The New Digital Divide: Latinos on Top
You gotta love Terra Networks for releasing its latest study on Latino technology adoption on the first business day of the year. The survey, which confirmed once again that Latinos are among the most tech friendly, tech savvy, and tech hungry metatribes online was sure to grab headlines and help to frame the conversation for marketers in 2011. And it has indeed framed – or reframed – the conversation about Latinos online. Thanks in part to the Terra survey, 2011 may be the year when we stop acting surprised by the “stunning” results of surveys like this one, and begin addressing the larger business, political, and social implications.
The survey, sponsored by Terra and conducted by comScore, confirmed what we know from many earlier studies and surveys. Latinos index higher than non-Latinos in practically every category that’s measurable. As Terra CEO Fernando Rodriguez summarized it, Latinos are more receptive to online advertising, more open to new technology, more open to social media engagement, and more open to buying new technology devices. And, yes, Latinos outspend non-Latinos online. The Terra press release concluded: “The study shows that the digital divide is now becoming a thing of the past as Hispanics are at the forefront of embracing Internet and technology.”
This is not hyperbole. It may in fact be an understatement. What survey after survey shows is not only that the digital divide may be a “thing of the past,” but that the roles and positions along the divide may have been flipped, with Latinos now in the lead of technology adoption. And as imperfect a frame as this may be – many lower income Latinos and other ethnic minorities still lack the access to technology that prevents them from fully participating in the information economy – the new digital divide forces marketers to rethink their strategy with Latinos online. Here are a few things we might expect from marketers in 2011.