By Maria Teresa Hernandez, Head of Partnerships and Multicultural Marketplace
Despite advertisers' pledges, allocations of diverse dollars is disproportionately low with only 1.85% going to multimedia in 2022. Was it all performative?
Multicultural media plays a crucial role in representing diverse voices and promoting inclusivity within our industry. In 2022, multicultural audiences represent almost one-third of U.S. consumers. This disparity is not only a disservice to multicultural media suppliers, but to advertisers themselves who miss crucial audience segments.
However, the underinvestment in multicultural media cannot be solely attributed to advertisers. We explore the factors contributing to this gap and present innovative solutions to address the issue.
HOW DID WE GET HERE? THE STATE OF MULTICULTURAL MEDIA SPEND
Several factors have hindered the growth and availability of diverse media platforms. A lack of inventory, scale, and efficient ad buying solutions has posed challenges for both advertisers and smaller players in the media industry.
For larger advertisers, the lack of inventory on major DSP and SSPs inhibits the buying of multicultural media. I don’t believe the deprioritization of multicultural media is nefarious, but major ad networks have prioritized larger media firms first while foregoing the onboarding of niche audience groups. This oversight has prevented larger advertisers from investing in diverse media as it lacks the infrastructure of larger media firms with connections and scale.
The lack of inventory results in a shortage of impressions, pushing up the price for multicultural media and forcing it to be bought manually directly from the source. This combination of higher prices and lack of efficient buying methods lowers the adoption of diverse media overall.
Compounding the problem are inadequate measurements of multicultural media. In May of this year, Donna Speciale, President of TelevisaUnivision, and Nielsen worked together to fix previous measurement errors, noting that Hispanic audiences were 26% bigger than the research firm had previously reported. Underrepresentation has plagued the industry for decades. The Spanish language media network also uncovered that 40% of Hispanic audiences are missing from third-party marketing data that informs advertising spends.
The combined trifecta of lack of programmatic solutions, scale and pricing discrepancy, and undercounting of multicultural audiences has marginalized deserving multicultural media from meaningful funding. As a result, despite the interest in supporting diverse media suppliers, only 38% of marketers have fulfilled their intentions, as highlighted by a study from the ANA released in Q2 of 2023.
HOW DO WE SOLVE IT? CLOSING THE GAP FOR MULTICULTURAL MEDIA SPEND
Innovative technology solutions and industry movements are emerging to address the media disparities.
At Mirriad, the leading in-content virtual product placement solution, we partner with 100+ media suppliers - half of those being diverse-owned or targeted - to unlock brand new inventory and expand opportunities against multicultural media properties. By leveraging Mirriad's multi-patented AI-powered platform, advertisers can easily access and purchase against multicultural audiences.
This industry's first multicultural virtual product placement marketplace, aggregating 40+ diverse-owned or diverse-targeted media suppliers, enables brands to scale their in-content campaigns to diverse audiences. The solution also allows brands to track their media investments with ease, allowing transparent allocation of multicultural media spends. Media partner adoption has been swift, with TelevisaUnivision, The Shade Room, Ebony, iTalkBB, Fuse, Revry, and more all signing on.
This tech solution solves several problems. Firstly, it creates new inventory that advertisers can buy against, lowering both the price and increasing opportunities to reach underserved multicultural audiences. In addition, tech solutions like this deliver scale to advertisers, allowing larger advertisers to buy multicultural impressions in bulk across multiple diverse media owners and measure impact in a single platform.
Mirriad's in-content technology has unlocked thousands of integration opportunities across entertainment, with billions of impressions delivered to date. Advertisers can now target specific multicultural media efficiently and effectively, optimizing their spend while supporting diverse voices.
Second, big agency groups with programmatic buying capabilities, such as GroupM, are taking the lead in spearheading initiatives that commit a certain percentage of revenue to diverse media brands. Commitments like these ensure growing support and funding for multicultural media.
By seamlessly integrating into multicultural content, advertisers can accomplish both their business objectives and contribute to the growth of diverse media. This success story demonstrates the tangible impact of innovative solutions in bridging the gap between advertiser promises and multicultural media support.
NEW TECHNOLOGY DRIVING CHANGE AND EMPOWERING DIVERSITY
With the advent of new technologies and industry support, advertisers now have every opportunity to support diverse media in a more streamlined and cost-effective manner.
These solutions not only facilitate fulfilling pledges and promised media spends but also help advertisers access multicultural media without the heavy lifting and premium price tags traditionally associated with niche audiences. By embracing these innovative approaches, advertisers can amplify diverse voices, save costs, and shape a more inclusive media landscape.
The future of empowering multicultural content and the audiences that love it is here. By leveraging technology and positive movement, we can all empower diversity. Let’s bridge the gap between intention and action.