Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Social Media: The Hispanic Connection


from Mediapost:

Meet Tony, The Intern

We recently hired an intern named Tony to help us with a couple of projects here at Captura Group. As I have gotten to know him, I realize that he personifies the online Hispanic consumers that we marketers are trying so hard to reach.

Below, I introduce you to Tony and to the millions of Hispanics like him online today.

Tony is bilingual and bicultural

Jose Antonio Uribe, a/k/a "Tony," was born in San Diego to first-generation Mexican immigrants. He is 26, and lives with his parents and sister in National City, a suburb of San Diego that's about 60% Hispanic. Tony's family is very much Mexican American. Spend a few minutes in his home and you'll notice something that's happening in millions of Hispanic households across the United States: Communication is a flawless mix of both English and Spanish.

He speaks only in Spanish to his mom, exclusively in English with a sister, and mixes both with his father. He watches television mostly in English, but he also catches "S√°bado Gigante" with his parents and telenovelas with his girlfriend.

Tony is a proud "American Latino"

He celebrates Christmas on Dec. 25, but also Reyes Magos on Jan. 6, one of the most important Catholic holidays in Mexico. He celebrates Thanksgiving, but with a Chipotle turkey, and drinks tequila instead of eggnog.

Like many Latinos, he entered the workforce at a young age to help his parents. He was considered an "at risk" student by his high school counselor, and as a result enrolled in a program that helped him keep up his grades while earning extra money.

He would later graduate from the University of Phoenix with a BS in marketing.

Tony is tech-savvy

Tony has been online as long as he can remember. He vividly recalls an old PC that his dad bought for the family and connecting to the Internet with NetZero and chatting on AOL. A music trendsetter among his friends, Tony was a big fan of music sharing sites Napster and LimeWire. Although Tony mainly visits English-language websites, he communicates online with friends and family in both English and Spanish. He prefers Facebook to MySpace, although he still visits the latter once a week to keep in touch with 350 friends there.

Although Tony considers himself value-conscious, he'll save up hundreds of dollars for a product he considers worthwhile. Today, Tony sports an Apple Mac Mini and orders Chipotle burritos from his iPhone, a product he purchased "the day it came out."

His iPhone boasts about two dozen applications, which he switches constantly. He uses the Facebook application the most to communicate with his 185 "friends."

Tony says "Don't try too hard"

What advice does Tony give to marketers looking to reach him and his peers? "Don't try too hard."

Tony feels that stereotypical Hispanic advertising misses the mark with him.

He rarely clicks on an online ad, but rather goes directly to the product website when he sees something that catches his eye. He goes online to buy clothing, books, music and event tickets. He is always looking for websites that offer a Spanish component so that he can share his interests with his monolingual friends or family members.

"My world is very multi-cultural," he says. "America is very multi-cultural. Campaigns that reflect who I am appeal to me."

Lee Vann is founder and CEO of Captura Group Captura Group. For nine years he has led Hispanic interactive initiatives for clients including the U.S. government, Allstate Insurance Co., Century 21, PayPal and Ford Motor Co. Reach him here.

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