Kathleen Haley, Hispanic marketing manager for Hewlett-Packard
Recognizing a growth opportunity
Lopez-Knowles notes, though, that the majority of corporate America isn't up to date on the emerging Hispanic youth segment. Haley adds that most tech companies have been slower to recognize the importance of the Hispanic market. Only in the past year have HP's competitors really zeroed in on Hispanic consumers, she says.
“The penetration rate of computers in Hispanic households is lower than the general market, but for me that's a growth opportunity,” Haley insists. “When penetration is there, they have four computers in the house and are very engaged.”
Census numbers from October 2003 show that 36% of Hispanic households report Internet access at home, compared to 59.9% of white, non-Hispanic households, 36% of black households and 66.7% of Asian households.
Haley adds that Hispanics over-index on social networking and instant messaging applications because it's important for them to connect with friends and family members all over the world. Computers and online technology represent both a key consumer product for Hispanic marketers and an important touchpoint, considering the market's engagement.
Nelson agrees, saying, “Our research shows that the Hispanic market is very quick to adopt technology, because it allows them to be connected with family and friends.”
Hewlett-Packard is communicating to this growing market through online channels, on television and during grassroots events, by reaching out to Hispanic consumers with messages that speak to them.
“We want to make sure we're looking at the actual market of today and tomorrow, and that's where Hispanic marketing comes into play,” Haley emphasizes. “The grand majority of Hispanics in the US are bicultural and bilingual, and we want to make sure we talk to them in their language and their culture.”