Last week, Google made a really smart move and hired Mark Lopez to head its U.S. Hispanic efforts. I was thrilled when I saw the announcement. I was not only happy for a good friend, but I also felt that the U.S. Hispanic online market had finally come of age. By hiring one of us to spearhead its Hispanic efforts, the Internet giant has officially recognized the importance of the Hispanic market.
During the past 10 years, I have often reflected on the opportunity that Google was missing in the Hispanic market. Google enjoys unprecedented reach and proprietary insights about the U.S. Hispanic online market that I am sure Mark will leverage to the benefit of both marketers and Google.
According to comScore Media Metrix, in January 2010, Google was the most popular online property among Hispanics, reaching 18.5 million of them or 78% of the U.S. Hispanic online market. What’s more, Google’s partnerships with popular Spanish-language websites such as Univision, AOL Latino, Terra and Starmedia firmly embed them into the browsers of Hispanics. Millions of Hispanics interact with Google’s products and services every day, giving Google access to insights about their unique online behavior.
Marketers looking to reach the growing Hispanic market should be excited about Mark joining Google. His experience and relationships in the space combined with Google’s enormous potential are sure to be an exitazo (huge success).
Here are five things Mark should consider as he begins his new adventure with Google later this month.
1. Bridge the Hispanic digital divide
Hispanics (and other minorities) lag the general market when it comes to technology access. Google should invest in programs that get technology into the hands of Hispanics. This will not only be a solid PR move, but it will also create a new, extremely brand-loyal user base for Google’s products and services.
2. Provide insights on Hispanic online behavior
Google should leverage its wealth of data on U.S. Hispanic online behavior and publisher insights so that marketers can better
understand this dynamic and diverse market segment. Mark spearheaded similar efforts at AOL and Terra, and it will be exciting to see what he does with Google’s resources.
3. Develop a reliable mechanism for targeting Hispanics on English sites
Most online Hispanics, regardless of language preference, use English language websites. But targeting them is relatively cumbersome. Google is well positioned to provide marketers with a powerful and reliable option for reaching Hispanics on English-language websites, including on Google itself.
4. Improve the Google Adwords Keyword Tool for Hispanic marketers
For those of us who use Google Adwords to target U.S. Hispanics, Google’s Keyword Tool can be frustrating at times. True, you can use the tool and filter users by location = United States and language = Spanish, but the data are typically inconsistent, making Hispanic keyword research difficult and inconclusive.
5. Make sure Google understands that Hispanics expect more than just a translation
Perhaps most importantly, Mark should be passionate about educating Google’s leadership on the wonderful nuances of the U.S. Hispanic market. By leveraging Mark’s deep knowledge of the Hispanic online market, Google will be well positioned to capitalize on the opportunity.
Mark, ¡felicidades y buena suerte! Lee Vann
Lee Vann spearheads Captura Group’s online strategy development practice, providing specific expertise in the areas of Hispanic in-language and in-culture research and strategy.Visit Captura Group