When The Scale Tips, What Side Will You Be On?

For decades, Hispanic marketers have pled the case for increased Hispanic investment. Together, we trudged through the muck of Hispanic 101, when all brands wanted to do was use Spanish-language versions of their existing advertising, when Hispanic PR was an afterthought. Digital? Well, that was just a Spanish-language translation of an existing web site.

My, how things have changed — because “general market” is a term of the past. The Census Bureau recently revealed that the 2050 tipping point, when the majority would become the minority and non-Hispanic whites would no longer account for more than 50% of U.S. inhabitants, may now occur as early as 2044. Yes, the sky is falling on the marketing industry as we know it — and multicultural marketers are the only ones holding the umbrellas.



It is no secret that Hispanics have been fueling not only multicultural growth in this country but also overall U.S. growth. Census 2015 figures report the U.S. population will be 47% white, 28% Hispanic, 13% black and 8% Asian-American in 2050. By 2060, close to one in three U.S. residents will be Hispanic, up from about one in six today, with the majority of growth attributed to domestic births rather than immigration. So what does it mean to be Hispanic? More importantly, how can brands reach them?

As America becomes more poly-cultural, discovering universal truths across key target audiences — Moms, Millennials, sports fans — is the first step in what many in the industry are calling “Total Market.” Let’s harness what unites us versus our inherent differences. Yes, that is important, and also why we are calling that a first step, because that is not enough. It is even more crucial in today’s ever-changing and increasingly global world to dig deeper, find those cultural nuances and address barriers to help forge a more meaningful engagement and relevant conversation. That is the essence of a true “Total Market” approach, and that is what drives ROI.

If you think about it, it’s just good marketing at its core. You would never create a blanket campaign targeting women without looking into her individual experience — is she a mother, who does she live with, did she go to college, how old is she, where does she live? These are questions that need to be answered before tailored approaches can be mixed with overarching brand messages. It’s the same with multicultural, and it’s the same with Hispanic. Content that is riveting and shareable, messages that are deeply grounded in insights, engaging your consumers at the touch points that matter most to them. That is the name of the game. Whether or not you like the name, “Total Market” is here to stay — because it’s not a gimmick, it’s just “Real Marketing.”

Brands that are using Total Market as a cost-cutting approach will be on the wrong side of the tipping scale. Brands that are still not bringing the right experts to the table will be on the wrong side of the tipping scale. Brands and their agencies that are not taking the time to become fully educated and immersed in the multicultural market and in the growth-fueling Hispanic market in particular will be on the wrong side of the tipping scale. And that’s why the 2015 AHAA Annual Conference is attracting more brands than ever before – both as presenters and as attendees. Look at recent Ad Agearticles — nearly every single brand heralded as a marketing visionary is either a current or past AHAA conference participant.

So where will you be in 2043? Where will your clients be? What side of the tipping scale will you be on? Perhaps you should consider that trip to Miami on April 27 after all.

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