Hispanics, the country's largest and fastest-growing ethnic minority, are becoming a sought-after target for mobile advertisers as brands connect the dots between the group's receptiveness to advertising and its heavy mobile usage.
Telecommunications and automotive advertisers have led the way in pitching to Hispanics through mobile, but other categories are joining the fray. Brands including Continental Airlines, General Mills, Sears, Kmart and Tag Heuer will be working in the first quarter to launch Latino-centric mobile campaigns.
Many marketers expect rising incremental budgets as brands look to integrate mobile into Hispanic-centric campaigns. Ad network JumpTap predicted Hispanic-centric campaigns would quadruple this year, with revenue increasing at least 20% in the segment. That expected ramp-up strikes at the nexus of mobile marketing's momentum and a realization that the Hispanic demographic is undertapped.
"Marketers now have significant Hispanic investment objectives written into their plans," said Eric Bader, managing partner of Brand in Hand, which has executed Hispanic-targeted campaigns for major consumer brands.
"A lot of companies are trying to figure out how to get in and play," said Marla Skiko, head of digital at multicultural media-buying agency Tapestry.
Glued to handsets
The case for using mobile to reach Hispanics is compelling. Research suggests that U.S. Hispanics are more engaged with their mobile phones than Americans overall. Some 71% of Hispanics consume content on their cellphones, compared with the market average of 48%, according to ComScore M:Metrics. Why? Many don't have subscriptions to internet or landline service, so wireless phones are their sole communications tool. Additionally, the median age among Hispanics is 27.6, compared with 36.6 in the population as a whole, so that may also help explain their propensity toward mobile.