This past June, I organized a program for my local advertising federation about the growth of the Hispanic market as an important frontier for marketers. Our speaker had done locally groundbreaking Hispanic community outreach and organizational work for a local credit union. He also hosted a cultural immersion program for non-Hispanic residents to interact with the local Hispanic community.
That June presentation gained new meaning for me recently when news of growth for Hispanic broadcaster Univision was detailed.
In an Adweek/Reuters story via Yahoo News, it was explained how Univision has experienced a massive ratings jump this season and is just below the Big 4 Networks now. You can see the whole story by clicking here.
One of the Big 4, NBC, had taken steps previously to profit from this growing demographic by purchasing Telemundo, the second-place Hispanic broadcaster. Remember, both Univision and Telemundo are United States based businesses, although as detailed in the link, Univision now has a joint programming agreement with Mexico’s Grupo Televisa, it’s major content provider.
Last week, I attended the kickoff of a speaker series presented by our local Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (a group I also just joined as a member). The keynote was given by Marisa Rivera-Albert, a nationally recognized consultant on Hispanic affairs and owner of Mpowerment Works (www.mpowermentworks.com).
During her presentation, she detailed several facts in addition to the item about census growth mentioned in the attached article:
- 1 out of every 6 people are Hispanic
- 1 out of every 5 teens are Hispanic
- 70% speak Spanish dominant or are bi-lingual
- 46% are under 25
- U.S. Hispanics account for $862 Billion in disposable income and will be at $1.2 trillion by 2015 (the $862 Billion already makes U.S. Hispanics the 18th largest economy in the world)
- This group is also embracing new technology and marketing platforms that go with them (text/mobile ads, online, etc.)
Ms. Rivera-Albert’s main point besides the recognition of Hispanics as a key consumer group to be reckoned with was the route that should be taken to get there: the simple rule of seek first to understand before you can be understood.
For instance, the importance of addressing the Hispanic community you are reaching out to in the proper dialect (Ex: If you advertise in the Florida area, the Cuban dialect is neded as opposed to the Central, Coastal Mexican or Castillan Spanish dialect in other areas).
In addition, Hispanic consumers share similar demographic trends with their non- Hispanic counterparts – women make family buying decisions. That is why Ms. Rivera-Albert is working currently to promote Latina empowerment through her firm.
My curiosity continues. Why, as detailed in the attached article, so many companies refuse to recognize – and marketers fail to embrace – the opportunity of getting in on this economic growth? I posed this question to Ms. Rivera-Albert after her presentation.
“Resistance to joining with the Hispanic community is based in fear,” she said. “The Hispanic community has also shown an inability to share our story.” She went on to say that was why her “Seek first to understand…” message is so important for both groups.
I can relate since I am not bi-lingual (something I plan to address). But, other Hispanic leaders I have met locally have been more direct. They have said that marketers and advertisers should only be focused on the dominant color that the Hispanic community represents – green!
What do you think? Please share your thoughts and comments.