Inside Facebook’s Hispanic Market Strategy UPDATED
Facebook recently announced the launch of a dedicated Hispanic brand offering. We talked with Christian Martinez, Head of Sales U.S. Hispanic at Facebook, to ask him about what exactly the new initiative means both organizationally as well as from a product standpoint. Plus a new look at the number of Hispanic Facebook users. UPDATED with comments on how Facebook defines its Hispanic audience cluster.
Facebook's bet on the U.S. Hispanic market is cristallizying in the creation of a Hispanic specific sales team, Christian Martinez, Head of Sales U.S. Hispanic at Facebook, tells Portada. "We are still defining the scope. We are adding headcount starting with Miami and putting individuals in New York and Chicago as well," Martinez adds. The team is led by Martinez who reports to Alexandre Hohagen, VP Latin America and U.S. Hispanic Market. Rodrigo Salem who is in charge of panregional Latinamerica, is Martinez counterpart on the Latin American panregional sales side.
We are adding headcount starting with Miami and putting individuals in New York and Chicago as well.
Martinez adds that the team he is building has two objectives. Externally, the team will work with Hispanic and multicultural agencies . Internally the team will be working in-house to add multicultural offerings so that the existing general market sales team can provide an integrated offering. The second strategy is consistent with the total market approach most client side marketers in the U.S. are taking.
The Facebook Hispanic sales team is organizing itself around the opportunity of reaching a U.S .Hispanic affinity audience of 23 million. This audience overindexes in practically all metrics that Facebook tracks (e.g, "likes", visit duration, commenting on posts and sharing). The mobile offering will be particularly important when targeting the Hispanic demographic since Hispanics predominantly access Facebook via the mobile phone. 30% of Hispanics Facebook users access Facebook exclusively through mobile phones. Hispanics access to Facebook over mobile phones is 1.4 times greater than the average general market user. "Since such an important part of our audience is mobile exclusive, mobile is going to be an important part of the offering," says Martinez. However, many observers point out that many advertisers do not have separate mobile budgets yet. According to Martinez by virtue of working with Facebook, advertisers have access to mobile and don't need to recreate any mobile platform creative or invest in it: "We don't look at it simply as mobile, but integrated. We have the ability to segment by desktop or mobile as well as to provide tracking capabilities." Regarding online video, Martinez notes that "it is a very important piece for advertisers going forward. All new products will also be available to US Hispanic. audiences."
30% of Hispanics Facebook users access Facebook exclusively through mobile phones.
So, How many Hispanics are on Facebook again?
The number of Facebook's Hispanic users has been a matter of some controversy over time. As Portada reporter Raul Ramirez Riba wrote last year, the key issue here is that unlike Latin American countries where a Facebook user count can be done per country, U.S. Hispanic are not a country but a segment of the U.S. population. Ramirez explained that at the time Facebook counted as U.S. Hispanics those users that self identify themselves as U.S. Hispanics or that have a U.S. based Spanish-language Facebook page.
After the introduction of Facebook Exchange (FBX) last year, Facebook Exchange members, mostly DSPs (Demand Side platforms) were able to do their own count. FBX is a real-time bidding ad system where visitors to third-party websites (e.g. Hispanic related or Spanish sites) are marked with a cookie and can then be shown real-time bid ads related to their web browsing when they return to Facebook. This process is also called social retargeting. Hernan Haro, general manager of Pulpo Media (a FBX member), told Portada last year that his company offered Facebook ad inventory for approximately 18 million U.S. Hispanics per month. Approximately 7 million of them were Spanish-dominant while 11 million were bilingual or English-dominant.
Now Facebook has established that it has a Hispanic affinity audience of 23 million Hispanic active monthly members. As Lee Vann, Founder and CEO of Captura Group, points out, "previous to the new cluster, marketers could target Hispanics on Facebook by using language preference, geography, age cohort and interest.The new cluster not only makes it easier for marketers to target and segment Hispanic Facebook users, it also increases the number of Hispanics that can be targeted." ComsCore, on its part, identifies 18 million Hispanics as Facebook users. Justin Kuykendall, CEO of Pulpo Media, tells Portada that the ComsCore figure only speaks to display in a given month. "I also assume many of the other users are mobile Facebook users which ComscCore's display panel methodology would not pick up." "It would be important to look at how Comscore vs. Facebook identifies the user as Hispanic. Comscore identifies them by a Hispanic sample of their overall user base, " Kuykendall concludes. UPDATED: Facebook's Martinez notes that the US Hispanic cluster is not designed to identify people who are ethnically Hispanics. "Instead, we utilize a proprietary method of identifying people who are interested in or will respond well to Hispanic content based on how they use Facebook and what they share our platform. For example, we include people who have their language set to Spanish or post in Spanish on Facebook, or who like pages that are particularly of interest to people who like Hispanic content."