Is There a New Digital Divide in Mobile Marketing?
According to a recent Nielsen Mobile Insights study, there is a slight discrepancy in smartphone ownership between various ethnic and racial groups. Based on recent survey data, minorities are more likely than white people to own smartphones.
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What are some possible explanations for this “digital divide” in smartphone ownership, and what are the implications for mobile marketing?
- Smartphones are cheaper than desktop computers: The traditional idea of the “digital divide” has been to point out that many minority communities in the U.S. have a lower rate of Internet access, often due to poverty. But as mobile technologies become cheaper and more widespread, it is becoming easier and more affordable for a wider swath of the U.S. population to get reliable access to the mobile
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- Age matters: Younger people are more likely to be early adopters of smartphone technologies, and minority communities tend to have more young people. The U.S. population of African-American, Hispanic and Asian people is younger on average than the white population – so the fact that young people are more likely to own a smartphone is also reflected in the racial/ethnic demographics.
- African-American and Hispanic mobile users shop more from their phones: According to another study from the Integer Group and M/A/R/C Research, African-American and Hispanic consumers are the most likely to make purchases from their mobile phones. 18% of African-American smartphone owners and 16% of Hispanics regularly use their mobile devices to make a purchase, compared to 10% of whites. African-American and Hispanic shoppers are also more likely than whites to use their mobile devices to make price comparisons and
search online reviews while shopping.
- Parents love coupons: Another finding from the Integer/M/A/R/C study was that “the presence of children in any home (regardless of ethnicity)