Digital Strategy Key to Reaching Hispanic Americans: Study

Having a clear digital media strategy is imperative in reaching Hispanic Americans, who are setting the pace in the U.S. for using mobile devices, the Internet and television in their daily lives.

That's according to the results of a study by digital marketing firm Specific Media and brand marketer SMG Multicultural; titled "Hispanic Americans Foreshadow the Future of Media," the study further confirms other research suggesting Hispanic Americans spend more time online and are more receptive to advertisements in general than non-Hispanic Americans, the companies said.

For example, the study found that Hispanic Americans spent an average of 31 hours a week on the Internet, 83 percent more time than non-Hispanic Americans, who spend 21 hours a week online. Moreover, they also spend nearly four times as long shopping online via websites or apps.

Additionally, Hispanic Americans are leading the adoption of smartphones and tablets, according to the study. They spend 26% of their online time on smartphones, compared with 20% for non-Hispanic Americans; 16% of it on tablets, compared with 13% by non-Hispanic Americans; and only 59% via desktop browsers, vs. 67% for non-Hispanic Americans.

Hispanic Americans are also more likely to perform purchase-related activities on their mobile devices, the study found.

The study also noted that Hispanic Americans are about 33% more likely to use a second screen while watching television and are twice as likely to engage with advertisers online after seeing related TV commercials.

They do not, however, spend "significantly more hours" watching TV than other Americans, the study concluded, so digital media is the key for advertisers and marketers seeking to tap into their increasing spending power and cultural impact. Hispanic Americans are the second largest and fastest-growing ethnic group in the U.S. today, the companies said.

"It will be increasingly meaningful for marketers to consider Hispanic users as they develop online and app-centric calls to action," Marla Skiko, executive vice president and director of digital innovation at SMG Multicultural, a unit of Starcom MediaVest Group. "There is no longer a general market, and it is imperative for marketers to take a targeted and custom approach, one that goes outside traditional media and embraces multicultural consumers across every platform."