The proliferation of smartphones and other mobile devices among Hispanic consumers underscores the importance of using mobile marketing.
One of the most interesting stories that I have seen unfolding over the last few years has been the rate of mobile usage and social behavior of U.S. Hispanic consumers. While Hispanics trail in Internet adoption and penetration, the story is very different when it comes to mobile adoption and usage.
One-in-five Hispanics are smartphone users in the U.S; those numbers are huge and growing, outpacing all other minorities. Nielsen reports that usage includes mobile downloads of music and photos, and watching video on mobile phones. According to comScore and Latin American online media company Terra, Hispanics are increasingly taking up smartphones with the rate of adoption growing from 43 percent in 2010 to 57 percent in 2012. We are talking about ALL Hispanics both Spanish and English dominant.
Reasons for the Trend
Several reasons may account for this trend. One reason could be that U.S. Hispanics are on average 10 years younger than the aging U.S. population. This younger demographic of digital natives are more comfortable with an untethered smartphone lifestyle. Hispanics also have a culture that influences their communication style, Latinos stay connected with friends and family, and the mode of choice is a smartphone. In fact, US Hispanics are huge texters and cell phone users – they maximize the use of their devices by texting, calling, emailing, social networking, researching and purchasing. To many Hispanics and Hispanic businesses, wireless technology is not considered a luxury but a key communications tool.
Another reason for the proliferation of smartphones among Hispanic consumers could be the lower cost involved in a smartphone purchase when compared to a desktop or laptop. Plus increasing functionality means these devices can accomplish as much or more as traditional computers.
Two additional factors might be: 1) Nearly half of U.S. Hispanics are born abroad, where cellphones are more accessible and more familiar than landlines and 2) having the latest smartphone is a status symbol and means that you are a trendsetter, which is important to many young Hispanics.
But Hispanics are not only using mobile devices for leisure activities, connectivity and purchases, but also for doing business, improving healthcare, and accessing educational opportunities and government resources. These trends are expected to continue to grow. Consider that Hispanic businesses are one of the fastest growing entrepreneurial sectors in the U.S. and these Hispanic business startups are three times the national rate. For this group, mobile means flexibility and ease of effectively and safely conducting business on the go.