By Matt Maginley
Corporate Advertising Executive and Marketing and Advertising Expert
Hispanics Energize Markets
In this “Special Report” we are taking a look at the Hispanic culture from the perspective of marketing and business development. You will be able to apply this as a model to other target markets as well.
As you may already be aware, the Hispanic population is one the fastest growing segments in the marketplace. As a entrepreneur, addressing a market’s need by understanding the motivation, habits and desires of the end-user is essential. I follow a three step process to make sure I have all of the information to make good planning and strategic decisions that will effect my bottom-line. I call it “RAD” , which stands for Recognize, Assess, and Develop.
Research of the market that tells me who is buying , how old they are , where they live, when and what they buy and in what quantity is the “recognition” phase. If you can get your hands on it sources are diverse , Forrester, eMarketer, Terra Networks, TNS, and Comscore. If you are dealing with a “hyperlocal” situation where a certain language is more prevalent you can do your own market research by setting up a small focus group and asking questions. You’d be surprised what insight you can get from a person if you ask them how they feel about such and such.
Here are the TOP TEN THINGS ABOUT THE LATINO MARKET
- Hispanics are connecting twice as fast to the web as the general market (14% growth vs. 7%) adding over a million users per year. In 2008, 23 million Hispanics were online, about 52% of the Hispanic population.
- You can target the Hispanic middle class online as 88% of Hispanics with a household income of $50,000 + are online buying technology, consumer electronics, financial services and travel
- Young Hispanics are early adopters of mobile technology .
- Value over prices drive Hispanic technology buying.
- Roughly half of the Hispanics online prefer Spanish and relate to culturally relevant content.
- Hispanics are energetic when it comes to creating and interacting online. Providing resources to encourage interactivity and creativity is a good way to create a bond.
- Entertainment content is the main appeal for the Hispanic online end user.
- Hispanics drive online social activity.
- Hispanics spend nearly twice as much time online and with a technology device as the general population.
- Hispanic online landscape is less crowded and there is a larger growth potential for early movers to capture the hearts and minds of these consumers.
Hispanics : The New America
We’re going to cover an issue that might get people a little upset but as I always say to my Mom , “It is what it is.” Lets talk about race for a minute. First thing is I have light skin but I have always been “Black”. Back in the day it was more political than anything so I grew an Afro to make it legit. So here’s the question: “What race are Hispanics?”
It isn’t so much a question of Race but of ‘ethnicity’ . They can be Asian, Black, Pacific Islander, White, Native American, or any combination of two or more of these. The Latino community is nothing short of a genetic kaleidoscope. The answer to the question is, “Any of the above.” Even the Census Bureau has stated that “Hispanics can be of any race, any ancestry, any country of origin.”
The headline is “The New America” – which in the ASSESSMENT part of “R.A.D.” suggests that America is becoming more multicultural as time goes on. I have a theory about this, supported in part with anthropological and archaeological evidence, but not that much so enjoy.
Around 10,000 years ago the nomadic people of North and South America, probably roamed freely following the bison herds. There is also evidence that you could follow the coast from the Aleutians all the way past the coastal ranges of what is now California, and past Mexico into Central and South America. In a nutshell, the Americas was always multicultural its just that the development of the indigenous people took a little bit longer than what perhaps the European settlers were able to accomplish in a shorter period of time.
Development : Social Media
Following the “R.A.D.” process we have discussed “recognition, assessment and now development.”
As we find new markets, driven by culture , ethnicity, a need or burning desire, the mere work of scientific quantification leaves out the important human element that is at the core of sales, marketing and business. This may be why here is a sudden apparent interest in all things social. The irony is that while all of these social media plays are being created marketers and advertisers are trying to sell in these environments more than they are trying to learn from them.
For example: and this is a true story – my son and a friend when he was 11, created a game and by using free forum software has 3,000+ members signed up. A marketer’s dream, and a father’s nightmare. I am going through helping him post his terms of service, disclaimer so I don’t wind up getting sued. Here’s the thing : he wanted to monetize the site, but not irritate his members. Here’s what I learned as we discussed how to do that.
THE HEART OF THE MATTER – Join the existing conversation
The social media context is like showing up at a party, the possibility of meeting new friends but how to “break the ice”? Marketers seem to want to barge in loud and obnoxious, and really out of touch – with the goal of seduction and even larceny in their hearts. Maybe a little harsh – but the heart of the matter is that one has to recognize, assess and join the existing conversation. To do this we have to listen first, then speak.
WEAR YOUR HEART ON YOUR SLEEVE
Authenticity is natural, emotional and has a distinct voice. Joining or initiating in the social context requires confidence as opposed to arrogance. To take a position is different than to stand by it. Do unto others is what comes to mind.
BE THE STORYTELLER
Whatever the market, Hispanic , Korean, or otherwise, in a multi-ethnic world it is our individual stories that are of interest and the way we tell them. What binds us together is that we will form the world of that story in our minds and relate to it with our hearts, identify with the people and be drawn closer to the social relationship of all mankind.
Once that is established then with trust we are open to hear your offer.
We started talking about the Hispanic market and through the analysis caught ourselves moving closer to the idea that in a multi-ethnic society it is more about opening doors and minds, than creating silos and territories that can be controlled. The best tools for this are the social media tools that allow the end user to define and create the topics and areas of interest. The idea of monetizing these areas will happen naturally if the marketer is listening and providing for the needs of the end user.
About Matt Maginley: Matt Maginley currently serves as President of a major political spot cable placement and rep firm. Matt has over 20 years of experience working professionally in advertising and media, with and for Fortune 500 companies like American Express, Paramount Pictures, Hershey Foods, Campbell Soup, Star Wars Licensed Toys, Mattel, Google, Time, Inc., Disney ABC, CBS, Discovery, NBC, and FOX, establishing media and communication strategies in B2B and consumer marketing.
 For additional details refer to 10 Things You Should Know About U.S. Hispanics by Alvaro Cabrera. Alvaro Cabrera is executive director of integration at Dieste, Inc. Cabrera leads the agency’s interception vision, working with some of the world’s leading brands. Formerly from Spain’s advertising industry, Cabrera created and led the alternative communications department at BBDO Contrapunto for four years. Under his direction, his team won international industry awards from Cannes, FIAP, and el Sol, including Grand Prix awards. He created campaigns for leading brands such as Jeep, Google, General Electric and Dodge. Reach him here
 For more information please check : the Pew Hispanic Center Report 2009