U.S. Hispanics Lead in Technology Purchases

Terra's Fernando Rodriguez Analyzes Study Showing Latinos Plan to Buy Products Sooner Than Non-Hispanics and Are More Open to Marketers' Messages

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Results from our new Terra ComScore Ad Value Research Study show that the latest in personal electronics would fill the bill nicely. Hispanics own or plan to own new technology, as shown by their intent to purchase e-book readers, tablet PCs, and 3D TVs, at a higher rate than non-Hispanics.

Personal Electronics – ownership and purchase intent chart
Personal Electronics – ownership and purchase intent

Nearly one-fifth of respondents, or 18%, own an iPad/Tablet PC, with one-third planning to purchase one (vs. 8% and 21% respectively for non-Hispanics). Nearly 40% have or plan to buy the bleeding-edge 3D TV—8% already own one and 30% said they intend to buy one, vs. 4% and 18% respectively for non-Hispanics. Smartphone ownership tells a similar story, with 43% of Hispanics owning a smartphone/PDA vs. 36% of non-Hispanics.

Hispanics' penchant for all things new and digital stems from their affinity with the consumer electronics category itself and is further evidenced by ComScore's cognographic index. This metric is calculated by combining the reach with the intensity of usage for a category of websites. Sites such as, also available in Spanish (, and, which offers customer support in Spanish, fall into this category. In this case, the Spanish-dominant and bilingual Hispanic internet user segments outperform the rest with a cognographic index of 134, meaning that they are 34% more engaged in consumer electronics compared to the average internet user.

Interest in Digital Media Experiences chart
Interest in Digital Media Experiences

It also makes sense that Latinos are receptive to activities using the gadgets and handsets they want to own.

As Latinos may be more likely to own or desire to own an iPad, 38% said they would be receptive to a demo of a product accessed from an iPad vs. 26% of non-Hispanics. And 43% of Latinos vs. 31% of non-Hispanics are favorable to viewing a major sports or entertainment event such as the Terra Music Fest concert online. In summary, Hispanics are more receptive to all 11 modern experiences listed at a statistically significant higher level than non-Hispanics.

Marketers have many avenues for their digital campaigns, so we inquired about receptivity to advertising integrated within these new media items. Again, Hispanics are most likely to say that marketing initiatives using these innovative digital experiences are worthwhile. Overall opinion of the brand is more favorably influenced among the Hispanic audience (60%) than the non-Hispanic segment (42%.) This finding is notable in that typically respondents across the board claim that they do not like or need advertising when asked in surveys.

While the 11 experiences listed above can be leveraged to gain share among the Latino consumer, some stand out more than others. Correlation of these digital media experiences with self-reported brand impact ratings indicate that sponsored 'fan pages' and targeted communications from sites have the greatest potential to influence consumer attitudes and opinions of brands.

Hispanics' engagement with the digital world comes full circle when analyzing e-commerce transactions across all categories during the month of June 2010. Hispanics in general spent $103.19 per transaction, compared to $90.82 for non-Hispanics. The biggest spenders were bilingual or Spanish-dominant Hispanic, at $125.75 per transaction, while Hispanics who primarily speak English spent $89.03, almost the same amount as non-Hispanics spent.

Impact of interest in digital experiences on opinion of brand being promoted chart
Impact of interest in digital experiences on opinion of brand being promoted

We are all held accountable for delivering results. Publishers have a plethora of resources and platforms available to target the Hispanic consumer and advertisers can rest assured that their marketing dollars are well spent online. Increase your brand exposure and gain loyal consumers in the growing Latino audience through their love of tech, newness and all things digital.

Terra and ComScore conducted an online survey of 2,300 respondents over the age of 13, including both Hispanics and non-Hispanics, between Sept. 13 and Oct. 18, 2010.

Fernando Rodriguez is CEO of Terra USA.