Fish Where The Fish Are

I went out for the start of this year's trout fishing season as usual. But, no matter how much I spent on my gear and how early I arrived, I knew I wouldn't catch a single fish if I didn't go to a place where there were fish and brought the right bait.

Sounds pretty obvious, right? But, when it comes to growing revenue and market share, too many companies are ignoring the Hispanic population and thus, are not fishing where there are fish.

This point was made recently by the Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies' "Right Spend Study," conducted with the Advertising Research Foundation, using Nielsen Company data.

The AHAA report outlined some troubling examples of not "fishing where the fish are" such as toy manufacturers who spent 1.1% of their advertising budgets in the Hispanic market in 2007 despite the fact 25% of the population under five is Hispanic, according to the U.S. Census. Apple launched iTunes Latino and then invested a whopping 1% of its advertising power in the Hispanic market, despite the fact Hispanics now spend more time online than other demographics.



Where I live in the Northeast, supermarket chains have essentially ignored the Hispanic market, despite the fact we spend more per week and more per product than any other demographic. Well, they do put the Goya products on sale during Hispanic Heritage Month and Coronas on sale for Cinco de Mayo, so perhaps I shouldn't complain too much.

Many large insurance companies based in Hartford -- considered by some to be the insurance capital -- have completely ignored the market. Others have gone as far as rounding up Hispanic employees -- possessing skills in areas like underwriting, information systems and actuarial sciences -- to spearhead multibillion-dollar corporations' Hispanic marketing "efforts" despite bringing little more to the table than a Hispanic surname.

In today's economic climate, there is no room for inefficiency. This means ensuring you're fishing where your fish are, and allocating the appropriate budget as your bait. Here are some tips:

  • Re-analyze your target customer profile If it's been a while since you've done this, your customer profile may have shifted as the Hispanic population has boomed and is projected to soar to 438 million by 2050, according to Pew Research. If you're using old data and old models, you are likely over spending in the general market.
  • Don't just cut, invest It's no secret most companies, as well as their competitors, are cutting their marketing budgets in this down economy. The smart ones are investing some of those cuts into the Hispanic market as a way to gain share. When the economy bounces back, these companies will not only gain back their general market share but will have a new share of brand-loyal customers. If you only want to dip your toe in the water, consider investing in a comprehensive campaign in a test market.
  • Don't assume you're marketing to us through the general market This is a common misconception often propagated by general market agencies to their clients who express interest in Hispanic marketing. While you may "reach" us, as we do consume English-language media, marketing to Hispanics is more about speaking to our culture than in our language of preference. English advertising with strategies, creative and copy developed with a general market audience in mind will not necessarily connect with us or motivate us to consume.

In case you're wondering, I did okay, reeling in a couple of beautiful rainbow trout on opening day -- using worms.

3 comments about "Fish Where The Fish Are".
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  1. Peter Arceo from Strategic Gaming Advisors, April 30, 2009 at 12:42 p.m.

    This sounds great. I have a limited marketing budget and would love to market to the Hispanic market more often. I am constantly looking for low cost opportunities to do so. Unfortunately, finding these opportunities is proving to be much more difficult than expected.

  2. Lisa Urias from Urias Communications, April 30, 2009 at 1:40 p.m.

    This article makes perfect sense. It's critical to go where the growth in the market is. And while it may seem more complicated, it isn't. It simply requires a marketing team that understands how to reach it.

  3. Lish Gazda, April 30, 2009 at 6:05 p.m.

    Also surprising is that Brands and agencies have ignored the fact that Hispanics are far more likely to be on a mobile phone than on a PC. Mobile marketing is a sure bet for Hispanics

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