In the second episode of the Journey Insider podcast, AcuityAds CSO Seraj Bharwani was joined by Ana Ceppi, a Senior Advisor at Edelman, an award-winning global public relations consultancy firm and self-proclaimed “house of trust.” They talked about the societal trends pushing brands to think holistically about their audience and how they can best leverage this new consumer landscape to foster trust and long-term relationships.
Here are three things we learned from their discussion:
Trust isn’t just important; it’s essential to doing business
Edelman is a global public relations consultancy firm that has been studying trust for over twenty years. As a family-owned company, they “practice what they preach” as far as trust is concerned, embodying the values they seek to foster in clients.
In the last few years, Edelman has become incredibly nuanced in how they measure trust to find which actions truly drive it. Their “Trust Barometer,” an idea created by Richard Edelman, is just one of the tools they use to determine impact moments where trust can drive brand sentiment in the marketplace.
As Ana explains, “Trust is everything, if it needs to be said.” Trust doesn’t just win business; it also builds industry authority and creates an atmosphere where people want to work. The new generation is looking for brands to co-create solutions with them, not just sell them products.
Ana has worked agency side, client side, and media side—and after working in almost every seat at the communications table, she can say one thing for certain: trust is paramount to success in marketing.
The value of multicultural marketing is evident in 2022
According to Ana, data on marketing to multicultural audiences has existed for years—the problem was a question of value: was it worth it to market to culturally segmented audiences in order to receive a distinct and uncoupled ROI?
In response to this question, Ana and her data partners developed a tool that can value culture by defining it through key metrics such as gender, ethnicity, language, ability, and relevance to the general market to prove the effectiveness of multicultural marketing. The result was a 7X improvement in ROI when compared to general market media—and those were just the first pieces of the multicultural marketing puzzle. Since then, many other people and brands have created their own frameworks for proving the effectiveness of multicultural marketing, and they have repeated Ana’s success, further demonstrating the value of multicultural marketing for many years to come.
To those who may not have access to costly consumer valuing tools, Ana offers the following rule:
“If it looks likes me, sounds like me, and feels like me, I will be more likely to be a part of the conversation.”
The next big challenge for marketers is relevancy
According to Ana, “personalization and culture will be critically important in the coming years.”
Although the practice of multicultural marketing through the lens of intersectionality has had success, the increasing focus on consumer privacy has created a difficult problem for marketers that will need to be addressed.
How far do you go to understand multicultural audiences to stay relevant in a post-cookie world? How much is too much, and how do you maintain a standard of marketing integrity when more knowledge is usually better? Questions like these don’t have answers yet, but Ana believes marketers will figure it out, as they always do.
The new generation of marketers desires changes as well. They have big ideas about how to stay relevant in a rapidly-evolving media landscape. To these rising stars, Ana offered the following advice:
“Part of being relevant comes from being yourself in a way that others can relate to. Always have the courage to be your authentic self and to see similarities instead of differences. Question the norm, question business as usual.”
Or, as Seraj eloquently summed up, “there are no edicts.”
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