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5 Steps to Improving Multicultural Marketing Campaigns

April 23, 2019 — by Daniel Sepulveda    

This byline originally appeared on Chief Marketer.

Consumers’ needs and wants are often ephemeral, and borderless transactions are continually evolving and thriving, which makes it essential for marketers to consider the multicultural dimensions of their campaigns.

Techniques like programmatic marketing enable marketers to quickly personalize advertising for audiences, helping to build trust, relevancy and meaningful connections. Of course, a crucial part of this is considering the needs and interests of the communities you want to connect with, and making sure your communications are inclusive and positive.

Here are five key tips to consider.

      1. Know what your customers want

Before developing creative assets and marketing messaging, it’s key to know the features, functions and benefits that are most important to your target audience. Don’t rely on instinct. Leverage your existing market research or invest in some to analyze which product attributes are most and least important in driving product choice for the people and communities you want to reach. To understand these differences, marketers should explore running a conjoint analysis to determine how features, functions and benefits are prioritized at a cultural level. Depending on your level of statistical experience, there are many guides available online, from academic through to more general.

      2. Properly allocate budget

By performing marketing segmentation analyses, marketers can determine how to split their campaign budget wisely. For example, in knowing what your audience wants, marketers can then take things a step further to run a cluster analysis, which is a statistical approach that groups people together based on distinct similarities. For instance, the variables of culture, city and per-capita income could be introduced to project the revenue opportunity, thus guiding budget. Based on the cluster, a brand may see that City A weights higher on cultural groups 1, 2 and 3; these have a typical per capita of $X. Clustering doesn’t necessarily require statistical programming, as it can be run from Microsoft Excel, and is a good option for brands that are not able to run advanced analytics such as marketing mix modeling.

      3. Use contextual targeting

Contextual targeting aligns brand messaging with ad and consumer experiences, and is a great campaign set-up tactic. For example, by marrying target language with keywords and interest topics, as well as competitor terms, you can maximize the chances of reaching someone, with relevance, who is exhibiting high intent to interact with, or purchase from, the brand.

     4. Consider behavioral nuances as part of set-up

Consider how behaviors differ across cultures. Suppose that you want to reach cultural audiences across Europe. Consider how “pay days” differ country to country. Some locations pay salaries weekly, some bi-weekly (or fortnightly) and others, monthly. As a result, you should consider your campaign’s pacing, potentially increasing spend around salary days. In the same way, lifestyle is something else to consider as a factor when setting up your day-parting rules for marketing across cultures. Research shows that “wake-up time” is typically the same but “go-to-sleep time” differs, with countries in Asia typically going to bed later.

When thinking about reaching cultures in your local market, consider how they share information in their communities and how they will share and experience your brand. Be mindful of topics that are important to these cultures. Pew Research is a great resource” As with reaching cultures across borders, pacing and day parting also play into this space, in addition to ensuring that the right creative imagery and messaging are used. Don’t simply use the same creative, opting to change only the text. This won’t resonate, and it will seem transparent.

   5. Optimize budget based on log data

Check browser language data by exploring user logs and event logs. Where, for example, a multicultural campaign is in two languages (say, Spanish and English) and the data shows that 80% of traffic is using a Spanish browser language setting, re-calibrate the budget to meet the skew. Drive people to the Spanish creative and, therefore, the Spanish landing page. Also use this opportunity to evaluate if you need additional creative.

Daniel Sepulveda

Daniel A. Sepulveda is the Senior Vice President for Policy and Advocacy for MediaMath, a global advertising and marketing technology company. He leads MediaMath’s Purpose Driven Advertising Initiative which includes client solutions and industry advocacy to encourage investement in high quality content on the internet including news, efforts to combat misinformation and disinformation, and tools for ensuring spend is going into multicultural publishers and audiences. He also represents MediaMath on public policy issues in public forums, in industry associations, and in dialogues with consumer organizations and civil society working on technology and the digital economy. He also works with teams across the company on special projects including political advertising, media supply chain issues, and diversity and inclusion. Sepulveda served in the Obama Administration at the State Department as Ambassador and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State and U.S. Coordinator for International Communications and Information Policy from March 2013 – January 2017. Prior to joining the State Department, Sepulveda served as a Senior Advisor to Senator John Kerry from 2009 – 2013 working on technology, telecommunications, trade, and economics. From 2004-2008 Sepulveda was a senior legislative aide to then-Senator Barack Obama on the same issues and also advised his presidential campaign. Before joining Senator Obama's office, Sepulveda worked for Senator Barbara Boxer, a member of the Senate Commerce Committee. Additional prior work experience includes service during the Clinton Administration at the U.S. Department of Labor and at the National Council of La Raza (NCLR). Mr. Sepulveda received a Master of Public Affairs from the Lindon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin as a Woodrow Wilson Fellow in Public Policy and International Affairs and holds Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and History from Emory University.