On Thursday, February 21, 2013, I had the opportunity to visit the NAACP Financial Freedom Center in Washington DC to attend a panel discussion called “Mobilizing the Emerging Majority“. Before I go into details about how amazingly informative this panel was, let me give you a bit of background on the Emerging Majority and why it’s so relevant to every small business.
There are two parallel discussions that come up if you look for information about the Emerging Majority. One is political in nature – it talks mostly about ” the strengthening alliance between minorities, working and single women, the college educated, and skilled professionals”, or the Emerging Democratic Majority.
The second version drops the Democratic label and refers specifically to the population that will be the Emerging Majority. Which makes this the more relevant discussion to small business, that is, the fact that “People of color – African Americans, Asians, Pacific Islanders, American Indians, and Hispanics – are individually minorities in America, but together are expected to make up the majority of the country’s population by the year 2020.”
How is this relevant to small business? The most blunt way to put it is that the demographics of the consumer market, and possibly the business to business market, is changing under our feet. We business owners need to continue to understand the populations we would like to sell into – our businesses will depend on successfully marketing to them.
This brings the web into even greater play – most specifically, the mobile web. This is where the majority of web users are shifting their access to, and we need to be there, right now. The wealthier are shifting to tablet use, and those with limited computer access are equipped with cell phones and smart phones.
The panel I attended looked at how the NAACP used a combination of Big Data and a mobile-centric marketing plan to gain access to a population that is traditionally harder to track and reach. Like most small businesses, they didn’t have the budget to reach them through a television ad campaign during a major event such as the Super Bowl.
Their blueprint for how they not only reached this population, but built a database with mobile information, then overcame the challenge of marrying the cell information they had with other data they collected on a limited budget, without alienating end users by appearing to violate their privacy was truly a fascinating discussion.
Every small business is going to face – or is already facing – how to get the attention of people who are being bombarded with information and shifting interests. Several of the lessons they learned when compounded with the challenge of going beyond the web into mobile to solve this problem have direct applications to business owners.
Below are some video clips, photos and key takeaways I was able to gather from the online discussion of the event. There’s nothing like being there, of course, but hopefully these high points can inspire you to prioritize mobile marketing, and reveal some stand-out clues as to why you need to make the shift Now.
The picture above is the #emergemobile Panel, from left to right:
Larry Brown, Jr., NAACPConnect Project Manager
Jamaa Bickley-King, NAACP Data consultant
Tiana Epps-Johnson, New Organizing Institute, Election Administrative Director
Alison Scharman, Revolution Messaging
Jamiah Adams, NAACP Director of Digital Media
#EmergeMobile Mobilizing the Emerging Majority
This was one of the top three panels I’ve Ever been to during Social Media Week in DC, and this is my third year attending several sessions. It was about the emerging majority in America, and how the NAACP managed to reach them for voter registration drives in the last two elections via mobile.
Slideshow of photos I took at the event, with names and titles of the panelists.
Picasa Web Albums – Tinu Abayomi-Paul – #EmergeMobile…Photos by Tinu Abayomi-Paul, Feb 23, 2013
Event Wrap-Up with Video, Pictures and Tweets
This wrap-up is in reverse chronological order. It’ll make the most sense if you start at the bottom and read/view upwards, but you’ll still get the gist if you go in the order the videos, pictures and tweets appear.
#EmergeMobile Wrap-up from Jamiah Adams, NAACP Director of Digital Media & Alison Scharmantinustuff
#EmergeMobile – Tiana Epps-Johnson’s final thoughtstinustuff
#EmergeMobile Final thoughts from Jamaa Bickley-King, NAACP Data consultanttinustuff
#EmergeMobile – featuring Larry Brown, Jr., NAACPConnect Project Managertinustuff
@Tinu Thanks for the follow and thanks for attending our #NAACP #EmergeMobile #SMWDC panel.JamiahAdams
RT @RevCoachCEO: It’s difficult 2 convert ppl from paper to digital. We meet them where they are. ~ #NAACP #smwwdc #EmergeMobileTinu Abayomi-Paul
#EmergeMobile @naacp great session!Tinu Abayomi-Paul
Quantity doesn’t not determine quality!! True Campaign experts. Great connections made 4 @connectdotdc #smwwdc #EmergeMobileTaylormade ReBirth
It’s difficult 2 convert ppl from paper to digital. We meet them where they are. ~ #NAACP #smwwdc #EmergeMobileTaylormade ReBirth
Tip: Mobile Optimize your website! #smwwdc #EmergeMobileTaylormade ReBirth
31% of American adults have tablets. #EmergeMobile #smwwdcTaylormade ReBirth
RT @Tinu: #EmergeMobile talking about: mobile ads have high click through rates, cookies on mobiles w/ geodata. 15 second vids do well on mobile too.Taylormade ReBirth
RT @Tinu: Video of what you’re missing: #EmergeMobile clip http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fXjzOIP5oaA #smwwdcTaylormade ReBirth
#EmergeMobile Can’t believe there aren’t more people here. Fascinating case studies & has made mobile come alive for me.Tinu Abayomi-Paul
#EmergeMobile talking about: mobile ads have high click through rates, cookies on mobiles w/ geodata. 15 second vids do well on mobile too.Tinu Abayomi-Paul
Alison Scharman: mobile messaging allows you to reach people whenever and where ever you want. Hard to miss a text message #emergemobileNAACP
#EmergeMobile point being made about how people keep their mobile # even if they move a lot. Text messaging is hard to ignore & immediate.Tinu Abayomi-Paul
Jamaa Bickley-King: must be a concerted effort in reaching out to communities of color when it comes to electoral data #emergemobile #SMWDCNAACP
#EmergeMobile And yet, Jamal continues, there’s a high adoption rate of social media among this same data-difficult group.Tinu Abayomi-Paul
#EmergeMobile now discussing the emerging majority. "What people are not saying s that the Big Data means nothing to this group".Tinu Abayomi-Paul
@larrybrownjr: we joined conversations about voting that was already happening online #emergemobile #SMWDCNAACP
@larrybrownjr talks about the use of video chats about voting for young people in partnership with the voting rights team #emergemobileNAACP
#EmergeMobile key point – join existing conversations online. Example – leveraging National Voter Registration Day. http://pic.twitter.com/rpKDdZgV2oTinu Abayomi-Paul
Tiana Epps Johnson: state secretaries have become more comfortable with using the internet to share voting information #emergemobile #SMWDCNAACP
#EmergeMobile There’s also a crazy debate surrounding signatures. Apparently the tech we use to sign when we buy goods isn’t good enough.Tinu Abayomi-Paul
#EmergeMobile Why can’t you register to vote online in most states? One reason – the idea that ease of use supposes massive fraud!Tinu Abayomi-Paul
Alison Scharman: we sent mobile messaged based in where our subscribers lived and whether they were registered #emergemobile #SMWDCNAACP
#EmergeMobile during voting drive they matched messages w/ info they had, rather than send same blanket message to all.Tinu Abayomi-Paul
#EmergeMobile Another sensitive piece was doing so w/o violating privacy or seeming like Big Brother when the info is matched.Tinu Abayomi-Paul
@jamiahadams: we had to find creative ways to nudge people and remind them to register #emergemobile #SMWDCNAACP
#EmergeMobile social media dir of NAACP discussing the issue of cross-referencing and combining data …Tinu Abayomi-Paul
Jamaa Bickley-King: VAN was useful in finding out who was registered to vote and who has opted into the mobile list #SMWDC #emergemobileNAACP
#EmergeMobile The NAACP Facebook page -Facebook.com/NAACPTinu Abayomi-Paul
Larry Brown: we used memes to roll out on Facebook to encourage people to join our mobile list and register to vote #emergemobile #SMWDCNAACP
#EmergeMobile to meet that challenge they leveraged FB page on Fridays using existing #ivotebecause meme + images to reach people. Creative!Tinu Abayomi-Paul
RT @Tinu: #EmergeMobile one of the challenges the NAACP had was that they had a huge mobile DB but they needed it to be geographical.Evan Sutton
RT @Tinu: #EmergeMobile revolution messaging used Tumblr to connect to people – one reason is that it was mobile-friendly.Sonia Myers
Alison Scharman: the polling place lookup allowed for people to find their polling place by texting in their address #SMWDCNAACP
#emergemobile Jamal: there are still pockets of the US where people barely get dial up. He worked with one guy who had to drive 30 miles!Tinu Abayomi-Paul
#EmergeMobile – Jamaa Bickley-King, NAACP Data consultant on Big Datatinustuff
#emergemobile The whole panel. Learning so much already. http://pic.twitter.com/P6alnUCrrmTinu Abayomi-Paul
Jamaa Bickley-King: in many critical states, some people had to drive several miles to get access to the internet. #emergemobile #SMWDCNAACP
@jamiahadams: there is a digital divide in the black community; mobile messaging was great for those who didn’t have internet access #SMWDCNAACP
#EmergeMobile Allison of Revolution Messaging. founder did messaging for Obama in ’08. Cc: @brentleary @davidbullock http://pic.twitter.com/ZpnhmvZmlnTinu Abayomi-Paul