Pew Hispanic Center Release – Latinos [are really] Online!
April 11th, 2007
Posted by Jose Villa
Latinos Online: Hispanics with lower levels of education and English proficiency remain largely disconnected from the internet.
When I first saw this study I thought, â€œuh oh, bad news.â€ However, upon closer review, I realized that 1) this study reinforces the fact that the Hispanic online market has arrived and 2) it supports what those of us in Hispanic online marketing already knew about relative Hispanic online penetration.Â To the first point, the study states that 56% of Hispanics use the Internet. When you compare this number with other recent studies (AOL Cyberstudy 2006 and monthly comScore MediaMetrix reports), this is represents a huge increase. For instance, at the end of 2006, the adult Hispanic Internet population totaled 16.3 million (2006 AOL Hispanic Cyberstudy). This represents a 36.4% online penetration rate among adult U.S. Hispanics. Data from the U.S. Department of Commerce shows a similar penetration rate. Moreover, both the AOL and Pew research only look at Hispanic adults (18+), which leave out a huge, highly connected population of Hispanics under 18. Â The second point is even more important. No one involved in Hispanic marketing has ever made the claim that Hispanics use the Internet at the same level as the General Market (although some do say that Hispanics 17 and under do). While the gap is decreasing (as this study seems to support with the big jump from 36.4% to 56% online penetration among Hispanic adults), there is still a gap. However, we should all realize that this gap will close rapidly in the next 5 years. Every recent study I have seen on the subject points to the fact that the Hispanic online population is growing at a much faster clip than the General Market or other ethnic markets (African-American and Asian-American), even from a fairly substantial base of 16+ million (depending on whose numbers you use). From a marketerâ€™s perspective, this represents a huge opportunity.Â Finally, I think the results of online campaigns targeting U.S. Hispanics run by major advertisers such as the automakers (Ford, Chevy, Toyota, etc.), telecom/ wireless companies (AT&T, Verizon), and our clients (Army, CA Lottery, J&J) speak much more loudly to the effectiveness of using the Internet to reach Hispanics. Â Bottomline â€“ this report is much more encouraging than discouraging. I would gladly defend my thesis to any major marketer with countless secondary research and hard data we have from the multiple campaigns we have run targeting Hispanics online.
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