Reaching the Growing Hispanic Market

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It is widely expected that the new census data will show 1 in 6 people living in the United States is hispanic. The Arizona immigration law case has only presented one view of this fast-growing population. Here’s another.

22 of the top 50 hispanic advertisers increased their media budgets last year, despite the disasterous recession.  12.6% of Google users and 11.4% of Facebook users are hispanic.  Hispanics are also the nation’s second-largest consumers of goods and services.  Their median age is “young and generally living in large, traditional, married-with children families” according to a recent analysis by Advertising Age.  As the boomer generation ages, this coming-of-age hispanic generation will lead the way in consuming goods and services.  But thanks to the rise of the internet, Skype, and relatively inexpensive global travel–at least as opposed to what was experienced by past immigrant generations–this population remains connected to countries and cultures of origin, even while they are becoming more Americanized.  So reaching them must recognize and respect these connections.

Are corporations and nonprofits effectively reaching prospective customers and donors who are hispanic?

Some large companies and nonprofits have been proactive about advertising and multi-lingual outreach.  Recognizing that 2.5 million Hispanic Americans suffer from diabetes or insulin resistance syndrome that is considered “pre-diabetes,” last year the American Diabetes Association launched an oral care program aimed at this market with corporate partner Colgate-Palmolive, which also happens to be among the top 50 advertisers to this market segment. But other groups are sluggish, relying on diversity initiatives that are geared primarily towards women and African-Americans, and often target prospective employees more than prospective customers.

Part of the key to reaching hispanics is, as with any group, connecting to prospects through the communications tools they themselves use.

According to a new Pew Research study, when it comes to socializing and communicating with friends, young Latinos (ages 16 to 25) make extensive use of mobile technology. Half say they text message (50%) their friends daily, and 45% say they talk daily with friends on a cell phone.  Only 10% use email.  Recognizing this trend, Nestle recently launched an iPhone app that promotes use of Carnation Evaporated Milk by pulling recipes and content from its MiCochina Latina site.

Whatever happens in Arizona, the American population is changing and people selling everything from nonprofit causes to consumer products must adapt to reach the growing hispanic market.

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