It’s no secret; multicultural consumers have always been trendsetters. The music, fashion, and lifestyle categories have always been synonymous with–and adopted–what emanates from “the streets.” Yet, when it comes to influence in the technology category, or how brands use technology to market to this segment, the conversations have been almost nonexistent.
Multicultural online and mobile consumption and spending habits are outdistancing the general market 1.5, almost 2-to-1. Per capita, they’re texting more, have more unlimited data plans, download and purchase more content, view more online and mobile ads, and buy more high-end mobile devices than the general market. Consumers are turning to new media as their primary source for consumption, and the multicultural segment is driving the bus. This means that in order for brands to reach them, they must restructure their media plans and budgets to meet them where we are.
Yesterday, while speaking at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival, Steve Ballmer (right), a senior Microsoft executive, stated: “…traditional broadcast and print media would have to plan business models around a smaller share of the advertising market, as revenues continue to move to digital outlets.” We’ve all seen this happen firsthand over the last 18-to-24 months and we’ve been adjusting accordingly. It’s important to build out highly engaging online and mobile experiences for brands and clients. Taking traditional offline strategies and media, “digitizing” it, and making it interactive in a way that gives the consumer an experience, and affords them special access to exclusive lifestyle benefits is a necessary approach to stay current and relevant with this audience.
There are gluts of agencies, and companies in the marketplace that profess to know and execute on new media and mobile. However, they fall short in a few key areas that resonate with multicultural consumers. Access and benefits are most important to this consumer when engaging with a brand. The more, the better, and it has to be over a longer duration. These are the keys to winning in the multicultural arena. Of course, they’re looking to be engaged in an authentic way (another subject altogether), but after that hurdle it’s about ongoing access and benefits.
Data shows us that multicultural youth over index in their use of mobile, particularly the Hispanic/Latino consumer. And to that point, instituting some decisive mobile strategies, capabilities, and tactics that appeal to multicultural audiences is paramount for brands looking to connect with this consumer group. Their mobile phones and devices are an extension of who they are, whereas customization and personalization is key. These devices are with them all the time, not only as a means of communication but as a part of their lifestyle. Brands should think about integrating mobile and multimedia features into online widgets and banners to enable simple and effective campaign integration within existing online initiatives. As well, it’s necessary to extend online engagements to mobile devices. This process generates higher user participation, improved campaign reach, and a cost effective campaign execution. It’s necessary to become an active participant in their world, and go mobile with them.
Read more of Tru Pettigrew’s Alloy Access blog
Tru Pettigrew is the President of Alloy Access. As its founder, Tru is passionate about providing fresh ideas and identifying emerging platforms to make products and brands relevant to today’s urban and multicultural consumers. Tru and his team travel around the country immersing themselves in culture at basketball courts, nightclubs, music stores and barbershops. In educating his Fortune 500 clients, he provides a reflection of today’s multicultural world. Tru started his career performing as one half of a Los Angeles-based rap duo. He executed promotions for Converse, which led to a position with Houston Herstek Favat. He later joined AMP Agency’s Triple Dot Communications (acquired by Alloy) and co-founded its consumer insights division.