16 Sep 2014

US Hispanic Marketing Spend Surges

More brands are realising the potential of targeting the Hispanic community with spend on Spanish language marketing on the up.

That’s the case in the US where Hispanic media spending jumped a staggering 8.1% to $8.3 billion in 2013, according to data released by Ad Age, putting it way ahead of the overall marketing spend increase of just 0.9% in the country.

The top 50 Hispanic marketers were even more enthusiastic about the market, boosting their total Hispanic media spending by 14.2% during the 12-month period in a bid to capitalise on growing opportunities.

Number one marketer Procter & Gamble, which specialises in consumer goods like pet foods, cleaning agents and personal care products, led the nationwide charge with its spending up a whopping 36%.

Telecommunications outfit AT&T, at number two, increased its spending by 26% over the course of the year, while cosmetics and beauty company L’Oreal, at number four, increased its spending by 38%.

Love for technology

The Hispanic community loves technology. Smartphones and tablets are all the rage. In fact, Hispanics are more likely to download apps, chat, stream video, listen to music and play games than non-Hispanics.

Social media and television are therefore powerful tools for marketers looking for a slice of the expanding pie.

During the recent festival of football in Brazil, for instance, Kraft Foods Group’s ‘Flavor of the Championship’ – or Sabores del Campeonato – program used its social-media monitoring hub to suggest appropriate recipes for Hispanics watching the football action unfold on their television screens.

It predominantly used Facebook and YouTube to spread the word about the 70 or so party-ready recipes.

J.C. Penney, which operates department stores across the US, focused its footballing efforts on Latinos and liked the results so much that Grupo Gallegos’ Spanish-language advertisements ran on English-language networks, too – in Spanish.

Nativity shift

Immigration used to be the main driving force behind the population growth in the Hispanic community. But this is no longer the case as a surge in Hispanic births on US soil has taken over the mantle.

The number of Hispanic immigrants in the US hit a record 18.8 million in 2010 – yet this figure has stalled in recent years, according to findings from Pew Research Center analysis of US Census Bureau data.

Some 49.8% of Hispanic adults in 2012 were born in another country, down from a peak of 55% in 2007.

Among all Hispanics, meanwhile, the foreign-born share was 35.5% in 2012, down from about 40% in the early 2000s.

This growing trend could result in a more prosperous Hispanic community in the not-so-distant future.

The Hispanic population still holds the title of the largest minority in the US – and this is likely to remain the case for some time to come. It’s projected to grow to 129 million by 2060, according to the latest projections from the US Census Bureau, with its share of the US population jumping from 17% to 31%.

So, it’s therefore clear for all to see that brands and marketers shouldn’t ignore the US Hispanic market.

Today, in the region of 800,000 young US-born Hispanics enter adulthood each year, but in the coming decades, that number is expected to rise to more than a million, meaning greater marketing opportunities.

Total market approach

A total market approach (TMA) could be beneficial to brands when targeting the Hispanic population.

It’s a strategy followed by organisations – working with internal and external partners – which proactively integrates diverse segment considerations, either as one integrated cross-cultural approach, individual segments under one strategy, or both.

TMA can be broken down into three possible models.

  1. The client takes the lead and includes all agencies simultaneously
  2. One agency leads a team and everyone collaborates
  3. One agency is responsible for everything

It’s a fully integrated approach that allows for cultural nuances and helps identify the business problem, rather than a one-size-fits-all cost reduction plan, an adaptation of a general marketing campaign without ethnic insights, or an assignment that is reserved for a marketer’s multicultural team.

In the case of the expanding Hispanic community in the US, TMA could prove extremely worthwhile when it comes to identifying opportunities and capitalising on them – both in the short-term and long-term – while still helping brands tune messages to the rest of the country’s population under the same strategy.

Pinpointing the Hispanic population

Targeting the areas with the biggest Hispanic presence will be vital to the success of any marketing campaign.

All the figures below were gathered from the US Census Bureau.

Top five states by Hispanic population in 2012

  1. California (14.5 million)
  2. Texas (10 million)
  3. Florida (4.5 million)
  4. New York (3.6 million)
  5. Illinois (2.1 million)

Top five states with fastest-growing Hispanic population between 2000 and 2012

  1. Tennessee (up 163%)
  2. South Carolina (up 161%)
  3. Alabama (up 157%)
  4. Kentucky (up 135%)
  5. South Dakota (132%)

Top five states where Hispanics made up the biggest share of the population in 2012

  1. New Mexico (47%)
  2. California (38%)
  3. Texas (38%)
  4. Arizona (30%)
  5. Nevada (27%)

Brands should pay close attention to the current Hispanic makeup of the US. Failure to do so could leave them out of pocket, not to mention behind their competition, so market research is of the utmost importance before going live with a campaign.

Importantly, brands should develop their marketing strategies with the help of local experts who understand the culture, traditions and buying behaviour of US-based Hispanics.


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