The Internet adoption rate is curving up for Hispanics in the US, predicted to reach seventy percent by 2014. This is great news for this group, which currently has the lowest penetration level by racial demographic. This year, s
ixty percent of Hispanics are online, approximately 29.6 million individuals, according to an eMarketer report from March. The rate of growth within this population, as well as the general population growth, means that the number of people online will grow by nearly ten million people between 2010 and 2014. That puts the projected Internet population at 39.2 million.
Lisa E Philips, author of a new report called "Hispanics Online: Demographics and Media Usage" and senior analyst at eMarketer, calls this online population "young and thriving." “They frequently use social media, message boards and sports sites.”
While these qualities do not differentiate them from other groups, some usage characteristics are unique to online Hispanics. This group does notice when Spanish-language marketing is lacking, though most speak English fluently and were born in the US. Some data suggests the Hispanic market is also more receptive to online advertising.
For example, rates for reading and taking action via e-mail offers were tipped significantly to favor Hispanics. While only twelve percent of White and sixteen percent of African-American Internet users were "very likely" to respond to e-mail marketing offers, 23 percent of Hispanics responded the same. This ARAnet survey found the same to be true for banner ads.
A possible growth catalysts for the Hispanic online population are the rural broadband initiative from the FCC, Philips points out. Already a "majority-minority community," this trend underlines the importance of anticipating the need for digital campaigns tailored to this highly responsive audience. Philips also indicates that ignoring this trend could mean some marketers could be at a disadvantage when the audience matures to expected levels.