Identifying Advertising Mediums for the South Asian Segment in the US

Do South Asians Prefer Digital?

For a global brand entering the US market, their marketing strategy would be incomplete without including the most educated and the fastest-growing ethnic group in the United States. Targeting the South Asians diaspora calls for a multicultural marketing approach to be deemed successful. While there are different mediums of advertising that help brand owners and marketers decide on the optimum medium or a combination thereof, digital has been the most successful. 

Advertising refers to the cumulative exercise of all promotional tactics deployed through different mediums to reach potential consumers for the brand. Marketers have traditionally approached  advertising through Television, Print and Radio and are now progressively capturing the entire gamut of audiences through digital media.

Evaluating Mediums Especially for the South Asian Segment Within the US

Television: Television has always been one of the most expensive platforms. Although having a far-reaching effect, it is still scattered and hard to segment.  

When it comes to segmented targeting, FrontAd Media has narrowed down its effects.  Asian Americans spend 37% less time watching television content each week compared to the total American population. While brands targeting the South Asian segment can consider networks popular in the South Asian communities, they are still feeling the brunt with the rise in popularity of on-demand video services and streaming sites. 

Radio: Radio is another important medium that consistently accounts for 15% of daily media use on average. However it is least measurable and only results in a basic brand recall effort. To create a top of mind memory recall, the brands will have to run an appealing ad multiple times at the right station at the right time for the segment. No tracking mechanism and the inability to measure a definite ROI leaves this effort in a dark abyss.

Print: Includes all print mediums; direct mail, newspaper, and magazines. Print media is dying. Least effective today, it has been negated with the arrival of digital media. In 1960, over 80% of American adults read at least one newspaper and opened direct mails. In 2017, less than 10% read a newspaper. 

Going Digital is the Answer

In a world of upgrades within technology and lifestyle, digital Advertising is blurring the boundaries between Above The Line and Below The Line advertising. 

Digital Advertising is a promotional strategy that involves the use of the Internet as a medium to communicate the message of the brand. There are different mediums to advertise digitally;

  • Display Ads 
  • Search Engine Marketing 
  • Content Marketing 
  • Social Media Marketing

Like in traditional marketing, different mediums have different styles of delivery and intensity of engagement. Display Ads are the advertisements that appear on website pages in the form of graphics, which are different from Search Engine Marketing, which are the Ads that typically appear on the search engine results page. 

Why is Display Ad important for Multicultural Marketing? 

Display Ad across demographics is one of the most powerful tools to capitalize on high engagement with the consumers. According to, In 2019, US advertisers spent over 54% of their media ad budgets on digital ads. And that figure is estimated to reach around 67%.

Here are some of the reason why Display Ads are growing:

  1. Brand Awareness – Helps build top-of-mind awareness and online visibility
  2. Effective Targeting– Allows brands to show their Ads to consumer segment with similar interest and known buying patterns
  3. Lead Generation – Generates a lead funnel that advertisers can use to retarget visitors who have shown interest in the brand
  4. Remarketing – Effective in nurturing the lead funnel to get potential consumers to convert
  5. Insights – It offers real-time measurable and trackable ROI
  6. Cost-effective – It is inexpensive compared to other mediums and brands can opt for flexible cost structure which is best suited to their strategy and budget.

So, which is the best medium to target the South Asian segment? 

Over the last 2 decades, brands have witnessed the emergence of data and an increase in appetite for cross-platform medium. It has never been more important to break away from the clutter and customize brand messaging. Personalized and customized targeting will deliver high engagement and conversion. In order to achieve the result, communication must be tailored to what, where, and how the target audience is reading, listening, watching, and searching.
Brands face the challenge to identify the correct mediums to capitalize on them with the most efficient strategy. There is no one-size-fits-all approach.  It is important to think of an integrated customized approach. Customization will offer you that competitive advantage over your competitor brands, increase the relevance of your brand to your target audience, and a high measurable ROI, which are the ultimate goals for every marketing strategy.