Experts predict that the 2010 Census results will show an increase of 42% in the total U.S. Hispanic population, totaling 50 million. However, Portada magazine recently reported that a Feb. 2010 Hispanic trends survey revealed that half of respondents—all U.S. advertisers—do not target Hispanics in their marketing efforts, despite acknowledging their strong cultural impact in products and services including food, technology/communications and entertainment.
The survey, created to expose a thorough depiction at advertisers’ strategy, spending plans and viewpoints of the U.S. Hispanic market, reported that 82% of respondents still have no plans to include or increase efforts to Hispanics in the next 12 months. Surprisingly, 8 out of 10 of those respondents agreed that Latinos will influence U.S. companies’ product and service offerings in the next five years.
“Now more than ever, businesses need to think about how to tap into the opportunity the Hispanic market presents,” advised Hector Orcí, co-founder and chairman of the L.A.-based Hispanic ad agency that conducted the survey.
In addition to marketing strategy, the Latino population growth is also affecting the overall media landscape. A recent Miami Herald article discusses the future of Hispanic media, “This time next year, if you’re not in Hispanic media, you’re going to want badly to get in,” says Don Browne, president of Telemundo in the article. “And those who are already in it are going to feel pretty damn good about it.”
One of the biggest factors affecting future demographics is that Hispanic population growth is being driven now by birth rates rather than immigration. “A new Spanish-language TV viewer is more likely to have been born and raised in the United States than to have come here from somewhere else, bringing old viewing habits with him,” explains Herald writer Glenn Garvin.
The changing demographics will lead to new categories of TV programming, splitting viewers into Spanish-dominant versus bilingual.
In fact, some Spanish-language networks such as Spanish Broadcasting System (SBS), Telemundo and Univisión will even be creating their own programming with the understanding that the traditional “novela” might not fit into the transitioning U.S. Hispanic market, including dramas not unlike those seen on top mainstream networks.
The U.S. Hispanic media landscape is adapting, growing and seeing a profitable future, so too must advertisers adjust with the changing demographic that is the future of the Latino market.
As Mauricio Gerson, senior vice president of programming and development at SBS points out, “Investing in this Hispanic market is investing in growth.”