With 40 percent of U.S. Hispanic adults accessing the Internet on their mobile hones and only 20 percent of marketers utilizing the channel to reach Hispanics, mobile marketing represents a unique opportunity combining near-complete reach with unparalleled engagement.

But what strategy works for marketers hoping to leverage this opportunity to reach potential Hispanic customers? Portada’s editorial team tried to find out.

Lifestyle Interests…

Lifestyle interests such as sports appear to be a much-hyped focus in targeting Hispanic mobile users. The next World Cup being the first to coincide with the explosion of smart phones may prove a watershed for mobile video as a marketing tool that reaches a specific consumer base, predicts FierceMobileContent executive editor Jason Ankeny. While Spanish-language mobile marketing has been largely confined to SMS-based advertising, historically, Hispanics over-index on mobile video consumption, he says.

Recently, T-Mobile launched its El Llamado del Futbol campaign in March, which engaged Hispanic mobile users with a sweepstakes and offered themed unique mobile content tied to “The Call of Soccer” (the campaign name's translation).

Mobile Video untapped

So, it seems that mobile marketers are delivering targeted messages to the Hispanic market, but not necessarily via all of the viable mobile avenues available. Video is still relatively new to mobile, so marketers have a chance to catch up in that respect, but should they target Hispanics strictly by lifestyle? Ankeny doesn't think so. “Mobile allows a personal and customizable experience [for users],” he says, adding that more variables come into play. Demographics such as age and gender are just as important for delivering applicable advertising and branding messages to Hispanic mobile users as they are in targeting the general market. Thus, Hipcricket's Hispanic Mobile Marketing Network allows its advertiser and agency clients to segment their target audience by more general criteria such as age and region of the country, relying on individual users' interests for delivering targeted messaging. The key difference from the general market is the high mobile engagement of the Hispanic market.

Brand Interaction

“Hispanic mobile subscribers are among the most active and interested in interacting with brands,” says Hipcricket chief marketing officer Jeff Hasen. “We see a promising and steady increase in Hispanics opting into our permission-based mobile marketing network. Brands are capitalizing—for instance, a campaign for Home Box Office saw a 13 percent click-through rate for Hispanic mobile users, perhaps six times what might have been recorded for a similar campaign online.”

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Portada Staff

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