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MBPT Spotlight: Numbers Game: Online Video Reigns in Connecting with U.S. Hispanics—And Now Measurement Can Prove It

The U.S. Hispanic audience has a love affair with online video. The multitude of research, such as in the example below, confirms that Hispanics are far more likely to watch, download, share and discuss video than other audience groups by a wide margin. This makes it critical for marketers to be able to seize the video opportunity to reach and engage this rapidly growing audience.

In order to fully seize that opportunity, our focus shifts to validation. Measurement in the video arena has been an area of intense focus for the industry at large. One of the keys to shifting more spending to online video is the ability to have like measurement across online and offline and to ensure advertisers are reaching their desired audience groups.

The advantage with digital media is the ability to serve impressions specifically to an individual in real time. One key metric now in question and being used to evaluate digital/video delivery is called “Percent In target.” This metric, which can be measured using comScore vCE among other tools, represents the percent of total impressions from the campaign that were delivered against the intended target.

The narrower a target audience is the more difficult it will be to achieve a high percentage of target composition (in target comp %) of that given online audience. It would then follow that it is more difficult to achieve a high in target comp % for Hispanic specific demographics vs more broadly defined targets. While that is the case, with an in-depth understanding of the Hispanic digital audience and marketplace, it is possible to boost the in target comp % of a Hispanic digital buy and use vCE to verify a buy is reaching its intended Hispanic audience.

In fact, in a recent white paper Starcom MediaVest Group developed in partnership with comScore, we outline some best practices to follow when utilizing vCE metrics applied to Hispanic audiences.

Targeted Hispanic Properties Deliver Higher vCE in Demo Comp Percentages

Thirty-one million Hispanics are currently online (comScore MediaMetrix June 2014) and spending time on sites across the Web regardless of language. Some of the sites that have the highest reach of Hispanics are those with high reach against general audiences such as Google, Yahoo, Facebook, MSN and AOL. As you might expect, however, the sites with the highest in target comp percentages are those that specifically cater to the Hispanic audience and have relevant content in both Spanish and English.

In examining in target comp percentages versus reach numbers, we can see that major mainstream properties such as Yahoo, Facebook, and Google are higher in reach, but self-selecting online properties SUCJ AS Univision, Telemundo and Yahoo en Espanol have the higher in target comp percentages of the Hispanic audience.

While this would apply across media, including with TV, it would be prohibitively expensive to buy a Hispanic audience on mainstream TV based on the high degree of spill to non-Hispanics and the relatively higher cost of TV vs online media. Online, the ability to buy specifically targeted impressions becomes more feasible due to the prevalence of the data and targeting technology available to deliver ads specifically to their intended audience.

Thus, while it will be more efficient from an in target comp % perspective to buy Spanish language sites online, it is significantly more efficient to buy Hispanics on mainstream online properties than it would ever be to do so with traditional media.

Mainstream Sites Are Necessary For Reach

Mainstream sites drive Hispanic audience reach and also align with the Hispanic digital audience composition itself since about 50% of the online Hispanic audience prefers English while the other 50% speaks some degree of Spanish. In fact, in the digital arena Hispanics move fluidly between languages and expect to read and share content across both English and Spanish.

While the Hispanic composition on mainstream sites may be relatively low compared to targeted properties, it still bears examining the target composition that can be achieved relative to the size of that target’s population online. It is possible to optimize the Hispanic delivery on mainstream sites based on factors such as content selection.

That’s a lot of data to digest! In the end, target composition is best used as the lead metric when assessing Hispanic online buying performance on targeted, in language sites where self-selection is prevalent. However, buying broadly across sites/properties regardless of language is critical for scale, thus, different metrics should be considered on mainstream sites. Other critical, evaluative metrics beyond % in target comp should be considered when assessing the performance of Hispanic digital buys (in line with expectations for non-Hispanic buys). For instance, viewability (measuring ability for user to see an ad) plays a crucial role in assessing site performance and may be tracked more easily since ethnicity is not a factor in capturing that measurement.

The key takeaway is that digital industry measurement advances do encompass the crucial U.S. Hispanic audience. To increase buying effectiveness, we can use many of these metrics if we do so with a close eye to the multicultural capabilities of these leading measurement tools. We have our eyes wide open for more research companies to advance their tools in the Hispanic arena. Doing so will benefit those companies and moreover the digital efforts of marketers.

Marla Skiko is executive VP/director of digital innovation for SMG’s Multicultural Division. Skiko drives the division’s multicultural digital agenda incorporating paid, owned and earned strategies across devices, screens and social media platforms. In addition to studying trends in emerging media, Skiko has spearheaded proprietary research studies to hone in on the digital behaviors and preferences of the multicultural consumer.