In the dynamic landscape of marketing and communications, professionals in New Zealand are increasingly recognising the significance of embracing te reo Māori, the indigenous language of the country. Understanding te reo Māori is becoming a crucial skill set for marketing and communications professionals, read on to see why, and to see how you can learn the language.
So why is it important to embrace the language for
Cultural Sensitivity and Connection:
New Zealand's diverse population makes cultural sensitivity
and connection essential in marketing and communications. Statistics reveal
that approximately 15% of New Zealanders identify as Māori, highlighting the
importance of engaging with this significant demographic. By incorporating te reo
Māori, professionals demonstrate cultural respect and a genuine effort to
connect with Māori consumers, fostering stronger relationships and enabling
brands to authentically engage with the Māori community.
Effective Audience Targeting:
Targeting the right audience is crucial in successful
marketing and communications. In New Zealand, the Māori consumer market
represents substantial purchasing power, estimated at around NZD 50 billion per
year. Understanding te reo Māori allows marketing and communications
professionals to develop tailored and culturally relevant messaging that
resonates with Māori consumers, leading to increased engagement, loyalty, and
New Zealanders are also becoming more and more involved with
the Māori language, including embracing Matariki, mātauranga Māori,
and other celebrations like Māori language week. By aligning companies with these important pieces of
Māori culture, marketers
and communications professionals can show their audiences that embracing their
local culture is important to them.
Differentiation and Competitive Advantage:
In a competitive market, differentiation is key. New
Zealand-specific data shows that Māori consumers tend to prefer brands that
actively engage with and respect Māori culture. By incorporating te reo Māori
into marketing and communications strategies, professionals differentiate their
brands, showcasing a commitment to inclusivity and cultural diversity. This
approach sets brands apart and provides a competitive advantage in capturing
the loyalty and trust of Māori consumers. Think about the haka in New Zealand
Rugby, or the use or te reo in the Air New Zealand safety videos as great
examples of incorporating the use of the language to create an incredible point
of difference for their brands.
Building Brand Authenticity:
Authenticity plays a pivotal role in building strong brands.
In a survey conducted in New Zealand, over 80% of respondents indicated a
preference for brands that genuinely embrace Māori culture and language. By
incorporating te reo Māori into marketing campaigns, professionals demonstrate
a genuine commitment to cultural inclusion, fostering trust and credibility
among consumers. This authentic connection allows brands to establish
meaningful relationships and cultivate long-term loyalty.
Meeting Regulatory Requirements:
New Zealand has regulatory requirements and guidelines that
encourage organisations to incorporate te reo Māori in their marketing and
communications materials. For example, the "Māori Language Week"
initiative promotes the use of te reo Māori in various sectors. Being
well-versed in te reo Māori ensures compliance with these guidelines, avoiding
potential legal and reputational risks. Additionally, actively incorporating
the language showcases professionals' commitment to the revitalisation and
preservation of te reo Māori as an integral part of New Zealand's cultural
New Zealand-specific statistics validate the growing
importance of te reo Māori as a skill for marketing and communications
professionals. By understanding and incorporating te reo Māori into strategies,
professionals can establish authentic connections with diverse audiences,
effectively target the Māori consumer market, differentiate their brands, and
ensure compliance with regulatory requirements. Embracing te reo Māori not only
enhances marketing and communications efforts but also contributes to the
cultural fabric of New Zealand, fostering a more inclusive and connected
Ready to learn more about te reo Māori? Here’s a few ways
to get started:
Te Reo Māori Classes: Look for language classes
offered by local educational institutions, community centers, or Māori organisations.
These classes provide structured learning opportunities and are often taught by
qualified instructors. Here’s
a list of classes.
Online Language Courses: Explore online courses
specifically designed for learning te reo Māori. Websites like "Te Whanake" and "Te
Kura" offer interactive lessons, exercises, and resources for
Language Apps: Download language-learning apps such
as "Kura" or "Māori
Dictionary" that provide lessons, vocabulary, and pronunciation guides
for learning te reo Māori on the go.
Language Exchanges and Conversation Groups: Join
language exchange programs or conversation groups where you can practice
speaking te reo Māori with other learners or fluent speakers. Look for local
language exchange events, Meetup groups, or online forums to connect with
Cultural Events and Workshops: Attend Māori
cultural events, workshops, or seminars that incorporate te reo Māori.
These events offer opportunities to immerse yourself in Māori language and
culture while interacting with fluent speakers and cultural experts.
Māori Radio and TV: Tune in to Māori radio stations,
such as Radio Waatea or Māori Radio, to listen to programs and music in te reo Māori.
Watch Māori Television for shows and documentaries that incorporate the
Online Resources: Explore websites like "Māori Language Commission,"
"Te Aka Māori Dictionary," or "Kōrero
Māori" for online resources,
including grammar explanations, vocabulary lists, and pronunciation guides.
Māori Language Weeks and Events: Take part in Māori Language Weeks or
other language-focused events that occur throughout the year. These events
often feature workshops, activities, and resources to promote te reo
Cultural Centres and Marae: Engage with local Māori
cultural centres or marae, which may offer language classes, workshops, or
resources for learning te reo Māori.
Remember, consistency and practice are key to learning any
language or developing a knowledge of any culture. Embrace opportunities to
practice speaking, listening, and engaging with te reo Māori in various
settings to enhance your learning experience.