Moore’s Law & Hispanic Marketing
April 2nd, 2010
Posted by Jose Villa
(an edited version of this blog post originally ran on MediaPost’s EngageHispanic on 4/1/10)
Moore’s law is a commonly referenced maxim in the technology industry that states that the number of transistors that can be placed inexpensively on an integrated circuit doubles approximately every 2 years. While this may sound like a lot of engineering or futuristic jargon, the law has come to be closely linked to the capabilities of many digital electronic devices – commonly expressed in terms of processing speed, memory capacity, or resolution quality. A simple, yet effective application of Moore’s law means that every 2 years MP3 players like the iPod will have double the memory capacity, laptops will have twice the processing speed, and mobile phones will offer two times better viewing resolution at the same or lower cost.
You may be wondering what Moore’s law has to do with Hispanic marketing. Simply put, Moore’s law means that digital media devices, such as MP3 players, netbooks, and mobile phones are getting faster, more robust, easier to use, and cheaper, speeding their adoption by U.S. Hispanics of all ages, income and acculturation levels. Think about how much an iPhone cost when they first came out in June 2007 – around $600 for the 8GB device. Today they are selling for $99 with a 2 year plan (at $70/month). A device that was previously price prohibitive to a large swath of the U.S. Hispanic population is now within reach of most of them. Today, smartphones like the iPhone, Android devices and Blackberry’s are basically mobile broadband computers, allowing users to surf the mobile web, use thousands of apps, and take advantage of a plethora of communications and GPS-enabled tools well beyond simple voice calls.
Moore’s law means that the pace of Hispanic digital technology adoption will increase from one year to the next. The lag between general market adoption (even looking at early adopters) and most U.S. Hispanics will decrease over time. That’s
why today more than half of U.S. Hispanics are using mobile broadband. How long before most Hispanics begin using location-based services or downloading mobile apps?
What does this mean for Hispanic marketing in general? Let’s start with the bad news. Historically, Hispanic marketers have had the benefit of a relatively large lag of 3 to 5 years between general market adoption of new digital media technology, whether it was Internet access, broadband Internet access, or use of social media. That kind of lag gives marketers time to see how the technology, many of which are disruptive in nature (think about iPods and radio listenership), will unfold and how general market consumers’ behavior changes. They can then make carefully thought out, data-driven decisions about how, if at all, they will change their Hispanic marketing programs to adjust to the new technology. Looking ahead, that lag will start to shrink down to 1-2 years, and eventually disappear. For instance, with 4G mobile devices beginning to hit the market this summer, how long before Hispanic consumers are also buying them in large numbers? Probably early-to-mid 2011. Not a lot of time for marketers to adapt to potentially significant changes in Hispanic consumer behavior.
The good news with this rapid rate of technological change and adoption by U.S. Hispanic consumers is that it will level the playing field for organizations looking to reach and engage them. Having tens of millions of dollars of Hispanic broadcast media budgets will increasingly become less and less of a barrier to entry to the U.S. Hispanic market. Instead, innovation will rule the day and companies that are willing to take risks and leverage new technology will reap the benefits of the fastest growing consumer segment in the U.S.
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