Web key to reaching Hispanics

05 January 2011

NEW YORK: Digital media could prove to be a particularly effective tool for brands seeking to connect with Hispanic consumers in the US, a study has found.

Specialist media owner Terra and research firm comScore surveyed a representative sample of 2,300 people to gauge how various demographics perceived marketing programmes deploying a range of innovative mediums.

The report suggested messages which are culturally relevant, whether presented in English or Spanish, can elicit positive results from the Hispanic audience.

"While non-Hispanics may tend to look at interactive advertising as intrusive, Hispanics seem to be appreciative of the brands that are trying to reach out to them," it said.

This is shown in the fact that 37% of the Hispanic panel said they are typically more responsive to targeted ads.

Among other groups, the score was 30%.

Corresponding totals hit 35% for Hispanics and 27% for other groups covering advertising featured on platforms where contributors either read or posted user-generated comments.

Figures came in at 37% and 25% in turn regarding enjoying the interactive nature of video web ads, especially if viewers could obtain additional information to that contained in TV spots.

Furthermore, 36% of Hispanic participants revealed online campaigns have motivated them to visit a retail store, slipping to 24% among other groups.

This gap stood at 35% and 25% for seeing a movie following exposure to promotional efforts on the internet.

Meanwhile, the Hispanic sample displayed a stronger level of engagement with the activities now offered by social networks like Facebook and Twitter.

Some 24% had watched a live stream on such portals and 26% uploaded ratings or reviews, compared with scores of 18% and 16% when members of alternative market segments were interviewed.

Equally, 22% of the consumers fitting the former profile searched for a job through this route and 18% purchased products based on a recommendation via these channels.

Both metrics were six percentage points higher than applied to all other groups, the analysis found.

Approximately 17% of Hispanics had sought out customer support on a Web 2.0 site, and 11% had sold something using social media, also significantly above the average.

"Hispanics are … more likely to visit a brand's fan page and to follow Twitter updates from artists," the study continued.

Several extra emerging communications techniques generally achieved greater popularity with Hispanic customers.

Indeed, 60% of this community stated they would react favourably to iPad demonstrations, virtual shoppers, mobile coupons and similar technologies, falling to 42% among respondents from other demographics.

As there are 30m Hispanic netizens, equivalent to a 60% penetration, Fernando Rodriguez, ceo of Terra, said the research demonstrated the potential "impact internet advertising has in building a brand in the Hispanic market."

Data sourced from Terra; additional content by Warc staff