November 26, 2012

Multicultural Audiences and Technology

According to the Pew Hispanic Center, 85 percent of native-born Latinos older than 16 use the Internet; and 78 percent of native-born Latinos 25 to 34 who have Internet access use social networking sites such as Twitter, Youtube, and Facebook.

November 26, 2012

How to Market to a Diverse Audience

Appealing to a multiethnic community takes more than simply printing brochures in different languages or hiring a bilingual salesperson. It takes a commitment and a willingness to adjust business practices to meet the unique needs of Hispanics, African Americans, Asian-Americans and others.

November 26, 2012

Multicultural Audiences and Technology

Multiethnic Communities and Mobile Marketing

According to the Pew Hispanic Center, 85 percent of native-born Latinos older than 16 use the Internet; and 78 percent of native-born Latinos 25 to 34 who have Internet access use social networking sites such as Twitter, Youtube, and Facebook.

According to Nielsen, Latinos are more likely than the average U.S. household to have cell phones with Internet and video capabilities. Latinos also write more texts than any other race or ethnicity, sending 943 texts per month. The national average is 740. African-Americans use more mobile voice minutes per month (1,261) than any other group; and 33 percent of African-Americans choose app-based smartphones with web-enabled operating systems. At 36 percent, Asians and Pacific Islanders prefer Apple’s iPhone to all other operating systems – more than anyone else.

To date, major corporations are still working to figure out how they should use social media and mobile marketing when directly targeting minority communities. Understandably so, as the model is forever changing. But what goes without saying is that campaigns should be tailored to each user group’s preferences as Latinos, African-Americans and Asians use the internet and their phones differently. When it comes to mobile, one of the biggest mistakes brands can make is to use a broad, one-size-fits-all approach for narrowcast mediums.

PR practitioners and marketers need to design a mobile marketing plan that reflects the variations of how different ethnic groups are adopting and adapting to the Internet and smartphones. The fact that African-Americans access social media more frequently than the mainstream and, according to Arbitron, use Twitter more than any other ethnic group, provides many reasons to leverage the mobile message. Media-meshing is key, as he who tends to think within a media vault is destined to be doomed.

Successful examples of well-crafted multicultural mobile campaigns exist in both the commercial and nonprofit arenas. When using Twitter, companies have utilized promoted ads, trending topics and creative engagement tactics to drum up a buzz. Youtube continues to serve as a platform for viral video campaigns – particularly for videos with a social message or a great dose of humor. When it comes to using the basic functionalities of a smartphone, companies have created opt-ins via a mobile microsite, SMS, or QR codes, after which individuals are able to creatively interact with the brand in some capacity.

The ideas are endless – they just take a bit of thought and creativity. When PR practitioners and marketers take the time to craft multicultural social media and mobile campaigns, the results are clear. Integrating mobile into your marketing plans, however, is not enough. Rather, one must ensure that the plan reflects how the Internet smartphone’s most enthusiastic American adopters – Latinos, African-Americans and Asians – prefer to use their mobile devices.

– Published by the Brownstone PR staff

November 26, 2012

How to Market to a Diverse Audience

Appealing to a multiethnic community takes more than simply printing brochures in different languages or hiring a bilingual salesperson. It takes a commitment and a willingness to adjust business practices to meet the unique needs of Hispanics, African Americans, Asian-Americans and others.

According to a report by the Selig Center for Economic Growth at the University of Georgia Terry College of Business, the combined buying power of racial minorities (African Americans, Asians and Native Americans) will rise from $1.6 trillion in 2010 to $2.1 trillion in 2015, accounting for 15 percent of the nation’s total buying power. The study projects that minority markets will continue to grow much faster than the majority market, where buying power increased by 49 percent over the past decade. And as whites head toward minority status by mid-century, according to Census Bureau projections, Hispanics, Asians, and African-American populations are growing faster. That said, is there any wonder why major brands have begun taking their cues from minority communities when creating PR and marketing campaigns?

But first things first: all Latinos, all African-Americans, all Asian-Americans are not the same. Shocking, I know. But it’s true. Economic, education, and life conditions separate individuals within the same culture. Many media relations and marketing firms believe they can box in African-Americans, or box in Latinos, and then run a general market campaign. Or what’s worse, craft a message touting age old racial stereotypes, with hopes of the audience finding relatable factors. In order to craft a ‘Latino-focused message’ or an ‘African-American-focused’ message, a company must identify key commonalities within communities, study buying patterns and interests, and assess what works and what does not by connecting directly with members of each community – scaling the economic lines. This is obvious to some, but not a common knowledge shared by many.

And once the message is crafted, the delivery must reflect an equal appreciation for and understanding of the culture.

What’s more, as evidenced by brands such as McDonald’s, minorities have influenced mainstream preferences. That said, instead of spending majority of the marketing budget on general marketing efforts, companies should take campaigns geared specifically towards Latinos or African-Americans, and put general marketing dollars behind them.

And where should they put their money? Traditional media may not be the answer…

– Published by the Brownstone PR staff