Deeper understanding of mobile users a challenge for media buying
October 7, 2013
Experian's Latino segmentation project
Several recent reports point to unique mobile behavior across specific groups of consumers, based on age, gender, race, first-language and other factors. As marketers are able to understand more about mobile users, however, media buying is becoming more difficult.
One report from Experian Marketing Services pointed to the fact that first-time parents are 56 percent more likely than the average adult to use a tablet in a given week. Two other reports from Flurry and NetBase looked at how consumers of different races behaved differently in terms of Android apps and cosmetics, respectively.
“In general, [marketers] need to be thinking about how their particular target audience uses mobile devices and targeting accordingly,” said Mary Ellen Gordon, director of industry insights and analysis at Flurry, San Francisco. “Specifically, if a marketer is targeting Spanish speakers, then their media plan should skew heavily toward Android and they should strongly consider translating their ad or app.
“[Segmentation] is getting easier in the sense that there is an increasing volume of data available and that data is much more granular than it used to be,” she said.
“But it's harder in that media buying then becomes a much more sophisticated process and one that is different from what many people are used to in that it involves aggregating an audience impression by impression rather than making a smaller number of large scale media buys based on fewer data points.”
The study from Experian showed that first-time parents are spending a lot of time on tablets, probably because of the convenience and portability the device offers.
“First-time parents are among those who are most on-the-go,” said Bill Tancer, general manager of global research at Experian Marketing Services, San Francisco. “Tablets and smartphones provide them access to online and digital resources that they may have, prior to the birth of their child, obtained from a laptop or desktop. With less time to sit in front of a computer screen, tablets are a much appreciated tool.”
According to the survey, first-time parents spend on average 11 hours per week on a cell phone or tablet, four more hours than the general population.
When it comes to what they use a tablet for, 77 percent of first-time parents said email and visit Web sites, 62 percent said to download apps, 56 percent play games and 36 percent watch videos.
These first-time parents were also likely to search on the Internet for local deals and product information. Thirty-five percent often use a mobile device to search for local deals.
They are also more likely to shop online than in-store compared to the general population. First-time parents are 53 percent more likely to use a shopping app than the average adult.
Mr. Tanner offers three different tips to marketers who are able to segment first-time parents: Ensure that a site is optimized for tablets and smartphones, provide ads on mobile devices and social media and offer mobile coupons.
“First-time parents are valuable new customers with a need to buy and buy and buy,” Mr. Tancer said. “So their needs quickly change as individuals enter and outgrow the market as fast as kids grow out of clothes.
“There is a huge opportunity for marketers to segment to groups such as first time parents,” he said.
“Marketers should be doing more to take advantage of it. Anytime you can better define your audience to understand their behaviors and motivations you should because you want to reach your audience at the right time through the right channel with the right message."
Hispanics and iOS
In a different report, Flurry examined the mobile behavior of Spanish speakers in the United States, which also has significant marketing impact.
The report found that 15 percent of all the apps that Flurry tracks attract a significant portion of Spanish speakers.
When it came to Android versus iOS, nearly half of Android apps are Spanish interest apps, while only 5 percent of iOS apps are.
Spanish speakers seem to favor Android, so marketers who want to attract this segment ought to develop for that operating system.
Spanish speakers favor Android
Women and cosmetics
Additionally, a recent report from NetBase touched on segmenting in a slightly different way. The report looked at 1,006 U.S. women to see which social channels influence different segments of women to buy cosmetics.
NetBase found that 17 percent of African-Americans and 20 percent of Hispanics look to Facebook for cosmetics inspiration, while only 5 percent of Caucasians do so. Only 6 percent of African-Americans look to Pinterest, but 11 percent of Caucasians and 21 percent of Hispanics do.
Ten percent of African-Americans and 15 percent of Hispanics look to Instagram, and 14 percent of Caucasians do so.
In terms of age, 22 percent of 18-24 year olds look to Facebook while 27 percent of 25-34 year olds do. For all other age brackets, social media use dropped off as consumers aged.
The report also found that 28 percent of respondents identified as fashionistas, 15 percent as social shoppers and 12 percent as celebrity followers.
Fashionistas look more to fashion blogs and message boards for inspiration, while social shoppers look to friends and Facebook and celebrity followers look across all social channels.
“To do mobile marketing right it is even more imperative to add value to what is sent,” said Gretchen Hoffman, vice president of marketing at NetBase, Mountain View, CA. “This means ensuring you are hitting the right target or segment with relevant content.
“More vendors and tools are becoming available to help with segmenting for mobile, but we still have a ways to go,” she said. “Also company bandwidth needs to be available to create more content for mobile segments. This is not always easy to juggle.”
Rebecca Borison is editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York
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