The Association of National Advertisers recently surveyed its members and found 38% of multicultural marketers are using mobile marketing, compared with just 28% of general-market advertisers.
A few more respondents in the general market (20%) said they already use social networks than respondents working in multicultural areas (16%), but the trend is clear: Twice as many multicultural marketers (36%) said they plan to start using social networking for the first time in the next year, compared with 19% in the general market.
It's not surprising that multicultural marketers are moving fast into mobile marketing.
Beyond the basics
"Hispanics are much more likely to do advanced mobile activities," said Tamara Barber, an analyst at Forrester Research. They are more likely than non-Hispanics to have cellphones with cameras (65% and 48%), video (41% and 17%), music (42% and 15%) and internet access (57% and 39%), according to Forrester's phone survey of 3,000 Hispanic adults.
In social networking, Ms. Barber said a number of general-market sites have added Spanish-language pages, such as MySpace Latino and a bilingual LinkedIn. "There's a ton of energy right now around Spanish and bilingual sites."
MySpace, for instance, hired a former AOL Latino account director, Manny Miravete, in December 2007 as its first VP for U.S. Hispanic sales and strategy to develop advertisers for MySpace Latino, which has almost 9 million Hispanic profiles.
Multicultural sites are also active in social networking. Community Connect's BlackPlanet worked with Coca-Cola during Black History month to celebrate black musicians. With a sponsored profile for Coke, a Coke mini site and a music area on BlackPlanet, Coke netted 250,000 friends, said Kay Madati, VP marketing at Community Connect.
Multicultural marketers trail the general market in other areas, such as use of search, blogs and websites. Almost all general-market companies surveyed -- 95% -- have websites, compared with 86% of respondents who said their companies have sites for the multicultural market. That gap is closing as more companies make multicultural consumers a priority. Best Buy, for instance, introduced a Spanish-language version of its website in November 2007.
The money multicultural marketers spend on new media was fairly evenly split between incremental dollars (35%); budgets shifted from traditional media (40%); and dollars taken from other marketing efforts such as PR, promotions and direct marketing (33%).
The ANA surveyed 326 marketers from the general market and 53 executives who do multicultural marketing.