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Hispanics Turning to Mobile Phones in Big Numbers

If the U.S. Hispanic market is important to your business — and a market that is 50 million strong with purchasing power of nearly $1.2 trillion should be — you should think about making mobile marketing part of your mix. Cellular usage among Hispanics is growing at a faster rate than in the population as a whole, a new study shows.

The percentage of Hispanic adults who use a cellular phone grew 26 percent since 2005, versus 18 percent for all adults, according to Scarborough Research’s Hispanic Multi-Market Study, which compiles information of lifestyles, technology adoption, demographics and media usage in 34 of the largest Hispanic markets in the U.S. Overall, cellular usages among Hispanics (82 percent) is on par with the general population (84 percent).

They also like to keep their conversations short and sweet, the study found. Hispanics are more likely than other cellular users to text message. Nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of Hispanics who use a wireless phone use it for texting, versus 56 percent for all cellular users. A highly interactive segment of the market, they are also more likely than other cellular users to use their wireless devices to download music, play games and engage in social networking .

“The rise of smartphones and apps is redefining mobile marketing ,” said Alisa Joseph, Scarborough’s vice president of advertiser and marketing services. “As this industry continues its rapid evolution, the important of Hispanics as mobile marketing targets will only continue to expand.”

The survey also provided insights on how Hispanic usage varies locally. The markets with the highest usage rate, Joseph told BusinessNewsDaily, are Atlanta (96 percent); Austin, Texas (91 percent); Washington, D.C. (90 percent), with Hartford/New Haven and Miami/Ft. Lauderdale tied (89 percent).

The bottom five markets in usages, she said, were Phoenix (74 percent); Bakersfield (73 percent) and Fresno/ Visalia, Calif. (71 percent); El Paso, Texas (70 percent,) and Colorado Springs/Pueblo, Colo. (68 percent).

Reach BusinessNewsDaily senior writer Ned Smith at nsmith@techmedianetwork.com. Follow him on Twitter @nedbsmith.

Ned Smith
Ned Smith

Ned was senior writer at Sweeney Vesty, an international consulting firm, and was Vice President of communications for iQuest Analytics. Before that, he has been a web editor and managed the Internet and intranet sites for Citizens Communications. He began his journalism career as a police reporter with the Roanoke (Va.) Times, and was managing editor of American Way magazine and senior editor of Us. He was a Captain in the U.S. Air Force and has a masters in journalism from the University of Arizona.