By Glenn Llopis (Forbes.com)
U.S. Hispanics are not valued enough by America’s corporations, government and mainstream media. In particular, brand marketers do not take Hispanic consumers seriously enough, especially their buying power or trend setting influence. Although the proportion of U.S. Hispanics is scaling upwards rapidly, corporations and advertisers continue to underestimate the importance of Hispanics as an economic and business development engine.
To see an example of the economic impact Latinos can have, one need look no further than their local grocery store aisle, where tortillas, taco kits and salsa outperform hamburgers, hot dog buns and ketchup sales, according to Reportlinker.com’s new market research report, Hispanic Foods and Beverages in the U.S.
But this is just the tip of the iceberg. According to a recent blog in AdAge by Tony D’Andrea: “In the wake of Barack Obama‘s re-election by a wide multicultural coalition, evidence is growing that Latino influence on mainstream society is growing far beyond the consumption of tacos and salsa music. This has important consequences for marketing by multicultural and general-market professionals alike.”
Unfortunately, many of America’s corporations cling to preconceived stereotypes instead of becoming informed about Hispanic culture and how it shapes the identity of Hispanic consumers and their community at-large. This disconnection with U.S. Hispanics makes it difficult for companies to authentically engage with, build trust, and begin to value Hispanics in America as a viable, business model worthy consumer – one that currently represents 16.7% of the United States population with a purchasing power estimated to reach $1.5 trillion by 2015. Furthermore, with a median age of 28 years old, the Latino consumer is nearly 10 years younger than the total market age of 37 years, according to Nielsen. Most importantly, according to the 2010 U.S. Census, by 2015, 1 in 3 newborns will be Latino. Just think of the purchasing power Hispanics will have by 2050, when their percentage of the U.S. population will have nearly doubled to 30%!
Though these numbers speak for themselves, corporations and advertisers have been slow to make the proper investments in a consumer group whose loyalty takes time to earn. To do so, a brand’s approach to Hispanic marketing must be culturally relevant and empower the voices of Hispanic consumers at all times.
“With Latinos, the consumer is not boss, culture is boss,” said Enrique Marquez , SVP, Director of Strategy at Lapiz, a Chicago-based marketing agency focused on emerging cultures. “For brands and marketers to succeed with Latinos, we must fully understand and embrace their unique mindset and pay close attention to the cultural relationship they have with categories and brands.”
According to the Center for Hispanic Leadership, there is a debate amongst advertisers about how to best reach the younger-skewing Hispanic consumer. Advertisers argue that they can effectively reach the Hispanic demographic by advertising more during programming that is popular with youthful viewers, such as American Idol, National Football League (NFL) games, and The Simpsons. The counter argument is that reaching them is not the same as earning their loyalty and trust; Hispanic consumers don’t want to be “sold to” – but rather, courted by brands that authentically empower their cultural relevancy and communicate in ways that naturally resonate with Hispanic cultural values.
Advertisers must look well-beyond the Spanish-language demographic and wake-up to the fact that second and third generation English-speaking U.S. Hispanics – who represent 68% of partially acculturated Hispanics (dual cultural affinity) – is where the growing value of Hispanic purchasing power lies. It therefore should come as no surprise that Univision/ABC will be launching a 24/7 cable news network in 2013 that specifically targets English-speaking U.S. Hispanics.
This strained relationship between brands and Hispanic consumers is negatively impacting corporate decision-making and the development of new markets, products, services, and revenue streams. At a time when the U.S. economy and the stock market are looking for a leg-up, corporate executives are leaving economic development opportunities on the table because they fail to invest, engage and learn more about how to connect culturally with this vibrant Hispanic consumer segment.
In 2013, corporations must invest more wisely and strategically in theHispanic consumer – who are not only early adopters of social media and mobile device use, but are now translating their super-user status into super-consumers via social and tablet shopping. In doing so, Hispanic consumers have become super-trendsetters.
According to PR Newswire, the marketing agency Lapiz, a division of Leo Burnett, recently released a new consumer research study called LatinoShop. Per the study’s findings, Latinos view shopping not so much as a chore; instead it’s “a multisource, multisensorial and multigenerational experience that provides retailers and marketers with a wide range of opportunities to engage.” They go on to say: “The study is part of a landmark global research initiative, PeopleShop, focused on illuminating cultural, geographical and economical influences that impact how and why people shop around the world.”
Here are just a few of the LatinoShop study’s findings:
Hispanics Shop with Their Senses
- 55% Hispanics vs. 38% Non-Hispanics – like to touch and feel a product
- 36% Hispanics vs. 13% Non-Hispanics – think it’s fun to immerse themselves in the store atmosphere
- 49% Hispanics vs. 19% Non-Hispanics – judge product quality by product packaging
Social Shopping (online and offline)
- 37% Hispanics vs. 17% Non-Hispanics – reach out to friends and family
- 36% Hispanics vs. 18% Non-Hispanics – share opinions and write reviews
- 48% Hispanics vs. 31% Non-Hispanics – use social networking sites
Mobile and Tablet Shopping
- 56% Hispanics vs. 33% Non-Hispanics – shop mobile with a phone
- 43% Hispanics vs. 25% Non-Hispanics – shop with a tablet
Trendsetting (Hispanics are more than twice as likely vs. non-Hispanics to):
- 41% Hispanics vs. 18% Non-Hispanics – follow the trends
- 31% Hispanics vs. 14% Non-Hispanics – like to try new products first
- 30% Hispanics vs. 13% Non-Hispanics – like to be first to share with friends
Radio, Billboards and Infomercials (Still Rank High Amongst Hispanic Consumers)
- Radio: 72% Hispanics vs. 46% Non-Hispanics
- Billboards: 59% Hispanics vs. 35% Non-Hispanics
- Infomercials: 52% Hispanics vs. 23% Non-Hispanics
The Hispanic community is rapidly becoming the most influential voice in pop culture, business, and politics; their trendsetting impact will make or break the success of those seeking to gain brand popularity, market share and / or win the next election.
To learn more about how your business can unlock new growth opportunities in the Hispanic market visit www.HispanicTrainingCenter.com.
Categories: NGL News