Hispanic Consumers Gravitate to Mobile Technology

Image courtesy of starstarbrand.com
Image courtesy of starstarbrand.com

We’ve all read the numbers about the explosive growth of the U.S. Hispanic consumer market, how they’re the fastest growing minority in the U.S., the majority population in major cities such as Los Angeles, and how their buying power is rapidly accelerating.  It’s all quite impressive considering Hispanic consumers are the greatest growth opportunity for many companies and brands moving forward.

One of the key sectors where Hispanics are spending their money is in technology, particularly mobile devices.  No doubt, Hispanic consumers are dream customers for the Verizon’s and AT&T’s of the world since they over-index in monthly spending on cellular services such as calling plans, texting, and data usage. Hispanics as a group love their mobile devices and, more than the general market, they use smart phones in place of computers.

A recent study by PwC Entertainment, Media, and Communications practice and Health Research Institute revealed some interesting insights into Hispanic digital usage.  Among Hispanic consumers who use mobile devices, smartphones and tablet ownership is similar, but frequency of mobile device usage skews higher among Hispanic consumers across a wide array of activities.

The study points out several key reasons for Hispanic propensity toward mobile device usage:

  • Hispanics are a more mobile segment of the population and mobile devices support their lifestyle.
  • Many Hispanic consumers view mobile technology as affordable and readily available in the U.S.
  • Mobile technology, when compared to traditional phone and Internet, is a cost-efficient way to communicate via vehicles like VOIP, e-mail, and Social Media.  Mobile is an easy way to stay in touch with friends and family, especially those residing in a different country.
  • Streaming and downloading of entertainment content, especially from free sites, can help avoid costly traditional service plans.
  • Mobile technology provides Hispanic consumers with access to critical information, such as insurance providers and healthcare.

Recent research from ComScore M:Metrics further supports the enormous opportunity for marketers to reach Hispanic consumers via mobile.  Some 71% of Hispanics consume content on their cellphones, compared with the market average of 48%.  Why such the disparity?  Simple. As previously mentioned, many Hispanics don’t have Internet or landline service and mobile is their primary communications tool.  There’s also the age factor.  The median age among Hispanics is 27.6 compared with 36.6 in the population as a whole.  Younger means more tech savvy.

And when it comes to television watching, recent surveys have shown that roughly 37% of Hispanic adults say they often use their cell phones while watching TV compared with 29% of non-Hispanics.  Looking at smartphone owners, the share of Hispanics who use their phone while watching TV launches to 50% versus 42% of non-Hispanics.  The numbers go even higher for Millennials with 61% of Hispanics watching both the big screen and small screen simultaneously compared to 58% of non-Hispanics.

Marketers are also becoming aware that Hispanics are particularly receptive to advertisements, including digital and mobile.  A recent Forrester study revealed that 6% of Hispanics interact with text-messaging campaigns vs. 3% of non-Hispanics.

Mobile advertising is a great way for marketers to get a one on one experience and meaningful connection with the Hispanic community.  When doing so, a bilingual advertising strategy should be considered along with a multi-channel strategy where mobile advertising plays a large role.

Here are three mobile strategies marketers need to know, no matter who you’re marketing to:

  • Make sure you website is mobile ready.
  • Apps can be a great tool but don’t let it replace a mobile ready site.
  • Integrate mobile into your marketing strategy.  Don’t make it an afterthought.

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