Immigrants from India are an appealing target market—really appealing. They have average household incomes of $95,000, or 14% above the Canadian average. They're our fastest-growing immigrant group, with 156,000 arrivals since 2006, raising the total to 617,000. (This figure excludes Indo-Canadians who were born here or moved here from countries other than India.) Their total expenditures soared by 46% from 2006 to 2011, vs. 19% among all Canadians.

Indian immigrants are concentrated in booming newer suburbs, especially near Toronto and Vancouver, and 56% live in homes built since 2001 (vs. 16% of all Canadians). They're younger and have more children than the national average. And, although many struggle in their early years here, they're so highly educated, their long-term prospects look bright.

Well schooled:
% who had at least a bachelor's degree in 2006

Indian immigrants: 2001-06: 39%
All Indian immigrants up to 2006: 32%
All Canadians: 18%

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Indian immigrants are an especially good target for products and services in family-oriented categories, including recreational services, diapers, children's camps and clothing such as athletic footwear. As the first bar in the chart at left shows, their spending on air travel indexes at 185, meaning they spend 85% more annually in this category than the average Canadian household. Indian immigrants also are disproportionately large buyers of furniture, luggage and jewellery.

To help your marketing message reach this group, consider that they're heavy Internet users—especially of newspaper, computer, education and home-electronics websites. Indian immigrants are above average in reading newspapers and financial, entertainment and parenting magazines. But they're light radio listeners and middling TV viewers, whose favourites include news, comedy and entertainment-news shows, and coverage of soccer and tennis. (Cricket goes without saying.)

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Your marketing approach to Indian immigrants should reflect that they like to incorporate aspects of other cultures into their lives, and are keen to prove that their adopted country is better than others. They're above the national average in preferring brand-name products and designer labels, and lead such busy lives that they're willing to pay a bit more to save time on shopping.

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