“Acculturation” is an important concept for multicultural marketers, but it's still ambiguous. It can refer to something as basic as language or extend to more subtle behaviors, including consumption decisions.
On that note, Marketing Research Services Inc. has unveiled a new acculturation model for the Hispanic population to help marketers and advertisers more effectively segment this rapidly gowing market.
Unlike other acculturation models which limit themselves to language preference and simple demographic measures, MRSI says its new acculturation model incorporates attitudinal and behavioral dimensions, giving a more rounded portrait of Hispanic consumers.
The MRSI model takes into account a number of factors, including how long the individual has lived in the United States, their age when they moved here, the size of the Hispanic population where they live and work, and their degree of access to Spanish-language media.
This should yield a more precise understanding of how they behave and interact with the marketplace, and also help marketers determine the best brand imagery and media mix for reaching them and shaping purchase decisions.
The new MRSI model comes amid growing awareness of the diversity of the U.S. Hispanic market, which is currently undergoing a major transition. The last decade saw a shift in the internal dynamics of the Hispanic population, as immigration is no longer the main driver of population growth. Natural growth has the upper hand, with a substantial base population tending to produce families larger than the national average (3.87 versus 3.19).
As the population’s characteristics shift, the most important area of difference for advertisers will be language.
A 2007 study from the Mercanti group found that while 73% of Hispanic immigrants prefer Spanish over English, the number falls to 25% of their children and just 1% of their grandchildren. However, English will not necessarily supplant Spanish, as many U.S.-born Hispanics of the younger generation say they are equally comfortable using both languages -- often consuming a mix of Spanish and English-language media.
According to Pew Research Center, total Spanish-language TV ad spending increased 10.7% in 2010, or double the growth rate for network TV in general. The 2010-2011 Spanish-language TV season is expected to bring in $1.5 billion in ad revenue.