The U.S. Hispanic population and its purchasing power are growing swiftly. Hispanic spending power has reached $800 billion and it is projected to reach a $1 trillion by 2010. The U.S. Census Bureau figures estimate that the total U.S. Hispanic population at 45million; the largest minority group in the US and the fastest-growing group. From 1990 to 2006, the population grew by an incredible 102 percent. By 2050, Hispanics will constitute 24 percent of the total population with a count of over 100 million people.
Hispanic advertising will reach $5.5 billion revenue by 2010, according to Kagan Research. The difference between Hispanic marketing and mainstream marketing is cultural relevancy. The same strategies used in general market can apply here, but they have to be fine tuned to the Hispanic market. It is important to know the audience you are talking to and how it will perceive the message.
It is risky to market directly to the Hispanic market because if it is not done correctly, not only will you miss optimum results because the message was not clear, concise or the wrong media was used, but also you will take the risk of offending the group that you intend to target or even groups that you do not intend to target. For example, Bank of America’s campaign of opening bank accounts to Hispanics without the social security numbers backfired when it offended many anti-illegal-immigration groups.
Traditionalists, Second, Third and Fourth Generations Hispanics
There are two types of Hispanic consumers, first generation that are also called traditionalists and second, third, and plus generations.
The first generation was born and grew up in their native countries before immigrating to the US. Their lifestyle and purchasing habits are greatly influenced by the cultures of their native countries. The second & plus generations are the U.S. born and bred Latinos. They live the Latin lifestyle but also speak English. This is a growing and a promising group. It is also the most challenging to reach. If advertisers spend their money in traditional Hispanic media such as Univision and Telemundo, they would be mostly talking to the first generation Latinos and miss out on the second & plus Hispanics.
How to Advertise effectively to Hispanic Market
As with other markets, understanding your target consumer is important.
Here is some advice on what to do and what to avoid when advertising to Hispanic consumers.
1. Knowledge of the market: You have to make an effort to make a connection at the community level.
2. Cultural nuances & sensitivities are significant: The Hispanic market is diverse. It contains several subcultures with different sensitivities. What would work with Puerto Ricans in the Northeast may not necessarily work for the Mexican Hispanics in the Southwest. Nowadays, it is necessary to market in Spanish and in English to reach both Latinos that speak Spanish and those that speak English.
3. Sincerity is important: Be a community player. How are you are serving the community? How are you participating in its betterment? You have to show that you care about this demographic. If your participation is seen as positive for the community and your target consumers, you will be rewarded. Building brand awareness takes time.
4. Following up: It takes time to develop a marketing & advertising program. There are no instant results. It is important to follow up and fine tune and adjust your initial campaign. You have to be serious, persistent to make a dent in this market. The rewards and the loyally will follow.