Rethink Your Asian American Marketing Strategy

Written by Bryan Lee

Recent research and events have opened marketers' eyes to the mind-blowing potential of the flourishing Asian American market. The latest reports, including this year's Multicultural Economy report from the University of Georgia, show that the buying power of Asian Americans could reach $1.3 trillion by 2022. And the hit film Crazy Rich Asians, which has earned the title of highest-grossing romantic comedy, helped further focus the marketing industry’s spotlight on this group.

Crazy Rich Asians

If you’re looking to tap into this promising market, there are few things to consider to help guide your strategy to build a presence in Asian American market.


First and foremost, we need to redefine what the Asian American market is. Bear in mind that there is no such thing as a single Asian American market. Currently, more than 19 groups of Asian origin reside in the U.S and each major group of the Asian population has significant differences in language, culture and buying habits.

The danger for brands just beginning to market to Asian Americans is the tendency to think broadly in terms of Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Filipino, Pacific Island and South Asian descent, while ignoring the impact of generational differences, or language spoken.

Those who are looking to market to Asians need to determine what generation they are in this country. New immigrants are first-generation while the first ones to be born here are second-generation and so forth. For example, Asian American millennials are one of the most affluent subgroups, with 34% making $50,000 or more annually, according to Nielsen. Details about each Asian group and their preferences, such as the fact that they prefer to use WeChat, Kakaotalk, Line over iMessage or Whatsapp when it comes to smartphone messaging apps, will help marketers know how to reach them. Or suppose you want to connect with first-generation Asian Americans. With this group, your messaging will likely be far more effective if it’s in their native language.


Once you've selected and researched the groups to target, you can build campaigns to reach each one, customizing your content, creative and imagery according to what you’ve learned about what appeals to each group.

Keep in mind that brand loyalty and an appreciation for quality are two traits common across all Asian American groups. So, whichever groups you're marketing to, be sure to focus on product benefits that effectively convey the value your brand offers.

Then, track your results with each campaign and make adjustments based on what you learn.

It takes effort to really get to know an audience and what motivates them to purchase. But marketers who design campaigns to reach specific segments of the Asian American market will find the results well worth it.

Ethnic Technologies’ proprietary ethnic prediction can help you find or validate your Asian customer base. With over 25 years of research, E-Tech software can predict a person’s ethnicity with highest accuracy. For more information regarding our service, please contact Bryan Lee at