ISSUE 2: January 2012


Chinese New Year is almost upon us, commencing next Monday 23rd January. This important event on the Chinese calendar offers a marketing opportunity to reach this large, young, technologically savvy group in Australia.

We have profiled the Chinese community, including detailed guidance about engaging with Chinese consumers to help develop marketing strategies. This issue of our online publication, OriginsInsight, outlines the customs and traditions, followed by a look at the Chinese community in Australia through ABS data and the Origins database.


Events and News

2011 National Multicultural Marketing Conference

In October, OriginsInfo presented at the 2011 National Multicultural Marketing Conference. 

The conference, organised by the Community Relations Commission for a Multicultural NSW (CRC), was attended by around 80 multicultural marketing professionals from a range of commercial and public sector organisations.  Download or read the presentation, “Meeting the Challenge of Measuring Culturally Diverse Engagement”.

2011 FECCA Conference, Adelaide 

In November, OriginsInfo exhibited at the 2011 FECCA conference in Adelaide where the Origins Web Mapping product was featured.

The Federation of Ethnic Community Councils of Australia (FECCA) – Australia’s peak body for multicultural organisations – held its biennial conference in Adelaide in November in 2011.  OriginsInfo supported the conference by exhibiting for the two day programme.

The conference, under the theme “Advancing Multiculturalism”, attracted more than 300 attendees, primarily from the public sector and a wide range of State and Federal politicians.  More information about FECCA

Origins Web Mapping was featured in the display and delegates were able to witness firsthand the level of detail and precision in mapping Australia’s multicultural communities as defined through a sophisticated analysis of names.

Social Marketing in a Multicultural Society Workshop, 15 February 2012

Interested in social marketing in a multicultural society?

The Centre for Culture, Ethnicity and Health (CEH) in Melbourne is running a workshop on Social Marketing in a Multicultural Society on 15th February 2012.  The workshop will focus on marketing concepts and techniques to change people’s behaviour and improve health outcomes for culturally and linguistically diverse clients. 

It will also look at gaining insight into the beliefs, values and behaviours of audiences and choosing culturally appropriate media channels for communication to intended audiences. Visit CEH website for more information.

OriginsInfo can provide detailed cultural information to assist with your social marketing activities, ensuring your message gets to the right people at the right time. Contact us to find out how we can help

Government Communications Conference, 29 February to 2 March 2012

Major 'game changers' that are forcing government to communicate in new ways and faster than ever before will be the major topic of discussion at the Government Communications Conference 2012.

This year’s Government Communications Conference is to be held at the Windsor Hotel, 111 Spring St, Melbourne from 29 February to 2 March.  It will explore how rapid advances in technology and shifting consumer preferences will continue to change the way governments conduct communications over the coming years.

The National Broadband Network (NBN); the evolution of social media; and the arrival of mobile accessible websites are expected to revolutionise professional communications in Australia. The conference will explore these topics and the change to interactivity, online reputation management, crisis communication, social media engagement and effective communication case studies.

This event is aimed at enabling all local and state government personnel involved with communications such as CEO's, general managers, public relations practitioners and event officers to stay abreast of new trends, learn practical solutions for day to day situations, and share experiences with industry colleagues.  For more information, visit

Ways of Using Origins 

This regular newsletter item puts a spotlight on different ways of using Origins to help you leverage the insight and maximise value from your investment.  In this edition, we describe how an initial “Origins Cultural Audit” can provide valuable, low-cost research into the cultural dimensions of your customers.

OriginsInfo offers this as a service to help potential licensees become familiar with the solution, whilst also learning more about the role that cultural background plays in their business.

Typically, the first use of Origins aims for a high level descriptive view of how well an organisation is connecting with Australia’s culturally diverse communities.  This is usually achieved by comparing the results of the Origins coding of all customers with the Origins profile of the geographic market from which they are drawn.  Thus, an organisation serving the whole of Australia would compare all customers with the national profile.  A simple report displaying this might look like this:



 A convenient way of quantifying the comparison is through the use of an index value that compares the two percentage distribution columns.  Index values above 100 are represented to a greater extent than would be expected while index values under 100 are under-represented.

In the sample chart above, colour coding is used to highlight those segments that are strongly over-represented (red), moderately over-represented (orange), and markedly under-represented (blue).

This analysis often extends into segmentation by product, service, value, frequency, or channel use, etc.  In these cases, it makes sense to compare a subset of customers - eg those holding Product X, or those using the internet as a channel - with the whole customer base.

Initial research such as that described above, may lead to more questions for further analysis, or suggest possible campaigns and events to capitalise on opportunities to achieve growth objectives with particular cultural groups. 

OriginsInfo offers attractive rates for first time users of Origins to conduct a cultural audit.  Cultural audit clients achieve highly cost-effective cultural insight as a first step in considering the value of committing to a licence to have the codes in-house for further analysis and potential action.  Contact us for further information and an obligation-free presentation and discussion.

Updates on the Product  

•    New version 6.5 now released
•    API for automated batch coding in final stages of testing
•    Is OriginsInfo the first to use SA1s and Mesh Blocks?

New Release

The latest version of the Origins software (6.5) is now available in Australia and will be distributed over the next few weeks.  With 2.32 million different family names and over 869,000 personal names in the Origins databases, users can be even more confident that more than 99.5% of their customers will be allocated to an Origins code.

At the same time, the base files for Australia have been updated and packaged within the software.  These deliver more accurate customer profiles and provide an update to the ‘market view’ of key geographical areas, such as Australia, New South Wales, and Brisbane metropolitan area.

This release of Origins also features further fine-tuning of the product to make sure it is optimised for Australia.  Coding outcomes for some Asian names have been improved following customer feedback and gender allocations have been tweaked to better reflect local trends.  In Australia, names like Kerry, Lee, Shannon, Courtney and Nicola are used by significant numbers of both males and females whereas in the UK, such names are more likely to be used by a one or other gender.

Finally, improvements have been made to the Confidence Score calculation to make it a more useful campaign support feature.


For users who want to automate the coding of customer data, OriginsInfo has now developed an API batch coding version.  This will ensure that your customers are always coded with the latest and most accurate Origins codes, and will take even less analyst time to process a file.  The Australian API batch version is in the final stages of testing and can be delivered to clients from the end of January.  for more information.

New Geography

As part of the planning for the 2011 national census, the Australian Bureau of Statistics has conducted a complete review of the geographical units for reporting census data.  Census Collector Districts or CCDs will be defunct when the new census data is released in June 2012.  Details for this new Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) can be viewed on the ABS website.

Two key units of the new ASGS are the “Mesh Block” which is used as a building block for defining larger units of geography, and “Statistical Area 1” which is the lowest level of geography for the publication of detailed census data.  Across Australia, there are 347,627 Mesh Block units with a variable population (but generally around 50 households), and 54,805 SA1 units with around 165 households.

Origins Web Mapping now supports the mapping of Origins codes by both Mesh Block and SA1.  We believe this makes OriginsInfo the first organisation in Australia to take advantage of the new standard and precision of these geographical units.  Read more about Origins Web Mapping and other customised services  or contact us for more information.

Hints & Tips – Making the Most of Origins  

What’s more important?  Maximising your coding rate or maximising accuracy?  Either way Origins can help you get the right result.

The Origins software codes a minimum of 99.5% of your customers.  We achieve this result because of the sheer volume of names in the underlying reference databases.  This coding rate far exceeds the required sample for accurate analysis and is generally more than enough for most clients aiming to communicate with customers from particular cultural backgrounds.  However, some clients may want to maximise the number of customers with whom they wish to communicate.

An option in the Origins software helps you achieve this outcome.  Note that this option only applies to those records with names that would otherwise be coded as ‘Not Found’.  This is almost always less than 0.5% of your customers.
In the “Process Data” step of the Origins coding software there are three tick boxes – ‘Ignore Accents’, ‘Trim Two Part Names’ and ‘Apply Text Strings’.  Ticking these boxes achieves the following:

Ignore Accents – For records that are not coded on the first pass, any accents or diacritics on letters in names contained within the input name file (eg Fauré, Müller or Carlström) are stripped away.  In a second attempt, the name is assigned the Origins code that is applicable to the form of the name without an accent.

Trim Two Part Names – Many two part or “double-barrelled” names are included in the core database.  However, some combinations are not included because they do not occur in sufficient quantities (eg Steyning-Brown or Messimeri-Kianidis).  For those two part names that are not matched in the first pass, the letters following the first part of the name are removed and, in a second pass, the name is assigned the Origins code that is applicable to the first part of the name.

Apply Text Strings – This uses a range of common text strings that are associated with a particular Origins code.  This function seeks to find a match between the starting or ending letter sequence and a list of text strings held in a “text string library”. For example, if the name “Czexnovkenko” is not coded on the first pass, the software searches for “Cz…” or “...enko” in the text string library and assigns the corresponding Origins code. In this case, the name will be assigned the Ukraine (DPE) code because that is the name set with which the ending “...enko” is most commonly associated.
Ticking all three boxes will achieve the maximum possible number of coded records.

To maximise accuracy, you have two options.  The first is simply to leave all three boxes un-ticked.  
However, if the business objective is to restrict a communication to those records with the highest likelihood of belonging to a particular cultural group or groups, it is advisable to output and make use of the confidence score after the file has been processed.

It is best to analyse the distribution of confidence scores for the particular cultural group or groups that are the subject of the communication.  Such an analysis and a sampling of records at different confidence score thresholds will assist in determining where to set the cut-off so the selections are most likely to meet the objectives of the campaign whilst minimising the risk of inappropriately targeted communications. 

The threshold will vary from context to context, cultural group to cultural group, and campaign to campaign.  However, as an approximate guide, a confidence score of greater than 1.5 or 2.0 would represent a good starting point.

For further guidance please contact us.

































































































































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