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The Internet and the Hispanic Market

March 3, 2009

For decades, traditional media such as TV, newspapers and outdoor was the vehicle of choice for advertising. As we all know, the Internet has changed that and it continues to do so as we observe a climbing change in media habits, especially among Hispanics.

Various research organizations agree that Internet is strong among Hispanics and will continue to be strong for the years to come. Research conducted by Ipsos shows that, currently, 63% of the Hispanic population that lives in the US goes online. The reasons for going online vary. The same research points out that these could be: read the news, buy items online, watch videos, upload photos, download music or interact through social networking sites.

Now, we know that a lot of Hispanics are going online but, does this mean that they spend a lot of time surfing the Web? Yes. Research done by Comscore in 2008 shows that Hispanics, now days, spend more time on the Internet than on TV. Research results go even further and state that this behavior is true among all Hispanic generations.

Why will the above matter to Hispanic marketers? Because this does affect how the media dollars should be allocated. I must add to this, that the question whether the Internet is an option to reach the Hispanic community or not should be over. We know for a fact that the Internet is a valid vehicle for engaging Hispanic consumers. It is also a vehicle that provides a variety of avenues (Pay Per Click, social networks such as Facebook, Blogs, etc.) to communicate a message. It will be the responsibility of the Hispanic marketing consultant to guide his/her client about “how?” and “when?” can the Internet be used to push their brands and their sales.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. March 5, 2009 2:03 am

    I totally agree. For years, -and for some still today- , the idea prevailed that Hispanics either lacked internet access or were not savvy enough to be an Internet force relevant enough to be taken into consideration in the marketing mix. But many studies have surfaced indicating that Hispanics are early technology adopters; and according to a recent Yahoo! Telemundo and Experian Simmons Research, they are consuming and even adopting new media and technology at a higher rate than the general population.
    Cultures rooted in immigration, especially social-oriented cultures like Hispanic cultures, tend to be open to change, and adopt early the tools that will help their development; in this case, tools such as language and technology that keep them informed, and that allow them to interact in a broader society, as well as keep in touch with business acquaintances, friends and loved ones.
    One of the challenges to reach Hispanics online is the language issue, still being debated. Are they English dominant, truly Bilingual or Spanish-language dominant? The fact is that the ability to utilize either language when needed is a skill and an advantage that many US Hispanics have, and advertisers should take advantage of it.
    Not only it is necessary today to add the internet to marketing efforts; I think that unless you have a very specific niche product, at some point language may be secondary to the content’s appeal. And the same way it is not enough to translate traditional advertising; it is not enough to translate a website. No matter what, the content has to be culturally relevant, or the message will be lost.

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