The recent release of racial and ethnic data by the U.S. Census Bureau has created an increasing interest in Asian-American markets.
Currently Asian-Americans form the third-largest minority group in the United States, numbering 11.9 million in the Census 2000 count, forming 4.2% of the total population.
Between 1990 and 2000, the Asian-American population grew by 72%, far outpacing the U.S. total population growth of 13%. Current trends in immigration indicate that the Asian-American population will continue to grow rapidly, and by 2010, the U.S. Census Bureau estimates it will form 5% of the total population.
Yet, in spite of being a relatively small population, an increasing number of financial services companies are targeting the Asian-American market. Why? In large part this is because, as a group, they form a very viable niche market–one that is highly educated and earning high incomes.
For example, the U.S. Census Bureau reports that an amazing 44% of Asian-Americans has at least a college degree (compared with a quarter of the general population), and 22% of Asian-American households earn $100,000 or more annually (compared with 14% of all U.S. households).
Other government data show that more and more Asian-Americans are becoming business owners, many of whom are running very profitable businesses. It is no wonder that as companies look for new markets, their attention is drawn toward the Asian-American market.
Here are some general facts to keep in mind as you build your marketing strategy.
Recognize the fact that Asian-Americans do not form a single homogeneous segment. There is incredible diversity among Asians–they are of different races, come from different countries, speak different languages and have different cultures.
Note that nine in 10 Asian-Americans represent only six ethnic groups: Chinese, Filipino, Asian Indian, Korean, Vietnamese and Japanese (See Table 1). And, each of these ethnic groups forms a viable niche market, requiring its own specialized marketing strategy at the local level.
Realize that Asian-Americans have an increased need for protection products since they are more likely to have families with young children. For example, more than half of Asian Indian households consist of married couples with children under the age of 18, compared with only 30% of the total U.S. households.
And often, households will also include elderly parents or other relatives.