Analysis: Is Online Access Through Mobile Phone a Bigger Opportunity than through PC?

We often hear the following from Hispanic media executive: “Internet access through the mobile phone may be a bigger opportunity to extend our brands and sell sponsorships/content than traditional PC access.”

Higher indices of Hispanic smart phone ownership and usage, as well as significantly greater engagement with mobile content than the general market “may be the result of historically lower-than-average Internet access via PCs, which makes mobile devices an important alternate access mode and a key avenue for marketers looking to reach these audiences,” according to Noah Elkin, senior analyst for eMarketer.

The mobile opportunity for Hispanics may be even bigger than the one of online access through PC’s. The investment dollars of not just major telecommunication companies, but also PC makers (e.g. the recent deal between Dell and Telefonica to develop connectivity and communications solutions) are definitely pointing into that direction.

According to Gartner, more users globally will access the Internet via their mobile phones than PCs by 2013, and recent data from the Pew Research Center reveals that the U.S. Hispanic market is voracious in its mobile appetites. According to the study, 40 percent of Hispanic adults use their mobile phone to access the Internet and 59 percent of Hispanic teens access news on their mobile devices.

Time to Get Social

But it's in social media that exponential consumer engagement opportunities lay for marketers. According to a recent comScore study, “30.8 percent of smart phone users accessed social networking sites via their mobile browser in January 2010, up 8.3 points from 22.5 percent one year ago. Access to Facebook via mobile browser grew 112 percent in the past year, while Twitter experienced a 347-percent jump.”

Mobile phones themselves have become social platforms, Marco Koeder—executive director of specialty media company Cybermedia—told attendees at the Digital Innovators' Summit (DIS) in Berlin March 1-2. He added that 67 percent of the global population uses social network services (SNS) on their mobile devices.

Some social networks are betting almost exclusively on the mobile platform: MocoSpace, a social network that is primarily accessed on the phone, has reached 11 million users. The company says it primarily makes money through advertising targeted at their demographic of 18 to 24 year olds, which is one-third Hispanic and one-third African-American. Recent campaigns were from Sony (NYSE: SNE) Pictures, Spike TV and the U.S. Census. In addition, the site uses virtual currency, which is expected to exceed 15 percent of the company’s revenue by the end of 2010.

The Hispanic Mobile Reality

  • 40% of Hispanics access the Internet through mobile phones
  • 59% of Hispanic teens access news on their mobile devices
  • Hispanics have higher indices of Hispanic smartphone ownership and usage, as well as significantly greater engagement with mobile content than the general market “may be the result of historically lower-than-average Internet access via PCs.”
  • 87 percent of Hispanic households have multiple mobile phones and use them more than any other form of personal or handheld technologies
  • More than 50% of Hispanics regularly use text messaging
  • 32 % are interested to highly interested in receiving mobile offers and advertisements
  • Hispanics over-index on mobile video consumption
  • A campaign for Home Box Office saw a 13 % click-through rate for Hispanic mobile users, perhaps six times what might have been recorded for a similar campaign online.

Sources: Emarketer, Hipcricket, Gartner, Pew Research Center

Related Article:

Best Practices: Mobile Marketing to Hispanics


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Editorial Staff

Portada Staff

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