Takeaways from 2019 IAB Cross-Cultural Marketing Day

2019 Cross-Cultural Marketing Day 3

“It is important to understand and speak to the uniqueness of the American consumer. Marketers can’t have a singular view anymore,” said Orchid Richardson, VP and Managing Director of the IAB Data Center of Excellence, at Cross-Cultural Marketing Day. Hosted by the IAB Multicultural Council on June 13th, the 2019 presentations reflected how the value of data relates to the multifaceted and dynamic audiences of today through the theme #IABHasYouCovered.

Here are some of the key highlights from the event:

Programmatic advertising techniques allow marketers to consider the entirety of a consumer’s cultural journey and personalize messaging. Brands should take advantage of best practices to demonstrate their cultural understanding and commitment to authentically representing their customers including:

  • Being informed about your consumer. Know what your customers want, and don’t rely on instinct alone.
  • Taking time to set up your campaign. Make sure to leverage contextual targeting and consider behavioral nuances.
  • Optimizing. Be informed by testing and re-checking day-part targeting.

For more insights from Elise James-Decruise from MediaMath, check out the top ten tips from MediaMath’s Multicultural Marketing Playbook.

Brands have to take on a human voice, and in order to gain informed insights, they have to know their customers as people. Mariko Carpenter of Nielsen stated that Asian American cultural influences are becoming mainstream from the award winning animated short film Bao to Netflix’s original film Always Be My Maybe written, directed and starring Asian American leads.  Here are a few facts brands need to consider to make genuine cultural connections with Asian Americans:

  • Asian American consumers represent one of the fastest growing consumer audiences growing 45% in the last 10 years.
  • Family is a cornerstone of consumer decisions; especially as Asian American households often represent cross-generational audiences.
  • Asian American audiences have proven to shop online at a higher rate than other demographics, they are also often early adopters of evolving shopping experiences, such as online grocery shopping.

To learn more, visit The Asian American Consumers Journey: Informed Influencers and Powerful Purchasers.

Bring a fresh perspective to news, culture and diversity: BET introduced the recently launched digital talk show Black Coffee hosted by author and journalist, Marc Lamont Hill. Marc discussed the new show, which features guests such as civil rights activist, Tarana Burke, and actress, Laverne Cox, as having a unique viewpoint via the inclusion of people of color. Marc advocated for trusting one’s audience when creating content, noting that we often set the bar too low. “If we always play to the cheap seats, our audience doesn’t grow.” He emphasized the importance of being part of the decision-making process when brand messages are developed, “we (POC) have to be in the room.”

“All marketing is cultural marketing” says Seraj Bharwani, AcuityAds. The trick is to decode a particular culture, which encompasses thorough consideration of four key elements:

  • Passions, which can de discovered by reviewing viewed content
  • Interests, which can be accessed from social feeds
  • Intent, found on consumer’s search history
  • Affinity, or brands that specific audiences are most loyal to

For algorithms to go where even the human mind has difficulty venturing, it is critical to look at all four areas, in order for a consumer’s identity to permeate raw data.

You have to be in it to win. Fairweather advertisers are not friends to the LGBTQ+ community. It may be World Pride Month (June 2019), but if you are a brand, please don’t jump on the rainbow pride band wagon. Brands with LGBTQ+ initiatives, workforces and policies need to invest in this audience all-year round, not once a year in June. Slapping a rainbow flag or imagery on your logo risks your brand equity within this astute consumer segment. BuzzFeed’s Tommy Wesely stated “Pride“ is not just a parade or party, [it’s something LGBTQ+] people are dealing with every day of their life.”

The consumer is gaining control. In conversation with Adsmovil’s Andrew Polsky, GroupM’s Nelson Pinero stated since 30% of all Americans fall into one or more multicultural audience buckets, we are about to see a balancing act between data and the years of experience that allow media buyers to react dynamically to market conditions and, ideally, to optimize plans. “Audiences will take more control of how they are reached and agencies trying to find the right audience will need to cross-reference their deterministic/probabilistic data to enhance plan performance.”

See more details about IAB’s 2019 Cross-Cultural Marketing Day here.


Joe Pilla
Director, Data & Automation
at IAB