AV Communications launches multicultural marketing platform

Ethnihub is meant to address gaps in consumer research.

Joycelyn2My role in the multicultural space is trying to get everyone on a level playing field of understanding.”

That’s according to Joycelyn David, CEO of AV Communications (AVC), a Toronto-based marketing agency that’s officially launched Ethnihub, a reward-based research platform, which was beta tested last year and which she says is a game-changer for how brands interact with multicultural consumers. 

She tells strategy it began as an offline service that AV Communications was offering providing traditional market research by getting feedback and recruiting from diverse respondents, partnering with the likes of Ipsos.

As a multicultural agency, it saw that there were difficulties with recruitment and with language outreach and it saw a growing need to support big agencies and brands. It then created a proprietary platform that makes it faster and easier for brands and respondents to connect with one another and develop insights and give voice to a consumer. 

Ethnihub offers real time analysis, ethnic, geographic (FSA), and demo splits for respondents, pre and post-campaign analysis, and also brand lift studies, and its genesis is part of what David says was addressing a gap in the marketplace that would best be filled with speed to insight in mind.

“Knowledge is power. But not if it takes months to analyze and then act on,” David says, saying that a lot of brands are coming to AV to help to get a better pulse from particular audiences as they make strategic pivots. 

We’ve definitely seen a shift with Canadian brands wanting to engage with multicultural and diverse audiences,” David says.

According to the 2016 Stats Canada Census, 21.9% of the Canadian population are immigrants. Based on its projection scenarios, newcomers could represent between 24.5% and 30.0% of Canada’s population in 2036.

“Validating insights is so important in multicultural, as if you don’t have consumer generated feedback, it’s easy to fall into cultural biases,” David warns. She adds that it’s important for brands to keep abreast of who the largest current group of newcomers is (as it’s changing all the time) and that if a brand is not talking to multicultural and multigenerational audiences, immigrants and second-generation Canadians, they’re missing out on new growth segments.

“I watch Filipino media multi-generationally because we consume pop culture as a family, just like we buy as a family,” David says. [and marketing is] more nuanced than just producing an ad in a language.”

Furthermore, David says, engaging with diverse communities is more than just reacting to key times of year for different multicultural segments.

“It’s great you want to do a Diwali or Chinese New Year campaign and you’re recognizing it’s a season to connect with those audiences, but it’s not the only time to connect,” David says. “You need to be always on, as the market is always on.”