Marketers that want to reach the growing Hispanic population -- particularly Hispanic women -- may want to rethink their strategy for reaching them online. According to new research from Mintel, the use of a cell phone to access the Internet among Hispanics is growing in popularity.
"For many years, a 'digital divide' has been seen between Hispanics and the total U.S. online population. Broadband access lags that of other multicultural groups, largely due to a lack of home Internet access among lower-income, Spanish-dominant Hispanics," says Leylha Ahuile, senior multicultural analyst at Mintel. "But that's no longer the case -- that divide is rapidly being shattered by smartphone usage."
According to the research, a quarter of Hispanics who often or occasionally access the Internet through their cell phones are also using them as their primary device for going online. Among Latinas, 30% said they use their phones as their primary device for going online (compared with 20% of Hispanic men).
"The high percentage of Latinas that are using their smartphones on the Internet was surprising," Ahuile tells Marketing Daily . "I don't think a lot of marketers are tapping into that."
Of those using their cell phones to connect online, 38% said they are using it to check social networking sites. Other popular online activities (for both cell phone and computer usage) include staying connected with family and friends via video chats (33%) or reading news about their home countries (27%).