We are wrapping up our trip to SXSW by attending our final panel on the next emerging item utilized to reach communities – mobile engagement. For us, this panel was one we especially looked forward to since 84 percent of U.S Hispanic adults own a cell phone.
Recent studies have found that nearly a third (31 percent) of all mobile consumers in the U.S. own smartphones – cellphones with app-based, web-enabled operating systems. Even more interesting, is that smartphone penetration is even higher among multicultural mobile users in the U.S. – primarily U.S. Hispanics (45 percent), Asian/Pacific Islanders (45 percent), and African-Americans (33 percent). The multicultural population tends to skew younger with an estimated 50.7 percent of mobile phone users being young U.S. Hispanics between the ages of 18 – 34.
“We are going to see a world of revolution in the next 5 years,” said Boris Bogatin, CEO of Nearverse. This excitement in new mobile technology will generate high levels of participation by U.S. Hispanics, demonstrating a willingness to adopt it into their daily lives. Brands who build awareness through mobile engagement such as apps and mobile websites with the U.S. Hispanic market will experience great rewards including strong brand loyalty.
U.S. Hispanics own smartphones to share information in a variety of different ways but with the advent of geo-location based apps, brands should look into engaging with this community by encouraging behavior in real time. This is evident through a Pew Research Center study which found that U.S. Hispanics who are online use location-based services more than any other demographic – 10 percent of U.S. Hispanics are “checking in” compared to 5 percent of African Americans and 3 percent of Non-Hispanic whites.
Let’s close with a final note for brands to keep in mind as they expand their marketability; we are in the age of mobile technology with strong mobile engagement from U.S. Hispanics, who also happen to be the fastest growing demographic in the U.S. 2011 is the year brands should make the decision to engage the U.S. Hispanic market and expand their current mobile initiatives to include apps, Bluetooth capabilities, mobile websites and much more.