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Audience Insight - Ethnic & Diversity Marketing

Market Summary - Ethnic & Diversity Marketing

Audience Update:

Ethnic & Diversity Marketing Insight


QTR 3 2019


UM London
Ethnic Marketing & Diversity Marketing insight with UM

At a Glance

Ethnic Marketing & Diversity Marketing Insight with UM

Ethnic Marketing & Diversity Marketing nsight with UM - Ethnic Media InsightCensus predictions are forecasting that the ethnic minority group population in the UK is closer to 15% of the total UK population, up from 8% in 2001. Mainstream  brands have historically not focused on specific ethnic audiences in the UK. This has partly been driven by the relative size and split of the audience and also that data was not readily available for brands and their agencies to analyse to help determine whether targeting specific audiences would deliver the desired ROI. With the large changes in the UK population it is important for brands to build a more detailed understanding of who is consuming their product or service. By building their knowledge they will be able to understand the size of the opportunity e.g. whether they are under or over trading vs. their competitors. This  audience represents a very substantial commercial opportunity for brands, but it comes with challenges because the "ethnic" title includes such a wide spectrum of cultures.

  • 4.6m (8.1%) of the UK population was from ethnic minority groups at 2001 census
  • 300+ languages are spoken in UK
  • Ethnic minorities form 6.7% of the total working age population
  • Ethnic minorities’ disposable income will be an estimated at £300bn by 2011
  • Black and Asian consumers alone earn £156bn after tax
  • UK ethnic minorities represent a younger marketplace, with 80% under 25 years old
  • 12% of UK undergraduates are from ethnic communities
  • 30.8% of London's population is from a Black, Asian or minority group
  • Ethnic minority groups represent 42.2% of the population in the 5 Olympic boroughs

Ethnic Marketing & Diversity Marketing insight with UM - Ethnic Media Insight Community stats uk

Ethnic Marketing & Diversity Marketing insight with UM - Ethnic Community by London Suburb

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Hot Topics

Some potential growth areas for ethnic advertising:

Beauty & Cosmetics:
Ethnic beauty & cosmetic industry.
£65m market in 2007 (<2% of £3.7bn UK beauty market) and expected to grow 35% by 2012.

Ethnic food sales rising 14% pa in Europe.
UK consumers spent £1.32bn on foreign cooking in 2008.

Small Business:
There are circa 275,000 black and minority ethnic SMEs (6% of total) contributing around £20bn to UK economy pa.

Health & Charity:
Diabetes within UK ethnic minority communities is 4-6 times higher than in white communities. Death rates from coronary heart disease for 1st generation South Asian adults are circa 50% higher than the English/Welsh average.

Leisure & Travel:
Only 1% of visitors to UK National Parks are from ethnic minorities.

Money Transfer:
UK migrant workers send home £4bn pa; with the UK Polish community sending home £1bn.

Ethnic minority groups are more likely to use other media (e.g. mobile, internet, radio, computer games, game consoles) while watching TV (87% vs. 69%).


Black and minority ethnic groups have higher internet access rates (61%) compared to the general population (51%).

Sources: Mintel, 2007/2009; Ofcom, 2008, Black and Ethnic Minority Diabetes Association, Committee of Public Accounts (PAC) 2008,
Campaign for National Parks, UK Dept for Business, Innovation, and Skills; Race for Health, LDA 2005

Some ethnic population predictions:

  • We're expecting "significant"  growth in the UK ethnic minority population
  • Ethnic Minority Group (EMG) population likely to be closer to 15% of UK total by March 2011 (up 8%)
  • Rehearsals with 135,000 households ran in Lancaster, London Newham, Anglesey & Birmingham in October 2009.
  • The expected rise reinforces the business and marketing potential for targeting EMGs that is largely being ignored.
  • There will be 18 ethnic categories listed in the 2011 census.
The IPA has published 'The marketing opportunities for advertisers and agencies in multi-cultural Britain'; a report designed to provide the advertising industry with an update on the rapidly expanding multi-cultural landscape of the UK; both as a potential employer and a market place.

Download the Multicultural Britain Report by the IPA below for more information.

Download Associated Attachment

Ethnic Marketing & Diversity Marketing - Measuring Ethnic Media


  • Over 50 ethnic TV stations are not covered by BARB
  • Over 65 ethnic radio stations are not covered by RAJAR
  • Over 80 magazines and newspapers are not covered by ABC
  • Thousands of ethnic websites are not even measured
Glen Yearwood, Managing Director of UM Diversity Unit gives the low-down on reaching ethnic markets...
Many ethnic media owners are not yet covered by standard industry research (such as BARB, RAJAR, ABC). How, therefore should a client approach advertising to the ethnic market to ensure it works and they get what they pay for?

A bespoke or unmeasured target really requires a tailored approach, with agreed up-front metrics. In many cases this involves working with relevant media owners and also conducting or commissioning bespoke research to measure and better understand the target audience and gauge the impact and success of such bespoke campaigns.

Just because it’s not measured by standard industry research doesn’t mean it isn’t measureable – it just means it requires more preparation and thinking upfront by all parties involved!  It can often deliver inspiring and surprising results.

Every brief needs to be supported by agency and client commitment to better understand the consumer target, and better understand their unique media channels. We often conduct ‘reach’ research  into ‘new consumers’ exploring alternate media platforms such as faith media, street marketing  and online. An example of this can be seen with a recent NHS campaign which targeted ethnic minority groups who over or under indexed in organ donors and diabetes

Are media owners investing in measurement e.g:  BARB data etc? How quickly will this happen?

Media measurement is a complex undertaking and it is still clearly nowhere near common practice among ethnic media, especially given the diverse ethnic breakdown and fabric of the UK. Improvements are slowly being made. A new BARB panel in January 2009 had increased representation of minority ethnic households in its sample pool, which is a significant step in the right direction in the TV market.

Zierler Media do a great job with their IPA-approved UK Asian 2009 TV Survey run through Continental Research and certain ethnic radio stations are already being measured by RAJAR.

Taken from the media owner's point of view, they will need to be convinced that investment in a third party audit will result in an uplift in mainstream advertising revenue. From the advertiser's perspective they will need media accountability and the ability to select new ethnic media on an informed basis. UM London believe that there is a new third way territory to be explored by both parties, where advertisers and media owners can agree a mezzanine level of measurement  to facilitate confidence and future investment in the selection of niche media on mainstream campaigns.

Finding Out More about Ethnic Marketing & Diversity Marketing

Having a great understanding of your audience has always been key when effectively targeting your selected market and as the population becomes ever more diversified in terms of ethnic background the job of the marketer becomes increasingly difficult. Consumers are increasingly pushing the boundaries of the standard demographic breakdowns, making it more difficult for marketers to figure out how their message should be presented.

In order to assist advertisers targeting ethnic audiences, UM set up their Diversity Unit through a joint venture with Glen Yearwood. They became the second top-10 media agency in the UK to create a specialist division for cultural diversity.

The diversity team will focus on traditional and non-traditional channels for new and existing clients, with direct input from all areas of UM's brand teams.

Mark Middlemas, Managing Partner for Business Development at UM London, called it "a critically important area of communications" where current media measurement tools and research are "often not enough".

UM Diversity Unit

Working with top organisations...

Who we work with grasp a better understanding of the audiences.

UMDU has extensive experience and an expert understanding of the ethnic minority groups (EMG’s) in the UK:

This includes:  South & East Asian, Afro-Caribbean & Black African, Chinese, Polish / eastern European, Turkish & Middle Eastern, More recent migrants and Gypsies & travellers

A particular area of focus is on the UK’s Muslim community which currently numbers over 2m and involves a wide array of countries from the above groups.

How the UM Diversity Unit can help:

UMDU offers a wide range of marketing services to help clients unlock the growth potential of EMG’s in the UK.

They include:

  • Strategic consultancy (what is the business opportunity for EMG’s with your brand and how can it work through to marketing?)
  • Communications planning (what are the best channels for reaching a particular or multitude of EMG’s?)
  • Research & Insight (how do I really understand the EMG consumer?  what motivates them?  why do they buy what they buy when?  what media do they consume different to the mainstream?)
  • Ideation (creating unique ideas that disrupt, shake-up, change EMG-category norms)
  • Media investment (what are the most efficient media brands for the investment?  what is the best buying strategy against a particular media or idea?  what is the best price for the campaign / idea?)
  • Digital (what is the most appropriate digital solution?  what digital services are needed to answer the brief?
  • Events / street marketing & retail (unique marketing solutions to reach EMG’s at street / high street level)
  • Music & entertainment solutions (creating highly effective solutions using this lifestyle genre to better target EMG’s)
  • Geo-mapping services (UMDU’s access to highly sophisticated GIS technology to ID effective EMG targeting solutions)
  • Measurement (what really worked to make your campaign effective?  A range of tools including Analytics to best understand the widest possible measurement metrics for campaigns / ideas – from media, marketing & business metrics and the relationship between all three)

Note:  UM’s Diversity Unit is fully supported by our wider full service media agency structure.

Diversity Planning does require a different approach for brands. We have outlined an approach that can start to help you understand how to reach this potentially lucrative audience.

UM Diversity Unit Activity Overview

UM Diversity Unit Activity Overview

Take a look at some of the Case Studies by UM Diversity Unit:

CASE STUDY: UM boost ratings of the BET Awards 10
CASE STUDY: Old Jamaica Ginger Beer increase brand recognition
CASE STUDY: UM manage BET's growing TV audiences
CASE STUDY: Vectone Mobile targets Ethnic Consumers with Primesite

For more information, contact Mark Middlemas, Managing Partner of Business Development at UM London:

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