By Heana Thakur

As a data driven agency, we are constantly finding innovative ways to target audiences and show them the most relevant message. This blog will look at how to target cultural audiences based on a user’s browser settings, an example of how this has worked so far and the continual optimisation you can do to get the most out of this targeting.

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Here at Merkle | Periscopix we’re taking the lead on targeting cultural audiences and have successfully implemented this for several of our e-commerce clients.

This is not a targeting category, so how does it work?

If you’re wondering exactly how we do this, good question. You can target specific cultural audiences in the AdWords campaign settings tab by scrolling down to the languages section. You can tick a selection of languages that you want to target as this is the language the user has set their browser to.

At Merkle | Periscopix, we have started doing this for a well-known retail client by targeting East Asian consumers which is essentially users who have set their browser language settings to Korean, Mandarin, Cantonese or Japanese but are located in England. This allows us to target people who are travelling as holidaymakers in addition to those who are permanently based here but have a stronger affinity to their native culture.

I’m intrigued, what do you do next?

Once you have decided what audiences you want to target, the next step is how to target them in a subtle way. For this particular client, we took advantage of ad copy by supporting key Asian festivals in addition to pushing the British aspects of the brand that resonate well with travelling consumers who are looking for a unique British gift during their stay.

We capitalised on Chinese New Year as consumers are likely to be purchasing gifts in celebration of the new year which usually falls in late January rather than the 1st of January. The key? Be understated with messaging and careful not to become too brash when targeting these users. A good ad copy example would be ‘Wishing You A Prosperous Year’ rather than ‘Happy Chinese New Year’. The messaging was essential to the entire campaign as it is important to engage with the user without being too conspicuous – subtle is the way forward.

Another cool way in which we spoke to Asian consumers differently was to utilise ad extensions such as sitelinks, price extensions and call outs. We picked specific products that indexed highly with Asian consumers and leveraged these through ad extensions to ensure the consumer was seeing a range of products that were more suitable to their preferences.

Have you seen good performance from doing this?

Definitely! The Asian targeted campaign was created in January last year and the performance has been very strong so far with little cost incurred.

When implementing a strategy like this, it is essential to keep the client’s goals at front of mind to ensure that the activity is suitable. In this instance, our main goals were:

  • Target a new audience group that resonates well with the brand
  • Control messaging and speak to this audience differently
  • Attract new customers

All goals were met as the campaign targeted a completely different audience for the client, messaging was amended to suit the Asian demographic and 62% of Asian visitors to the site were new users.

Don’t stop there

The campaign has performed really well so there is no need to make changes, right? Wrong, it is vital that this campaign remains relevant to the audience. The below checklist can help you do this:

  • Change ad copy every couple of months – users will get bored of seeing the same message repeatedly so a change in ad copy can be refreshing.
  • Check bid adjustments for device, demographics and location.
  • Change the ad extensions that showcase specific products – the likelihood is that product preferences will change each season.
  • Lean on your client to ensure they provide you with up to date information on the audience
  • Testing – whether it is an ad copy or landing page test, this can really provide your client with useful insights on how the audience responds differently to certain messaging or pages on the website.

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