How Brands Can Avoid Letting Prejudices Ruin Brand Relevance

Getting past that will help create stronger connections

The further we get away from our prejudices and closer to the humans, the closer we will get to achieving true connections. - Credit by Getty Images
Headshot of Claudia Colaferro

Preconception is misconception. That’s why today more than ever marketers need to treat consumers as a “segment of one.” The further we can get away from sweeping, ill-informed stereotypes, the closer we will get to consumers’ thoughts, feelings and, ultimately, the hard-earned dollars in their virtual wallets.

I’ll spare you the lecture on social and cultural prejudice. Instead, I will share with you some statistics that may surprise you (even though they shouldn’t).

Here are some potential consumers you might be missing, per Google’s Marketing in the Age of Assistance report, which they distributed at their Executive Multicultural Summit earlier this year: 56% of sporting goods searches on mobile are female, 45% of home improvement searches on mobile are women, and 68% of skin and body care influencers in the past six months were men.

Another interesting statistic is that Hispanics and Spanish-language audiences now consume more than 50% of video, and that number keeps growing. Let me elaborate on this point: To me, as a newcomer to this country, Latinos too often feels like the invisible consumer.

The further we get away from our prejudices and closer to the humans, the closer we will get to achieving true connections.

Research shows that 22% of Hispanics would upgrade their mobile phones in the next four to six months. We also know camera and battery are the most important features to them. To generate a response, we need to use more than just their basic information. Fortunately, we know apps they are visiting, we know what they are searching and can adapt the communications to various styles and sizes and vary each interaction to capture attention using machine learning to customize and adapt to maximize your content.

In a recent test, with two ad variations sent to Hispanics, one ad was simply translated and another was a new Spanish language ad featuring in-culture creative. Google achieved three times the lift in conversion from the Latino segment with the in-culture ad.

Improving the consumer journey

This is just one example. In so many ways, the consumer journey has only become better, with lots of opportunities for connection. The screen is everywhere all day. You just need to know who you’re talking to. Ninety percent of organizations that invest in personalized experiences say that significantly increases profit.

For in-culture markets such Latinos, the numbers are even more indicative of the need. For instance, in 2015, one of 20 top music videos in the world was in Spanish. Today it is 10 in 20. To move the needle with Latino audiences, marketers need to be authentic when choosing artists that are the most popular and close to their hearts. They also need to live in their social media space with content and language that fits the audience and reaches them where they are present, e.g., the Latin Grammys.

Embrace speed

Consumer habits, needs and tastes are changing quickly. The game of being relevant requires speed and accuracy. We don’t have time to guarantee the best results only; we have to make decisions, analyze the risks, readjust and reapply. Otherwise, we aren’t going to understand anyone.

Our labs now are real-life applications. Whoever reads the feedback given and understands it and readjusts the product and the message according to the peoples’ reactions will win. There are many opportunities to engage in relevant conversations about the one-to-one relationship 24/7. The world and our people have never been so interesting.

We need to remember that best practices don’t always apply; be more proactive and daring. After all, being uncomfortable shouldn’t be viewed as a bad thing.

Find the right talent

In terms of staffing, it is necessary to find skilled, dedicated resources. Different perspectives and a culturally-enriched environment bring valuable contributions. It’s also key to host immersion sessions with your talent so they can all learn from one another.

Stay open to change

Don’t become too complacent with the fact that you have the data on one market segment or another. You need to transform it into useful and applicable information about your consumer. Otherwise, it often just ends up being irrelevant.

All told, general market strategy is fast becoming an antiquity. That’s why you need to investigate and test all hypotheses to find the segments that will give you the highest opportunity to connect. It’s what consumers and marketers both want. The further we get away from our prejudices and closer to the humans, the closer we will get to achieving true connections.

@claudiacolaferr Claudia Colaferro is president, Americas multicultural at Dentsu Aegis Network.
Publish date: October 22, 2019 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT