Analysis: CafeMom, AOL Huffington Post Media Go After Online Hispanics

The news last week that Lucía Ballas-Traynor, the former publisher of People en Español has joined CafeMom is only the latest in a series of developments highlighting the growing importance of online marketing targeting U.S. Hispanics. CafeMom, which launched four years ago as a Web-based community for U.S. moms to share their experiences, quickly grew to become the #1 mom-targeted site, averaging 8 million unique visitors a month, per Comscore. CafeMom, which now integrates original content and custom programs developed with clients including Kmart, P&G and Nestlé, now wants to tap into a new demographic within the U.S., where it is estimated that one in four moms will be Hispanic in 2014.

“We think there will be about 10 million Hispanic moms online by 2014,” CafeMom co-founder Michael Sanchez tells Portada. The company, which broke even in 2009 and became profitable the year after, will launch the Hispanic site –yet to be named- at the end of this year. “We are moving very quickly,” says Sanchez, adding that the Hispanic-targeted site will launch will several founding advertiser partners, though he declined to give specifics.

As for Ballas-Traynor, joining the online mom community is something she says makes perfect sense for her career and professional interests: “You know that since my days at MTV, I’ve always wanted to be close to the consumer, and having a two-way dialogue [with her] has always been key,” says Ballas-Traynor. “You cannot get any closer to your consumer than with the online/mobile world,” she adds.

CafeMom’s Hispanic site will accommodate content in both English and Spanish. It will also have its own deals page, similar to the recently launched, which offers users discounts on everything, from baked goods and sunglasses to swimwear and children’s clothes.

And while CafeMom is betting on the Hispanic mom, others are setting their sights on hyperlocal information.

Also last week, the AOL Huffington Post Media Group announced the upcoming launch of Patch Latino, the Spanish-language version of (, a network of hyperlocal news and information sites, with news that run the gamut from school closings and weather alerts to store openings and local football games.

According to AOL Huffington Post Media Group, Patch Latino (which is likely to launch under the URL will kick off with new sites in Southern California by the end of 2011. While reflecting the traditional Patch model of local news, community and information, AOL says the sites will also offer dedicated coverage of topics of special interest to the Latino population. All editorial content on the sites will be in Spanish.

The trend towards local online coverage  is buyed by the strength of the interactive media (including local search)  to cater to local advertisers.