In the New “Digital Age” another gap develops. This time, Hispanics and African-Americans are on the positive end of the spectrum.

Feb 18, 11 In the New “Digital Age” another gap develops. This time, Hispanics and African-Americans are on the positive end of the spectrum.

Since the mass consumption of personal computers and access to the Internet, Hispanics and African Americans are yet again catching up to the mainstream… and this time surpassing it.

Cell phone penetration among minority communities is higher than the mainstream where 87% of Hispanics and Non-Hispanic African Americans (NH African-Americans) own a mobile device compared to 80% of Non-Hispanic Whites, reported a recent research study conducted by the Pew Internet & American Life Project (PIP). In the marketing world, this creates a new portal of engagement for brands to reach multicultural segments more effectively.

Additionally, with the advancements in mobile technology, both Hispanics (51%) and NH African-Americans (46%) are more likely than NH Whites (33%) to access the Internet through their handheld devices. What should be most attractive to marketers about these statistics is the active participation of these minority groups when it comes to using social networking sites, watching videos, and even purchasing products through their cell phones at a higher rate than the general market.

The study also reported that 33% of Hispanics and 27% of NH African-Americans watch videos on their cell phones compared to 15% of NH Whites, which “provides a great medium to reach these population segments with advertising content as long as the message is relevant. If it is not relevant, you may run the risk of turning off audiences and being seen as intrusive,” shares George L. San Jose, president and COO of The San Jose Group, a multicultural marketing and advertising agency.

In today’s age, cell phones have become such an integral part of people’s everyday lives. “At first glance, some may say it is just another communication device, but as layers are peeled back, it is clear that cell phones have become not only a personal assistant, and in some cases a personal diary, but also the hub between the virtual world and real world,” adds Martha Rivera, director of insights and planning at The San Jose Group.

Consequently, when brands reach consumers on their mobile devices they have reached consumers in a very personal space. If the message is not relevant, and the consumer was not seeking or interested in information from the brand, they may feel their privacy has been violated. If the brand has done its “homework” on the consumer, and has identified and delivered a unique preposition to the consumer, the payoff would be tremendous since Hispanics (18%) are twice more likely than NH White (10%) to purchase a product using their cell phone, reports a study from PIP.

To put the percentages into perspective, a 2010 report from the Pew Hispanic Research indicates that approximately 21.9 million Hispanics are using a mobile device. Meaning there are roughly 3.9 million Hispanics purchasing products through their mobile devices.

Of course, establishing a mobile strategy and tactical plan is not for every product and service, but discarding the brand’s opportunity to connect with consumers at the core without due diligence is an erroneous way of thinking. If your multicultural or Hispanic agency is not proposing a mobile strategy, give us a call, we will help.

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