Australia is a country of many different cultures, who have come together to call Australia home. More than 250 different countries of birth were identified in the recent Australian Census and each brings its own beliefs, customs, ideas, and values.
Our diverse population also celebrates diverse cultural festivities, from Lunar New Year, Eid and Diwali to Bastille Day, St Patrick’s Day and Christmas, each bringing life and new cultures to our capital cities and regional towns alike.
Connecting to the major traditions held by your customers enables your brand to engage through celebration and affirmation while also allowing diverse customers to feel seen and recognised.
How can brands engage with these cultural events?
By engaging respectfully. Displaying understanding and respect of cultural differences, and utilising communication platforms that reach their customers whenever and wherever they are.
Overall, it’s a balancing act – customers need to feel their culture is valued and important to a brand whenever the brand is speaking about it. This creates an inclusive experience for brand and customer without appearing as unnecessary pandering.
When discussing cultures within Australia, our nation’s first culture, one that has enriched the land for more than 60,000 years, is paramount. In Indigenous culture, land, family, law, ceremony, and language are inextricably linked to each other. Through understanding and recognising the traditional owners of our land, brands can demonstrate the values that matter to its employees, customers and community.
Technology has allowed us the opportunity to imbed inclusion in customer communications through the many Indigenous celebrations and awareness dates, such as NAIDOC week in July, National Reconciliation Week and Sorry Day in May, as well as Mabo Day on June 3rd, recognising the date in 1992 the High Court of Australia overturned the principle of “terra nullius” or “nobody’s land” as claimed by the British when they first arrived in this country.
Personalised messaging for important times of year
Creating meaningful engagement and fostering a culture of inclusion with customers and stakeholders requires connecting with them via different touchpoints on different occasions.
Lunar New Year is an event widely celebrated in Australia across Chinese, Vietnamese, and Filipino communities and enjoyed by many more.
When a brand sends a personalised message wishing a customer a happy Lunar New Year, while also ensuring that these messages are sent over the right channels at the right time, it can help solidify the bond between sender and receiver in a similar way to that friends and family use the occasion to re-connect.
Increasing understanding and acceptance
Cultural celebrations play a large role in many Australians’ lives. Around 7.5 million Australian residents were born overseas, bringing their rich, value-laden traditions and cultures with them.
Social platforms have helped the rise of recognition, acceptance and even participation. Messaging over popular channels such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and SMS provide even more opportunities for brands wanting to participate to share their messages globally, normalise traditions and showing that even though we are all different, differences should be celebrated and accepted.
There’s a right way, and a wrong way
Engaging in the celebration of these events as a brand can be tricky. Stand-alone social media posts can at times seem out of context for a business. However, businesses can now integrate their communication strategies across all their channels to create inclusive conversation points with their patrons.
A business that wants to deliver exceptional customer service and provide an experience worth returning to, should opt to engage with customers on their favoured platforms. For example, a business can use WhatsApp messaging as a communication point for their customers.
Within Australia, there are many cultures who celebrate milestone events within their communities. Brands don’t have to limit communication campaigns to the big cultural events, consider local events, fundraising and charity events or celebrations of historical milestones as a means to engage.
Using multi-channel communication platforms, brands can quickly and easily speak to diverse customers through reliable and effective messaging solutions that elevate the voices of different cultures and traditions in our country.
As an increasingly multicultural and multilingual nation, Australian customers are becoming more diverse in language, cultures, and beliefs so for brands to engage with these audiences, communication campaigns should be equally diverse.
Jonathan Ryan is regional manager for Australia and New Zealand at Infobip.