Why Investing in Hispanic Digital Marketing Makes So Much Sense.

A recently published article by Univision claims, rightly so, that Hispanics and Digital are two of the fastest growing opportunities for marketers.  Unfortunately, the article is more of a chest pounding, self-promoting article than an insightful article.  Yet, it’s true.

It's been 3 years since the 2010 Census hailed the incredible growth of the Hispanic population in the US, which is not new, considering that every census report in the last 30 years has claimed the same thing.  What’s different about this one is, however, that the population growth is not as big as the years before, though it is still quite large. This time, the growth comes in terms of buying power, political influence, and business prowess. In fact, according to Terry Soto’s blog post this week, the Hispanic population in the US will be the 9th largest economy in the world by 2015”. So, just like companies who decide to venture into a new country as they see an opportunity to sell their products there, it should be quite clear that investing in the US Hispanic consumer is well worth it.  Some companies are already investing in Hispanic Marketing; some others are investing in that plus Hispanic Digital Marketing. But none of them are investing proportionately to the opportunity.

Another recent article written by Isabel Valdes and Jake Baniflah points at why this disparity exists, “The answer lies in a seriously flawed system for gathering multicultural sales data. What multicultural market researcher experts call the "sales data undercount" is estimated in between 40% to 60% of the true volume of multicultural consumer sales, depending on the brand or product category”.  This could very well be true and shame on those companies who are not demanding as robust market data for their Hispanic marketing efforts as they are for their general marketing.  But, getting back to the Univision article, what is driving that growth or what are the causes for it.

In summary, I would point out to the recession as a driving factor in Hispanic’s buying power.  As many Hispanic males saw themselves out of a job during the great recession, Hispanic women, who traditionally stayed at home taking care of the house and kids, were forced into a full-time or part-time job to make ends meet during the hard days of the recession.  Once they got a taste for making money, these women did not go back to the traditional roles and, in fact, some of them started a business, which may be thriving today that the recession seems to be on its way out. 

Why the growth on digital? Well, having less money to play with, since most Hispanics send a large part of what they make here in the US back to their families in Latin America, Hispanics are quick to adopt technologies that help them save money.  Skype an Voip services provide a perfect example.  Once they discovered the savings provided by these services, which helped them reach out to family far away, there was no going back to the traditional phone lines.  Now with mobile plans available with international long distance included in their monthly fee, Hispanics are quick to move into any technology that will first allow them to stay in touch with their roots and two, save them money.  Facebook is just another example where Hispanics over-index in its use and points to how quickly they adopt new technologies.  The bloggera movement is also another great example of why Hispanics over-index online.  Blogging is a job that can be done from home and it can be done while the children are either at school or asleep in their beds.  Having found that women are interested in the way other Hispanic Moms deal with their kid’s up-bringing in a foreign country, Hispanic women got to blogging about that and other things that are relevant to their culture an experiences in the US, such as schooling, food preparation or arts and crafts.

Finally, why are they so politically empowered, at least for the Democratic Party, as it is been said that Hispanics put Obama in office not only once, but twice? The reasons are many, and I won’t let my political inclinations influence my assumptions, but some of the most obvious ones are the democrat’s immigration reform initiatives and the issues of gun control.  For obvious reasons, most Latin America countries have very extract gun-control laws- some of them even as far as to ban gun ownership by citizens all-together, so seeing that Republicans greatly oppose gun control laws, which they tie to the killing of little children, it is no wonder that Hispanics are more willing to go out and vote for the Democratic Party than to stay at home and don’t make their voice count.

I’m Lalo Wakefield, a Freelance Hispanic Creative Director and Hispanic Marketing consultant.  I help General Marketing agencies expand their services to include Hispanic Marketing and I help Traditional Hispanic agencies enter the Digital Marketing arena, creatively and strategically.

Lalo Wakefield