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3 Strategies to Reach Mobilecultural Users

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Top publishers, mobile and social media experts discuss how to reach multicultural audiences

On Thursday, February 21, 2013, the IAB in partnership with Social Media Week New York held “Mobilecultural: How to Reach the Emerging Mobile, Social and Multicultural User”, a discussion about how brands, marketers and publishers can reach multicultural audiences on social and mobile platforms. The IAB AdLab was packed with more than 100 attendees from agencies, publishers, and brand marketers. Panelists included representatives from all sides of the digital ecosystem, who were able to give a broad perspective how mobile and social media are converging for African American, Hispanic, and other multicultural audiences.

However, it’s not enough to just tell people where the industry is going, it’s better to show them. Monica Bannan, VP of Mobile Media at Nielsen dexterously set the stage with Nielsen’s newly released data that featured the latest trends and data on social and mobile media usage within the last year. Monica opened the presentation with data on how digital is becoming increasing mobile with 36 hours spent online vs. 34 hours spent on mobile devices. This data is in line with the mobile research done by the IAB Mobile Center such as Mobile’s Role in a Consumer’s Media Day.  Monica’s presentation also revealed how multicultural users are over-indexing on smartphone adoption with 74% by Asians and 68% by African American and Hispanic users. Such numbers reinforce not only the increasing growth of mobile but that multicultural usage of the mobile platform is growing at encouraging rates.

 Cheryl Contee, Co-Founder of Fission Strategy, Attentive.ly, and the popular blog Jack & Jill Politics greatly directed and moderated the panel discussion with thought leaders: 

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SMWmbc 2013

The conversation was exciting and dynamic, but if I had to pull out just three main takeaways from it they would be the following:

Marketers and brands must move toward mobile and social to engage users, particularly within multicultural audiences.  

Lateef Sarnor was able to hone in on what most of the thought leaders are seeing at their companies which is that “social is part of the DNA” and with the high adoption of mobile devices by multicultural users “those realities have informed mobile strategy and everything is becoming mobile first.” 

Marketers, advertisers and brands creating engaging multicultural content should avoid the pitfalls of a one-size-fits-all formula.  

As Adrian Carrasquillo said, “multicultural consumers don’t want a second rate experience just because it’s niche. You have to elevate the conversation.” Diana Valencia noted that when creating content for multicultural users “it’s important to play into cultural cues whether it’s with content, style or humor you have to differentiate that. This will enhance affinity and empathy of the consumer.”  

So, what is the future for publishers, marketers and brands reaching mobilecultural users?  Manny Miravete didn’t have his Google glasses on hand to tell us the future but did state that “what is now local engagement will become macro.” It will be increasingly important for all businesses to sync their local and national efforts for both social and mobile campaigns. A second important trend for the mobile industry is as Marcus Ellington concretely states that “in the future more businesses will invest future budget in multicultural, mobile and social because they will see it works.”  

Behind every mouse click or swipe is an actual human.  

Cheryl Contee brought it all home with a statement that many advertisers, brands and marketers can agree with which is that “it’s important to remember you have the technology but be smart with how you’re applying that technology to actual human beings.”  The IAB Mobile Marketing Center strongly supports that idea and will continue to facilitate these and other conversations to continue to move the industry in a direction of growth and understanding of technology and the human beings behind them. 

To learn more about events and groups on this topic please visit iab.net/mobile.

About the Author

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Yolanda Brown


Yolanda Brown works with the Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence at the IAB on their various mobile committees, events, and initiatives. She also manages IAB Mobile Center’s ‘Tap Into Mobile’ program which helps businesses small and large optimize their sites for the mobile web. She can be reached on Twitter @YolandaMBrown.