Hispanic Mobile Marketing: 6 Things You Need to Know

The functions of a mobile phone, and to a lesser extent of tablets, are nearly endless. That is why using mobile technologies for marketing is so promising and why there have been so many investments in start-up companies in the mobile sector.

Here are the six things that you need to know to understand the space:

A common debate is whether advertising in applications is more promising than in the mobile web (browser-based advertising). Jose Manuel Montenegro, The Vidal Partnership Media Director, says that he sees more “opportunity for growth in app-based advertising as usage of applications continues to outpace mobile web browsing.” But Jorge Rincon, CEO of RedMas, says that he has noticed that Hispanics skew more towards mobile browsing. He adds that app- based advertising has a few more capabilities in terms of location, rich media/video experiences that will serve a particular purpose for the campaign.

M-commerce (mobile commerce) refers to the buying and selling of goods and services through wireless handheld devices. According to a recently published research study by the Integer Group, 16% of Hispanic shoppers are using their mobile device to make purchases, as compared to only 10% of Caucasians.

“If you are wondering what to do while you are waiting in a queue or you are having an hour to kill, stop wasting your time, just take out your mobile phone and start playing your favorite game,” says mobile media expert Mark Bishop. Advertising in mobile gaming application environments tends to get high engagement by the consumer. The Vidal Partnership’s Montenegro says that he has “developed mobile ad units that incorporate branded interactive games for increased user engagement.” It is clear that Hispanics like mobile gaming. 41% of Hispanics play games on their mobile phones according to a recent comScore report. From these 41%, 50% recall seeing in-game ads. According to the majority of observers, as the stage of the market is today, it is more cost efficient to do in-app advertising within games as opposed to an advergame.

Mobile video advertising is another up and coming ad category within the mobile sector. Tremor Video, a Digital Video Technology Company, helps advertisers reach Hispanic audiences via mobile through cost-per-engagement (CPE) video ad campaigns. Advertisers can run English language video creative with a Spanish language call-to-action. Once viewers engage with the ad, they can open a slate with Spanish language creative and messaging, targeted specifically to the Hispanic audience, a Tremor Video spokesperson tells Portada. Jose Manuel Montenegro from The Vidal Partnership notes that he has been able to deliver increased consumer response rates by leveraging rich media technology that optimizes the user experience with an ad based on the quality of their mobile connection. For example, users on WI-FI connections would experience a video-centric ad unit, while those on mobile connections would experience ad formats requiring less bandwidth.

Mobile marketing in general and Hispanic mobile marketing in particular have been attracting substantial investment from the venture capital community. In Q2 2012 alone, the U.S. mobile sector saw 102 deals, an all-time high. Photo and video related companies took home almost 30% of the funding in mobile indicating more opportunity in those areas, according to research firm CB Insights. VC-funded companies include Hunt Mobile, which focuses on the Latin American and U.S. Hispanic markets. Hunt Mobile investors include CAP Ventures and Enzyme Venture Capital. Pinger, a free texting and talk service, is funded by Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield and Byers, DAG Ventures, Deutsche Telekom, and T-ventures. Mobile Marketing firm Mogreet investors include include Ascend Ventures, Black Diamond Ventures, Draper Fisher Juvetson and Spyglass Ventures.

SMS (Short Message Service) and MMS (Multimedia Messaging Services) messages by media companies tend to be sponsored: “90% of all SMS and MMS messages are sponsored by Entravision advertising”, says Entravision’s Esteban Blanco. Last year ImpreMedia utilized MMS messaging to drive interest in the LA Galaxy playoff games, featuring a contest in which to win tickets to LA Galaxy playoff games.

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