A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE FROM APP SCIENCE
|Tuesday September 20, 2022
Why the Media Industry Can’t Afford Not to Invest in Multicultural Marketing
By David Bloom
For its latest study, measurement and analytics company App Science looked at the distinctive habits and preferences of U.S. multicultural audiences across specific streaming services and apps. The study, U.S. Multicultural Trends Report, lays out key opportunities that marketers can tap when trying to reach Hispanic Americans, African Americans, and Asian Americans.
Importantly, the data show where brands, publishers, and marketers need to rethink campaigns, to better represent those communities and cultures in their ads, and to better reach them where they are most likely to be found.
The stakes are big: nearly all population growth in the United States in recent years has come from these multicultural communities. Within a decade, the nation is expected to be “majority minority,” with those multicultural audiences comprising more than half the country’s population. They’re a particularly large part of the population in the country’s fastest growing regions, especially in major cities, such as Los Angeles and Houston.
And when it comes to streaming, as with other forms of entertainment, Asian Americans, African Americans, and Hispanic Americans substantially over-index on consumption, spending, and engagement compared to the general audience. These “niche” audiences love streaming, likely in part because they can find more shows and services that better represent their lives, communities, and stories. They prefer some high-profile genres over others in streaming, and different specific mobile apps in areas such as music, finance, and travel.
These differences, from each other and from the general population, matter when it comes to reaching them and crafting brand messages that will resonate. And the demographic shifts that continue in the country will only heighten these differing preferences in years to come. Marketers and brands need to pay heed. As the U.S. Multicultural Trends Report suggests, “Those who do not prioritize multicultural marketing as part of their overall strategy will face additional challenges.”
App Science has built its business around a formidable tool, a Household Graph fed by privacy-compliant signals from consumers using 280 million active mobile devices and 110 million Connected TV devices. These devices are matched and tied together to provide an extraordinary database of intelligence about what audiences in 55 million validated households are watching, talking about, shopping for, and care about. It’s a resource that provides a highly granular view into the American consumer amid rapid and constant change.
Those 280 million mobile devices provide such key data pieces as demographics, location, lifestyle, life stage, and interests. The 110 million Connected TV devices provide data on subscriptions, program types, peak viewing times, and even more demographic detail. Knitted together, they’re even more powerful.
We sat down with App Science’s VP of Marketing, Elisa Dao for a deeper dive into their latest report and what it means for brands and marketers.
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE FROM APP SCIENCE
Q: 2020 Census data shows that America is increasingly diverse. What’s the market opportunity for brands and advertisers in a multicultural country?
App Science: A multicultural majority is happening at a faster rate than predicted, especially among younger demos. All population growth from 2010 to 2020 was attributed to people of color – those identifying as Latino or Hispanic, Black, Asian American, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, Native American, and as two or more races. Together these groups comprise more than 40% of the US population, and a multicultural majority is expected within the next decade.
The increasingly diverse U.S. market is a big call for marketers, brand advertisers, publishers, ad tech, and content providers to recognize this powerful growth segment. All sides of the industry need to put multicultural marketing at the core of their strategies.
Over the past two years, the national dialogue about racial equity and existing disparities has been elevated. As businesses and communities make DEI an integral part of their core organization, it’s more important than ever to ensure diverse representation not only with multicultural ethnicities but also diversity segments like LGBTQ+ across marketing, communications, advertising, and data & technology. There is a call for the market to redefine what is considered ‘mass media’.
Better understanding diversity also creates opportunities for brands to target new groups with relevant creative and messaging that is far more likely to grow revenue from groups that previously may have been largely overlooked. Those advertisers who can recognize and represent diverse audience segments have a chance to grab a competitive edge over those only marketing to a single, generalized audience.
Q: What have been the challenges in prioritizing multicultural marketing?
App Science: One particular challenge for many years has been ensuring the data and technology we use accurately captures and represents multicultural audiences in measurement across all screens.
Advertisers have historically used major legacy data partners that have relied on outdated approaches such as survey panels. Big legacy databases have been built on data culled from TV set-top boxes and streaming devices that may not capture minority audiences or may be too expensive for low-income households, creating biases in data sets.
Plenty of third-party consumer data is available, but it still commonly misidentifies ethnicities. Even the U.S. Census Bureau, whose data has been the standard for fair representation of ethnic minorities, has acknowledged it seriously underrepresented minority populations in the 2020 census.
Better data and measurement enable all advertisers, partners, and shareholders to be clear and accountable for their marketing and advertising investments. It’s our responsibility to measure and validate the full and real impact of media outcomes based on the best data possible.
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE FROM APP SCIENCE
Q: Why does App Science focus on multicultural data?
App Science: Precisely because we know there is still a lack of transparent, accurate audience data and measurement that features diverse segments. At App Science, we recognize that the market needs accurate, agnostic audience measurement. Our goal is to provide a solution that closes the quality gap between the general market and multicultural audiences, so advertisers and platform publishers can confidently make informed marketing and business decisions that will impact their goals.
Brands and agencies continue to activate more advanced cross-screen campaigns, yet widely used data solutions do not effectively and accurately measure campaigns. In response, the market is demanding measurement solutions that not only capture and reflect consumer behaviors and interests but enable advertisers to validate and better understand the audiences they’re truly reaching.
Our proprietary 55-million-strong Household Graph is powered by human behavioral signals derived from matching 280 million active mobile devices with 110 million CTV devices. That gives us deep, people-based insights at the household level.
Q: Why did you create your household graph using CTV and mobile data?
App Science: We wanted to provide the market with greater transparency and support advertisers to validate not only who they are targeting, but who they are actually reaching. That validation of audiences drives better strategy and results. That’s hard to do with legacy systems.
Brand advertisers do their best to create omni-channel plans with the right media mixes. Therefore, it’s important to have a unified measurement solution that validates the audiences they’re buying and tracks reach and duplication across all major platforms that are not walled gardens.
Connected TV usage has skyrocketed, particularly since the pandemic, and despite early concerns about ad fraud and a lack of audience insights. Existing market solutions measured linear TV viewership first, but largely failed to account for the big audiences on mobile and CTV streaming devices. As a mobile-first company, we recognized the power of authenticated mobile data to capture a more representative understanding of the market’s dynamics.
That’s why it was important for us to build our Household Graph by starting with data from 280 million already activated mobile devices. Your phone is just about always with you and knows you better than any other device. Then we match data signals from those phones with the 110 million CTV households to validate and verify these households are real and active. The result is robust audience insights that are truly media agnostic, transparent, and real time.
We rely on our own mobile and CTV data to move beyond traditional age and gender demographics to a far deeper understanding of consumers’ preferences in app affinities and content they’re watching at that household level.
Matching their mobile and CTV devices give us deep audience insights, such as whether they are a parent, enjoy travel, are into fitness, have young kids, speak Spanish, or are part of a multicultural group. That richer portrait helps advertisers plan media campaigns with confidence.
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE FROM APP SCIENCE
Q: With a cloudy economic picture, what implications does that have for multicultural programming and advertising?
App Science: Given the economic landscape, streaming subscription services may be in for a rocky ride. Consumers are expected to be choosier with discretionary spending and may turn to advertising video on demand (AVOD) to save money on entertainment. In turn, ad-supported mobile and CTV content providers have a big opportunity. There’s a bigger premium on better targeting and more unified audience measurement.
In our US Multicultural Trends Report, we found that these audiences are bigger streamers than the general market. All multicultural audiences over-indexed on streaming apps that are ad supported including Tubi, ViX, Viki, and Crunchyroll.
The economic slowdown makes it more imperative that content producers and brands have content offerings and metrics in place that can better represent diverse audiences.
Q: How can brands avoid saying the right thing the wrong way?
App Science: Brands should leverage partners and in-culture experts that intimately know a market segment. They also should invest in better ad-tech that can inform multicultural insights and help them place multicultural marketing at the core of business and marketing strategies.
As a result, we have seen increased multicultural casting in programming that targets broader audiences. Adding more multicultural data and in-culture insights will support brands to expand beyond cultural heritage months and be inclusive and reflective of the market.