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Addressing Biases in Multicultural & Inclusive Identity Data


              In 2018, the Association of National Advertisers (ANA)’s Alliance for Inclusive and Multicultural Marketing
              (AIMM) began exploring inequities in the marketing and media data available to multicultural marketers. The
              goal of the initiative was to ensure that the multicultural ecosystem is empowered to reach sound conclusions
              for growth through segment marketing and investment decisions. By enhancing representation, projectability,
              and reliability of multicultural data and analytics, multicultural marketers will be able to leverage collective data
              assets to enhance marketing solutions.

              There is a significant gap in data quality and affordability in this sector relative to the general market. Marketers
              are particularly concerned about data supporting digital planning, targeting, and delivery; the underlying issue
              of identity assignment surfaced very quickly in AIMM discussions. Correctly classifying consumers by their race/
              ethnicity and cultural orientation is the key to advertising that’s relevant and resonates, and produces high ROI.
              This issue is broader than online digital advertising. In the past two years, addressable targeting on the basis of
              demographic or behavioral characteristics has become more prevalent in television, audio, and even
              out-of-home. Identity is now a core advertising and media issue.

              At the same time, there has been a surge in privacy legislation and restrictive tech policies that potentially
              further limit the ability to target consumers with addressable media. But several new privacy-compliant
              solutions like universal IDs are in development and designed to fill the void left by cookie degradation and the
              elimination of mobile ad IDs. There will be privacy-first solutions and as a result, issues surrounding targeting
              the right audiences and segments will continue. The central topic in this paper, ensuring accurate and reliable
              multicultural identity data, will remain.

                                AIMM Data Roundtable Participants and Focus, 2018

              AIMM began with a fact-finding mission.  RFIs were issued to 30 companies that provide multicultural marketing
              and media data to learn more about their data sources and multicultural identity assignment procedures. In turn,
              AIMM interviewed ten of the major data providers about their data sources and multicultural identity assignment
              procedures. It is important to note that some of these companies collect identity data directly from the public/
              consumer; some rely on other providers’ data, public records, transactional data, and publishers’ data. etc.; and
              others use a combination of the two.
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