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Targeting the urban, multicultural consumer via mobile

Considering the urban and multicultural segment over-indexes in mobile media more than 150 percent above the general market, brands and marketers should target this demographic. Here is some insight into how to target this segment.

Mobile Marketer?s Giselle Tsirulnik interviewed Bobby Jones, vice president and managing director at Alloy Access, and A. Troy Brown, president of one50one. The two executives are experts on multicultural marketing and provided insights, strategies for brands and agencies targeting the multicultural consumer. The interview:

Can you describe the multicultural mobile consumer? How does he or she differ from other mobile consumers?
One50one and Alloy Access leverage its respective quantitative and qualitative expertise to educate brands and industry leaders on the power and uniqueness of multicultural mobile consumers.

For example, from our research, we know that multicultural mobile consumption and spending habits are outdistancing the general market almost 2-to-1.

Per capita, they are texting more, have more unlimited plans, download and purchase more content, view more mobile ads, and buy more high-end mobile devices than the general market.

This consumer uses a wide variety of phone features-such as picture messaging, streaming video and email at a higher rate than that of the average cell user.

? This consumer is characterized by: 

   o Discovery ? uncovering new things in every facet of life
   o Expression ? making ?statements? through fashion or pastimes
   o Connectivity ? knowing what?s going on everywhere they are and everywhere they?re not
   o Versatility ? being able to assimilate and adapt to different environments & cultures
   o Openness ? embracing other cultures, beliefs and attitudes

With an increasing amount of value being given to ones? social capital amongst this audience, the mobile space becomes one of the primary spaces where they acquire their social capital and social currency.

This consumer is also heavily driven by a need to be in the know as well as the desire to be a trendsetter. This consumer usually has more than one PDA and over-index ? compared to their gen pop counterparts ? in the amount of time spent texting.

Another factor which may make this consumer distinct from other mobile consumers is the multiplicities of ways in which they use their mobile devices. 

We see that this target oftentimes uses their mobiles as a not only a phone but as a ?palm top? computer, particularly among Hispanic consumers who see phones such as the iPhone as a convenient and cost effective substitute for a traditional home computer.

In addition, the role that music plays in their lives is a major factor contributing to the time ? and amount of money ? they spend on their mobile devices and coverage plans.

Ultimately, their unbridled sense of discovery, their quest to uniquely express themselves and their desire for connectivity make these consumers a distinct and dynamic target audience.

What are some best practices for marketing to the multicultural mobile consumer?
Across the board, whether from the mobile industry and innovation perspective of one50one or the brand and consumer perspective of Alloy Access, we feel the No. 1 best practice that still needs to be adapted by most brands is a shift in mentality.

We believe that for brands targeting urban and multicultural consumers, mobile should no longer be viewed as a cool but non-essential add-on to traditional media and marketing efforts.

Mobile is not only an essential element to the marketing mix, but also, an element that can significantly increase brand relevance, loyalty and sales.

What are some challenges of traditional media and trying to reach multicultural consumers?
Traditional media is becoming less and less relevant to this consumer.

Moreover, within the traditional media landscape, there is a declining amount of relevant outlets, media properties, and programming that address this consumer.

So, as you can imagine, with their avid demand for engaging content and entertainment not being fulfilled by relevant and targeted traditional media, multicultural consumers have turned to new media platforms to find content that meets their needs.

Furthermore, this consumer wants to feel empowered to get what they want, when they want it, wherever they are and equally important, they want to be able to share that experience with their friends and families. Traditional media is still not set up to deliver.

Their desire is to create what they think this consumer wants to see and have consumers come to them to see it. Multicultural ? specifically urban ? consumers want to be reached where they are with content that speaks to them in an insightful authentic manner.

Additionally, multicultural consumers see themselves as incubators and want to be empowered to deliver what?s next.

Mobile allows brands and content owners to address these consumers directly in their natural space, on their terms, and allows them to easily share it with others.

This shift pushes the limits on the volumes traditional media can produce thus, why digital has emerged as the platform of choice for these audiences.

How does mobile address these challenges?
Mobile empowers this segment to feed its aforementioned appetite, consume content at rates that exceed the general segment, and allow them to play a central incubation role in influencing general market trends.

Can you give some examples of campaigns that target the multicultural consumer, that you feel really nailed it?
Examples like Hennessy Artistry, Lady Hennessy, and Heineken Red Star Soul are properties we have built to reach and engage this consumer.

These properties are built with consumer insights at the core and with new media and mobile focus from their outset.

Mobile/social media is a key component in pre-promotion, during the campaign, in-venue, and as a follow up to continue engagement, and provide ongoing lifestyle benefits via the mobile phone.

These programs deliver exceptional metrics to our brand partners as a result of the way we program these social mobile experiences.

Consumers feel a real value add to their lifestyle by opting-in.

It is important to note that oftentimes, through our innovation hub, we are inventing customized platforms for these properties. A widget with the integrated capabilities of the Artistry widget did not exist.

We developed it to meet the unique business needs of our clients in an innovative way and consumers feel a real value add to their lifestyle by opting in.