Mobile Is A Must For Reaching U.S. Hispanics

  • by , Columnist, February 10, 2011
We know Hispanics love cell phones, especially smartphones. But now several recent studies have confirmed that marketers looking to reach Hispanics should consider mobile as the primary tactic. Below is a recap of these studies as well as examples of some great Hispanic mobile websites.

Google recently released a report, "Four Truths about U.S. Hispanic Consumers," that should be an eye-opener for anyone interested in reaching the nation's largest minority group. Among the reports' findings:

  • 93% of U.S. Hispanics use a mobile phone regularly
  • 45% of U.S. Hispanic mobile phone users have smartphones compared to 34% of general market
  • 87% of U.S. Hispanic mobile phone users have contract plans and only 8% have pre-paid plans

February 2011 data from The Nielsen Company is consistent with Google's findings; this data also shows that 45% of Hispanic mobile users have smartphones, the highest among all ethnic groups, including Whites.



If that data is not convincing enough about the importance of reaching Hispanics through mobile devices, Scarborough Research released a study in December of 2010 that shows Hispanics are extremely active mobile users. Of note:

  • 64% of U.S. Hispanic mobile users text message vs. 56% of general market
  • 22% of U.S. Hispanic mobile users download or listen to music vs. 15% of general market
  • 12% of U.S. Hispanic mobile users use social networks on their mobile vs. 10% of general market

Hispanic Mobile Websites

To reach Hispanics on mobile devices, a mobile friendly website makes a ton of sense. First, mobile websites are platform agnostic, so they will work with most new-generation cell phones. In addition, consumers expect mobile websites to be less robust than full desktop versions, allowing marketers to start small and scale based on results. Here are a few examples of Spanish-language mobile websites that impressed me when I was checking them out on my iPhone:

  • ESPN Deportes has a robust Spanish-language mobile website with news, polls, TV listings and Podcasts. DirecTV is currently advertising on this site and consumers are prompted to call its toll free number.
  • Univision's mobile site features most of's content including Spanish language news, entertainment and sports. When I check out the site, I actually was served an English language ad from You Again the movie that clicked through to the trailer.
  • Terra also offers a mobile version of its site that features up to date Spanish content and ads from a Spanish language ad from BlackBerry that clicked through to an English language mobile site and a Toyota Camry ad that took me to the Camry page at Toyota's Spanish-language mobile site.
  • Major League Baseball's offers a mobile version of its site that includes Spanish language news, updates on Hispanic players, team updates and stats.

As these studies show, Hispanics text, listen to music and engage in social media on their mobile devices more than the general market.

What marketers need to do is call.

Well, sort of.

2 comments about "Mobile Is A Must For Reaching U.S. Hispanics".
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  1. Christopher Weakley from Virgo, February 10, 2011 at 6:14 p.m.

    Living in L.A., I think it's important for me to learn Spanish. So just this morning I tapped on my iPhone, hoping they would have a mobile version of the site so I could read the content more easily. Turns out they don't! Thanks for offering some alternatives.

  2. Hugo Lembert, February 10, 2011 at 9:46 p.m.

    This has been the case for some time. The key factor is that mobile devices (especially mobile phones) are affordable, versatile and easy to use. Text messaging along is HUGE in the Spanish-dominant sector as it makes it cheaper to communicate to loved ones abroad – not to mention mobile devices also make it easier to share pictures and exchange info via popular social media portals. No surprise that 87% of this market sector is on some sort of mobile contract plan.

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