With Latinos accounting for a quarter of U.S. births, parenting websites are redoubling efforts to attract the burgeoning segment. But while some are rolling out new sites, others are opting to test the waters as targeting Hispanic women is not quite as straightforward as it may seem.
In January, CafeMom went through the exercise of how best to target Hispanic mothers when it launched a stand-alone site, MamásLatinas, which publishes content in Spanish and English. Publishers aiming at Hispanic consumers have to consider not just language but level of acculturation. For example, a U.S.-born Latina might struggle with balancing American and Hispanic parenting styles, while a foreign-born Latina might be a little less digital savvy, said Lucia Ballas-Traynor, co-founder, evp of MamásLatinas.
With that in mind, MamásLatinas’ plan is to start with simple features, then expand as users become more experienced with the site. Last fall, Facebook pages were created in English and Spanish to test consumer reaction, and the feedback was used to design the website. A similar strategy is planned for a mobile site that’s due to launch in the second quarter. Mobile “is where, again, there is a difference between the less acculturated Latina versus the more acculturated Latina,” Ballas-Traynor said.
Rivals like Johnson & Johnson’s BabyCenter and Disney-owned Babble, meanwhile, are taking baby steps to reach the Hispanic consumer. This month, BabyCenter plans to add a Spanish-language Facebook page with features that roll out as the audience grows, said Isidra Mencos, BabyCenter’s editorial director of the Americas and Spain. In February, Babble added the first of what it promises will be several new Hispanic mom bloggers, Ana Roca Castro.
“As this engagement develops, it’ll mean bringing on more Latina mom bloggers,” said Catherine Connors, Babble’s director of community, “and if we see there’s really a demand for it, we’ll be considering developing more Latina-oriented service content.”
Gonsalvo Del Fa, who leads GroupM Hispanic, said that clients Unilever, Macy’s and Storck (makers of Werther’s Original candies) are targeting Hispanic moms specifically because of their perceived stronger household influence when compared to general market moms.
“In the Hispanic market it seems that every time there’s any [purchase] decision taken in the household…moms have a really strong voice,” he said, before noting a lack of options online for advertisers seeking Hispanic moms in particular.