Intelligence: The Hispanic Market’s Digital Evolution

A ComScore study just released by Terra reveals confirms the high levels of Latino engagement in digital media, and identifies three distinct Hispanic segments. The study was conducted between January 31 and February 28, 2008, and surveyed over 3,500 Latinos.

 “This is a much deeper data mining than has previously taken place,” says Michelle Azan, VP, Sales and Business Development at Terra Networks US. “While there have been many studies examining online behavior, this goes much further by identifying these segments and the attributes particular to each.”

Among the more interesting findings was that online Hispanics are spending more time online than watching TV. The study reports that 56% of participants spend an hour or more online per day, compared with 50% who said they spend an hour or more of each day watching TV.

The study found that online Hispanics are generally enthusiastic adopters of technology, who demonstrate high rates of cell phone ownership (94%) and text messaging (86%). A full 60% of respondents own four or more electronic devices; of these respondents, almost 70% own Palm Pilots or Blackberry phones.

One thing the study did was to divide the respondents into three “Online Engagement Segments”, or OES, which examine the characteristics of frequent, moderate, and occasional online users:

Heavy OES:  are predominately male, foreign born, and live in large cities. For the most part, they are young, proud of their ethnic heritage, and prefer to speak Spanish at home.

Medium OES: are also generally young, but are more evenly split along gender lines. They are more likely to be U.S. born and to live in New York or Los Angeles than Miami. These respondents typically speak both English and Spanish in the home.

Light OES: are the oldest of the three groups, with a median age of 33. These users are also the most acculturated, often speaking English exclusively in the home, displaying the lowest levels of Latino pride. This group is also most likely to live outside the top five urban Hispanic markets.

“We currently have behavior targeting capabilities powered by revenue science, which will be highly complimentary to this new data we’ve collected with ComScore,” says Azan. “We can now leverage our technological capabilities to a greater degree, having identified these particular segments.”