Thursday, October 1, 2009

Online Advertising Targets Dynamic U.S. Hispanic Market

Washington - U.S. companies are fashioning online advertising strategies aimed at an American Hispanic population of 47 million people that is increasingly wired to the Internet and other technologies, several market analysts say.

Gisela Girard, chairman of the Virginia-based Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies (AHAA), said more than 50 percent of U.S. Hispanics are Internet users, and that share is projected to increase. Among race/ethnic groups, Hispanics rank second to the white population in Internet use.

According to Tamara Barber, a data analyst for Forrester Research Inc., in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Hispanics will come online faster than any other demographic group over the next five years. The Hispanic online market will grow twice as fast as the overall U.S. online population, she said.

Hispanics historically have been "trendsetters in defining media-consumption habits" in the United States, Girard said, and companies that advertise online "in a compelling and culturally relevant manner" will see results with Hispanic consumers.

Barber agrees that advertising on the Internet and via other technologies is a "viable and necessary way" to reach Hispanics. She said marketers should think "cross-culturally" and use English and Spanish in ads. U.S. Hispanics, she said, consume much online content in English, but many also switch between English and Spanish.

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