Commentary

2018 Will Be The Year Hispanic Marketing Takes Off

Hispanics have been a demographic of interest to marketers for years now, but that hasn’t always meant a shift in where budgets were allocated. This will all change in 2018, as new tools make it easier to vet publishers and Hispanic culture begins to exercise larger influence on the culture of the U.S. as a whole. 

Here are my predictions for the top trends in the Hispanic and advertising spaces:

Brands are finally getting serious about Hispanics

It usually takes large brands up to 24 months to make changes to a marketing strategy and allocate budget accordingly, which is unsurprising when you think about the amount of deep planning that has to happen every time these brands decide to make even the tiniest change to their marketing plan. The same is true when it comes to shifting the demographic focus of advertising; Hispanics, for example, have been top-of-mind for executives for the past several years. Brands have now had ample time to chart their outreach strategy, and 2018 will be the year where we begin to see concerted efforts from major brands to spend against the Hispanic audience.

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Brands will start paying more attention to cultural passion points

It should go without saying, but the fact of the matter is that the best way to reach people is by appealing to what they like. For instance, in the case of Hispanic audiences, one of their biggest passion points involves sports, especially soccer. Eighty-four percent of Hispanics say they follow the sport, compared to 47% of the non-Hispanic population; not only that, Hispanic fans watch nearly three times the amount of soccer as their non-Hispanic counterparts. 

Another passion point that brands should be paying attention to is music. The music industry, as a result, is naturally keen to reach out to Hispanics, as the sheer size of the Hispanic audience in the United States (as well as the fact that they listen to music in both English and Spanish) can have a significant influence on the listening habits of the rest of the population. Just look at the massive popularity of Justin Bieber’s “Despacito” amongst non-Hispanics. 

The fact that Hispanics like soccer and music isn’t news; however, it gives brands an idea of how and where to focus their efforts. Truly successful brands will be able to leverage this information without resorting to cliché, and will be able to incorporate other passion points such as education, community, food, and language. 

The programmatic ecosystem will become more transparent, and fast

Transparency is a hugely important issue for the Hispanic market, and indeed for the ad tech market in its entirety. Nevertheless, the sudden popularity and adoption of ads.txt, an initiative created by IAB Tech Lab to create a public record of Authorized Digital Sellers and give publishers the opportunity to declare which companies they authorize to sell their advertising inventory is frankly astonishing. 

What does this mean for the industry as a whole, and for the Hispanic market in particular? In the case of the former, it means that there will be a lot of transparency in the marketplace quickly, which can only be beneficial. More transparency means that pricing for real players in the space, with direct publisher relationships and ethical practices, will go up, and bad players will be forced out of the market entirely.

More than ever before, Hispanic audiences have become a visible and vocal element of society, wielding enormous influence and buying power. Taken together, I believe these three things will enable advertisers to craft an effective strategy that is aligned with the cultural passion points of the Hispanic market, and that will enable them to reach customers with maximum effectiveness.

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