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Imagine the scenario. You have a great product or service. You do research and you notice that the Polish community in Great Britain will be one of the great target groups. You talk to Poles and ask what they think about it. Turns out you had a good feeling. It will be a hit. You create an ethnic marketing strategy for the Polish diaspora, plan activities, calculate the budget, start and… nothing. After a few months, you get the impression that your target audience doesn’t even know you. And even if it does, it gives your logo a wide berth. Was your strategy simply enthusiastic guesswork?

Perhaps.

Or, you may have made one of the most common ethnic marketing mistakes.

So that this never happens to you, we have come up with a quick list of common mistakes in ethnic marketing to the Polish community in Great Britain (which can be avoided!).

Table of contents:

  1. Lack of audience segmentation
  2. Lack of an adequate USP
  3. Badly chosen communication channels
  4. Stereotypical approach to Poles

Lack of audience segmentation

Although, according to the lyrics of a popular, old Polish song, “all Poles are one family”, this couldn’t be more wrong. If your target group is simply POLES, you put in one bag a construction worker who does not speak English, an exchange student, a retired grandmother and a business owner in the UK. Of course, their nationality is a solid glue that binds them, but market segmentation is essential to deciding which of these groups you will reach, for what and through which channels.

This is a story as old as the world. Many brands were so focused on the fantastic features of the product that they did not take market research into account. So how do you divide your Polish diaspora into segments? You can do it in the traditional way (i.e. gender, age, profession, education, place of residence), or by modern marketing: analysing the behaviour and needs of consumers. The more research you do, the sooner you will notice which strategy to take (we recommend doing qualitative research).

Lack of an adequate USP

Another, it would seem – obvious obviousness. Remember: what is unique to your UK customers will seldom be to the ethnic groups who live there! The ethnic marketing strategy should always take into account cultural differences while striving for integrity within the brand (messages to the British and Polish diaspora cannot contradict each other).

So how do you create a USP for your customers? Again… without prior research you will only guess. A common mistake companies make is to fill a potentially promising niche where there is no competition, without first asking if there is any demand for this type of product. An appropriate USP should take into account the values that are relevant to the ethnic group. In the case of Poles, these can often be: attachment to tradition and culture, longing for family (and family as such), health, nostalgia and safety.

Badly selected marketing communication channels

Advertising in the media, especially in print, is usually the biggest disappointment in marketing communication to the Polish community in Great Britain. Many companies have run through this method of promotion, hoping that “in their case it will definitely be different”. Well, unless you have a large budget and a professional strategy with a creative idea, advertising in traditional media will work on average. Especially when the materials are prepared by the representatives of your company, and the media in which the advertisement appears, you choose “at random”. So if you care about this way of communicating with the Polish community abroad, leave the matter in the hands of professionals. In the case of this type of advertising, the key is to attract the attention of the right audience.

Too stereotypical approach to Poles

Unfortunately, the stereotype of a “typical” Pole living in Great Britain is still alive and well. Of course, relying on stereotypes simplifies our lives and can often make marketing communication much more uniform, but… Exactly. This does not always reflect reality. You may think that Polonia requires advertising messages only in Polish, or that only promotions are active on it. However, after researching the target group, it may turn out that you can put all this “data” drawn from stereotypes into fairy tales.

Poles earn more and more, they are more willing to reach for high-quality goods and they look more and more like typical British customers. Not all Poles will be amused by the same jokes or memes; just as not everyone even cultivates Polish traditions (young generations of Poles less and less celebrate many holidays, and more and more often declare abandonment of Catholicism). Remember that there are always people behind the numbers.

Mistakes that companies from Great Britain keep making in their marketing communication to the Polish diaspora, come in all shapes and sizes. If you are looking for ethnic marketing specialists who have been successfully promoting foreign companies among Polish clients for years, please contact our agency.