5 Reasons Marketers Must Target U.S. Hispanics on Mobile


In 2011, I stressed that mobile was a must for reaching U.S. Hispanics. Back then, few brands were proactively targeting U.S. Hispanics on their mobile devices despite the growing evidence that Hispanics were becoming mobile first consumers.

Today, a mobile strategy is an essential component of any marketing plan striving to connect with the 55 million Hispanics in the U.S. that spend over $1.5 trillion per year.

Here’s why:

1. U.S. Hispanics are mobile dominant

Relative to the general market, U.S. Hispanics have embraced mobile technology at higher rates. It won’t be long before the majority of U.S. Hispanics favor using their smartphones to go online.

A recent study by Experian Marketing Services found that 45% of U.S. Hispanics now use their phones to go online more than they use a computer, compared to only 38% of non-Hispanics. And when they go online from their phones, U.S. Hispanics are consuming content at much higher rates than non-Hispanics across a variety of activities including texting, reading news, and streaming video, according to PWC.

2. Mobile is prevalent with all U.S. Hispanic segments

You might argue that strong Hispanic mobile use is due to the fact that most U.S. Hispanics are relatively young, but that’s not always the case. In fact, mobile is popular across all U.S. Hispanics segments including those that are older, less affluent and more Spanish-dominant.

Affordable mobile technology has opened a vast new communications and entertainment window for all U.S. Hispanics. Today, U.S. Hispanics can not only stay in touch with family and friends outside of the United States, but they also have access to a world of information, entertainment, and productivity tools at a price that they can afford. The best part however, is that they are taking advantage of it. As the PWC study reported, “Older Hispanic consumers skew higher in many mobile activities.”

3. U.S. Hispanics are more likely to use their phones as second screens

Despite the fact that U.S. Hispanics are extremely active on their mobile devices, they still consume plenty of television, albeit with their phones at their sides. For marketers, this represents a powerful opportunity to simultaneously reach and engage with U.S. Hispanics on both their big and small screens. According to Experian, “37% of all U.S. Hispanics adults say they often use their cell phone while watching television compared with 29% of non-Hispanics.” When it comes to smartphone users and millennials, the dual screen reality of U.S. Hispanics is that much more apparent with 61% of Hispanic millennials often using their smartphone while watching TV vs. 58% of non-Hispanics millennials.

4. U.S. Hispanics are not just browsing, they are transacting on their mobile devices

As the U.S. economy is gradually moving towards mobile payments and mobile commerce, we find that Hispanics are leading the way. They are not only using their phones to communicate and watch videos, they are using them to transact. According to PWC, Hispanics do the following transactional activities from their phones at least once per week:

  • Banking or bill paying: U.S. Hispanics 64% vs. 57% Non-Hispanic
  • Download coupon: U.S. Hispanics 25% vs. 17% Non-Hispanic
  • Pay for physical goods via phone: U.S. Hispanics 24% vs. 13% Non-Hispanic
  • Use loyalty program: U.S. Hispanics 19% vs. 13% Non-Hispanic

The fact that U.S. Hispanics are leading the way in transacting via mobile represents a huge opportunity for brands to reach the nation’s largest minority at scale while clearly measuring return on investment in a quantifiable way.

5. Hispanics are more likely to share your campaign via mobile

I have discussed at length in this column how U.S. Hispanics are among the most active groups when it comes to social media. Not only do they share with family and friends at higher rates when compared to non-Hispanics, they are also more likely to follow and engage with brands. This behavior translates directly to mobile, where most U.S. Hispanics are engaging with social media. PWC found that 74% of Hispanic mobile users access a social network at least weekly, slightly above non-Hispanics. For marketers, this is critical as U.S. Hispanics are likely to share your campaigns with their networks via their mobile devices, increasing your campaign reach organically.

I said it in 2011 and I’ll say it again in 2015: Targeting U.S. Hispanics on mobile is a must for today’s digital marketer.

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