The Market’s Reaction to the Socially Inclined E-Latino

Posted on February 28, 2009. Filed under: Hispanic Marketing, Market Research, Online Interactive Marketing | Tags: , , , , , , |

The last blog post ended by concluding that insightful marketers have already begun addressing the growing online opportunities to market to Hispanics. And in fact, reports from TNS on Hispanic online display advertising spending in the first ten months of 2008 measured a $47 million increase from all of 2007. Yet despite the $212 million spent during only the first 10 months of 2008, research findings from The Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies and the Advertising Research Foundation highlight a different understanding of those figures. A December ARF study press release contends that overall Hispanic advertising spending fell short of the “8 percent investment in the Latino market AHAA recommends marketers should be spending based on population and buying power of U.S. Hispanics alone.” However, before marketers are blamed for not directing enough of their budgets toward low hanging Hispanic opportunities, a concise review of the available actionable online Hispanic market information and online Hispanic media marketing channels could help explain why these opportunities to market to Hispanics were not pursued.

Until recently the allocation of that limited Hispanic marketing budget was not assisted by the knowledge of trends describing what Hispanics were doing online. According to a study performed by Adage, Hispanic internet usage exceeds the general population in the realms of instant messaging, audio/video media consumption, and social networking. Most recently, Dr. Felipe Korzenny bestowed upon the blogosphere the analysis that supports previous assertions about minorities leading the internet trends into social media. Throughout the incredibly enlightening data, the numbers show that English-preferring Hispanics’ usage of social networking sites lead if not shared the lead with Asians. Marketers should take special note that the difference in trends between the two Hispanic groups exhibits & alludes to much more than nuances in social media usage levels. Yet, before speaking to the differences amongst online Latinos, overarching marketing guidelines to address commonalities should first be articulated about Hispanics online. Few could define this better than Dr. Korzenny:

“Culturally, ethnic minorities tend to be drawn to collectivistic values and often look to one another to help guide decisions and opinions. In addition, ethnic minorities are more likely to leverage social networks to communicate with groups of family and friends who are geographically dispersed. Social media facilitates such collective sharing of information and communication.”

Although the data is focused on myspace and facebook, the extrapolation of these trends to other facets of social networks is supported by the existence of some “Hispanic internet-elite” social network groups. The most obvious of these exist on twitter and networks. Apart from very popular networks such as National Society of Hispanic Professionals, the existence of Hispanic social networks dedicated specifically to social networkers, namely sites like, exhibits the degree of ethnic community sought after amongst online Latinos. Currently, these small and rapidly growing online enclaves have developed on Twitter through profiles like TopTwittLatinos and Blogadera. These groups assert a commitment beyond the normal, or groups. They’re based upon being social-network savvy Hispanics who are proud of their heritage and want an online dialogue. The kind of affiliation Latinos desire incorporates an online recognition for the adoption of the latest technology trends. The larger and consequentially more attractive National Society of Hispanic Professionals subgroups require a moderated admission or invite. This is not to say that these are not welcoming, that is actually far from the case because these groups actively seek each other online. This is just one example, but it is a very important one in light of the most recent research on ethnic online social media usage.

Beyond the umbrella understanding of Hispanic online social media engagement, marketing to the coveted Spanish language preferring niche must incorporate another layer of much more increasingly culture-specific targeted marketing. Basic guidelines for this arena are still being developed and uncovered by marketers, but SEOSAPIEN has begun to compose what amounts to clearly defined Hispanic search engine marketing guidelines to less acculturated Hispanics . The main points from one of his latest posts recommends:

-Personalized Content must consider both geographic U.S. location and original nationality

-Latinos will Google and Yahoo search for products they hear about offline and tend to seek and trust user generated content on those products, this alludes to the effectiveness of integrated Hispanic marketing campaigning. (I would highly recommend reading this previous link, it is extremely insightful)

-Depending on your marketing goals, Mobile media could play a huge part in your marketing campaign.

-Using general language to avoid offending any particular nationality is a smart move.

The importance of social media marketing, and an effective search marketing campaign now begins to give a more concrete notion of how to approach the Hispanic market through interactive marketing. However, a cornerstone of an attractive online market are highly visited online properties. A growing frustration of marketers interested in the U.S. Hispanic online market has been its limited online media channels. There have not been many websites that have attracted and sustained a Hispanic audience reaching a critical mass within particular market niches. If you contextualized this issue within the recent acknowledgments that most bilingual online Hispanics have no problem jumping between English and Spanish media, you may begin to understand the importance of measuring that Hispanic internet critical mass. This leaves marketers in dark about websites that could be receiving more advertising revenues for the Hispanic eyeballs on their sites. Some anticipate a rise in online advertising costs to reach this market. Although online media channels options are still relatively limited, strategy is not. A new benefactor of Dr. Korzenny’s valuable insight, the Captura Group, an Online Hispanic marketing group is probably one of the best versed in this kind of consulting. They have recognized the spectrum of challenges and opportunities when reaching out to the Hispanic online market . These include online sponsorship, content syndication, IP targeting, behavioral targeting and search partnerships. Although this point should not be underestimated these various strategic options now benefit from the fact that the top ten most visited websites for Spanish dominant E-Latinos have been identified. Seven of the coveted online properties listed below belong to Spanish, Mexican and Colombian internet media companies.

1. Weblogs SL Sites: Blog network with 30 sites based in Spain

2. Mundoanuncio: Classifieds site based in New York that serves Mexico, Argentina, and Guatemala

3. Gay men’s site

4. MercadoLibre: Auction site serving nearly every country in Latin America owned by eBay

5. Chat provider, based in California, that powers e-commerce sites and content sites like

6. A music site based in Spain

7. Grupo Prisa: Owner of El Pais, based in Spain, the largest Spanish-language newspaper in the world

8. IT&IS Siglo XXI: Network of four travel sites based in Spain

9. Grupo Salinas: Owner of TV Azteca properties, based in Mexico City, with a presence in the U.S.

10. El Tiempo: Newspaper based in Colombia

The diversity represented by the content of these top sites is striking; it underscores the point that niche targeting is imperative. Confronted with these newly emerging online Hispanic niches and subgroups enhances the competitive positioning of online social web portals as attractive and efficient marketing partners for limited Hispanic marketing budgets; enter the recently revamped At the end of January 2009, announced $10 million dollars in investment that they have funneled into a complete renovation of their website and have dubbed it the: “Atom Project.” The Atom Project amounts to company-wide effort to redesigning their website with third generation social networking tools, fresh layouts and unprecedented content integration.” Terra has been around for about a decade, but these latest improvements put this website at the forefront of practicing and ultimately testing the combination of guidelines that should ensure success with online Hispanics. Will be the next Hispanic –centered Facebook/Craigslist/Expedia/Youtube/Google News/TMZ in-one? The market will definitely take note to see if E-Latinos will validate this revamped property with their valued clicks. Regardless of that website’s success, the tools that are now provided to online marketers gives them little or no justification for not allocating more of their budgets into one of the most attractive U.S. consumer markets.

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