Hispanic Marketing Trends For 2011

Most lists that come out this time of year take a stab at prognosticating what will happen in various industries during the next 12 months. I'm sure you thought the headline on this article was a typo: Why would anyone be writing about trends in Hispanic marketing 12 to 24 months out?

Well, frankly, while I no doubt realize that 2010 will bring numerous evolutionary changes to the Hispanic advertising and media world, I believe 2011 will result in far more disruptive and revolutionary change. Why?

First, Hispanic marketing trends usually follow trends in the general market. While these changes historically lag by three to five years, media and marketing technology have shortened that gap to one to three years. So the transformational changes that have affected mainstream advertising and media will bear their full brunt on our industry by 2011.

In addition, by the end of 2010, U.S. Hispanic Internet penetration is on pace to reach almost 70%, once and for all ending the debate about whether the Internet is a Hispanic mass marketing medium.



Finally, the 2010 Census results will be out in early 2011 and will no doubt bring increased attention to the Hispanic market because the numbers will be big. This attention will not all be good, as I addressed in a blog a few months back, because in addition to more advertiser activity, it will translate into more competition from general market agencies attempting to service the market.

2011 Trends

Erosion of Spanish TV's Prominence Although Spanish-language TV has managed to avoid the fate of its general market counterparts, trends such as online video (note the popularity of novelas on YouTube), the trend toward "on-demand" and DVR time-adjusted consumption will eventually impact Spanish TV. More importantly, the value of the big two's (Univision and Telemundo) content will begin to be "crowded out" by competition from cable, mobile and Internet video options and cheaper access to home country content on all three of the aforementioned platforms.

Polarization of the Hispanic Acculturation Model Most Hispanic marketing strategies are built on the foundation of the familiar three-part Hispanic acculturation model (unacculturated, partially acculturated and acculturated). While this model will continue to be valid, it will become increasingly polarized as the differences among the three segments increase, particularly in relation to demographics and media preference. The coming "tsunami" of U.S.-born young Hispanics (in 10 years, 62% of all teens will be Hispanic) will only exacerbate the differences that will exist among the various segments.

Shift in Emphasis from Traditional to Digital Channels Ultimately, clients make the decision as to where budgets are spent, and their increasing preference to go digital in the general market will carry over to their Hispanic advertising efforts. I'm already starting to see Hispanic digital reviews, especially as clients focus on targeting specific Hispanic segments, trading reach for deeper engagement. Hispanic direct response activity will also migrate to the Web, particularly as Hispanic digital performance channels eat away at traditional options (DRTV, direct mail, etc.).

Mobile Marketing Although mobile marketing's arrival has been prematurely announced for the last five years, its undeniable growth in 2010 will finally reveal the full potential for using mobile to reach Hispanics in 2011. In fact, mobile will likely start to replace local print media consumption (newspaper readership), and opportunities with couponing, QR codes and apps will make Hispanic mobile marketing the fastest growing segment in Hispanic media by the end of 2011.

The "Second Offensive" of the General Market Agencies As mentioned above, the 2010 Census results will help drive a new wave of interest in Hispanic advertising, both among marketers and general market ad agencies looking to continue to grow. Just like the lines between traditional and digital agencies were beginning to blur in 2009, by 2011 the lines between general market and multicultural marketing will become hazy, much to the dismay of specialist Hispanic shops.

Social Media Takes Center Stage To borrow a phrase from Adweek, social media will "be like air" and a part of all things advertising. This will be the case in Hispanic advertising, as the over-indexing of Hispanics on social media should provide the "writing on the wall." However, like in the general market, clients will start to take social media programs "in-house," especially those focused on creating and managing communities.

Other Hispanic Media Will Experience Differing Fates While Hispanic TV and print will suffer as a result of trends toward digital, radio and OOH have an opportunity to emerge stronger than ever and evolve with changes in technology.

Arrival of New Media Platforms Once gaming companies (gaming networks, online games, game developers, etc.) adopt more sophisticated demographic tracking capabilities, they will introduce a promising new media channel to reach Hispanic gamers of all ages and types. GPS-enabled marketing, which should come of age in mainstream marketing in 2010, will be poised to open new doors to reaching Hispanics in 2011.

People will Talk about the "Good Old Days" of 2008 and before As with the general market advertising industry, overall ad spending will take a long time to return to its pre-recession peaks. In the case of Hispanic media spending, those 2008 numbers won't be seen again for a long time.

7 comments about "Hispanic Marketing Trends For 2011 ".
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  1. Ray Ruzicka from Schupp Company, January 7, 2010 at 5:58 p.m.

    While I always find these top lines helpful, you need to be careful with the details. In the "Polarization" paragraph, the author states "in 10 years, 62% of all teens will be Hispanic". I believe that the correct statement is that in 10 years, the Hispanic teen population will increase by 62% (compared to a total teen pop. increase of 10%).
    The devil is in the details.

  2. Harold Cabezas from Cabezas Communications, January 7, 2010 at 7 p.m.

    I am not religious, but I will gladly say: Amen. Perhaps even, Hallelujah! I have been saying this for the last five to seven years. With the Latino programming tiers on cable and satellite, not to mention online offerings of international media/video programming, it is only logical that Univision and Telemundo would lose prominence.

    This is not a knock on them. It is impossible to be everything to everyone. The Latino community, especially in the North East/Eastern Seaboard, is very segmented. There are extreme cultural differences between Central American, Caribbean, Northern-South American {Andean} and Southern Cone country immigrants/descendants.

    In the past, Latinos put up with programming that wasn't of their specific liking, because it was in their language. Not anymore!!

    It is nice that someone actually accounts for the increased use of technology....with all the offerings currently available to Latinos-smartphones, iPods, Satellite Radio, laptops, netbooks, HD television-how can we logically expect this segment to stay loyal to two networks?!

    I agree with you, 2010 will be the start......

  3. Jose Villa from Sensis, January 8, 2010 at 8:51 a.m.


    Thanks for the comment and clarification. I have actually read the 62% figure both ways. BoldenPR had a blog that actually used the line "In fact, today, Latino youth stands for 20 percent of the total U.S. teen population with studies showing that they will reach 62 percent by 2020, increasingly becoming a very lucrative segment of the economy."

    I've also seen it quoted your way.

    I will further research this to find the correct figure/data.



  4. Lauri Jordana from Conexion Marketing, January 10, 2010 at 11:55 p.m.

    Jose, great piece and I love the fresh 2011 focus!

    I think that, in regard to errosion of Spanish-language TV, this is simply a sign of Spanish-speaking Latinos being offered content that is closer to what they had in their homeland or what generally resonates with them. As we know, not native Spanish speaker watches Sábado Gigante, ¡ni mucho menos! As Harold mentions, with the cable, satellite, and now digital resources, consumers in general can pick and choose what *really* speaks to us, versus simply consuming what's on in our preferred language.

    Here in Seattle, we have four Spanish-language newspapers, for example, yet in our study of the region's Latinos, we learned that The Seattle Times is read more, among even the Spanish-dominant bilinguals. Why? Probably both content and accessibility come in to play here. More local reporting, in-depth stories, generally better quality journalism, more frequent publishing, easier access (home delivery), etc. It's all about having the right content and making it accessible to everyone. That's what this advanced digital age is bringing us all. (Note that this is not a "diss" on Spanish-language media in the U.S., but in general it simply doesn't have the resources of its English-language counterparts. It still is an absolute go-to for many unacculturated monolingual consumers.)

    As for social media, we do an increasingly growing amount of work in this area for clients who wish to engage Latinos online. I agree that more and more, clients will develop in-house resources to meet this need--but it's going to take longer for them to do so with bilingual capabilities! Depending on their target, that could be a key to effective messaging.

    Thanks again for this inspiring discussion, and have a terrific 2010 (and 2011!).

  5. Deanna Shoss, January 11, 2010 at 11:45 p.m.

    However you interpret the number of Hispanic teens, it's still a large number of people who potentially self-identify as Hispanic, but who do not speak Spanish, which poses another interesting caveat when looking at Hispanic Marketing.

    Great, thorough article, Jose.

  6. Sebastian Limeres, February 4, 2010 at 1:18 p.m.

    When we launched on 2009 our goal by the end of the year was to have 100,000 ads on the website. To our surprise we ended 2009 with 4.5MM ads.
    That's my humble prediction of how the U.S. Spanish speakers are welcoming the internet.

    Gracias @


  7. Sebastian Aroca from Hispanic Market Advisors, February 6, 2010 at 12:06 a.m.

    Interested point about the "Erosion of Spanish TV's Prominence." Another piece of data: Last year alone, the biggest Hispanic surge has been in internet media, up 36.3% in 2007 (according to the Hispanic Fact Pack 08). As a result, more Spanish-language sites/pages based in the U.S. are being optimized for search engines. US Hispanics will increasingly have more search options as Spanish Web content is being propagated over the Web.

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