Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians And Pacific Islanders Are Wary Of Online Marketing

Here is some grim news for marketers using email or other online channels to engage Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders (AANHPI).  

Only 29% of these communities feel brands understand them, according to a new study by My Code.  

There are many issues, including one that the study refers to as “cultural agnosia.”

People in these communities want to see “representation that breaks from centuries of fetishization locking their identities in ancient histories that force them into subcultural species as anachronistic caricatures.”

But the opportunity for meaningful engagement is there, given that 98% of AANHPI consumers use the internet at least one a day, outpacing the national average.  

Moreover, 77% do so when away from home at least one per day.  

Their main priority online is gaining knowledge and being better informed. 

The main devices used to access the internet are: 

  • Mobile phones — 96% 
  • Computer — 92%
  • Smart TV — 59%
  • Tablet — 59% 
  • Video gaming console — 32%
  • Smart speaker/screen — 27% 
  • Smart DVD Bluray player — 5%

How do brands communicate that they understand AANHPI consumer audiences?

The required creative elements include: 

  • Includes relevant elements of AANHPI cultures 
  • Depicts people in “everyday life” situations.
  • Illustrates clear stance on issues I care about.
  • Features ANHPI people in ways that break racial stereotypes.  
  • Features mixed-race families.
  • Depicts home/work settings similar to mine. 
  • Depicts diversity as part of mainstream American culture.
  • Has people of the same age as me.
  • Uses a language other than English I speak at home.
  • Has people of same ethic background as me. 
  • Features non-traditional family structures.' 

But many feel a threat from the internet: 51% say racial hate is a serious problem. That number rises to 61% among 18-24 year-olds and to 62% among community members earning $50,000-$75,000.

My Code surveyed 905 AANHPI community members.


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