Stop playing safe with multicultural targeting on mobile: panel

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NEW YORK Executives participating in an ad:tech New York 2013 panel all agreed that marketers need to stop playing safe and specifically target minorities by investing in understanding their culture and behavior.

During the Talk to ALL Your Customers: Multicultural Marketing within Digital Advertising panel executives from SocialMetrix, Latin3 and The Design Factory discussed how marketers should invest more in reaching the African American and Hispanic American communities. All of the executives agreed that African Americans and Hispanics lead the way in terms of adopting technology and represent a large portion of U.S. spending, creating vast opportunity for mobile marketers.

I think that some people have done it well, but if you do the shortcut approach just go up there and hit a bunch of birds with one stone, its very different than if you have remote control sensor gun that understands exactly what are the needs of each and every one of the segments and for that you need technology, said Matias Perel, Founder of Latin3, Fort Lauderdale, FL.

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Technology is important to understand how to target the different communities, he said. With all the technology available we have the opportunity of taking advantage of data to better connect to the segments.

Multicultural reach
According to Martin Enriquez, CEO/Co-Founder of Socialmetrix, Beunos Aires, Argentina, Hispanics tend to be identified as low-income, but that is not necessarily the case. Hispanic spending in the U.S. will be more than $1.4 million this year, pointing to real opportunity for marketers.

As a significant segment of consumers, Hispanics deserve attention from marketers, meaning that marketers should learn about the Hispanic culture and understand this specific community to better target.

In terms of technology adoption, African Americans and Hispanics are leading the whole experience,Mr. Enriquez said. Its a large difference the way Caucasians use mobile versus African Americans and Hispanics.

African Americans are using twice as much telephones than white Americans, Hispanics are using 30 percent more minutes a month than Americans and 27 percent more SMS, he said. We are 30 percent more likely to engage with brands using Facebook or Twitter. We have a relationship with technology that is completely different than the one with white Americans.

Communicating with a different cultural segment is not that easy as many marketers would imagine. It requires developing some skills and knowledge on that segment which is knowing that audience.

Leading the way
According to the panelists, one marketer that gets multicultural targeting right is State Farm. State Farm is committed to the market and invests in understanding different cultures.

African Americans also deserve attention from marketers.

Sederrick Raphiel, principal and creative director of The Design Factory, Dallas, TX, praised Lexus, ESPN and McDonalds for reaching out to the African American community. He also named BMW as an example of a marketer that does not advertise to African Americans at all.

According toMr. Raphiel, less than two percent of advertising spend goes towards African Americans.

Mr. Raphiel advised that marketers ought to get to know the communities they are targeting to understand the nuances that will appeal to one segment over another.

He also said that African Americans are more likely to shop on mobile and follow the latest trends.

The African American market is one of the key influencers in getting a brand recognized in pop culture, Mr. Raphiel said. The dispersion of money is quite the opposite of trends.

Final Take
Rebecca Borison is editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York

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