Accessing Culture Beyond Ethnicity: Interests

Our “Accessing Culture Beyond Ethnicity” series is back to break down how we access culture using technology. Today we are tackling an important component of the in-culture approach, which is often overlooked in modern digital advertising strategies.  Whenever possible, it is important to pay attention to what users are telling you with their digital consumption habits. Acknowledging their social interests is one way to understand a user as they hand-raise for information.

Marketers would agree that the more information we can gain about a particular consumer, the better. It isn’t enough to rely solely on demographic data (i.e. ‘Women, Ages 25-35’) and then build a segment around it. Consumer “interest” data can provide a much richer depiction of who the audience is, encapsulating social interests based on the following:

Live AudiencePublic social accounts are analyzed using the Blended Interest Graph technology to create Audience Personas. Audience Personas are based on a combination of interests, which can inform us about things like:

· Who a user follows
· Places they visit
· What they listen to
· Hashtags they use
· Things they read
· What they watch


Our technology produces a cloud of interests based on commonalities found among social users. We call this cloud the ‘Blended Interest Graph’ and the technology that creates it the ‘Visual Audience Creator’. Let’s dive deeper into how this technology works.

The Visual Audience Creator

The Visual Audience Creator is a proprietary technology used to build social audience segments. The technology collects data across over 300MM social/device IDs and is updated hourly.

These social personas are created specifically for a brand to reflect the user they are seeking out online. Descriptors found in the persona are often based on inferences made given the data collected by the technology. Our strategists create these personas to help the customer better understand the big picture and the story being told by the data. Here is an example of what a social persona might look like for a Hispanic styling & fashion enthusiast:

In-Culture Persona

How are personas built?


Our data team picks out “supernodes”that they find to be relevant among the audience the client is seeking to target with their campaign. Supernodes are large social multinational companies, celebrities, influencers, and/or aggregators focused around a central interest. The individuals that we target for campaigns are attributed to these supernodes but are not necessarily attributed to just one singular node (or all nodes at once).  In most instances, an individual we are targeting will follow a blend of the nodes and will have other interests tacked on as well. In the case of our Hispanic Beauty Enthusiast, many of these users were found to have commonalities with users who fell into the Hispanic Foodies segment. This example demonstrates the interests and connective tissue that creates these rich, layered personas.

When consumers “raise their hands” via social signals, marketers need to be one step ahead of the vast competition and be able to quickly and efficiently identify target audiences. Stay tuned next week as we continue our series “Accessing Culture Beyond Ethnicity” where we will be breaking down data from intent signals we receive via search behavior.

For any questions related to in-culture advertising or ways it can benefit your next program, contact us today!

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