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How marketers can better target the Hispanic demographic

Posted by Betsy Farber on June 3rd, 2014 at 1:06 pm

In a case study at the iMedia Entertainment Summit in Beverly Hills, California, Jacqueline Hernandez, CMO, Hispanic enterprises and content at NBCUniversal, discussed how to target the rapidly growing Hispanic consumer market.

Among all of the shifts occurring in the marketplace -- technological, viewing habits, etc. -- the most overlooked one, Hernandez argues, is the social shift happening with the Hispanic demographic. To kick-off Hernandez offered a Hispanic market 101 brush up: Hispanics make up 17 percent of the U.S. population, or 52 million people, with a 1.7 trillion dollar buying power, making the U.S. the second highest populated Hispanic country in the world, below Mexico. Overall the average median age of the Hispanic consumer is 27, and 80 percent of  Hispanics have smartphones, using them regularly to consume video. And for an even greater perspective, according to the U.S. Census, Bureau, by 2060, Hispanics will make up one-third of the population. This multicultural demographic is a wide open opportunity that marketers can not overlook.

The effect of this growing population has already taken shape, causing the intersection of Hispanic and American cultures. For example the popularity of NFL player Victor Cruz, pop star PitBull, and the exercise phenomenon Zumba have crossed over into mainstream America, proving the ubiquity of Hispanic interests. And when it comes to entertainment, 56 percent of Hispanics are more likely to go to new film releases. "That's a lot of popcorn," said Hernandez. But how to reach Spanish-speaking consumers can be a slippery slope for marketers. Is it better to have a campaign in English, Spanish, or both? When it comes to film campaigns, Hernandez said that both English and Spanish advertising is preferred by the majority of Hispanic consumers.

So how do marketers better connect with these consumers? In order to reach the whole Hispanic market, Hernandez outlined four "human truths" for marketers to consider:

  • Duality: Accept that there is no demographic. It's just "one big happy America," said Hernandez.
  • Gender bender: There is a dynamic role-reversal happening among Hispanic men and women, with numbers showing that women are valuing education and career over family and marriage.
  • Language meets culture: Spanish language and Hispanic culture span 20-something countries across the same American time zones. The language is a huge connection to the culture to be tapped into.
  • The need for speed: Programming is in need of content that leaves consumers on the edge of their seats causing binge viewing and social sharing. This insight goes for all demographics across the board, not just within the Hispanic market.

Reaching the consumer across the full spectrum through a multicultural platform is the primary goal at NBCUniversal, said Hernandez. And marketers can have a huge impact on influencing the "New America," as she referred to the impact of the cultural shift that is occurring.

"Latino soy...aqui estoy," which translates "I'm Hisapanic, but I'm here in this country," Hernandez said is a common mindset among the demographic. Hispanic consumers might have specific cultural values, but they also possess regular American consumers habits.

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