Are Un-acculturated Hispanic Consumers Online?

March 6, 2013 Author: Mario X. Carrasco

We hear the following sentiment (or perception… or assumption…) from a number of our Hispanic market research clients… “We want to connect with the un-acculturated Hispanic population, but it’s difficult because they are not online.”

While that may have been true 5-10 years ago, it isn’t any longer.

A few facts to get us started…

  • In 2011, there were 51.9 million Hispanics living in the U.S., up 48% from 2000.*
  • In 2010, internet usage among all Hispanics was at 65%, compared to 77% for Whites and 66% for Blacks; further, Hispanics and Whites with similar socioeconomic characteristics exhibited similar usage patterns.*
  • In 2010, Hispanics accessed the internet and sent/received emails with their cell phones at rates higher than Whites.*
  • Today, according to ThinkNow’s Hispanic Consumer Panel
    – a statistically relevant sample of the U.S. Hispanic population as a whole – 22% of U.S. Hispanics are un-acculturated, defining a market of nearly 12 million consumers.

* Pew Research Hispanic Center (

One of the other issues with the ‘perception’ of acculturation is that it is often “in the eye of the beholder.” That is, the companies doing the looking.

For example, I’m Hispanic. I was born in the U.S. to Mexican immigrant parents, grew up here, went to school here, speak English at home, built a successful business here and live here with my family… and yet, because I don’t do my banking with a traditional savings or checking account, my bank looks at me as “un-acculturated.” Hmmm…

But the reality is this…

  • There are millions of un-acculturated Hispanics in the U.S. who are online every day.
  • They are a desirable target market for most U.S. companies as they are looked at much like a new, burgeoning market.
  • They have the dollars and will be spending them. Read more about Hispanic market trends and their willingness to spend in 2013.
  • Hispanics are generally brand loyal… the kind of consumers that lead to lifetime customers.
  • Hispanics have larger families than the average and rely on family recommendations about products and services… so once you’re in with one member of the family, you get access to all the rest.
  • Determining the level of acculturation is not easy. Done right, it is a compilation and scoring of a number of different factors… not just looking at one or two. Click here to view our Acculturation Algorithm PDF.

So, is acculturation an important factor for accessing the Hispanic population? Yes!

Are un-acculturated Hispanics online? Yes! And in big numbers? Yes!

As part of your Hispanic market research, do you understand acculturation and how to access Hispanics online? If not, give me a call… I’ll be glad to talk with you about it. In fact, one way that we communicate with un-acculturated Hispanics is through our TV advertisement. It runs on Spanish-language television stations across the U.S. – encouraging un-acculturated Hispanics to go online and “join our panel.” Click Here to watch it.

Mario X. Carrasco is a co-Founder of ThinkNow Research and manages their Hispanic Panel. He can be reached at or phone.