Digital Media Debate: The Promise of Behavioral Advertising in the Hispanic Market

Behavioral Targeting (BT) is a very important feature  in general market online advertising. What about the Hispanic market? Last week, a multimodal advertising network, MeMedia launched, which specializes in behavioral targeting.

Behavioral advertising is a form of online advertising that follows the user around. For example, a web surfer who has just priced some flights on an airline’s website might be shown a travel-related ad when he surfs to the next website in which he’s interested, which might be for the local pizza joint.  Because of their higher efficiency in reaching targeted consumers, Behavioral Targeted Ads are priced at a premium, typically 15% to 20%, compared to regular display online advertising.

Large general market websites present in the Hispanic market (e.g. Yahoo-Telemundo, MSN Latino and AOL Latino) can provide ads targeted to Hispanics on their general market websites. For instance, if a user searches for a Spanish-language keyword on Yahoo-Telemundo or on the general Yahoo website, the behavioral targeting capability of Yahoo! will be able to serve Hispanic Spanish-language ads to that same user on the Yahoo general website. The potential of behavioral advertising in the Hispanic market should not be underestimated, particularly if it is taken into account that there are many more Hispanics visiting the general market Yahoo, MSN and AOL websites than there are visiting the Hispanic specific websites of these companies (Yahoo! Telemundo, MSN and AOL Latino).

Is there Enough Data?

“The Hispanic web properties that have both the technology and the reach for that kind of BT would be a very short list, including probably only Yahoo! Telemundo and MSN Latino.  I would be skeptical of anybody else who says they have enough data to do it accurately,” says Danny Allen, co-founder and partner of online ad network Admixture.

Luis Cabrera, managing director of Bravo Uno-a-Uno, has a different take: “The behavioral online advertising networks that include Spanish language sites as part of the offering brings a very interesting perspective to our market. A lot of homework should be done. If you take a look at some sources like Media Economics Group, that tracks online campaigns in the US Hispanic market, you will see dramatic growth in different categories, but we need to be careful and determine what we will consider a US Hispanic online marketing effort.”

Cabrera asks himself: “Would an English banner ad in a Spanish Language site be considered a Hispanic effort? Please don’t get me wrong, there are some good and explicit efforts to reach Hispanics online in English, and I am in favor of this approach, but I’m talking about all these other banners out there that are not even trying to be appealing to the Hispanic Market, especially in the Apparel and Financial Services categories. Chances are that these impressions are part of a “behavioral network” buy, and the buyers, and the clients, are not even aware that their ad is being displayed in a Spanish language site. Some may argue that some of these are explicit buys to reach Latinos and that leaving all communications “as is” has proven to be effective. All I have to say then is that they could increase those efficacies dramatically by developing targeted communications at a fraction of the cost of their buy.”