The Hispanic community is not only growing in terms of population, but also in mobile technology usage, mobile adoption and spending power (1.2 trillion dollars in 2013). The Hispanic population has surpassed 52 million, accounting for one out of six Americans. By 2025, that number is projected to increase by 24%. Why should brands and marketers care about this tech-savvy demographic?
Nielsen’s latest U.S. Digital Consumer Report indicated that Latinos are adopting smartphones and using more data at a higher rate than any other demographic group. Nearly three out of four Latinos own smartphones. These stats bring us to a larger, general topic – marketing targeted to tech-savvy Latinos.
The Latino market has stopped being a niche audience. This community should be an integral part of mobile marketing plans. Clearly, the numbers speak for themselves.
Connecting with the audience
Vanessa Bravo, Ph. D., an assistant professor of communications at Elon University, said it’s important to understand that Latinos are not “the other” or foreigners. Of the 52 million-plus Latinos in the U.S., 63% were born in the U.S. and 10.9% are naturalized citizens. “It’s an essential part of the composition of American society,” Bravo said.
She explains how the smartphone has become the “technology of choice,” because of the affordability, portability and multi-functionality. “A smartphone is very important for work-related purposes, and it’s also important for many to get connected to relatives not only in the U.S., but abroad,” Bravo said.
The Vdopia Mobile Insights (VMI) Multicultural Marketing Report released in January found that:
- 60% of Hispanics use their mobile phone as their primary device for accessing the Internet
- 85% of Hispanic smartphone users have bought online in the past six months
- Advertisements targeting Hispanics increased by 195% in the past year on the Vdopia network
It’s still unclear how companies can take advantage of such information, said Manny Santos, divisional vice president of PR Newswire/MultiVu. PR Newswire distributes content to reach the U.S. Hispanic community through a multitude of media channels.
“Mobile is simply the way you access that content,” said Santos, a Colombian. “It has to be relevant – contain all the right insights that appeal to Hispanics.” He explained that those values include family, education, hard work and the ability to buy quality items.
“It’s relevant to everybody, but the way you tell the story and bring up those values in the content is the way you make a difference.”
Who’s doing it right?
Santos lauded huge brands, such as McDonald’s, Honda and General Mills, for their commitment to the Latino community. They’re consistent with advertising on Spanish-language programs, sponsorships of large awards shows and sporting events, and increasing diversity within their workforce, he said.
General Mills’ Qué Rica Vida Spanish-language site is dedicated to giving Latina mothers everything from recipes to advice on health, family life and saving. It’s a bridge between the company and this active – and growing – community.