A Deeper Drill-Down Into the US Hispanic Market

This summary is a collection of observations and data gleaned from available research that helps to position the Hispanic marketing opportunities in a more introspective tone. It should help marketers view the culture from the heart.

According to a blog from Ethnic Technologies, prepared by Candace M. Kennedy, Sales and Marketing Director, describing the booming US Hispanic market, Hispanics love to buy and almost always buy in cash. The writer quotes the Wells Fargo Bank as reporting that their (Hispanic) clients feel that " ... being in debt is not honorable, and no one wants to have a bad name."

Hispanic households across the United States will sharply increase their economic clout over the next ten years. The demographic explosion has continued since 1990 and there is no let up. At Wal-Mart, Sears and K-Mart, to name a few stores, many Hispanic families are loaded with consumer goods.

Hispanics send money to the families they left behind in their country of origin.According to the National Immigration Forum, in addition to consumer spending, "immigrants and their businesses contribute $162 billion dollars in tax revenue to federal, state and local governments." They work in key sectors, start their own businesses and in general contribute to a thriving economy.

The U.S. Hispanic market is not homogeneous, says the writer. It is a market "comprised of subcultures from over 20 countries in Central and South America, the Caribbean and Spain, with the majority (63%) of Mexican heritage." Each group has its own set of values, traditions, beliefs, foods, festivals, and consumer patterns. The U.S. Hispanics are not identical. There are many differences in their countries' geographies, their indigenous ancestries and their colonial histories.

Hispanic market research has discovered that of the Hispanics surveyed, they prefer ads to be in Spanish over English, even though the younger group is more comfortable in English. Research also shows that Hispanics like any type of media, but prefer television and radio. Univision (one of the Spanish language networks) ranks 5th in the U.S., behind ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox, and won the #1 Network rating in the country in overall prime time viewer share on three nights of the week among all adults ages 18-34 in June this year.

Radio is a very effective medium to reach Hispanics because it has been found that they tend to listen all day. Print, with minority newspapers that cover news targeting directly to the community, specifically addresses the needs and concerns of the Hispanic community.

Direct response marketing has historically obtained little interest from the Hispanic population. However, the recent immigrants welcome the mail if for no other reason than to become informed. If most of this direct mail is in English and reaches a large percentage of households that speak and read only Spanish a great opportunity is missed. 

Unlike its U.S. counterpart, the Hispanic household is younger, with the head of household anywhere between 25 and 44 years old. The Conference Board's Research Center states that the under 44 Hispanic market is going to grow from a purchasing power of $295 billion in 2008 to $397 billion by 2010.

To read the original blog, please visit Ethnic Technologies here.


3 comments about "A Deeper Drill-Down Into the US Hispanic Market".
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  1. Kathleen Bostick from Lionbridge, September 18, 2009 at 11:22 a.m.

    Great observations! Thank you for providing this great research. You may be interested in some of our recent posts which take a deeper look into the variants for Spanish translation depending on the target market, whether for the US Hispanic market or another Spanish speaking market.

  2. Rosemary Doody from RMR, September 18, 2009 at 11:28 a.m.

    Would be very helpful to have data on, spending habits, advertising language preferences of Hispanic consumers depending on how acculterated they are (i.e. first generation, fully acculterated, etc.)

  3. Blas Giffuni from Blue Advertising Inc, September 18, 2009 at 11:36 a.m.

    This article is really insightful but I think that it's important to mention that is not only to market to them but also to proper serve the Hispanic community.

    Why do you want to spend a lot time, energy and resources into expensive TV and radio campaigns if you don't have customer service in Spanish.

    Also it's important that you provide the same English shopping experience for the Hispanics, meaning that if you really want to target the Hispanic community you need to provide the same information and corporate message.

    Some companies are doing the right moves like Best Buy that on their Spanish printed adds give a prime location to, this Spanish website offers the same experience than the English website. In the other hand we have companies advertising in Spanish TV spending millions and that might work for brick and mortar but Hispanics trends show that they shop online and purchase in store.

    At last the article mentions that 63% of the US Hispanic population is from Mexican backgrounds, but this doesn't mean that we all like Mariachi and we cheer and feel comfortable with all Mexican traditions. I feel that that the real marketing message for the Hispanic community should be more towards general culture and language rather than stereotype us into Mexicans.

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