Just Asking For a Friend: In-Culture Advertising
April 15, 2019
In today’s “Asking for a Friend” series, we are going to break down In-Culture Advertising: what it is, what it is not, and why it is so important.
In the ever-evolving marketing world, it is crucial to keep pace with demographic change – and even better to stay ahead. Significant changes in the U.S. cultural landscape have made in-culture advertising imperative. According to Census Bureau data, in 2017 a record 66.6 million U.S. residents ages five and older spoke a language other than English at home. The number has more than doubled since 1990, and almost tripled since 1980.
Cultural diversity is growing, and with these welcome cultural shifts, advertisers can no longer rely on cookie-cutter approaches to reach intended audiences.
What defines “in-culture”?
“In-culture” is understanding cultural differences between consumers. The technology behind in-culture advertising does not discriminate users online with restrictive targeting tactics that many multicultural-targeting programs employ. We are relying on cues that consumers who identify with any culture may signal, indicating interest in a brands product or service that might be relevant to a particular culture. It is truly inclusive, and is breaking the barriers of multicultural segmentation tactics.
What it is not.
In-culture advertising is not in-language targeting. Although translation tactics have gotten a great deal better, there are still many reasons why strict in-language marketing isn’t enough when trying to reach complex individuals. For in-culture US hispanic opportunities for example, simply turning on the language targeting tactic means you’re missing over 50% of your intended audience.
Why is in-culture advertising so great?
Advanced decision science can now incorporate the ‘Cultural DNA’ into digital advertising tactics. Things like festivals, holidays, religious beliefs, slang and catch phrases, food, superstitions, music, movies, television shows and more all play a huge role in defining the consumer’s interests and the culture they may associate with. Cultural DNA takes into account the empathetic and emotional needs of our consumers in order to drive brand relevance and business impact.
At AcuityAds, we gauge social behaviors (such as who they follow, places they visit, and hashtags they use) along with tweets, likes, and shares, to give markters access to culturally diverse audiences. Site-search data also helps in identifying multicultural audiences. Using high value intent signals and AI learnings from past search behavior, we can predict future actions and the likelihood that a consumer will convert. Additionally, capturing in-player video viewing behavior has become a huge indicator of consumer interests and passions as we can now track view and interaction data as well as social sharing from within the video viewer window – allowing us to gauge interest and positioning within the purchase funnel.
In-culture targeting is no longer an option, but a necessity. Marketers can no longer look to a single persona to exemplify the consumer. While demographics, online platforms and other tricks in your toolbox will help you reach multicultural segments, “reaching” does not automatically mean “connecting”. Brands can only engage through authentic, human, shared values.
Stay tuned over the next few weeks as we break down more topics in our “Asking for a Friend” series!