Posts tagged ‘Middle East advertising’

February 5, 2011

Mediareach Advertising backs Arab Orphan Charity

Mediareach Backs Arab charity

Multicultural marketing specialist Mediareach Advertising is rallying the support of its clients and big businesses to support the World Wide Welfare charity, which is holding a charity fundraiser on the 12th of March 2011.
The charity, which provides humanitarian, sustainability, health and educational assistance to orphans in many Arab countries around the world, is holding the event to raise much needed financial aid to continue the fantastic work that they are doing.
Mediareach CEO Saad Saraf said,
‘The World Wide Welfare charity is doing a lot of fantastic work and Mediareach is very happy to contribute and help the charity raise awareness. What we need now is the support of big business and brands to come on board as sponsors and help make this fundraiser a huge success in raising much needed funds’.
The WWW charity’s main purpose is to create and deliver sustainable projects that make a better life for orphan children and give them back their right to live in dignity and have a better future for their children. The charity operates in countries like Iraq where there are more than 3 million orphans, all a consequence not of their own making.
The charity fundraiser will be attending by over 320 of the business and community elite of the UK’s Arab diaspora. The event will be held on the 12th of March at a central London hotel.
Ends.
Notes to editor:
World Wide Welfare:
The charity has three main objectives:
1. To relieve poverty, distress or suffering (including starvation, sickness or any physical disability or affliction) by appropriate charitable assistance whether medical rehabilitation, financial or otherwise, in any part of the world.
2. To promote education by appropriate charitable assistance, including the establishment, maintenance and development of schools, training centers or any educational establishments.
3. To assist in the preservation, conservation and protection of the natural environment for the public benefit in any part of the world.

http://www.mediareach.co.uk

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January 22, 2011

Saad Saraf appointed as IPA Ethnic Diversity Group Chairman

The IPA has today (20th January) appointed Saad Saraf, Founder and CEO of Media Reach, as Chairman of the IPA’s Ethnic Diversity Group. He succeeds Trevor Robinson, OBE.

Saad has spent his career investigating the multicultural landscape of the UK and his agency Media Reach has been a driving force in the growth and development of multicultural marketing in the UK. He has also addressed many conferences and has written several papers on the subject of diversity. One of these papers includes a chapter written for the IPA’s interim report The marketing opportunities for advertisers and agencies in multi-cultural Britain (LINK), published in March 2010.

Says Saad Saraf, Founder and CEO of Media Reach: “The UK is now truly a multicultural country, and will continue to flourish in the face of diversity. The industry needs to quicken its pace to catch up with the changing face of the new society, or risk getting left behind. Not only do we need to accept it, we need to understand and embrace it.”

In 2003 the IPA Ethnic Diversity Group published its first major collaborative work on ethnic diversity which looked at the employment, portrayal and economic value of the ethnic minorities (LINK). A sequel to this report will be published on its tenth anniversary in 2013.

http://www.mediareach.co.uk

April 7, 2010

‘Why multiculturalism becoming the new mainstream?

More people now live in urban cities and the composition of these towns and cities are becoming increasingly multicultural, resulting in more sophisticated, well-networked and demanding consumers who value service, experiences and attention. If brands can’t communicate effectively to this changing demographic, they will find themselves losing market share in the UK.

Approximately 15% of the UK’s population is made up of individuals from multicultural backgrounds, including Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, African, Caribbean, French, Spanish, Polish, Lithuanian, Roma, Arab and South African to name just a few. This seemingly small figure however becomes a lot more significant when conservative estimates from calculate their spending power at more than £300 billion. If the trend is set to continue, being a multicultural marketing agency may be the new ‘mainstream’ agency.

Anecdotal evidence from the clients and communities we work with indicate that most established ethnic communities in the UK have had a lighter recession than most. While the rest of the UK has gotten itself into debt, these communities, including Indians, have relied on their shrewd saving habits and family support networks to see them through the bad times. However, during both the good and the bad times, they’ve always had a little money to spend.  So why are more brands not speaking to them?

That’s not to say that multicultural markets and the wider mainstream consumer markets don’t have anything in common; whether it’s property, food, drink, fashion, banking or lifestyle, they all aspire to something better and represent a share of the market place for brands. However, even after a torrential recession, the penny still hasn’t dropped for many marketers that they need a harder working and wider reaching, inclusive marketing mix.

Traditional mainstream media, although it works for a good portion of the market, doesn’t always translate well into other cultures and brands can lose any connection and relevance with a significant portion of the spending public. Businesses can no longer afford to ignore Britain’s multicultural markets if they want to strategically grow and increase their market share. In fact, cultural media, community messaging and niche marketing is fast becoming the conduit of the advertisers’ in-the-know, who’ve already spotted the value for money and ROI that others are yet to cotton on to.

Spending 100% of your budget on 60% of the population

In cities such as London where up to 40% of the population is made up from what is traditionally considered an ethnic background, diversity is what defines us.  The question then begs to be asked is: in post recession times where budgets are carefully set out and strategically allocated to render the highest possible returns, does it still make sense that brands are spending 100% of their marketing budget on reaching only an average of 60% of the population?

The greatest challenge for specialist marketing agencies like Mediareach Advertising is to show marketers what we already know. The same mainstream message does not fit all audiences and often, to reap maximum returns on advertising and PR investment, you have to speak to individual markets with messages they can relate to.  Meeting niche and multicultural markets halfway can go a long way in securing new market share for your product or service.

Commercially speaking, targeting specific communities with specific products could greatly increase your profit margins without increasing your marketing budget. An example of this is the fact that most Afro-Caribbean and African women residing in Britain spend an average of six times the amount of money on hair and beauty products than their mainstream peers and yet very few beauty and hair product campaigns effectively reach out to this audience.  If the product suited the market and marketing budget was redistributed across this market segment this could mean higher return on investments for your company.

Playing it safe doesn’t serve your bottom line

We say this tongue-in-cheek but it seems that many brand managers and marketers in Britain have too long been sitting in their ivory towers to realise the changing demographics of modern Britain.  Every few years there is a courageous brand manager or marketer who steps out and sets the bar just a little higher than the rest, often with great success.  For the most part however, brand managers across the country aren’t willing to look beyond the same formula that they have been using for the past couple of years.

Unfortunately, and especially in post recession Britain, the same old formula will no longer cut it with consumers.  Fast developing social networking sites, peer to peer information and an ever growing diverse demographic will no longer make allowances for the same old mass produced ‘one size fits all’ marketing campaign. Even financial institutions are investigating alternative credit systems like Sharia finance for a better financial model to avoid another financial disaster. Brands may come to realize that prosperity in post recession Britain will depend on their ability to move with the culture and display open honest two-way communication with their customers.

Thinking outside the box and looking at options you’ve not considered before instead of playing it safe doesn’t have to be an uncalculated risk with dire prospects of failure.  Specialist agencies such as ours can make this a calculated, results driven strategic step to help brands grow and brand managers shine.

The new year may offer many new opportunities but none as exciting as the opportunity to get in on the action of an under-valued market and strengthen the future for exciting brands.

Saad Al’Saraf

CEO

Mediareach Advertising

www.mediareach.co.uk

multicultural marketing agency

March 1, 2010

Are brands losing share in the multicultural market place

Walk into any of he 95,000 supermarkets, convenience stores and cash and carry’s, which are controlled largely by the multicultural communities, and one thing you are sure to find out.

These stores, which shifts up to 33% share for a number of major brands, but is this honeymoon going to continue or are we going to see an increasing number of foreign brands imported to the UK to cater for the needs and demands of a growing diverse multicultural consumers.

So what can major brands do in the face of this on-slaught:

1) ignore this phenomenon and assume they are large enough to withstand brands chipping into their sales and competing to win more shelf space from them resulting in their brands continuing to slide further down

2) develop a strategy based on understanding their audiences, motivations and purchasing patterns in order to address their needs, fend the competition and increase their market dominance and share.

Established brands can’t ignore the challenges to their dominance and must continue to learn and innovate to stay on top of their game otherwise they will continue to see their sales and market share dwindling.

Saad Saraf
Multicultural Marketing Specialist
Mediareach Advertising
http://www.mediareach.co.uk

September 26, 2009

Target The Growing Multicultural Market in the UK

If there was a challenge to marketing directors, agencies, government departments and the creative industry today is how to engage this ever increasing diverse multi cultural society of ours.

With the minority ethnic population figures growing to 12% nationally, the picture in certain metropoles such as London, Leicester the ethnic communities are more than a third of the population as a whole.

So why do we need to look at this niche market;

* Disposable income in excess of £90 Billion
* 40% of London population are from ethnic communities
* 320 languages are spoken in London
* 1/3 of businesses in London are owned and run by ethnic
* The food sector is dominated by ethnic food and restaurants
* Strong dependence on own media (TV, Radio, Press, Digital & Cinema)
* Multicultural marketing is good for companies in the UK and abroad
* More than 2 million Eastern European have come to the UK over the past year
* The UK is destined to receive 1.2 million people from Bulgaria & Romania over the next 18 months
* The demography in London is changing beyond recognition and brands must change their tactics and marketing approach

The disposable income of the minority ethnic communities is put at £90 Billion Pounds and members of the community aspire to a better status and to the ownership of luxury brands (Cars, Electronic Consumables, Watches, large Property)

Minority ethnic people are loyal to their roots and cultural heritage. They love their food, music, films and television.
(Asian cinema halls are seeing a revival with gate receipts overtaking that of mainstream cinema complexes).

The basic rule therefore is to understand this diverse multicultural audience and to address their needs and market to them but above all we need to listen to what they want to see , view and hear rather than imposing our thoughts on them which has resulted in driving them away from mainstream art and culture.

People of ethnic background are aspirational and value education and status highly, they seek careers such as Doctor, Pharmacist, IT professionals, Banking and Management.
More than 50% of the population are under 25 years old (a youthful audiences)

Most of the people from the ethnic origins are religiously sensitive and culturally conscious. Therefore, they react/ respond differently to generic communication messages. But they do have needs and requirements: to get them interested we need to understand and appreciate their culture and traditions in our work/drives.

Conventional and traditional communication channels are not enough to capture “ Hard to Reach Communities”. Other marketing communication means such as outreach need to be utilized.

I am intrigued to see ethnic events such as Mela’s, Carinvals, fashion events, Music are able to attract tens of thousands of people ready to spend and to be entertained, in fact some of these events attracts hundreds of thousands of minority ethnic audiences while mainstream art establishments fails to draw a handful of people.

So what are you doing wrong?

Above all what seems to be lacking is an understanding of the audiences, most marketers I have spoken to, can not tell were a typical minority ethnic person in streets come from , what languages do they speak and what religious background they belong to. Some confessed that every Black person they describe as Caribbean and every brown as an Asian.

I am also bemused as to the insensitivity of some of commissioners and marketers to our needs and requirements. I find myself strangely enough drawn to the Arabic media and television more than the usual bland 5 channels I am offered and being forced to pay even when I spend very little time watching them.

I tend to find the editorial content does not cater for and represent me and at times offends my culture and traditions.(sometimes I must admit I never thought I will do shield my children from such content).

In today’s fragmented and increasingly turbulent markets, ethnic marketing offers a new strategic focus for product/market development and, in many respects, companies which ignore this do so at their own competitive peril.

Companies wishing to do business with ethnic minority groups need to review the basic premises of their marketing plans to take account of the growing market pluralism and the multi-ethnic reality of modern Britain.

This presents a tricky challenge to marketers, as marketing to them is not as simple as it would seem. The ethnic population in Britain is very diverse, not only in the different nationalities and races they represent, but also in terms of culture, attitude, lifestyle, behaviour.

Therefore, they respond to marketing / communication messages very differently from the mainstream. What works for the mainstream market doesn’t necessarily work for the ethnic consumer, as the triggers and hooks would be quite different. Not to mention the language barriers and difficulties that exist, especially within the early settlers and new immigrants.

The complexities are even more intriguing when you have to consider the differences that exist between each ethnic community, as they come from varying backgrounds. Cultural and religious sensitivities come into play, along with traditional values and beliefs, nationalistic feelings, political influences, and more. This makes the marketers role even tougher.

For instance, within South Asian communities, the disparity between Indians, Pakistanis and Bangladeshis is huge, despite the fact that they come from the same sub-continent.

There are differences in language, religion, food habits, festivals, attire etc. On the other hand, similarities exist in the way they live, where the family is the most important social unit, the concept of large joint family where grandparents, parents, brothers, children all live together as opposed to the westernized nuclear family system.

Within South Asian, Afro-Caribbean and Chinese communities, community networks are very strong, and community leaders as well as religious leaders play an important and influential role in opinion forming and changing behaviour.

Due to the language barriers, especially amongst women, older generations and certain new immigrants, these community tend to rely on their own media / ethnic media channels and community networks for information and entertainment, which is evident from the plethora of ethnic TV stations, radio stations and print publications that have burgeoned over the last 10 years in Britain.

Mainstream clients most of the time seem to be obsessed with ticking boxes and paying lip service when it comes to targeting our communities properly. This lack of attention is being picked up be members of the minority ethnic communities who are reciprocating in kind by not reacting to the clients inadequate communications.

Mainstream media under delivers, due to high dependence on ethnic media among the first and second generations. The irrelevance of programs offered by terrestrial television have further pushed the ethnic audiences away.

These reasons has driven audiences to migrate from mainstream media to the ethnic ones which are witnessing a boom.

Saad Saraf
CEO
Media Reach Advertising
http://www.mediareach.co.uk

September 24, 2009

UK Creative Industries – a white wash!

I went to Iraq for the opportunity of winning a communications contract. I knew there had been uproar that American companies had won majority of the construction contracts in Iraq following the war. Out of those that lost out, I did wonder, how many of them stopped to realise the real reason for this. What I observed was that the American government had recognised the need to have key personal that were representative of the Iraqi market. They sent over American Iraqis, who understood not only the work that needed to be carried out but also the culture. They realised the need and the advantage of having representatives with localised understanding in a global market place and have benefited from the strength of having a diverse workforce.

The same cannot be said for creative industries in the UK. The Creative Industries are a significant contributor to the UK economy – accounting for 7.9% of GDP, and growing significantly faster than the economy as a whole. UK creative industries deservedly enjoy a global reputation for excellence, creativity and innovation. British design, advertising, music and interactive leisure software companies are considered to be world-class. The question is, will it last?

Many people have spoken about how broadcasting is “hideously white, male and middle class”. This statement is also true for other sectors that fall under the creative industries banner. The Institute of Practitioners in Advertising’s report on Ethnic Diversity in the UK revealed, unsurprisingly, that ethnic minorities make up 4% of the advertising workforce – with most being positions of support services, such as IT and finance.

The UK creative industries workforce does not reflect the Ethnic diversity of the market they are targeting, largely due to the lack of realisation of the benefits diversity brings. There have been half-hearted attempts relating to recruiting a more ethnically diverse workforce, which can be summed up as reactive, knee-jerk reactions. It therefore comes as no surprise that the UK creative industries are facing a challenge from overseas. Countries such as America, India & China are continuing to enter this market and are meeting the needs of British consumers & businesses which UK based companies are overlooking. There needs to be a more strategic approach, which is not even existent on a government level.

So what should creative industries do to remain world class?
• WAKE UP
• Embrace multiculturalism by recruiting from a wider talent pool
• Engage, harness and train talent in the UK from Ethnic communities be that Indian or Polish
• Enjoy multiculturalism and highlight key role models from ethnic backgrounds

Today Bollywood is a multi-billion-pound industry outstripping Hollywood in ticket sales. Bollywood realised the marketing potential for their movies to both the British Asians and the wider UK community and stepped up their activity here in the UK. That’s not all, they have taken British born talent like, Upen Patel from Wembley and made him one of the top Bollywood stars and a household name in most Asian homes in the UK. Why then, can we not do the same? Why can’t we embrace, engage and enjoy the great pool of talent we have here, to achieve success both locally and globally!

And for those of you who are wondering what happened to the contract that my company went for in Iraq. Well I can tell you that, yes we won the account for our knowledge and experience but also for the fact that as a British Iraqi I had cultural understanding.

Saad Saraf, CEO, Media Reach Advertising
http://www.mediareach.co.uk

September 24, 2009

Communicating with the UK’s Multicultural communities

Communicating with the UK’s Multicultural communities
September 6, 2009 by alsaraf
During this economic downturn, you would think that everyone would be clambering about looking for new opportunities, with clients demanding for more effective, intelligent and cost efficient solutions that deliver results like never before. And yet, the industry continues to respond towards this growing niche by assuming that generic solutions are communicating to all.

Ethnic marketing and media is as important as mainstream marketing and media and in some ways can be more important. It’s got nothing to do with tokenism but has everything to do with customer segmentation and understanding your audience. It’s a point that’s not very well understood by many public relations and marketing professionals. Yet ethnic marketing is growing in importance for many mainstream brand owners.

With the minority ethnic population figures growing to 10%,
(Average household size twice the mainstream average) and in certain cities such as London, Birmingham & Leicester the ethnic communities are a third of the population as a whole.

Research has shown that not only are ethnic minorities hardworking and inspirational, they are also economically powerful. In 2007, LDA research stated that the disposable income for ethnic minorities was valued at £100billion.

Ethnic minorities are brand conscious and loyal and are willing to fork out a lot of money for it. They are 3 times more likely to buy a BMW and 2 times more likely for a Mercedes. They are early adopters and keen purchasers of high-tech products. One in three Black and Asian respondents (33% & 32% respectively) identify Nike as one of the brands they buy most often, compared to only 20% of White respondents. Black women spend 6 times more on hair care products than white women.

Britain’s main’s multicultural communities come from around 120 countries and speak more than 320 languages and dialects in London alone.

People of ethnic background are aspirational and value education and status highly; they seek careers such as Doctor, Pharmacist, IT professionals, Banking and Management.

Most of the people from the ethnic origins are religiously sensitive and culturally conscious. Therefore, they react/ respond differently to generic communication messages. But they do have needs and requirements: to get them interested we need to understand and appreciate their culture and traditions in our work/drives.

Conventional and traditional communication channels are not enough to capture “ Hard to Reach Communities”. Other marketing communication means such as outreach need to be utilized.

Ethnic events such as Mela’s, Carnivals, sport events, Music are able to attract tens of thousands of people ready to spend and be entertained, in fact some of these events attracts hundreds of thousands of minority ethnic audiences.

So what are you doing wrong?

Above all what seems to be lacking is an understanding of the audiences, most marketers would not know much about their multicultural customers, what languages do they speak and what religious background they belong to.

Companies wishing to do business with ethnic minority groups need to review the basic premise of their marketing plans to take account of the growing market pluralism and the multi-ethnic reality of modern Britain.

Multicultural groups respond to marketing / communication messages differently from the mainstream. What works for the mainstream market doesn’t necessarily work for the ethnic consumer, as the triggers and hooks would be quite different? Not to mention the language barriers and difficulties that exists, especially within the early settlers and new immigrants.

For instance, within South Asian communities, the disparity between Indians, Pakistanis and Bangladeshis is huge, despite the fact that they come from the same sub-continent. There are differences in language, religion, food habits, festivals, attire etc. On the other hand, similarities exist in the way they live, where the family is the most important social unit, the concept of large joint family where grandparents, parents, brothers, children all live together as opposed to the westernized nuclear family system.

Within South Asian, Afro-Caribbean and Chinese communities, community networks are very strong, and community leaders as well as religious leaders play an important and influential role in opinion forming and changing behavior.

Due to the language barriers, especially amongst women, older generations and certain new immigrants, these communities tend to rely on their own media / ethnic media channels and community networks for information and entertainment, which is evident from the plethora of ethnic TV stations, radio stations and print publications that have burgeoned over the last 10 years in Britain.

The UK is now truly a multicultural country, and will continue to flourish in the face of diversity. If we don’t recognise that people are different we are not going to get anywhere. Businesses is about engaging people and more so in the current financial downturn. We’ve got too many products and too few customers. When people have a choice and prices are falling, that’s when marketing mavericks look at segmentation and precision marketing. The industry needs to quicken its pace to catch up with the changing face of the new society, or risk getting left behind. Not only do we need to accept it, we need to understand and embrace it.

• Mainstream media under delivers, due to high dependence on ethnic media among the first and second generations.
• Mainstream advertisers need to address ethnic sensitivity and not as tokenism gestures. It is significant to think ethnic, not simply translate.
• Multicultural groups are becoming immune to blanking messages. They desire a personalised message with cultural relevance
• You need culture decoding rather than language translation

Saad Saraf
Mediareach Advertising
http://www.mediareach.co.uk