Multicultural agency Gravity has developed a data-management platform to help marketers target specific ethnic audiences, like Venezuelan consumers rather than general Hispanic consumers, as well as sub-segments within each group, such as soccer fans or hip-hop lovers.
Gravity decided to create the Audience M tool, which took about a year-and-a-half to develop, because the shop was frustrated running campaigns for main multicultural segments when it was actually trying to target precise groups.
"When we plan who our target audience is, it doesn't just end with Hispanic or Asian," said Luba Tolkachyov, co-founder of Gravity. "We want to dig deeper into who the customer is and how to reach them, especially in the digital space which is all about deep segmentation."
Audience M can help marketers target 78-plus multicultural groups across the web and mobile, such as Polish, Albanian, Ethiopian and Peruvian. The agency partnered with the top 10 websites for each country to gather data, like traffic from visitors in North America.
Ms. Tolkachyov said "someone from Mexico has different behaviors than someone from Ecuador or Cuba," so the tool allows the shop to alter messaging to fit niche audiences within specific regions.
To prove the tool's merit, Gravity tested it with several clients, including Affinity Health Plan. The company was looking to reach Hispanics in New York who qualified for free or low cost health insurance, so it launched a Spanish-language campaign using Audience M and discovered that Dominicans were engaging with the creative content three times more than Mexicans and two times more than Puerto Ricans, said Victor Pupo, assistant VP-brand management and marketing at Affinity.
After seeing the jump in activity and leads, especially on mobile, Mr. Pupo said Affinity and Gravity used the tool to tweak the campaign messaging for Dominicans who qualified for free or low cost health insurance in the city.
"As a marketer and a client, I'm always looking for better ways to reach targets and profiles as specifically as possible and using Audience M we can segment," he said.
Audience M helped Affinity increase its click-through-rates by 180% compared to using standard third-party data to reach audiences, and it surpassed the benchmark conversion rate by 122%, driving more leads than search, which is the next top-performing tactic.
Mr. Pupo said he also likes that the tool gets into sub-segments, so he can reach Dominican doctors in specific Zip codes around the city through digital and mobile ads, video and social content.
Next up, Affinity plans on using Audience M to go after the Chinese market in New York in June, with the goal of reaching people with specific dialects, such as Taiwanese or Fukienese. The insurance company is also looking to target the Russian-speaking market this summer in the city.
As for Audience M, Ms. Tolkachyov said the next step is for Gravity to partner with third-party data providers outside of the mobile and digital space. For example, if the agency teams up with a company that has ticketing information, it can use experiences like a Chinese or Ukrainian concert to more effectively reach target audiences at events, she said.
Additionally, Ms. Tolkachyov said clients don't have to target ethnic groups with Audience M – they can use the sub-segment portion only if they want, which would reach categories such as millennial soccer fans or veterans.