The hurdle then and even today, however, is the difficulty in assigning a budget or producing a piece of creative, TV show or film that speaks directly to such a complex moving target. At the recent MPG Collaborative, I even went so far as to quantify the different hypothetical combinations that could make up an NGL's profile. If one were to multiply 21 different Hispanic nationalities by 4 U.S. Hispanic generations, 2 language stratifications (English and bilingual), 5 core U.S. Hispanic regions (New York, Chicago, Miami, Texas and California), 3 migration motives (economic, political, familial) and 3 core demos under 40 (14-17, 18-24, 25-34), it comes out to 7,560 possible combinations that could define the "NGL experience." Not exactly a one-size-fits-all demographic and psychographic profile.
My point in doing this exercise was not to calculate the exact number of NGL "segments," but rather to illustrate how confusing the NGL audience could be, especially to those who are new to investing in our market. In a year when the U.S. Census is going to confirm without a doubt (once again) that NGL's are driving both population growth and Hispanics' contribution to the U.S. economy, we are committed to helping those in media, marketing and entertainment fill in the information gaps surrounding how best to communicate with and reach this elusive audience.
With that in mind, here are some fast facts about NGL's:
Now comes the tricky part. Quantifying NGL's "fair share" of both U.S. Hispanic and General Market media expenditures. Here's the math as the NGLC sees it:
To recap, that's a 1.7% NGL spend vs. NGL's 62% contribution to the U.S. Hispanic population!
Clearly, there are many ways these numbers can be sliced up and different assumptions that can be made. Again, my point is not to deduce an exact NGL "fair share" number, but rather to illustrate how lopsided this situation is. My hope is that in a Census year when the profile of the U.S. Hispanic market is going to be off the charts, we as an industry can aim higher.
Rather than focusing on how the $6 billion pie is going to be divided up and doled out, our position is that we should focus on the much larger $117 billion pie and question why more dollars are not earmarked for U.S. Hispanics as a whole. At last check, we've been short-changed about $12 billion to get our total market "fair share."
In order to hit that mark, we'd certainly have to include Spanish-dominants, bilinguals, English-dominants and all 7,650 combinations in between. There has never been a better time for the U.S. Hispanic market to come together and push this discussion forward. Here are some of the items that we'll be talking about at our conference in April and throughout the year. Our hope is that the rest of our industry will join us in a dialogue around these critically important action steps.
In the 10 years that have passed since the last Census, U.S. Hispanics' numbers have grown astronomically. For perspective, see the 2000 Census numbers indicating that U.S.-born NGL's represented 60% of the U.S. Hispanic population even back then. There is every indication that this percentage will be on the up-tick when the 2010 Census numbers are revealed.
As it was a decade ago, NGL's are the key driver of U.S. Hispanic growth and, therefore, hold the key to unlocking our market's larger contribution to the worlds of media, marketing and entertainment. Now is the time to push this agenda forward to fully realize the potential of the entire U.S. Hispanic market and not just a sliver of it.