Monday, November 2, 2009

Hispanics Respond to Cell Phone Ads 5-10 Times More Than On-line Ads

One of the under reported aspects of cell phone text messaging (SMS) and other forms of mobile marketing is that it is not a level playing field. The conventional wisdom is that younger people tend to use their cell phones more and be more receptive to receiving ads on them than older people. While that is certainly true, there are also significant socioeconomic and racial differences in usage.

One of the key reasons that Barack Obama defeated Hillary Clinton in the primaries and then John McCain in the general election is that Obama had an extremely well thought out and integrated mobile marketing strategy. Clinton and McCain did not. Obama understood that it wasn't just the key demographic group Gen Y who used their cell phones more than the average eligible voter, but also the African-Americans and Hispanics. A year after the election, it is hard to remember that our first African-American president did not have the support of African-Americans early in the primaries. Clinton did. So Obama needed a way to reach and get out the vote amongst his supporters and part of that strategy was sending his message to the only device that we almost all carry around everywhere we go: cell phones.

Now we're seeing corporations follow suit. The latest example is United Airlines. Their recent "Volver por un rato" campaign encouraged Hispanic-Americans to enter a contest by texting a keyword to a short code or clicking on a link within an SMS alert. According to Mobile Marketer, entrants could win a trip for two anywhere in the world, worth some $2,500, by submitting a video and what they missed most about going back home.

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