Committee Corner June: Finding Multicultural Audiences in Today’s Media World


It’s no secret: audience fragmentation across media creates obstacles for marketers. In 2018, viewers have endless amounts of content to watch when they want, where they want, and how they want, via a myriad of providers — from traditional satellite or cable TV, to broadband streaming on numerous devices.

When a brand’s message is intended to resonate with a particular culture, the task of getting that message in front of the right audience when they’re watching has become significantly more difficult. That said, there are a couple of things that multicultural marketers can do to conquer the pitfalls of traditional television advertising while reaping the benefits of its unrivaled engagement and scale. 

Through addressable advertising across traditional satellite and growing over-the-top (OTT) services, multicultural marketers are finding the right audiences at the right time with the right message — and getting real results. 

Addressable advertising brings data-driven targeting and measurement to television campaigns. Unlike traditional TV buys, advertisers can identify target audiences using first- and third-party data and deliver relevant messages to specific households regardless of program, daypart, or device. An ad is only served if the set-top box or device is turned on, meaning brands only pay for the impressions served. 

To get started, a marketer must first determine who they want to reach and what they want to accomplish. These key performance indicators (KPIs) will dictate the best way to approach a campaign. 

Historically, marketers looking to drive sales for their products among Hispanic adults, aged 25-54, would advertise on Telemundo or Univision because that’s where the audience was. That has changed. With first-, second-, third-, and fourth-generation Latinos, the audience is Spanish-dominant, English-dominant, and bilingual. 

Latinos are still watching Telemundo and Univision, but they’re also watching Food Network and AMC. They are watching the World Cup just as much as they are watching the NBA Playoffs, and they’re watching live and on-demand across traditional television and new streaming services. In order to capture such a broad population of viewers, it is imperative that advertisers leverage the heat-seeking ability of addressable advertising to find the right consumer wherever and whenever they are watching content.

In addition, the multicultural audience is not solely defined by the language someone speaks. With addressable, marketers deliver a targeted message to whomever their defined audience is. Through household demographics, third-party purchase data matching, or customer lists, advertisers use metrics similar to digital advertising to place a commercial meant for any ethnicity or cultural group.

Brands can then customize their creative to appeal to specific groups regardless of the content they are watching. For example, send a Spanish creative to a Spanish-dominant household watching an English program. Although the multicultural audience has transcended language barriers, relevant in-language creative is more likely to resonate. 

Addressable advertising also opens doors for brands looking to reach consumers across devices and platforms. Multicultural audiences are early adopters of emergent platforms. As viewers flock to OTT devices, advertisers need to follow. Addressable can connect brands with consumers watching content across traditional set-top boxes as well as via live streaming services. Through one fluid campaign, an advertiser can reach the desired audience across both platforms. 

Finally, with all the changes on the TV landscape, brands want to know if their marketing strategies are actually working. Addressable reporting allows brands to measure campaign performance as well as sales lift and survey data. For example, a marketer serving a targeted ad to a specific household can determine if that household then went out and purchased the product through third-party data. This full-circle feedback loop allows brands to then optimize their future campaigns to get the most value per impression. 

There is no perfect way to reach any viewer. Whether it’s going after a broad audience or niche group — or, ideally both — there is no disputing the value of honing in on your potential consumer with the power of data-driven advertising. As minorities become the majority, we have to recognize how important each ethnicity’s purchasing power can be. Marketers now have the perfect opportunity to leverage the targeting precision of digital advertising combined with the scale of national video. Whether it’s traditional TV delivered by satellite or cable, or OTT sent through the internet and consumed on a smart TV, mobile, tablet, or 10-foot device, the brand needs to make a connection that influences consumers by finding them wherever they are.