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The IAB Cross-Cultural Marketing Day: Reflections and Implications for MediaMath and the Ad Tech Community

December 27, 2018 — by MediaMath

MediaMath’s mission is to deliver marketing everyone loves. As a multinational company operating across borders and cultures, and in a nation as diverse as ours, achieving that mission requires understanding and meeting consumers on their terms and in the words and context that they appreciate.

As we explore identity and audience segmentation amongst increasingly customized products and services in a fractured media landscape, it is incumbent upon us as an advertising technology company, and as a larger community, to ensure that we think hard to understand the challenges and opportunities that cross-cultural marketing poses. Cross-cultural marketing is concerned with recognizing and understanding the attributes of different cultures and how to address them responsibly. The industry trade association the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) is leading efforts in thought leadership and working to convene folks around those themes under its Data Centers of Excellence, which our CEO Joe Zawadzki co-chairs.

As part of an initial effort to educate ourselves and MediaMath on the matter, as well as show our support for the great work the IAB is doing, we attended the IAB’s Cross-Cultural Marketing Day 2018. One of us comes from a training and education background and the other from product and client services. We also come with our own personal life experiences. Through these different lenses, we both learned an immense amount regarding the relationship between culture and marketing and what we believe are corresponding consequences for the advertising technology ecosystem at large.

Although the presentations generated more questions than answers for us, we were enthusiastic to engage in the conversation, learn more and infuse our own work at MediaMath with an appreciation for the role that diverse audiences can play in helping us meet our mission. The speakers, the audience and the subjects addressed at the IAB event were in and of themselves truly diverse. We commend Orchid Richardson and the Data Centers of Excellence for putting together the event, creating a safe space to have courageous, innovative and bold conversations about multicultural marketing and best practices that will drive business outcomes.

The panels asked thought-provoking questions and presented concepts and data regarding how different communities interact with and access marketing. Among the communities identified were the LGBGTQIA+ community and the Hispanic/Latino community. In each of these, there is a degree of self-selection that people communicate through the media they consume. None of these communities are monolithic, and there are segments within each umbrella category that will require different messaging. But because people organize themselves in this way, we know that they desire distinct messages, goods and services tailored in a manner different from the general population. It is necessary that we, as a community, deliver a consumer-first approach to marketing—deciphering exactly what the consumer wants and ensuring that our efforts are inclusive, designed to both elevate and celebrate diversity, and ensure measurable business outcomes for marketers.

At MediaMath, we believe Diversity & Inclusion touches all parts of the business, with three distinct pillars: Workforce, Workplace and Marketplace. This event highlighted, the third, diversity and inclusion in the delivery of advertising in the Marketplace. We will continue to partner with our colleagues, industry professionals and Diversity & Inclusion champions in our continued efforts to learn, share best practices and amplify the work that is being done within our industry to meet each person where they are along this journey.

This is an exciting time to work at MediaMath (and within the marketing and advertising industry more broadly) as we are pushing the needle towards an ecosystem that ensures the digital transformation of the practice leads to outcomes and outreach that are healthier, more inclusive and more compassionate. This ultimately leads to a greater understanding of diverse cultures and communities than our analog past.

As a rapidly-growing and quick-moving company still on a fast and high trajectory, we are encouraged by the work that is being done across the IAB and look forward to what is next. In the meantime, we have made a commitment to become a part of the solution, sharing our progress and partnering with our workforce, clients and partners to make marketing that everyone loves.

About Elise James-Decruise

Elise oversees internal and external training initiatives, certification, enterprise education and global program development at MediaMath through the New Marketing Institute (NMI). She joined MediaMath in January of 2012, bringing with her 15 years of experience managing, facilitating and building targeted training programs from the ground up. Successfully transitioning from the financial sector as a global trainer at Thomson Financial (Thomson Reuters), Elise started out her digital marketing career at Right Media (acquired by Yahoo) where she transformed their internal training program and founded Right Media University for the Sales, Operations and Technical Support Teams. Elise maintains a strong presence on the board of prominent industry and L&D organizations such as the IAB and ATD.

About Rebecca Sharpe

Rebecca joined MediaMath in December of 2017 as Director, Programmatic Strategy & Optimization, a role in which she
leverages MediaMath’s TerminalOne (T1) DSP and components of MediaMath’s DMP to oversee a portfolio of agency clients and lead a team of top-notch traders to architect and evolve programmatic omnichannel media strategies. She has consulted on brand marketing, data strategy and segmentation, as well as advanced analytics such as media mix modeling (MMM), multi-touch attribution (MTA) and Lift Measurement (including A/B and multivariate). Rebecca is an experienced Digital Strategy Director with a demonstrated history of working in the ad tech and mar tech industries, with a core focus on information management, omnichannel media strategy, measurement and research.