means considering how to reach and communicate with these audiences in a way that is specific to them. Brands can create a more authentic feel to the way the speak to diverse audiences, and this can help to drive loyalty and deeper consumer connection, which will be needed throughout 2023 as disposal incomes dwindle.

Sustainability and purpose-led brands will win

Consumers have gravitated toward more ethical and sustainable choices for a few years. However, looking at GWI data (as above), we can see that minority-ethnic consumers are more likely to pick a brand based on sustainable or ethical values than the wider UK population. It is important when reaching any audience to understand how your message best resonates with them.

Cultural experiences will create better connections

Consumers value cultural experiences. Experiences targeted at minority-ethnic individuals will help brands to build better connections with their audiences and drive loyalty to win over the competition as consumer spending decreases through the impending recession (for example, we recently created a Diwali experience with Western Union, featuring a light display at London's Trafalgar Square fountains for attendees to send their holiday wishes using a tea light).

Creating cultural experiences is not just about activating around key religious or cultural dates, but also deeply understanding the meaning of that holiday and its key elements, and bringing it into your experience.

For more takes on the year ahead, by and about marketing agencies, check out our Agencies Predictions hub.

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GottaBe!

GottaBe! have seen continued growth over our 13 years. A continued growth that has seen us develop two core brands under the GottaBe! brand.

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