Farrell admits that Google determined 1.5 years ago that the U.S. Hispanic market had become too big to ignore. "There are 46 million U.S. Hispanics, 30 million of who are online," he says. "They have about a trillion dollars in purchasing power, making it a customer segment marketers can't ignore."
Farrell points to the U.S. Hispanic market as one of Google's fastest-growing segments. During a gathering of marketers in New York today, Google will share findings from a recent study done with OTX that suggests advertising -- from search to video to display -- influences Hispanics.
In fact, U.S. Hispanics are 58% more likely to click on search ads, compared with the general population. This market segment is significantly more likely to recall online ads, particularly video ads, when looking for retail-related information. And six out of 10 made a purchase in a store as a result of seeing online advertisements while researching products -- 22% more than the general population.
U.S. Hispanics connect online. About 86% have high-speed Internet connections at home; and 78% use the Internet as their primary source of information, above TV and friends and family. While email, product reviews, and shopping are their main online activities, search is the primary online source of information. Seven out of 10 use search engines multiple times daily.
Mobile also has become important to U.S. Hispanics. Many are more likely to use their devices for other purposes than voice services. For example, U.S. Hispanics text at greater rates than the general public, 64% vs. 56%; download music, 22% vs. 15%; play games, 19% vs. 15%; and access social networks, 12% vs. 10%, according to Scarborough Research.
The U.S. Hispanic market segment is worth about $5 billion across TV, radio, print and online, Farrell says, pegging online at about 4%. "The U.S. Hispanic consumers are online, watching videos, sharing on Facebook and watching content on YouTube," he adds. "Online won't replace all other media, but budgets need to be adjusted."
Farrell says Google plans to expand into other ethnic groups, too, including Asian- and African-Americans.
Mark Lopez also joins Google to lead U.S. Hispanics efforts for search, mobile and display. He says Google will help marketers to understand the market and determine the best strategy to reach the U.S. Hispanic market segment. For example, when asked if ads should appear in Spanglish, Lopez says in some cases content remains more important than language. Marketers may tweak the message to make it culturally unique.
The change comes on the heels of Google announcing its intention to add 6,125 employees in 2011. The additional head count will help sales and marketing increase their focuses on small and medium-sized businesses and marketing support for ad platforms. It also will support research and development for search, mobile, display, media and ecommerce.