Long list of emails

While going through a long list of e-mails at work, I received one that caught my eye.

It was a survey from Vertis Communications, whose headquarters are in Baltimore, but with locations across the land, on results of its study, which revealed that Hispanic adults in the United States are just as likely, and in some cases more likely, to use technology as are non-Hispanic adults.

Vertis is a provider of print advertising, direct-marketing solutions and related value-added services to America's leading retail and consumer services companies, says its press release,

Now I know this is just one of perhaps several surveys done on this topic, but I found the results somewhat interesting.

The Vertis findings show that 33 percent of Hispanics plan to use text messaging in the next 12 months, compared to 26 percent of non-Hispanic adults.

Additionally, Hispanics and non-Hispanics hold the same comfort levels when it comes to providing credit card information online, something that I'm still wary about doing in this age of identity theft and fraud.

While making a purchase or opening an account, 34 percent of Hispanics indicate they are somewhat or very comfortable revealing financial information online, which is close to the comfort level of 35 percent of non-Hispanics.

The study also reveals Hispanics turn to online communication after reading direct mail, with 31 percent of Hispanics visiting the sender's Web site when responding to direct mail received in the past month, compared to just 20 percent of non-Hispanic adults.

Investigating trends

"Not only are Hispanics comfortable using digital communication on a daily basis, but they're just as likely to continue reading and responding to traditional direct mail advertising," said Jim Litwin, vice president of market insights at Vertis in the e-mailed press release.

"Consequently, it is critical for marketers to investigate Hispanic trends and implement a multichannel approach via online, direct, or mobile marketing when targeting the strong buying power of the Hispanic population," he added.

Remember, according to the latest U.S. Census data, Hispanic Americans are now the largest minority group in our country, surpassing black Americans.

So, if the Vertis stats are taken to heart, my Latino brethren should soon be getting swamped with calls from telemarketers to cash in on that buying power.

Vertis' results also found that 54 percent of Hispanic households that speak only Spanish outside the home do not have access to the Internet, compared to just 4 percent of Hispanic households that speak English outside the home.

Based on this lack of at-home Internet access among Spanish-speaking Hispanics, the study also investigated Hispanics' response rates to retail direct mail, finding that 88 percent of first- or second-generation Hispanics read direct mail from discount stores, while 81 percent of third- or fourth-generation Hispanics read grocery store direct mail.

Other findings

Here are some other results from the survey:

U 53 percent of Hispanics from Cuban, Dominican or Puerto Rican heritage never read e-mail advertising.

U Hispanics of South American heritage are most likely to read e-mail advertising based on needs, organizations they are familiar with, or products they want or need, according to 49 percent of respondents.

U 33 percent of Hispanics of Central or South American heritage indicate they plan to use instant messaging/blogging or chat rooms within the next 12 months.

U 24 percent of Hispanics of Cuban, Dominican or Puerto Rican heritage plan to use these online tools within the next 12 months.

U On the contrary, however, 80 percent of Hispanics from Mexican heritage do not plan on using instant messaging/blogging or chat rooms in the next 12 months.

The telephone survey of 500 Hispanic adults to obtain these results was done in August and September 2006 and measures both general and industrywide shopping trends, says the Vertis release.

For more on the survey, go to www.vertisinc.com and click on the About Us link. From there, click on press releases.


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