Culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities in Australia are all too often ignored when businesses are planning their communications strategies. Corporations often put CALD specific campaigns in the ‘too hard basket’ thinking that it either isn’t worth the effort or that it’ll be too tricky.
This simply should not be the case. Beyond the broader ideals of inclusivity and celebrating diversity, the numbers alone are enough to persuade that effort should be made. The recent census revealed that 6.1 million, or 28 per cent, of Australians were born overseas. More than one-fifth or 4.9 million of Australians speak a language other than English at home.
Information from the Australian Bureau of Statistics tell us that over the past ten years, the number of Australian residents born overseas has continued to increase. In particular, those born in India and China have both more than doubled in this time.
The top languages spoken at home, other than English, are Mandarin, Arabic, Cantonese and Vietnamese. The number of people who spoke English at home actually dropped by more than 4 per cent between 2001 and 2016.
Thang Ngo, Managing Director of Powell Tate’s specialist multicultural marketing sister agency Identity Communications, can break it down even further, to state and even suburb.
“New South Wales is one of Australia’s most culturally diverse states where one in four speaks a language other than English at home. In Sydney the figure rises to one in three. This is due to the high concentration of culturally and linguistically diverse audiences in Greater Sydney, with only 8 per cent of CALD audiences living outside of Sydney,” he said.
These are big numbers. Many Australians are not included in typical communication campaigns. And with 18 per cent of migrants arriving since the start of 2012, that’s a significant portion of the population that needs to decide on new health insurance, what bread to buy, and where to do their weekly shopping. By skipping communicating directly with these people, brands are missing out on a huge revenue source.
Powell Tate works with Identity to develop communication strategies that include CALD communities, ensuring that brands receive maximum reach across all Australians.