A recent post on a blog called The Importance of Language depicts five key reasons to master the Arabic language. While our team at Allied Media Corp. believes that the author is right in encouraging people to learn Arabic for the sake of competition in the job market or understanding our fellow neighbors, we also recognize that people are busy; therefore, we give our clients an opportunity to use our language expertise and cultural knowledge to get their message across to the hard-to-reach communities in the U.S.
The post points out that while Arabic is the fifth largest spoken language in the world, there is a low supply of American Arabic-speakers and a high demand. Our team understands that clients looking to reach out to this segment often encounter competition with similar companies or agencies, so we consistently find ways to make each client stand out in a culturally relevant manner.
Additionally, the post says that Arabic is essential to understanding the Quran, the Islam book of faith and that “Intercultural understanding begins at home.” Our team works with local Arab American and Islamic organizations nationwide, regionally and locally to utilize trusted faces when communicating our client’s messages. We also strive to place posters and other materials in halal grocery stores, hair boutiques, and mosques and churches that are visited by Arab Americans.
Lastly, the post indicates that understanding the history of the Arabic language can be essential given that the language has lent many words to the English language. Researching the history as well as current events of various ethnic groups is one main component of any outreach campaign, and our team stays up-to-date with the latest Arab American news, events and other new data that is published relating to the Arabic-speaking audience.
Our team is dedicated to helping our clients efficiently reach the Arabic-speaking audience. Therefore, while we encourage our clients to know their communities well, when it comes to learning the language, let Allied Media worry about that!
To read the original blog post, click here.
The 2009 ANA Masters of Marketing Conference took place in early November in Phoenix, Arizona, and was headlined with the theme “Growth—Defying the Recession.” Marketers from around the nation gathered to discuss, brainstorm and debate marketing tactics to bring success to their companies and the industry as a whole.
Neil Golden, CMO for McDonald’s, offered his perspective on the future of the business using the over-arching idea of “Leading with Ethnic Insights.” Golden stated that the most effective universal campaigns represented a cross-cultural approach—by combining marketing ideas specific for the African American, Asian American and Hispanic markets, a fusion was created to resonate across all cultures.
Golden even went as far to remark that these minorities groups are the trend setters, and their preferences set the tone of the general marketplace campaigns.
Rochelle Newman-Carrasco wrote an article commending Golden. Though I find Newman-Carrasco’s points valid, she fails to address the point that we still have a ways to go in terms of the ethnic market perspective and efforts. For example, the growing number of Arab Americans in the metropolitan areas or the large amount of dollars accrued by Russian Americans.
Some government agencies, such as the U.S. Army and the FBI, have begun a broader outreach because of staffing language requirements. Even fewer corporate companies are acknowledging such ethnic groups by using advertising dollars.
Golden’s speech is definitely a step in the right direction, but more steps must be taken to recognize the rest of those contributing and residing in the U.S. Branching out to these new waters can advance a brand or company and be part of the boost the industry needs to “defy the recession.”
With the publication of Peter Francese’s white paper, there has been much talk about the 2010 Census and its results affecting the marketing world. Studies indicate that this changing face will morph from “Consumer Joe” to one that is impossible to define as a general market.
Francese’s findings indicate that in the nation’s 10 largest cities, “no racial or ethnic category describes a majority of the population.”
With no majority to pitch a centralized, mainstream campaign to, communications efforts must switch from reaching White America to a more multicultural marketing campaign.
Currently, campaigns establish the general market approach and overlay it with a smaller multicultural twist to satisfy consumer diversity. But what Francese is implying and what the Census 2010 numbers will reflect is that the general market approach will soon become obsolete.
Another point of Francese’s to substantiate this statement is how diversity varies greatly by age, “with the younger population substantially more diverse than the old.” These young, diverse consumers will only gain buying power with time, making it critical to recognize investment in specialized campaigns now.
The question remains exactly how existing agencies will act. There will still be a need for an overarching campaign to encompass all that would be placed on the big channels like NBC, ABC and CBS, but a lot more cultural thought will need to be put into this campaign. The specialized ethnic agencies will need a bigger seat at the table to get such messaging right.
An answer we do know is that ethnic media is on the up and will continue to grow with this growth of a diverse population. Thus, vendors should begin to accept this new age and approach the American audience through targeted in-language and culturally relevant campaigns.
The Obama administration recognizes the need now, and acted on it by investing millions of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funding specifically into the 2010 Census hard-to-reach markets such as Arabic, Russian, Polish, Farsi, Ukrainian and Armenian speakers.
Diversity is here to stay, demographics are the future, and we as communicators must embrace it.
Team Lead – Diversity and Outreach
If you live in Michigan and have no plans this Friday night, you should head to the movie theater. After debuting at the Sundance Film Festival and winning a Cannes prize, Amreeka (http://www.arabdetroit.com/news.php?id=908) hits theaters to portray the lives of an Arab American immigrant family.
The film, unlike many portrayals of Arab American post 9/11, shows this challenges this ethnic family faces in America. It’s important to see this viewpoint here in America. Many times Arab Americans are seen as the villain, but in reality this community is often victimized. The director, Cherien Dabis, as an Arab American herself, strives to dispel stereotypes and right the wrongs of past actions.
She says, “If we don’t tell our story, who will? We can tell it the best, and with all the damaging misinformation floating around out there, it’s our responsibility as Arab Americans to work on reversing those inaccuracies.”
Her point is so eloquent—those that can personally identify with a culture are best to advise on that culture. The misinformation she speaks of can only be fixed through true understanding of this community, and Dabis’ film is a step in that direction.
Outreach and marketing ties in here because just as marketers want their audience to see their product/brand/service in the right way, the audience wants the marketers to see them the right way—to understand the truths of their beliefs, needs trends, and much more that makes up a certain community and culture.
This film doesn’t just represent one family’s story in America, but also the successes and advancement of the Arab American people. This community is growing rapidly; their education and income levels are high, placing them at a higher buying power than not only many minorities, but the mass audience as a whole.