10 Things You Should Know About U.S. Hispanics

1. Hispanics are connecting twice as fast as the general market (14% growth vs. 7%) adding over a million users per year. In 2008, 23 million Hispanics online, about 52% of the Hispanic population. In 2012, more than 29 million will be online, increasing Internet penetration to 58.6%.

Living a connected, collective and spontaneous life is a fundamental Hispanic value and desire. Technology that facilitates connecting, sharing, entertaining and learning is rapidly becoming indispensable for the majority of Hispanics. We are referring to those that are connecting on their computers; recent figures put 57% of Hispanics going online through their mobile phones.

2. The growing Hispanic middle class is super connected: 88% of Hispanics with a household income of $50,000 + are online.

For categories such as technology, consumer electronics, financial services and travel, connecting with consumers where they explore your products, research options, share experiences with communities, and ultimately buy your products is not option, it's a necessity.



3. Hispanics are early adopters of mobile technology: 31 million have a mobile phone. By the age of 15, penetration of wireless services is 64%, by 17, it rises to 78%. Hispanics have the highest proportion of cord-cutters among all segments.

For the most part, mobile marketing is not really on the radar as a consistent Hispanic marketing strategy. The challenge and opportunity of mobile marketing seems to lie in truly capitalizing on the relationship people have with their mobile devices. The mobile phone is not just another screen onto which we can send ads. It represents an opportunity for us to fundamentally change the relationship between brand and consumer.

4. Hispanics will spend money on what they really want: They spend 42% more on mobile devices and 35% more on data services than the average user.

Convention tells us that the Hispanic market is very value-conscious and often makes purchase decisions based on price. When it comes to technology, the opposite has proven to be true.

5. Roughly half of the Hispanics online prefer Spanish, and for 66% it's important to be recognized as Hispanic through culturally relevant content.

Online Hispanics move from Spanish to English and back again in different moments of an interactive brand experience. And far from being a disadvantage, this kind of fluid activity opens up interesting opportunities that help us learn about our consumers while allowing them to customize their online experience.

6. Hispanics are dynamic content creators and consumers: Two-thirds of online Hispanics use the Web to view other consumers' content and 40% create content and provide their opinions online.

Initially generated due to a lack of relevant and in-language content, consumer-generated content in the Hispanic market has taken on a life of its own. Hispanics dramatically outpace the general market in creating and sharing content, and few brands have figured out how to be part of the process creatively. The challenge is to support consumers, provide resources and even become part of the process without imposing artificial restrictions or values.

7. Entertainment content main appeal for online engagement: 37% listen to Internet radio vs. just 30% of non-Hispanics and 36% download music vs. just 29% of non-Hispanics.

They represent a captive consumer that is willing to spend time and in many cases, money for entertainment content online.

8. An online collective life: 77% engage in some kind of online socializing. And 40% are part of a social network. An estimated 20% of Hispanics online are considered "Hispanic-fluentials."

If word of mouth is key to any successful Hispanic marketing initiative, the online space has taken the dynamic to another level. Online, the collective, hyper-social Hispanic cultural dynamic can be expressed, explored and developed without limits.

9. Multi-tasking: Part of the Hispanic DNA. On average, Hispanics spend 17 hours per week online, but they spend 14 hours per day with a technology device (versus 8 hours for the general population).

The big opportunity: moving focus from one screen to three, dynamically connected screens. Because of their higher propensity to use converged technology, this consumer is the perfect target for developing truly integrated multi-channel campaigns.

10. Hispanic online landscape is less crowded: Interactive Advertising Media Investment represented 4.6% in 2007, while in the general market, it is around 7%.

The online Hispanic opportunity is not only about a big and growing market, or about consumers that are eager to engage. Brands that go in first and engage the consumer first have a unique opportunity to establish themselves as first movers and true resources for Hispanic consumers.

Editor's note: If you'd like to contribute to this newsletter, see our editorial guidelines first and then contact Nina Lentini.

6 comments about "10 Things You Should Know About U.S. Hispanics ".
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  1. Lisa Urias from Urias Communications, June 25, 2009 at 1:18 p.m.

    Mr. Cabrera's article states what those of us in the Hispanic advertising world know: Hispanic consumers continue to energize consumer markets. We may be in a downturn, but Hispanics work to live.

  2. Frank Dobner from The Startup Source, June 25, 2009 at 1:21 p.m.


    Thank you for your contribution. These are some powerful observations and data. As I see it the online influence of Hispanics will grow from the more affluent down to the lower income levels as more influentials wag the tail. Would you agree?


  3. Kathy Shrum from Dundee Twp. Public Library, June 25, 2009 at 2:03 p.m.

    Working in a library we have a large percentage of hispanic patrons. Most we see are kids, middle school age who don't have computers at home so they come here. The great majority are using MySpace. Some are listening to music and some are actually doing homework which we love to see. It is a great thing that this resource is available to people who for what ever reason don't have a computer or internet in their homes.

  4. Nina Lentini from MediaPost Communications, June 25, 2009 at 6:11 p.m.

    I'm the editor of "Engage:Hispanics." I accidentally left off some source information and have had a couple of queries. So, in case anyone's curious, here it is:

    Note: The following information has been collected from diverse sources and studies developed between 2007 & 2009 (Forrester, eMarketer, Terra Networks, TNS, Comscore and Dieste’s own research. The data should be used as a guide since there are not consolidated studies of the Hispanic Digital & Mobile landscape and in some cases the most recent information is from 2007.

  5. Lauri Jordana from Conexion Marketing, June 25, 2009 at 6:44 p.m.

    Alvaro, thanks for a robust glimpse into what differentiates Hispanic consumers while debunking the myth that Hispanics "aren't online."

    I can appreciate first-hand your statistics on mobile devices and data; I come from a wireless telecom background and we consistently found that our Latino customers spent on average more per month on their service. Why? Data, international long distance and texting (this was before all-you-can-eat texting plans).

    ¡Mil gracias!

  6. Patricia Perez from VPE Public Relations, July 1, 2009 at 5:35 p.m.

    Latinos are social in every respect of the word - we congregate in person, in cyberspace, and by phone. My home town of El Paso (75% Latino) is the nation's texting capital. Regardless of income, Latinos are plugged in to new technology.

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