As festivals go, Christmas is by far the biggest spending period for UK consumers as they collectively get into the shopping, buying, eating and drinking spirit. Many brands spend a big chunk of their marketing budget around that time of year to try and raise themselves above the marketing clutter and to court existing and new customers.
Multicultural marketing agency, Mediareach Advertising’s CEO Saad Saraf believes that brands aren’t taking advantage of the many other festivals celebrated by multicultural communities across the UK, which have the growing numbers and influence that can really impact on a brand’s bottom line.
‘We don’t deny the importance of Christmas campaigns and we wouldn’t expect brands to change their overarching marketing strategies and messages. What agencies like Mediareach do for clients is understand each brand, its core messages and translates them to become relevant for multicultural audiences’ says Saraf.
According to the recent 2011 census, the UK’s ethnic communities made up 20% of the UK’s population with London and 5 other major cities have an ethnic majority. More than half of the boroughs in London has an ethnic majority which means marketers need to think different and can not adopt the same marketing tactics that use t work before. The census also found that out of the 3,8 million increase in population almost 55% of which is due to the multicultural audience and this is forecast to increase further.
Recent research carried out by the University of Leeds, has put population growth figures exceeding 77 million by 2051. It also suggests that by then 20% of the total UK population will be from multicultural and ethnic communities.
The largest ethnic communities in the UK is of South Arab, African, East European and Chinese descent. Muslims are now the second largest faith group in the UK. Some of the key festivals they celebrate include Eid, celebrated by Muslims twice a year and Diwali which is celebrated by both the Hindus and the Sikhs..
‘There are events, exhibitions, ceremonies and parties taking place all across the country to mark the many festive seasons in the ethnic and multicultural calendar. The Muslim holy month of Ramadan is in July and Diwali in November. These two festivals are the busiest time of year. Around these festivals, people tend to spend significantly more money on food, clothes and leisure activities, similar to the shopping patterns around Christmas.