At UMG, we partner with ambitious brands looking to accelerate their growth by tapping into the power of the Hispanic market, which is expected to grow by over 60% in the next 20 years. As we discuss sources for ideas, we often refer to the groundwork laid by major players in the space. While no one brand or campaign should serve as a copy and paste for your own efforts, we have often found that those at the forefront of connecting with the Hispanic market exemplify many noteworthy qualities. They offer examples to derive lessons from, and examples to leverage as we work to create impactful strategies, media plans, and creative that drive business results.
cNet: Providing Unique Value to the Hispanic Market
cNet has been a premier source of technology and consumer electronic news and reviews since its founding in 1994. In 2013, it launched cNet en Español as a way to transform its legacy offering into a unique, yet compelling experience for tech-savvy Hispanics. While cNet en Español was shut down in November 2020, many lessons can be taken from its seven years as a top destination for Spanish-speaking tech enthusiasts.
cNet en Español was “designed to fill a need for original, fresh and authoritative tech content in Spanish.” For the effort, Latin World Entertainment, co-founded by Sophia Vegara, was recruited as an agency partner, and T-Mobile, with an established track record as a Hispanic advertiser, as a top sponsor. While there was certainly content overlap with its English counterpart (for example around new phone and gaming console releases), there was also a heavy investment in content that was specific to the Hispanic market, including:
- How to make international calls from different device types and apps.
- Which audio- streaming services offer the best Spanish-language content.
- Best video-streaming technology and best platforms for Spanish speakers (Netflix, Hulu, etc).
- A round-up of influential Hispanic men and women with the world’s best-known brands.
- Q&A with top Hispanic entertainment talent regarding their favorite technology and what they use to keep in touch with friends, family and fans.
A major focus of cNet’s effort was offering not a mere translation of its English content, but rather something uniquely valuable to its Hispanic target. They accomplished this using a team of Spanish staffers and editors that created content exclusively for cNet en Español. In addition, its partnership with LWE connected the cNet team with Hispanic agencies and talent that were not only familiar with the US Hispanic market, but also were familiar to cNet en Español’s target consumer. It’s also worth noting that even in 2013, cNet was bucking a broader industry trend which saw most technology content being catered to English-preferred Millennials. The total opportunity extended far beyond the youngest consumers, into Gen Xers and Boomers who had disposable income and were becoming increasingly tech-savvy in the US, and to tens of millions of potential readers in Latin America, who were also consumers of social platforms, digital media, and technology news.
This decision to run counter to other publications was not done in a silo – as far back as five years prior, in 2008, cNet had partnerships with Spanish language platforms, like Univision, to create Spanish-language technology content. These connections yielded high engagement and supported their decision to expand Spanish content to an entire site. By 2017, there were over 40 million native Spanish speakers in the US and another 10 million bilingual speakers, making the US the second largest Spanish-speaking country in the world, after Mexico. Other brands followed the lead of companies like Cnet. In 2017 Amazon launched its Spanish language version. While a series of moves and its eventual sale by CBS Interactive in 2020 led to the shutdown on cNet en Español, the seven-year effort proved that there is not only an audience, but a real need for Latino-driven content, in-language, for millions of US Hispanics.
As you consider your approach to the Hispanic market, consider how cNet was able to bring relevance and impact to their consumers. Even though they began as an English-only website, cNet was able to leverage data and research to create compelling content for their Hispanic and Spanish-speaking audiences.
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UMG, based in Greenville, SC, is the first full-service Hispanic marketing, advertising, and event management firm in South Carolina. UMG helps companies connect with multicultural audiences through exceptional strategies, effective communications, compelling creative and measurable results. For more information about UMG, visit https://umg.agency