Whether small business or big brand marketing – when selling to immigrants, what’s often more important than how to market should be how not to market

Marketing products to immigrantsI‘ve always marvelled at how some of the most simple, no-nonsense approaches often completely escape Canadian marketers when it comes to selling products and services to immigrants.

A newcomer’s initial purchases in Canada are as emotionally significant as they are practical or objective. The purchases have nostalgic value. They will remember either with fondness or with disgust what they ‘bought first in Canada.’ The first purchases or services have the potential of becoming a lifelong attachment or avoidance.

canada home deliveryThere’s a thing called the Internet where we can sometimes… surprise, surprise… shop for stuff and then hope to receive it at our homes with as much ease as it is described and promoted on the websites selling the stuff. That much I’ve understood.

Or, let me cut through the chase and get straight to the point (for once on this blog, eh?)

I order stuff on the internet frequently to save time and money tremendously, as compared to what’s available at brick and mortar stores. Nice and easy, and a painless procedure which takes minutes.

bread price canadaTough economic times mean tightening belts. Governments are scaling back financial commitments and consumers are holding back unnecessary purchases. Even kids are having their allowances cut.

Of course, these are all boilerplate clich├ęs. In real life, human nature compels us not to miss out on a great deal — something the marketing industry will continue to reap rewards with, and the marketing industry will happily tag along (I should know, I used to be in such a business during my pre-Canadian career-gifted life.) But I digress.

Canada telecom

As blogged earlier, it’s no secret that Canada has one of the most expensive mobile / wireless / data services for a country of its economic class, if not the entire world. I attribute this sad fact to what I’ve begun calling The Great Canadian Telecom Cartel.

canada expensiveAs my Canadian experience grows with each passing day, I am becoming more and more aware of how expensive things here really are – in Ontario at least, where I live.

canada expensiveHere’s a retail annoyance for a newcomer like me. Nobody displays retail prices WITH taxes!

Now I never claimed to be a master arithmetician. In fact I am a horrible, horrible calculator. But I am sure there must be at least few other people out there like me. Think you’re a master, eh? What’s 15% of 3.48 dollars, quick, and don’t fumble with your change because it’s a long line behind you!

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