Using the Internet to Reach Hispanics

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The Hispanic population-and its buying power-is booming. Marketers should be seeking new ways to tap this growing market, and perhaps the best way to do so is through the Internet. The successful marketer will learn about the different segments of the Hispanic market and develop a plan for reaching those segments in their preferred language.

Correlation Between Increased Purchasing Power & Online Usage Among Hispanics

First, some facts:

According to research conducted by Brand Strategy Journal, Hispanics are currently the largest minority group in America and, if growth continues at the present rate, Hispanics will soon account for one out of every five American residents. As the population grows, so does its purchasing power. Though the median income for all American households increased just 6 percent from 1996 to 2001 (from $39,869 to $42,228), median income of Hispanics was up 20 percent, from $27,977 to $33,565. Companies who fail to market to this vital segment do so at their own peril.

As their household incomes increase, Hispanics are entering cyberspace more quickly than any other ethnic group in the United States. New York-based eMarketer projects a 7.4 percent jump in Hispanic Internet usage in 2004, with 13.3 million Hispanics online by the end of 2004. Internet usage by Hispanics grew 8 percent in 2003, to 12.4 million users. Hispanic households are still likely to be less wealthy than some others, but evidence suggests that as later generations become more educated, income will rise.

Hispanics spend almost 5.5 hours per week online, usually from a computer at home, according to a study conducted by the Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies. More than three-quarters of survey respondents use the Internet for e-mail, 60 percent to get the news, 54 percent to listen to music and 43 percent to chat. Univision.com was the most popular Spanish-language Web site for the second year in a row among United States Hispanic users, according to a 2002 Nielson Media Research study. Other Spanish-language Web sites in the top five were Yahoo! En Espanol, Terra, Yupi and StarMedia.

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