I’ll let you in on the not-so-secret trick to advertising: it’s all about getting an audience to identify with a product. If you want to appeal to a few different audiences, you’re going to have to come up with a few different ways to do it. That’s where multicultural marketing comes in.
I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Yuriy Boykiv of Gravity (now a part of Dentsu X), a New York-based ad agency that targets cultural and ethnic groups with messaging that is language and culture specific. Very interesting stuff, especially in a city as diverse as New York. He and I talked about his experience as an immigrant entrepreneur, the differences between small and large agencies, and the role of technology in advertising.
Here’s what I learned from our conversation:
- Learn to adapt. One lesson Yuriy learned quickly when arriving in America is the importance of adaptability. While it may be easier to fall back on the things that you already know, it’s better to keep learning from those around you and to stay flexible.
- Knowledge is power. An avid reader, Yuriy says that it’s important to learn as much as you can, not only about your own industry but others as well. After all, you never know when that sort of knowledge might come in handy, especially in a business like advertising where you need to understand the needs of many different clients.
- Innovate, don’t stagnate. While smaller agencies have the benefit of allowing owners to take a personal interest in each of their clients, it is important to scale-up in order to fully develop your company’s potential. To be successful, Yuriy says, you constantly have to innovate. That tactic helped Gravity quickly transition from a tiny start-up to a mid-size agency.
- Find your niche. Another reason Gravity was able to grow so quickly was because they had a very specific vision and target in mind from the very beginning, and there was a demand for their particular type of service. Find that sweet spot and keep your eye on the prize.
- Keep an eye on the technology. As Yuriy says, a lot of people tend to forget that advertising is a combination of art and science. Because science and quantitative analyses have become such a big part of advertising in recent years, technology and Big Data play an ever-bigger role. As technology advances, it will become more of a driving force in all agencies, but advertising will still require the human, creative side as well.
- Competition can come from anywhere. It’s important to keep an eye on both larger and smaller companies in your niche. It isn’t one or the other that makes you less attractive to a client. Both types offer different advantages. Yuriy believes that the best companies are the ones that continue to run like smaller companies even as they scale up.
- Be a balanced individual. Yuriy’s advice is that people shouldn’t focus solely on their work. Make sure that you work on yourself as a human being, a family member, and a part of your community. It’s an issue that he sees as a common struggle in our hectic, fast-paced world, and it’s something that he and his partners continue to work on themselves.
Yuriy definitely has a point about maintaining a balance between work and personal life. How do you try to achieve that balance?