2009 The Year For Hispanic Online


As I embark on my 10th year in the Hispanic online marketing industry I am very bullish and have great optimism in the promise of online Hispanics for corporate America today. I know, I know, we are in the midst of an economic downturn, a “recession that some say is as bad as the great depression”, but still I am confident in the Hispanic online marketing sector as an area for growth and opportunity for several key reasons.

Don’t look now but the 2010 census is coming

The buzz from the 2000 Census has worn off. We Hispanic marketing professionals grabbed hold of the fact that Hispanics had become the largest minority and preached this message to anyone who would listen. As a result, most marketing executives now understand that Hispanics matter to their business and their bottom line. The question among them today is not “Are there Hispanics in the US?” but “How do I sell them my products and services?” We’re going to have another party when the 2010 census comes out next year. Undoubtedly the data will show that the Hispanic market has continued to grow at incredible levels, Hispanics are even more geographically dispersed and as a group, are much younger than the average American. The Hispanic marketing industry won’t miss a beat in unleashing a flurry of new reports, white papers and articles demanding that marketers pay more attention to this vibrant and valuable audience.

The Obama factor

Multicultural marketers also have Barack Obama to thank for an increased focus on multicultural audiences and their increasing use of technology. Not only has his victory demonstrated that the country has come a long way in race relations, he also unequivocally showed that minorities are becoming the new majority and technology is a very effective way to reach and influence them. Marketers should pay particular attention to the following statistics from CNN’s exit polls. Barack Obama lost the “majority” white vote to John McCain, receiving only 43% of the white vote. Meanwhile, he won the “minority” vote, garnering 95% of the African American vote, 67% of the Latino vote and 62% of the Asian vote. Barack Obama won the 2008 presidential election by marketing to minorities, and did so most effectively using technology and new media.

Hispanics are one of the most social groups online

Yes, Hispanics are online. In fact, there are over 20 million of them online today and they’re growing, fast. Hispanic online market growth will continue to outpace general market growth into the foreseeable future. What’s most compelling for Hispanic online marketing however is the fact that Hispanics are extremely active and social online. Research from Dr. Felipe Korzenny, Tamara Barber at Forrester Research and the Pew Research Center indicates that Hispanics are leading the charge on the social web. Hispanics are young, which explains part of the phenomenon. However, what’s fascinating is that culturally Hispanics are, well, more social. They have strong ties to friends and family and have a powerful drive to stay connected. In addition, Hispanics, regardless of their language preference are turning to the social web to consume and create their own content. There is a lack of high quality, culturally relevant content in English and Spanish, so, Hispanics are creating their own! This represents a great opportunity for savvy marketers who can figure out how and where to reach these online Hispanics.

Be fearful when others are greedy and optimistic when others are fearful

While this is an investment philosophy touted by the great Warren Buffet, this mantra should also be embraced by marketers who are deciding how to invest their marketing dollars. Don’t wait for the next gold rush in Hispanic marketing when the 2010 Census comes out. The time is NOW to invest in this growing and lucrative market. But, don’t just take my word for it. Check out Ad Week’s January 12, 2008 report about reaching Hispanics through the web. Companies who offer value to this market today will be rewarded with the long term loyalty of this growing market. I am personally very excited to be working with our clients in 2009 to deliver results in this promising marketplace that I am so passionate about.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Harold Cabezas

    Hi Lee…great post. There is no question that this year or next year or both will see a tremendous jump in Hispanic Online Marketing. I think part of the problem is that many, by no means all, people have a hard time understanding that the old model of advertising is shattered.

    There is still a place for conventional media (tv/radio/print) but now all are integrated with the web for a much richer experience.

    I think many of our colleagues have a hard time understanding the growth and importance of UGC (user-generated content). Marketers have always talked TO consumers, yet some are having trouble talking WITH consumers, as is the way of Web 2.0.

    I agree with you, completely. There will be tremendous growth in the US Hispanic market for the following segments/complements of online marketing, :

    1. UGC
    2. Video streams/audio podcasts from Latin American media
    3. US Hispanic-focused social networks such as miapogeo.com, twitteros.ning.com, and MySpace Latino
    4. Peer to Peer interactivity, streaming TV and online content through gaming consoles such as the PS3

    Thanks for this great blog, it is very informative and all the best for a successful 2009!

  2. Fe-Therese Juarez

    good enough article, but what has happened to your website. Was 2009 the year Hispanic Magazine et all went bellyup?

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