By Joe Kutchera
President of dotGlobal

The new report from the Pew Hispanic Trust — Latinos Online — shows that 64% of all U.S. Hispanics use the Internet and that foreign-born Latinos have crossed the tipping point with 52% online. As the Hispanic audience grows, they seek new content and increasingly find and regularly visit foreign web sites.

Why is this happening?

“Search engines and social networking are making it easier for [U.S. Hispanic] consumers to find and consume content outside of their home country,” says Rafael Urbina, the CEO of Batanga. “As a result, country-specific brands, such as newspaper domains, are generating a significant portion of their traffic outside of their home market.”

“A large percentage of Hispanics visit sites from their country-o f-origin, to be informed, to keep in touch, to keep up on what’s going on in their countries and how that can affect their families,” says Marta Martinez, the CEO of StarMedia.

Because of this trend, a number of ad networks have opened shop to serve the needs of advertisers looking to reach these Hispanics visiting foreign (mostly Latin American) web sites. In this article, I will answer a few questions about and then compare the leading ad networks that focus on the U.S. Hispanic market in the chart below.

Do Hispanics online care where web sites are based?

“The reality is that the user is not very concerned with where the site is from. They are looking for content and services that are relevant,” says Fernando Rodriguez, the C E O of Terra. “U.S. Hispanics have very strong ethnic pride that translates into their interest for culturally relevant content. This means that they will visit sites from their country of origin, in addition to some from other countries, including of course the U.S.”

“Given that the Internet is a global medium, we believe the trend [of globalization] will continue for many years,” says Urbina of Batanga. “The abundance of relevant international content will continue to attract U.S. Hispanics while content created for U.S. Hispanics will in turn attract those in Latin America and Spain.”

What are the benefits of an online advertising network?

Provide scale and reach for big campaigns

Allow marketers to quick l y and efficiently optimize campaigns

Lower CPM’s

Utilize behavioral and contextual targeting with access to multiple types of inventory

Country-of-origin targeting

Specialized networks can provide mobile and video ad inventory

What are the benefits of working with a premium site?

Greater control of where your ad runs

Content integration (beyond display advertising)

Sponsorship opportunities (Adjacencies to premium content)

Integration on emerging media like mobile and video

And what are the drawbacks?

In the case of ad networks, the main minus is limited transpar e ncy (depending upon the reporting of the ad network). Ideally, you want to ask for contextual and behavioral reports as well as reporting by site. “Being transparent allows the advertiser to know exactly where their ads are running, at all times,” says Martinez of StarMedia, which promotes itself as a completely transparent network.

In the case of premium sites, the drawbacks include higher CPM’s and limited inventory as no single Hispanic site reaches more than 20% of the Hispanic audience online. In addition, it’s harder to scale with individual sites because of the challenges in dealing with multiple points of contact.

While Yahoo en Español doesn’t offer a network per se, according to Chris Emme, Yahoo represents,, Walmart . com and and can behaviorally target U.S. Hispanic users across those sites and (in English).

What’s ahead for Hispanic ad networks? Christopher Stanley, CEO and Founder of Alcance Media Group, says, “We have seen a significant number of requests from marketers and completed campaigns based on specific country of origin targeting.” Stanley adds, “I do see an increase in the number of sites for specific countries such as Cuba or Venezuela that are being operated from the U.S.”

Online ad networks graph

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