Two Latino Trends: Which language to use when reaching Hispanics & Growing number of US Born Hispanics

July 18, 2005

Roger_selbertThis is a second teaser on the kind of content included in the soon-to-be-released book “Hispanic Marketing & Public Relations”. This time I have the privilege of sharing with you the words of Dr. Roger Selbert, one of the most respected trend analysts in the country, as written in two articles from recent issues of his newsletter, Growth Strategies.

The Coming Age of Native-Born Latinos

Hispanic Americans are not just the largest ethnic group in the United States ­ they may well be the most dynamic, vital force shaping America¹s future.  So write the editors of Hispanic Trends magazine (March/April 2005). 

Exerting an ever-increasing influence on American media, music, fashion and cuisine, Hispanics are themselves in flux, retaining much of their cultural heritage as they adopt American habits and mores.  The key to Hispanic American influence might well lie not in the constant stream of immigration, but in the coming of age of the second and third generations that will swell the ranks of US Latinos in coming decades.  Young, US-born and educated, and primarily English speakers, Hispanics are poised to bring about the next American cultural and social revolution.

Younger than other population groups and rapidly gaining economic and political clout, Hispanic Americans are a vibrant mix of immigrants and families encompassing several US-born generations; the second-largest group in the US labor force, after non-Hispanic whites; evidencing an entrepreneurial bent that is helping to fuel US economic growth; and projected to account for 46% of total US population growth over the next two decades.  Consider the following statistics, drawn from various sources:

  • As of March 2004, US Hispanics numbered 40.4 million (14% of the total US population).  That number is expected to reach 47.7 million by 2010, and 60.4 million by 2020.  Average Hispanic family size is 3.87 people; the national average for all families is 3.19.
  • Hispanic economic clout is growing at an annual compound rate of 8.2%, nearly twice the 4.9% rate for non-Hispanics, and is projected to reach $1 trillion annually by 2010.
  • In 2004, 31% of all US Hispanic households ­ nearly a third ­ had incomes over $50,000.
  • Hispanics made up 4% of the 7.7 million US business owners with paid employees in the 2002 Economic Census.  Self-employment by Latinos grew 41% between 2000 and 2003 (while overall self-employment grew 6.2%).  The number of Latina-owned businesses surged 62.4% for the seven years ending in 2004 (vs. 9% for all businesses).
  • Of the 3.4 million immigrants aged 25 or older who arrived in the US from 2000 to 2004, 34.3% had a bachelor¹s degree or higher, compared with 32.5% in the 1990s.  Of foreign-born Hispanics in that category, 13% had college degrees, compared with 9% in the 1990s.
  • According to the US Census Bureau, 49.7% of US Hispanics are homeowners, up from 47.3% a year ago.  (The homeownership rate for non-Hispanic whites increased from 75.5% to 76% over the same period.)

Reaching the Hispanic Market in English or Spanish: The Debate Continues

We’ve been writing about this debate for years, because it has been evident for years that the numbers of bilingual, English-dominant, and even English-only Hispanics would continue to grow rapidly, especially among younger and US-born Hispanics.  According to Global Insight, by 2025 nearly one-third of Hispanic households will not speak Spanish at all, and only 15% will speak Spanish exclusively (down from 21% today).  In the same time frame, the total Hispanic population is expected to grow to 70 million.

The increasing English-speaking and bilingual Hispanic population is already reflected in the changing media landscape.  When watching television, Hispanics spend about 65% of their time with English-language TV, according to Nielsen Media Research.  Among Hispanic kids and teens, the figure is about 75%.  Thus, advertising campaigns geared to bilingual Hispanics ­ commercials that use both languages, running in both Spanish and English media outlets ­ are becoming more prevalent.

According to Kevin Downey, writing in Marketing Y Medios (February 2005), total ad spending directed at the Hispanic market is projected to grow 38% by 2008, from $3.3 billion last year to $4.6 billion.  Of that amount, perhaps as much as 10% will be used to reach English-speaking and bilingual Hispanics.  Hispanic and general-market agencies will be vying to cope with these developments.

With that in mind, a group of Latino marketing professionals has founded the New Generation Latino Consortium, whose mission is to educate the business world about the critical role this hot demographic will be playing in media, marketing and entertainment.  Primarily comprised of US-born Latinos, New Generation Latinos are 12-to-34-year-olds who are English-dominant or bilingual, lead largely bicultural lives, and predominantly consume English-language media.  According to David Chitel of LatCom, these early-adoptive, trend-setting, more educated Latinos are an upwardly mobile US Hispanic segment whose spending power has been estimated at $400 billion.  They are evidence that the US Hispanic market is both growing and evolving.

The New Hispanic Market

We have written many times over the years about the size, growth and importance of the Hispanic market ($1 trillion by 2010), and the significance of the Hispanic youth market as a bellwether, leading-edge group.  In [a past issue] we reported on several sources of research that suggested a trend toward English preference among a large majority of US Hispanic youth in terms of media usage (TV, radio, print media, film and Internet).   That trend appears to be accelerating.

According to a recent study conducted by researchers at the State University of New York (SUNY), English remains the language of choice among the children and grandchildren of Hispanic immigrants, despite continuing waves of migration from Latin America.  In contrast to concerns from some analysts that English may be losing ground to Spanish in some parts of the United States, the study finds the majority of Hispanic Americans moving steadily toward English monolingualism.  Among third-generation Hispanics, the fastest-growing segment of the US Latino population, 72% speak English exclusively.

Further, the study finds that this trend has generally continued among Mexican-Americans, the country¹s largest immigrant group, even during the immigration boom of the 1990s.  Even for Hispanics in Los Angeles, a magnet for immigration from Latin America, the pattern of language shifts across generations remains similar to those among Hispanics nationally.  The report suggests that many other researchers and analysts have underestimated the pressures of assimilation, and are missing its contemporary signs.

Who We Are, What We Are Becoming
For example, Samuel Huntington, a professor of political science at Harvard, touched off a furor last year by warning in his book, Who Are We: The Challenges to America¹s National Identity, that continuing high levels of Hispanic immigration might eventually change America into a country of two languages, two cultures and two peoples.   He is quoted in the International Herald Tribune as saying that the SUNY study reflects the experience of current third-generation Hispanics, but does little to predict the experience of future third-generations.

Richard Alba, director of the SUNY study, counters that available statistics do not suggest a substantive change in historical patterns.  His view is echoed by Ruben Rumbaut of the University of California, co-director of the largest multiyear survey of children of immigrants, whose findings show that continued bilingualism among Hispanics does not occur at the expense of English.  Even among Mexican-born young people who came to the US as young children and are living on the border, the UC survey finds, English is still overwhelmingly preferred.

What’s behind this English preference trend?  Although not generally understood or appreciated, Hispanic immigration to the US, as well as the share of the US Hispanic population that is foreign-born, both peaked years ago.  Migration to the US will decrease even further after 2010, according to University of California professor Philip Martin, due to a drop in Mexico¹s birthrate.  Hence, the explosive growth of the US Hispanic population in the coming decades will be fueled more by natural increase (native births) than by immigration.  This will speed the processes of assimilation, acculturation and English-proficiency.

Spanish is certainly not going to fade away in the regions of the country that serve as gateways to new immigrants.  The sheer size and continuous nature of Hispanic immigration, the proximity of Latin America to the US, and the availability of Spanish options in media, business and government services guarantee the continued proliferation of Spanish usage in the US.  But it’s not what the kids are doing: young Hispanics may be very proud of their heritage, but English is the language of that powerful machine known as American culture.

According to the Latino Intelligence Report, a national survey of Hispanic teens conducted by a division of Creative Artists Agency, Hispanic teens watch more television than their general-market counterparts and cite MTV, Fox and Comedy Central as their favorite TV networks.  While only 8% of those surveyed said they speak Spanish better than English or Spanish only, 48% said they speak English and Spanish equally well.  Interestingly, however, only 20% of those responding to telephone interviews volunteered to take the survey in Spanish.  In other words, Hispanic teens overreport their Spanish-speaking ability.

Growth Strategies Implications
Note well: while assimilation and acculturation to the mainstream is still the paradigm of ethnic minorities in the US, what is different and unique about Hispanics is how much they have changed, and are changing, the mainstream in the process.  Every facet of American culture, every aspect of American society, now includes and is transformed by Hispanic influences, and young Hispanics are driving the trend (a very current example would be Spanglish rap songs).

Juan Faura, president of Hispanic advertising agency Cultura, agrees that Hispanic culture has evolved into an integral part of the overall pop-culture fabric in the US.  He writes in Marketing Y Medios that he has come to realize, after many years in the industry, that the Hispanic market is not so much a mix of two cultures as an emerging third culture:

This third culture is unique to its time in history.  It is a culture rich in tradition and pride, but defined by its own values, values forged over generations in this country.  It is defined more by the expectations of the future than the memories of the past.

Andrew Erlich of Erlich Transcultural Consultants agrees, writing that bicultural youth are individuating and creating their own new culture, which they express and experience in just about all aspects of their daily lives.  Appreciating the experience of bilingual youth, he concludes, will give marketers a window to understanding the Latino market and a key to designing successful strategies for today and tomorrow.

Dr. Roger Selbert is one of the best-known and most respected trend experts in the United States.  He is a principal of The Growth Strategies Group, editor and publisher of Growth Strategies, Vice President - Trends Analysis at LatinWorks Marketing, and a senior fellow at the La Jolla Institute.  As a business futurist, his 20-year track record of economic, social and demographic foresight is unequalled. He is a contributing author of the upcoming Hispanic Marketing & Public Relations (Poyeen Publishing $49.95).

Adlink looks to strengthen Hispanic local-cable sales

July 18, 2005
By David Kaplan -- Broadcasting & Cable,

Most of the media world has embraced U.S. Hispanics as that pop- ulation booms, and now the local-cable-ad market is warming to the demo, too.

Proof of that is Adlink, the giant Los Angeles-area interconnect that allows advertisers to get their commercials to air on dozens of separate cable systems in the nation’s second-largest market. Currently, it’s developing a separate division to better target Hispanic consumers for local-cable advertisers.

So far, there have been two general routes to reaching Latinos via local cable. The first has been to talk to Hispanics in English through general-market stations or reach them in Spanish on Hispanic stations.

The new Adlink unit, which has yet to launch, will likely expand ways for advertisers to reach the huge Los Angeles Hispanic market by offering more channels and perhaps an interactive feature. Cox Communications is working on a separate local Hispanic cable ad division, too.

Particularly in Los Angeles, the Hispanic demo is impressive. The area’s 6.8 million Hispanics constitute the fifth-largest Nielsen market in the nation, bigger than the San Francisco, Dallas, Boston, Washington and Atlanta markets.

L.A.’s Latinos, 42% of the market, account for as much as 18% of the $105 billion that Hispanics spent nationwide in 2004, according to Scarborough Research.

“The Latino presence in L.A. has reached critical mass, and it’s a significant change that presages what will be happening in the rest of the country,” says Dilys Tosteson García, the president and COO of L.A-based ad agency La Agencia de Orcí & Asociados.

Danielle Gonzales, a VP and investment director with Starcom MediaVest Group’s multicultural agency Tapestry, notes that there are now more opportunities to partner with local cable and national outlets.

“In most markets, the only local-cable insertion possibilities are on Galavision, Azteca and Fox Sports en Español,” she says. “But in the future, we will see the distribution of Hispanic cable increase and the number of cable options increase. We expect stations such as ESPN Deportes, Canal 52 and SíTV to grow substantially. Let’s say, in the next 18 months, buying cable locally to reach Hispanics will become more viable.”

This supposes that Los Angeles cable systems can get more Latino households to subscribe to digital tiers, probably by offering more specialized Hispanic channels. Gonzales and others say that, as the number of channels increases, the more distribution is gained, the more options for advertisers—and Adlink may be tapping into that, as well.

In its look at first-quarter ad spending for this year, TNS Media Intelligence estimated that total U.S. ad spending grew 4.4% over the same time last year, with Hispanic media rising 5.8% from $865.3 million in the first quarter of 2004 to $915.6 million in the same period this year. Latino advertising amounted to an estimated $3 billion in 2004, an 11% increase from 2003—with that number expected to rise to more than $3.6 billion by 2007, according to market-research firm HispanTelligence.

Meanwhile, the current U.S. Hispanic population, which now stands at 41.3 million, is growing three times faster than the population at large; last month, U.S. Census officials reported Hispanics accounted for about half of the overall population growth between 2003 and 2004. For local-cable ad-sales staffs, those are the kinds of numbers that spell opportunity.

Source: Broadcasting & Cable

The Year of El Gato

July 14, 2004
By Rick Kennedy

Mario Torres carries the hopes of Dallas' Latino soccer fans. But is he the future--or just a cynical marketing ploy?

Torres_1Mario Torres doesn't look like a publicity stunt. With unruly, spiky hair, a crooked grin and freckles, he doesn't come off as a role model, either. In fact, the 23-year-old's wiry frame hardly seems sturdy enough to support his own dreams, let alone those of Dallas' Hispanic community and its professional soccer franchise. Yet even as Torres fills a canvas bag with loose soccer balls, cleaning up after practice, he is all of those things. His status as a rookie obligates him to carry the equipment bag, but his status as a local and a Latino means he must shoulder a different kind of load, one heavier than he ever imagined.

Torres is in his first year as a midfielder on the reserve squad of FC Dallas, the Major League Soccer (MLS) affiliate formerly known as the Dallas Burn. He has yet to play a minute with the first team, and his salary, while he won't give an exact figure, is "not enough to live on." But as the first player ever signed to the Dallas roster straight from the local Latino leagues, Torres is an experiment whose outcome could determine the future of professional soccer in Dallas.

"He is the pride of the Hispanic community," says Miguel Quiros, president of the Latino soccer league in Greenville, some 50 miles northeast of Dallas, one of many amateur leagues where Torres built a reputation as "El Gato"--"The Cat"--so called for his green eyes. Quiros was instrumental in getting Torres his shot at the pros, and sees him as the ideal fix for the strained relationship between FC Dallas and the Latino community that should be its strongest fan base. "He is the best calling card for the league to show that they are giving opportunities to Latinos," Quiros says.

Another key supporter in the political, fanatical world of Dallas' Latino soccer leagues was Luis Godinez. Godinez is the financial patron of Universidad de Guanajuato, a team in Dallas' Pan-American Soccer Association (PASA) that Torres led to two league championships. "He's got a noble character," Godinez says of Torres. "He's friendly, intelligent and focused in everything he does."

FcNot everyone is so excited about Torres' chances with FC Dallas, however. Roberto Castillo is president of a federation of 12 Latino leagues. "I don't want to be negative, but the whole thing just looks like more public relations," Castillo says. Torres starred in many of Castillo's leagues, playing for as many as five teams at once. "There are a lot of very good players, and he was one of them," Castillo says of Torres. "I wouldn't say he was the best." Armando Pelaez, a former assistant coach for FC Dallas, says the physical, pressing style of play in MLS is ill-suited to Latino players like Torres, who rely more on individual skill and improvisation. "Gato will never see one minute playing in the whole history of the MLS," he says.

But the eyes of Dallas' Latino community are not the only ones fixed on El Gato. Torres is also called on to represent his community on a team dominated by Anglos. "He understands the responsibility," says FCD teammate and mentor Oscar Pareja, a veteran professional from Colombia. "He understands that we represent the Latin community. Everything we do here, me and Mario and the other Latin guys, they're going to think that that's what Latinos are like."

Continue reading "The Year of El Gato" »

Citibank Chooses Quepasa to Reach Hispanic Consumers Online

July 15, 2005
Source: PR Newswire via

QuepasaQuepasa Corporation, a leading provider of online products and services to U.S. Hispanics, announced Friday that it had received a test order to market certain Citibank consumer products.

Specific terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, Quepasa Corporation is a leading provider of online products and services to Hispanic and Latino users throughout the U.S. and certain areas of Latin America.

Quepasa maintains operations in the U.S. and Mexico.

Hispanics are making inroads in technology, marketing and communications

July 11, 2005   
By Nicole Lee

Local entrepreneur Carlos Felix believes he was destined to work with computers. You could say technology was hard-wired into his DNA.

“I’ve been working with computers since I was 9 or 10,” said Felix. “It’s what’s in my blood. Why fight it?”

HispanicbusinessThe 28-year-old runs Intraserv LCC, a computer networking business, with his wife, Pam, and partner James Ford.

The company, provides preventative maintenance on computer servers and workstations and installs security firewalls to prevent cyberspace hackers.

Several Latino entrepreneurs in Fort Wayne say the face of Hispanic business is expanding from its retail roots into more diverse professional services.

Felix and others in the city symbolize this evolution.

Felix said most of his clients aren’t Hispanic, but that shouldn’t matter.

“We’re professionals, after all,” he said. “It’s not about who we are, it’s about what we can do.”

In addition to operating restaurants, clothing stores and dry cleaners, Latinos are making inroads into the technology, marketing and communications fields.

An estimated 2 million Hispanic-owned businesses nationwide generate almost $300 billion in annual gross receipts, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration and HispanicTelligence, a data analysis service.

No current statistical data specifically document the inclusion of more non-traditional companies. Rosa Wheeler, president of the Greater Fort Wayne Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, said the organization is working to compile comprehensive information detailing the types of Hispanic-owned business operating in the city, but to date, the information is not available.

Even on a national scale, it’s hard to find the numbers. The U.S. Department of Labor was unable to provide this information. The U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce was contacted about this story, but did not provide information relating to this trend as of press time.

Despite the lack of statistical support, it’s clear changes are happening, says Salvador Soto, president and CEO of DeSoto Translation and Marketing, 1301 Lafayette St., a company that provides translation and oral interpretation services to clients in more than 20 languages.

Soto founded DeSoto in 1999 and said courts, hospitals and social-service agencies use his company to communicate with their international clientele.

“There has been a lot of growth in professional services,” he said. “A lot of people don’t recognize that they are Hispanic-owned businesses because they aren’t taco shops or mom-and-pop businesses” with a Spanish-sounding surname on the front door.

A child of immigrants, Soto, 29, grew up in Fort Wayne and says third- and fourth-generation Hispanics in the U.S. are the ones leading the charge into new business fields.

“Just drive down (the city streets of) Fairfield, Jefferson and Broadway,” and you’ll see the changes, he said.

Recent census figures indicate 37.4 million Hispanics live in the United States, comprising 13.3 percent of the total population. These statistics have caught the attention of those who want to tap into the Hispanic market, Wheeler said.

In addition to heading the Greater Fort Wayne Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Wheeler helps her clients establish their businesses, and works to broker partnerships between Hispanic and non-Hispanic businesses through her marketing/communications company, Wheeler & Associates.

“There’s a treasure in networking with the Hispanic community,” she said.

“Many of my (Latino) clients were architects, accountants and attorneys in their native countries, but they cannot practice here because they don’t have a (U.S.) business license.”

Source: The News-Sentinel

"Ser Naco es Chido": T-Shirts Celebrate Mexico's Tacky Side

July 14, 2005
By Will Weissert

Do you applaud at the end of a movie? Does your cell phone ring to "La Cucaracha?" Do you have lawn furniture in your living room?

Answers in the affirmative might mean you're "naco" (pronounced NAH-koh) _ Mexican slang for "tacky" or "low-class." But don't fret. In a culture hypersensitive to social status, two young designers are embracing all things once considered gauche in Mexico, and making a profit by turning class consciousness on its head.

NacoEdoardo Chavarin and Robby Vient produce T-shirts for boutiques across Mexico, California, Arizona, Florida and Illinois with proclamations like "Ser Naco es Chido," or "Being Naco is Cool." Their company name? NaCo., of course.

Retailing for $20, the shirts generated some $1 million in sales last year.

"We started out by saying, how come everything we wear is in English?" said Chavarin, a 29-year-old Tijuana native who founded the company with Vient, a Mexican-American. "Spanish can be funny too."

The two met while studying art and design in Pasadena, Calif. They often use Spanglish _ a mix of Spanish and English frowned upon by Mexico's elite _ to create funny sayings for their shirts.

Naco for "Star Wars" becomes "Estar Guars." Staff is "Estaff." "The Beatles," "Los Bitles."

"There was a boom. I didn't think it would last. Fashion changes quickly," said Miguel Angel Charrasco, manager of Klute boutique in Mexico City, which carries NaCo. shirts. "But the shirts keep selling."

A few blocks away is NaCo.'s own outlet, a one-room storefront crammed with shirts, pullovers and stickers in dozens of colors and designs.

"I have to explain them to some people, the ones who aren't from here," saleswoman Marta de la Garza said. "Once they understand, they fall over laughing."

In another shop offering NaCo. designs in downtown Mexico City, architecture student Carmen Martinez, 23, was considering at a blue shirt emblazoned with "Guey," Mexican slang for "Dude," for her boyfriend.

She said it's not uncommon to see twenty-somethings hit nightclubs here wearing $150 designer jeans, flashy jewelry and a NaCo. shirt.

"Suddenly, naco has status," she said.

There are nearly 120 shirt designs. One corrupts the NASA logo to spell "NACA," naco's feminine form. Another puts an "N" on the front of Acapulco for a shirt turning the Pacific resort city into a hillbilly paradise.

NaCo. began mass producing shirts in 2001. Chavarin, who also works part-time designing CD covers, gave them to friends in the entertainment world as a marketing tool.

Members of the Mexican-American rap metal group Molotov wear them on stage. Mexican movie star Diego Luna wore one for a skit during the MTV Latin awards. Colombian rocker Juanes had on a NaCo. shirt that said "Se Habla Espanol," or "Spanish Spoken," when he was a five-time winner during the Latin American Grammy Awards in 2003.

NaCo. does the bulk of its business in Mexico, and relies heavily on nostalgia to drive sales among Mexicans in the United States.

"It's like bringing homemade tortillas," Chavarin said. "Of course they are going to buy it because it reminds them of home."

NaCo. operations director Fernando Garcia said all but a few of the shirts featuring phrases are being phased out because they have spawned hundreds of pirate versions.

"At first the pirates were helpful. People would see a shirt with a phrase on it and say 'Oh, that's a NaCo. shirt,' even if it wasn't," Garcia said. "But now we have to change our concept to stay ahead of them."

The company plans to introduce a new line with a logo based on an attraction in Tijuana where tourists pose with a donkey painted to look like a zebra.

"It tells a great story," Chavarin said. "Did they think the zebra was more exotic than the burro? Who did they think they were fooling?"

For those who aren't sure if they should be wearing NaCo. clothing, the company Web site includes a 17-question quiz testing visitors' naco-ness. Chavarin said more than 25,000 people have taken it _ and that most score in the "Closet Naco" range.

"They are _ but they aren't admitting it," he said. "It's something you can't hide."

Source: AP via The Washington Post

Buzz marketing moves into Hispanic Community

Boston's BzzAgent Boasts 5,000 Hispanic Brand 'Agents'

July 14, 2005
By Anna Heinemann

Buzz marketing, or grassroots word-of-mouth promotion, which has become a standard technique for mainstream marketers, is now being deployed on a large scale in the U.S. Hispanic community.

And BzzAgent, a 4-year-old, Boston-based buzz-marketing agency that has been servicing mainstream clients, is one of those leading the charge.

Hispanic BzzChannel

The online company this week launched the “Hispanic BzzChannel,” a Hispanic version of its volunteer-based marketing program. Three marketers have already signed up for Hispanic buzz promotions: Cadbury Schweppes’ Clamato tomato juice, Liz Claiborne and Levi Strauss & Co.’s Dockers brand.

Company founder and CEO Dave Balter was in the U.K. in January to discuss plans for extending the program’s reach beyond the U.S. and Canada when he first started to receive requests from companies to build word-of-mouth support specifically in Hispanic communities.

“We had 5,000 current agents listed as having Hispanic background and that were extremely active and extremely involved,” he said. “This is a great market. So we postponed the U.K. to launch it here.”

BzzAgent appointed a Spanish-speaker with Hispanic marketing experience, Vanesa Kolodziej-Guerra, as the director of BzzChannel, which is based off a bilingual Web site that allows visitors to toggle directly between English and Spanish versions of every page. Volunteers, called “BzzAgents,” sign up via the Web and are sent samples and background information on products from marketing campaigns that match their agent profiles. After using a product, the agents are encouraged to share their opinions of the product with friends, family and even strangers.

Hawking books
One agent, for example, was recently sent a copy of The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous & Broke by Suze Orman. She was reading the book while doing her laundry when a neighbor asked what she was reading. The agent gave her neighbor, who was, in fact, young and broke, a card with title of the book so she could easily find it for herself the next time she was in a bookstore.

“They get sent product and training materials so as to be more conscious of opinion,” Mr. Balter said. “We never script. We tell them what types of people would care or the stories behind the brand.”

After posting detailed stories online about how they mentioned the products through word-of-mouth, agents get points that eventually earn them rewards.

“We’re making adjustments to the rewards based on what we think that community will enjoy,” Mr. Balter said of the rewards to be given to Latino BzzAgents. “It’s a reward that is sort of up to you. Reporting their activities to us enables them to potentially earn brand-associated products or rewards. It’s a ‘thank you’ from the brand.”

BzzagentCadbury Schweppes' Clamato

Cadbury Schweppes’ tomato-based beverage Clamato is the first Hispanic campaign, launching this week on the BzzChannel. The brand has a large Hispanic following, partly because of its popularity in Mexico, and since 2001 has targeted its whole U.S. marketing budget at the Hispanic community. Georg Rasinski, senior brand manager for Clamato, said he thought the Hispanic BzzChannel was a good way to market Clamato because the drink has a history of spreading through word-of-mouth in the Hispanic community.

“I felt it was very intriguing and interesting because Clamato seemed to have developed in a similar fashion by word–of-mouth over time. You can almost pinpoint where it started still,” Mr. Rasinski said. “You always felt that word-of-mouth is really the key of increasing penetration of Clamato.”

Mr. Rasinski said Clamato's BzzAgent campaign began with an e-mail notification to all Hispanic BzzChannel agents earlier this week. If the agents were interested in joining the campaign, they will be sent a campaign kit including a brochure about the product, a sample, coupons and information on how to buzz the product. Aside from the brand and BzzAgent's suggestions, it is basically up to the individual agent to decide how he or she would like to spread the word.

Goal: 15,000 volunteers
BzzAgent expects the new channel to grow to about 15,000 Latino agents by December 2005. Mr. Balter said the overall program grows by about 1,000 agents a week. According to its Web site, BzzAgent has more than 92,000 volunteers registered to work on its campaigns.

Mr. Balter said 70% of the company’s agents are women, 50% are older than 25, and 30% are older than 35. He said their occupations range from students to CEOs.

BzzAgent has worked on past campaigns for companies such as Anheuser Busch, DuPont, Penguin Group and Ralph Lauren.

Mr. Balter said the company is still considering plans to launch more BzzChannels in other communities, including in the U.K.


Insights on Effective Hispanic Media Training

BookHere’s a teaser on what you will get in the soon-to-be-released book “Hispanic Marketing & Public Relations

July 13, 2005
By Elena del Valle
President LNA World Communications

As of the 2000 Census, Latinos are America’s largest minority, representing even by conservative estimates 13-15 percent of the overall market. Although many Hispanics are Spanish dominant, a significant percentage of the Latino population is highly acculturated and English dominant or bilingual. This makes for a complex Hispanic media mix.

There are hundreds of U.S. based newspapers, magazines, television and radio programs and online websites targeting Hispanic consumers in the U.S. and beyond. In addition, because Latino consumers spend a high percentage of their disposable income on food, transportation, clothing and housing, an increasing number of communicators and marketers are beginning to focus their efforts on them.

Cultural Nuances
There are plenty of examples of Hispanic market campaigns. How can media training help you create a successful Hispanic market campaign? Many of you have heard of the infamous well-known airline that invited travelers to fly ‘naked’. In the same way, the slogan for pork as “the other white meat” which was successful in the general market was meaningless to U.S. Hispanics.

In an effort to promote their new business class leather seats, an airline invited passengers to fly “en cuero.” It was not until they had launched the campaign that airline executives realized “en cuero” means naked in colloquial Spanish. Oops!

Any public relations practitioner can attest to the challenges of setting up a meeting with an executive producer of a major television show. Years ago, I found myself in that position. At the time, I was working at one of the city’s premier teaching hospitals. Knowing how important meeting colleagues in person is among Latinos; I endeavored to always meet reporters, producers and editors at least once in person before we began a professional collaboration. For months, I tried to meet with one of the executive producers of a top rated Spanish language international TV show with a reputation for a choosy production staff.

Finally, he agreed to join me for lunch at a local restaurant on Thanksgiving Day.  A meeting on Thanksgiving with a mainstream producer would have been unlikely. Because of hectic multi-location schedules, this producer was only able to spare time for lunch on Thanksgiving.   

He was three hours late! Many communications professionals in my position, including my boss, would have left. I waited. My patience was rewarded. When he arrived, he was courteous and apologetic. I minimized the importance of his tardiness; after all, no self respecting polite Latino would leave a woman waiting by herself or stand her up, so it must have been unintentional. We had a productive meeting, which opened the doors of cooperation. From that moment on, the producer’s staff called me with confidence when they needed Spanish speaking health care experts. Thanks to the initial Thanksgiving Day meeting, over the years a number of the hospital’s experts and later my clients, were invited to the highly coveted show.   

Media Training
Thorough media training provides the spokesperson with an understanding of how and why media interviews can be worth their time; describes basic media types; outlines possible interview formats; and conveys the importance of matching the messenger, the medium and the target audience using a well designed and culturally sensitive message.

It is important to explain how producers, reporters, editors and other media representatives behave and what they expect from a spokesperson.  Once experts understand their role in a media interview, they are better able to decide if a particular media opportunity is appropriate for them; or if they are willing to dedicate the time to it. This is especially relevant when the spokesperson’s time is particularly valuable.   

High profile spokespersons are accustomed to special treatment. Though media representatives may address them as experts during an interview, they usually treat them like regular guests when they arrive at a TV or radio station. If the interview relates to a sensitive issue, the experts may find themselves in a defensive position; or they may have to dedicate more of their time than they anticipated to the interview process.  Public relations practitioners should explain to their clients what is expected of them; and what they should expect during the interview process.

Another way to make the spokesperson aware of what to expect is to examine media types including online, broadcast, and print media. Describing interview formats (e.g. news, entertainment, and talk-show) and their characteristics expands the expert’s understanding and equips him or her to respond appropriately to the situation.

What makes Hispanic media training different you ask? In some cases, everything. How can Hispanic media training support your efforts to create a successful Hispanic market campaign? By understanding the unique aspects of language, culture and economic issues of this valuable target market, your Hispanic market spokesperson will be more effective and your campaign will be more successful.

Continue reading "Insights on Effective Hispanic Media Training " »

Rise of the Hispanic Boomer

July 12, 2005
By Mitch McCasland

Today, a new American dream is on the rise, and it is just as vital and powerful as the one in the heyday of the baby-boom generation. The increase in the number of Hispanic consumers and their growing power account for much of the long-term prosperity of our dynamic economy.

The recognition of this sea change in our society is no longer the exclusive domain of savvy or visionary marketers—it marks the new mainstream of consumer marketing for many brands. And for those companies, these changes will mean the difference between prosperity or marketplace demise. The truth is that this sea change presents several key challenges for marketers.

Access the full story by getting a Premium subscription @

Hispanic Population, Ad Spending, Rise in Unison

July 12, 2005
Source: Center for Media Research

According to preliminary figures released by Nielsen Monitor-Plus, advertising spending for the year's first quarter rose 2.4% over the same period last year. The gains were reported across major media, led by Spanish-language TV, which was up 19%, followed by cable, which saw a 12.4% gain.

At the same time, new statistics emerged last week that show a continuous increase of ad expenditure on Spanish-language television. The news comes on the heels of a new U.S. Census report that states that the U.S. Hispanic population, which now stands at 41.3 million, is growing three times faster than the general population.

    * U.S. Hispanic population growth +300%
    * Ad spending on Spanish-language TV +19%

Meanwhile, the U.S. Census reported last week that Hispanics accounted for about half of the overall population growth of 2.9 million people from 2003 to 2004.

According to the Census, one of every seven people in the U.S. is Hispanic. Half of all U.S. Hispanics are under age 27. And one out of every five children under age 18 in the United States is Hispanic.

Finally, TNS Media Intelligence released first-quarter 2005 ad-spend figures, which estimated that total U.S. ad spend grew 4.4% over the same time last year, with Hispanic media rising 5.8%, from $865.30 in the first quarter of 2004 to $915.60 in the same period this year. TNS did not break out numbers for Hispanic TV, which is lumped together in the report with Latino magazines and newspapers.

Real Estate Firms: Dealing with Diversity

July 8, 2005
By Sarah Jeffords

Three years ago, Sergio Estrada was sitting in the Miami airport with his family, $100 in his pocket and no idea what the future would hold. He had left Cuba in hopes of starting a new life away from the political system of his homeland and the poor economic conditions there.

America proved to be the land of opportunity for which Estrada was searching. He worked his way into a management position at Chateau Village Apartments off Poplar Level Road, earning far more than the $15-per-month salary he averaged in Cuba as an electrical engineer.

In addition, this spring, Estrada was able to buy a brick home in Southern Jefferson County, where he plans to raise his two daughters, ages 4 and 6.

Estrada, who lost his first house to the Cuban government after he obtained a U.S. visa, said it feels good to be a homeowner again, especially in America. "This is an incredible country," Estrada said. "I love it. ... American people are doing amazing things here."

But he admits that navigating the home-buying process in a foreign country is not an easy task. The complexities of the business transaction and language barriers create obstacles for any immigrant looking to purchase a home, Estrada said.
Realtors association offers resources

Estrada feels like he had an advantage over some of his fellow Cubans -- he can speak English and, because of the nature of his job, he understands the need for credit and financial contracts.

But Estrada had questions along the way. "You've been living in this country all your life," he said. "For you, it's like everyday life. But for us, it's something new."

The majority of immigrants, especially those who do not speak English, share Estrada's sentiment. Cultural differences, varied approaches to finances and an inability to communicate all serve as hindrances when it comes to buying a home.

So it is important for professionals in the residential real estate industry to be able to serve a multilingual, multicultural client base. Although the majority of home buyers in the Louisville region are Caucasian, the area is becoming more diverse each year, said Lisa Stephenson, executive vice president of the Greater Louisville Association of Realtors.

The association's Web site, www.louisville, offers visitors the option of searching for listings in 12 languages. In addition, the site contains a directory of multilingual agents, who speak Korean, French and Bosnian, among other languages.

The organization also offers a diversity course, called At Home with Diversity, to help educate agents who serve the non-English-speaking client base.
Semonin assists clients in 15 languages

Brad DeVries, president and CEO of Semonin Realtors, said his firm encourages agents to attend the Greater Louisville Association of Realtors' diversity training to better prepare them to deal with the multicultural marketplace, which is becoming more prevalent.

After seeing how immigration and home sales among different ethnic groups have affected residential real estate firms in other markets, Semonin officials took an inventory of their own situation.

What they found, DeVries said, was that the firm already had several agents who spoke another language besides English. In fact, 21 Semonin agents speak a total of 16 languages. Of those, the largest group serves the Hispanic population, DeVries said.

Continue reading "Real Estate Firms: Dealing with Diversity" »

Media Usage of Dallas/Ft. Worth Latinos

July 11, 2005

Numbering 1.6 million in the Dallas/Ft. Worth market, Latinos have become hot commodities as area marketers compete aggressively for the $18 billion in buying power that this growing segment wields. Current findings from the Dallas/Ft. Worth Latino Trendline, however, challenge conventional thinking about the best media to communicate with Latinos:

-- The competition for Latino newspaper readers has become intense, threatening the survival of Spanish-language weeklies. Daily Spanish-language publications like Al Dia and Diairo La Estrella now reach an estimated 80,540 and 75,763 households, respectively. However, the battle has resulted in a 50 percent reduction in the reach of several Spanish-language weekly newspapers since 2001.

-- Despite the abundance of Spanish-language newspapers, Latinos are not planning to abandon their readership of English-language newspapers. When asked which newspaper they expected to be their primary newspaper over the next 12 months, Latinos chose the Dallas Morning News (29%), the Star-Telegram (11%), Diario La Estrella (11%), and Al Dia (9%).

-- Television audiences for network news remains highly segregated. For news in general, over three-quarters (77%) of native-born Latinos viewed English-language networks, while nearly nine in ten (87%) foreign-born Latinos viewed Spanish-language networks.

-- Radio station Que Buena has displaced Estereo Latino from its dominant position among Latino adults. During the 7am to 10am day-part, Que Buena delivered a cumulative audience of 141,000 Latino adults, compared to an audience of 137,270 for Estereo Latino. Of the top five stations, Que Buena, Estereo Latino, and Super Estrella primarily captured foreign-born Latinos, while CASA and KISS primarily attracted native-born Latinos.

"The study findings underscore the importance of understanding the unique media habits of the specific segment of Latinos that one is targeting," stated Dr. Edward T. Rincon, principal investigator. "Even the best designed advertising will have little impact when placed in a media vehicle that the target consumer is not using."

Listeners latch on to all-Hispanic format Increasing popularity of Radio Kanon also delights advertisers

July 10, 2005
By Thomas Bona

A Mexican restaurant in Elkhart, IN had to pull its ads from WKAM-AM 1460 because it got too many customers.

Meanwhile, hundreds of callers make requests for cumbia, durangense and norteno songs.

DjRadio Kanon has been a blast, according to its general manager.

"They're always calling us to thank us for having the station, for playing the music they've always wanted, and to congratulate us," said Jose Luis Solorzano, who transformed Goshen's first radio station into the area's first all-Hispanic music station three months ago.

Taking a rare break, Solorzano sat surrounded by CDs, concert posters and advertising brochures. But he'd rather be on air, talking excitedly as "Parajo Loco" (Crazy Bird), hawking one of the songs of the week.

He and another DJ have a weekly vote where listeners call in to choose one song over another. They were happy when they got 80 callers in an hour; then 200; recently they topped 300.

"A lot of people listen to it," said fan Rogelio Vasquez of Warsaw. "Driving on the road, you hear it."

"It's good. It's the first station playing that kind of music out here," said Erika Trujillo, who works at Mega Plaza in Goshen.

The station is also gaining popularity with advertisers, said Solorzano.

Weist Auto Sales in Elkhart almost immediately bought ads in Spanish. The business also hosted a live remote and hopes to do another. General Manager Joe Reed estimates a 25 percent increase in visitors to his lots because of the station.

"About 50 percent of our business is Hispanics, and the largest-growing segment of the car-buying market is the Hispanic market," Reed said. "I speak Spanish so we're really doing a good job of driving the buzz in their language. ... It's a fabulous medium for the Hispanic market and it's a market that's been tough to reach in the past."

Solorzano said he's only gotten a few calls from former WKAM listeners upset that the station switched away from soft adult contemporary in May. Solorzano's Chicago-based company leases the station with the option to buy it.

Unlike other Spanish-language programs locally, Radio Kanon (Cannon Radio) plays primarily genres popular in rural Mexico. Most local immigrants from Mexico are from those areas.

Source: The Truth Online Edition

‘TrueVal’, Hispanic PR Industry’s First True Ad Equivalency Measurement Tool for Press Clippings

July 6, 2005   
Source: Hispanic PR Wire

U.S. Hispanic news and opinion monitoring service LatinClips, via a strategic partnership with Hispanic advertising placement group Papel Media, announced that it will launch the Hispanic PR industry’s first True Ad equivalency measurement tool “TrueVal” in August. “TrueVal” calculates a story’s value based on its actual size in comparison to the publication’s advertising column inch cost. LatinClips’ clients can select the ad equivalency feature optionally with any of their press clipping accounts.

“TrueVal represents the first in a line of evolving products at LatinClips that help clients measure the media results of their specialized marketing programs,” said LatinClips CEO Christine Clavijo-Kish. “This new tool will be especially useful to those communications professionals who are being increasingly pressured to use ad equivalency as one way to partially account for the effectiveness of their work.”

Since its inception in 2003, LatinClips has strived to deliver solid expertise in the Hispanic news and opinion-tracking sector. For its part- Papel Media coordinates national advertising buys and offers a unique ad spending database – “Papel Media Tracking System” specific to the U.S. Hispanic print market. The strategic partnership enables both companies to offer broader intelligence in the Hispanic marketing sector.

“In today’s ROI-driven marketing world ‘TrueVal’ will definitely shed more light on the overall value of campaigns and how clients can maximize the allocation of resources,” said John Trainor, CEO of Papel Media Network. “Papel Media is also thrilled with this truly synergistic alliance with LatinClips because delivering measurable results is at the core of our business.”

Jewish-Latino cooperation expanding across U.S.

Friday, July 8, 2005
By Ira Rifkin

American Jewish leaders are paying increased attention to bolstering ties with their Latino political and religious counterparts. The effort is motivated by a concern that Jewish issues, including support for Israel, not be overlooked as Latino political power increases in line with the nation's shifting demographics.

Jewish-Latino political cooperation has occurred for years, and even decades, in cities such as New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, where large concentrations of both groups reside. Most often it consisted of Jews helping Hispanics gain a political foothold in support of shared local interests.

What's new is a recognition that the power relationship is changing. With Hispanics numbering about 14 percent of the U.S. population and growing, compared with a Jewish population stagnating at 2 percent or less, Jewish leaders now admit they need Latinos as much as Latinos once needed them.

Dina Siegel Vann, who directs the American Jewish Committee's new Latino and Latin American Affairs Institute, said the recent election of Antonio Villaraigosa as mayor of Los Angeles, a city in which Jews have wielded considerable political power in recent decades but failed to elect a mayor, underscores the effort's importance.

"Los Angeles proves that today the Latino community is as important as any for Jewish political collaboration, and is crucial to maintaining support for American Jewish concerns," said Ms. Vann, who is based in Washington. "The future for Latinos and Jews is now."

Israel has also taken notice of the new reality. Israeli consulates in Houston, Miami, New York and Los Angeles have added Spanish-speaking individuals assigned to Latino outreach. "Our job is to promote Israel, and you can't really promote Israel if you don't speak Spanish and can't get on Spanish-language TV and into Spanish-language newspapers," said Sofia Perches, of the Houston consulate.

The Hispanic community's political diversity makes for a more complicated relationship than the once-solid Jewish-black political alliance, which tended to be wholly in tune with liberal Democratic politics.

Roberto Suro, director of the Pew Hispanic Center, a nonpartisan Washington research organization, noted that about 40 percent of the 2004 Latino presidential vote went to President Bush, in part because of Latino opposition to gay rights and abortion pushed by conservative Roman Catholic and evangelical Protestant churches, both strongly influential among Latinos.

Arturo Vargas, executive director of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials in Los Angeles, said that even the general assumption that Cubans are Republicans and Puerto Ricans are Democrats is wrong. While south Florida Cubans are solidly Republican, New Jersey Cubans lean Democratic, he said. And while northeast Puerto Ricans trend Democratic, central Florida's Puerto Rican community is Republican.

"Latinos can't be pigeonholed. It's a varied community with lots of national identities and different needs involved," Mr. Vargas said.

Despite growing ties between Jewish and Hispanic leaders, relations between ordinary American Jews and Latinos remain circumscribed, said Steve Windmueller, director of the School of Jewish Communal Service at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Los Angeles.

"Outside of some strong personal relationships between leaders, there is not much of a strong communal connection because the communities are in very different places economically and because of geographical separation. They just don't live in the same neighborhoods," he said.

Those engaged in political outreach insist their efforts will eventually bring ordinary Jews and Latinos closer. Norman Orodenker, a Rhode Island Jewish activist who heads his state's Latino-Jewish Alliance, said: "If we work together on issues of importance to both communities, the news of this trickles down to the grass roots. That predisposes people to thinking positively about each other. Eventually, opportunities arise for one-on-one encounters in which the goodwill that's been created comes to bear."

Rabbi Rigoberto Emanuel Vinas, the Cuban-American leader of Lincoln Park Jewish Center, an Orthodox synagogue in Yonkers, N.Y., said working with influential Latino clergy is one way to enhance grass-roots relationships.

The Philadelphia Jewish Community Relations Council already works with Esperanza USA, the nation's largest Latino faith-based community development agency. Esperanza ("hope" in Spanish) is led by the Rev. Luis Cortes Jr. of Philadelphia, one of the United States' most influential evangelical leaders.

Source: The Dallas Morning News

Global groceries: Demand fuels growth in area ethnic offerings

July 7, 2005
By Naomy Snyder

Chon Kim and her husband, James Sun, had to drive to Atlanta 10 years ago to get good Korean food.

"A lot of things weren't convenient for people from Asia,'' she said. "We aren't all meat eaters; we like veggies and things like that."

So they opened their own international grocery about a decade ago to cater to the city's growing immigrant population. Now, the 40,000-square-foot K&S World Market on Nolensville Road serves as a place to get chicken feet by the pound, fresh cactus, multiple varieties of dried seaweed, and a six-pack of Bud Light.

And there are six or seven smaller competitors all doing much the same thing nearby, catering to the city's ever-increasing appetite for international foods.

As the buying power of the area's minority groups grows, so does the market for ethnic groceries.

K&S plans to open in September a second World Market in a former Kroger on Charlotte Pike near White Bridge Road. Aldi, a German grocer that specializes in discount and international fare, also is expanding in the area.

And mainstream grocers, too, are slowly expanding their selection of neighborhood-specific ethnic fare as immigrant populations grow and Americans' taste buds evolve beyond meat and potatoes.

"We're really challenging our suppliers to get us the kind of products we need," said Kroger spokeswoman Melissa Eads, whose Elysian Fields store near the K&S World Market has an entire aisle devoted to international foods and decorated by the world's flags.

The buying power of Hispanics in Tennessee grew sevenfold in the past 14 years to about $3 billion last year — one of the fastest growth rates in the country, according to the Selig Center for Economic Growth at the University of Georgia. Asian buying power in Tennessee grew more than four times to $2 billion.

Nashville is a big part of that growth.

The Nashville area saw a 21% Hispanic population growth rate between 2000 and 2003, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, which was higher than the state as a whole. And many think the Census estimate, about 50,000 Hispanics living in an eight-county region around Nashville, is well below the actual number.

That's good news for grocers. Hispanics tend to spend more money on groceries than non-Hispanics, $3,643 per year compared with $3,047, according to the Selig study numbers for 2002.

La Hacienda moved earlier this year farther south on Nolensville Road to combine its restaurant and grocery under one roof. After having one of the restaurant's popular giant margaritas, consumers can wander over and watch a whole pig being chopped up.

Jose Ochoa, who sometimes runs the family-owned business on behalf of owners Lillian and Carlos Yepez from Michoacan, Mexico, said mainstream grocers don't offer the specific meats his customers want or the right cuts.

That may include pork skins freshly sliced from the animal, chorizo, or the tripe used in menudo, a soup — "It helps with migraines," Ochoa explained.

Ochoa said the store's butchers learn their trade from stores in Mexico, where the animals often are brought directly from farmers on meat hooks in the back of pickup trucks.

Most of La Hacienda's customers also are looking for food from back home, and here they can find pig's feet marinated in vinegar, "cueritos en vinagre," for $2.99 per pound, and fresh nopal, a Prickly Pear cactus, for 99 cents per pound.

Over at K&S, Chon Kim and her husband are trying to cater to a variety of ethnic groups after moving out of the Nashville Farmers Market in 2001. About four aisles each are devoted to different ethnicities, and there is an entire aisle devoted just to international teas.

She said sales have held steady in the past few years, but the new store on Charlotte Pike will help reach growing immigrant populations on the west side of town.

Multicultural marketing consultant Teresa Soto said mainstream grocery stores often miss out on opportunities for sales within ethnic groups, ensuring the continued success of ethnic groceries.

Mainstream stores may price staples such as plantains at a premium, which discourages someone from the Caribbean who may want to eat them for breakfast, lunch and dinner, said Soto, of About Marketing Solutions in Burbank, Calif.

Or they prepare case-ready meat when immigrants are used to seeing meat unpackaged and choosing their own cuts.

"There's a whole other world in the meat department that general supermarkets are unaware of,'' Soto said. "I think very few (ethnic) grocers feel the mainstream chains pose a threat.''

Source: The Tennessean

Wireless service targets Central Texas Hispanic population

July 7, 2005
Source: Austin Business Journal

MovidaMovida Communications, a pay-as-you-go wireless service, has launched its service in Austin.

Movida is aiming to create a niche by targeting the U.S. Hispanic market. Movida is offering standard custom calling features, plus international voice and data services featuring culturally and geographically-focused content in Spanish.

Movida has teamed with Wal-Mart and Sprint to provide wireless voice and data communications using the Sprint nationwide wireless network.

Through its partnership with Wal-Mart, Movida is rolling out Movida-branded handsets and cards. Movida has launched at Wal-Mart stores throughout Austin as well as Houston, San Antonio, El Paso and other cities throughout the Rio Grande Valley in Texas.

Movida is owned by the Cisneros Group of Companies, a privately-held company that holds interests in media, entertainment, technology and consumer firms. Among Cisneros Group's holding interests include Univision Communications Inc. and Claxson Interactive Group Inc.

Regional Supermarket Chain Goes Hispanic

July 7, 2005
Source: Fort Worth Star Telegram via

Minyard Food Stores, the biggest locally owned supermarket chain, will convert 11 stores to its Latino-oriented Carnival format, including two in Fort Worth, the company's chief executive said Wednesday.

Carnival Food Stores will become the company's focus, said Ron Johnson, who became CEO of the 68-store Minyard chain in October.

The Coppell company will convert a total of 11 Minyard and Sack'n Save stores to Carnival supermarkets this fall, Johnson said.

Minyard is trying to capitalize on the growth of the Hispanic market.

"I'm focused on the Hispanic consumer," Johnson said. "It just so happens our stores are located right in the middle of this population shift."

Minyard also disclosed that it had tried to acquire, without success, 14 Fiesta supermarkets in North Texas.

Yankelovich Study Reveals Latinos' Frustrations, Preferences

July 06, 2005
By Mariana Lemann

A new study unveiled today by marketing consultantcy Yankelovich Inc. reveals key findings among Hispanic consumers such as frustrations with marketing and advertising practices, language preferences and a decline in brand loyalty.

According to the MONITOR Multicultural Marketing Study, which tracks shifting patterns among Latino and African-American consumers, 53 percent of Hispanics say that they are "extremely concerned about the practices and motives of marketers and advertisers." In addition, 50 percent of Latinos say that very little, if any, of the marketing and advertising that they see has any relevance to them.

However, that doesn't signal a lack of importance paid to advertising. In another finding in the study, 72 percent of Latinos say they would like to see more television programming or other commercials aimed specifically for them. The study also reveals that 88 percent of Hispanics wish more financial institutions would offer products tailored to their needs.

While Hispanics are still considered a brand-loyal group, they have been adopting a more flexible approach to new offerings. According to the study, 73 percent of Hispanics say they "like to try different brands once in a while," but 58 percent agree that it is “risky to buy a brand you are not familiar with.”

When it comes to language, marketers and ad executives will have to manage to communicate with the consumer in both English and Spanish. According to the study, nearly 40 percent of Latinos prefer Spanish, 41 percent prefer English, and 20 percent like both. Whatever the preference, the study found that 65 percent of Hispanics feel that their native language is an important aspect of their culture and tradition that is important to preserve.

Source: Marketing & Medios

Profound Shifts in Family Dynamics, Priorities Underway among Hispanic, African American Consumers; Yankelovich Unveils 2005 MONITOR Multicultural Marketing Study

July 06, 2005
Via Business Wire

A unique shift is underway among Hispanic and African American consumers as a result of evolving changes in family, brand loyalty and language communications, according to the 2005 Yankelovich MONITOR Multicultural Marketing Study unveiled today in Chicago.

Developed in collaboration with Burrell Communications, the nation's leading agency specializing in African American and urban markets, and Dr. Felipe Korzenny, professor and director of the Center for the Study of Hispanic Marketing Communications at Florida State University, the study from marketing consultancy Yankelovich, Inc., is the first of its kind to examine consumer behaviors and attitudes and offer comparative and contrasting views of the African-American, U.S. Hispanic and Non-Hispanic White markets.

"This year's study focused on finding ways to forge real connections with African American and Hispanic consumers," said Sonya Suarez-Hammond, Director of Yankelovich Inc. "Identifying and recognizing the important cultural connectors for the multicultural market will afford marketers important insights to help them better connect with the ethnic consumer."

Multicultural Communities are Not Monolithic
The research revealed consumer behavior within Hispanic communities varies, influenced by cultural sameness, such as commitment to family, as well as differences in individual family members' acculturation and language proficiency. In fact, 87% of Hispanics "get a real sense of belonging from their family," while 61% agree that "people's main responsibility is to themselves and their family, not to making the world a better place to live in."

Additionally, Hispanic consumers are about evenly split on which language they prefer to use in every situation. Nearly 40% prefer Spanish, 41% prefer English and 20% prefer both while 65% feel "my native language is an important aspect of my culture and traditions that is important to preserve." The study revealed that many Hispanics also share a common optimism about life - despite suffering turmoil in their native countries, many respondents said they are simply happy to be alive.

"The Spanish language is extremely important to Hispanics and they feel a need to preserve it, but they also recognize the need to master English in order to succeed and enjoy life in the U.S.," said Suarez-Hammond. "Hispanics are using both Spanish and English language media and communicating in both languages. Marketers need to use both languages in order to establish cultural and personal relevancy with the Hispanic consumer. That said, it is also important to note that Spanish is the language of the heart and provides communication intimacy in brand messaging."

African Americans have distinct buying habits among six segments: emulators, seekers, reachers, attainers, conservers and elites. For example, attainers comprise 27% of the African-American community and are typically married with children, have a college degree, are a median age of 40 and are looking for tools to help them reach their aspirations. As a result, marketers must clearly illustrate how their products or services can benefit them.

"Despite these segment differences, there is still a strong racial awareness that has resulted in black pride and a deep solidarity with other African Americans, which affects purchasing decisions," said McGhee Williams Osse, Co-CEO of Burrell Communications. "African Americans say they are loyal to companies that reflect an understanding of this awareness and their ethnic affinity. Non-Hispanic white marketers, who have not experienced exclusion based on race or color, may find it difficult to understand that this sensitivity exists, particularly since it is a feeling that is shared by African Americans across the board, even at the highest social strata and economic brackets."

Brand Appeal
Hispanics are generally a brand loyal group, but they are increasingly willing to try new or different brands on occasion, according to the study. The brands that attract African Americans are the ones that convey status, achievement or a reassurance of established reliability. Nearly 70% of African Americans select a brand because it "gives them a level of emotional satisfaction." While 62% of African Americans and 58% of Hispanics agree that "it's risky to buy a brand you are not familiar with," 80% of African Americans and 73% of Hispanics say they "like to try different brands once in a while."

"This study substantiates the importance of cultural understanding in building brand equity," said Dr. Korzenny. "Brands need to become part of the culture they want to be a part of."

Marketing Frustration Grows
The study also identified warning signs for marketers if they don't appeal to and understand Hispanic and African American consumers in meaningful ways. In fact, both Hispanics and African Americans have begun to show signs of frustration with traditional marketing techniques, which may lead to future resistance. Nearly 70% of African Americans and just over half (53%) of Hispanics say they are "extremely concerned about the practices and motives of marketers and advertisers," while 50% in both groups agree that "very little, if any, of the marketing and advertising I see has any relevance to me."

"This data should raise a red flag for marketers," Suarez-Hammond said. "The truth is that African American and Hispanic consumers do want to be recognized and noticed, but they want it to be done in a culturally appropriate way - in a way that truly builds a deep, lasting connection."

This is supported by study findings in which:

  • 72% of Hispanics agree "there should be more television or other commercials directed specifically to Hispanic consumers."
  • 69% of African Americans agree "there should be more television or other commercials directed specifically to African American consumers."
  • 91% of African Americans and 88% of Hispanics "wish more financial institutions would offer products and services with me in mind."
  • 87% of African Americans and 86% of Hispanics "would like to participate in more activities that celebrate my heritage."

"Multicultural consumer connection is about seeking ways to develop and enhance one-to-one relationships, understanding and leveraging personal cultural relevancy, acknowledging and supporting the multicultural consumers' power and influence and gaining their trust through community involvement," Suarez-Hammond said. "Marketers will attain this connection with ethnic consumers if they embrace this understanding."

About the Yankelovich Study
Data collection of more than 4,300 Hispanic, African American and Non-Hispanic White U.S. consumers ages 16+ was conducted via a two-phase process. The first phase consisted of a 20-minute telephone interview during which participants were asked general attitude, demographic and ethnic-specific questions in the language of their choice. The second phase consisted of a 45-60 minute self-administered survey via mail or Internet, in which participants were asked industry-specific behavioral and attitudinal questions on a variety of topics - also in the language of their choice. Respondents were allowed to choose for themselves whether to complete phase two online or via the mail.

Grassroots approaches to reach the Hispanic audience: Nontraditional approaches to measure ROI

July 5, 2005
By Ana Rita González

While media relations continues to be a staple of the PR profession, other approaches are often required to effectively reach target audiences and generate the desired impact. This is especially true when the objectives of a program go beyond influencing perception to generating changes in behavior — driving the adoption of new products or services through an experiential approach.

Grassroots programs are powerful tools, allowing marketers to establish relationships with an audience where they live and play. In today’s cluttered media environment, they also allow a laser focus on target audiences by being intensely tailored to a demographic, cultural subset or community.

Relationships and personal connections are crucial to Hispanic populations. In many cases, community leaders and other local influencers serve as advocates and counselors who help newcomers become integrated not only into a neighborhood, but also into the cultural system of a city. Local communities often play the support role of an extended family, more so for Spanish-dominant populations who still preserve close ties to their countries of origin.

Given these factors, culturally sensitive and relevant grassroots approaches are effective when reaching out to the Hispanic community. Health-related companies and consumer services have achieved great success utilizing this model to cultivate relationships in the cultural and language context of their audience.

When Brita wanted to communicate the benefits of its water filters to Hispanic households, the company enlisted Hispanic “ambassadors” who believed in the need to provide a healthier drinking water option for their families, and who already drank bottled water since they distrusted the quality of tap water in their communities. Ambassadors were recruited to discuss the benefits of adopting Brita water filters for the health of their families. The program first launched in a test market and then, based on results, was rolled out to an additional l4 markets.

Pfizer’s commitment to improving communication between patients and their health care providers led to the creation of the Partnership for Clear Health Communication and its educational campaign, “Ask Me 3.” The campaign helped bridge the health literacy gap by offering simple guidelines in Spanish and English on how to start a conversation with a doctor to get a clear understanding of health concerns. In its first two years, the program has reached 900 organizations, and has distributed more than 700,000 free educational materials. The program reach is sustained in large part with a grassroots program that aligns organizations, doctors, hospitals and community leaders in the common goal of promoting more informed patient/doctor discussions.

The high usage of emergency room services by Hispanics at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami prompted the need to promote a more rational use of health services for local families. Taking advantage of the back-to-school season, a series of health-related educational materials were developed in Spanish and English, focusing on basic information and tips for parents on children’s safety, first-aid, nutrition, exercise and other health-related issues. These materials were easy to understand and act upon. They were distributed throughout the hospital as well as in Jackson’s community clinics, and also shared with all school principals in the county’s public elementary and middle school systems.

By ensuring that the Spanish language materials were not just straight translations from the English version but also culturally appropriate — emphasizing food choices and family activities relevant to Hispanic populations — the materials were enthusiastically embraced by the Spanish-language media and consumers. As a follow-up to this successful project, Jackson Memorial Hospital is now partnering with the Miami-Dade Park and Recreations Department to implement a summer program to promote health and safety in a fun environment for children, including Hispanics, in the county.

These are just three examples from a growing body of evidence that demonstrates grassroots programs can be incredibly powerful in conveying messages that cannot be fully represented in media stories. In many cases, however, these programs do require a strategic implementation supported by local and national media relations and other PR tactics, depending on the goals and audiences.

As PR professionals, we are trained to measure success. While circulation figures and other data are often used as a gauge for media relations programs, evaluation methods for grassroots programs require creative approaches that truly encapsulate their effectiveness.

When considering a grassroots program, these are some effective and easy-to-implement evaluation tools:

A well-thought-out, short survey goes a long way in collecting data to determine how your message resonated with a particular group. These can be executed by phone or in-person. Depending on the timeliness of the results gathered, you might want to consider deploying street teams in high-traffic areas such as malls, community centers or parking lots. When conducting a series of seminars or town hall meetings, in-person surveys after each session are extremely effective in providing a quick assessment of message delivery and comprehension. Pre-surveys also provide effective benchmarks to measure impact of new campaigns or messages.

Distribution numbers
If collateral materials are created as part of your communications campaign, distribution numbers are well-accepted as a measure of message reach. For instance, if you developed a three-fold brochure and sent 500 copies to your local community center, then if the piece is properly distributed, you can assume each copy reached at least one individual. On the other hand if you place a poster on a community health bulletin board or a doctor’s office, by acquiring the average number of people who visit that location in a regular day, you can quickly estimate how many people viewed your message.

Community testimonials
When working with a group of community leaders, health educators, teachers or parents to reach community members, further engage them in the program by asking them to provide testimonials about their experience, or develop a synopsis of key insights captured from their interactions. You can record those quotes and incorporate them into your evaluation report. If working with social marketing or consumer education programs, it’s also acceptable to provide minor incentives to program participants that will aid in data collection and program continuation.

Focus groups
If your communications program is aimed at national audiences, conduct regional focus groups to ensure the validity and relevance of messages and strategies. If the campaign seeks to reach a Spanish language-dominant audience, you must conduct focus groups in Spanish too. This may increase costs from having to translate transcripts from such focus groups, but is well worth the cost to know that your messages and strategies resonate with that audience.

As the economic, political and cultural power of the Hispanic community continues to rise in the United States, savvy marketers will invest now in gaining the expertise they need to communicate with these audiences. Adding grassroots programs to the marketing and communications mix will yield impressive results and increase both credibility and access to this increasingly important target audience.

Ana Rita González is senior vice president and partner of FH Hispania/Fleishman-Hillard Miami &Latin America.

Source: PRSA's Public Relations Tactics

Juan Gabriel concert opens door for future Hispanic promotions

June 30, 2005
Source: Dos Mundos Online's Editorial

Juan_gabrielAmazingly enough, more than 4,000 individuals forked out a whopping $100 to $200 ticket price for the privilege of enjoying the wondrous Juan Gabriel concert at Kemper Arena.

While former Beatle Paul McCartney could undoubtedly fill Kemper Arena at that price, it was a risky venture for Latino entrepreneurs from Kansas City to undertake such a promotion, especially in Kansas City where Juan Gabriel is not exactly a household name. This was a venture aimed strictly at the Hispanic community.

When asked, most who attended the event said they would be happy to do it again. The concert was actually several concerts in one; any of which could demand and get a hefty ticket price.

You can bet, when Juan Gabriel returns to Kansas City next year, word-of-mouth advertising about the quality of this concert will help the promoters get closer to the sellout point at Kemper. With 4,000 tickets sold, there was still plenty of room for more ticket sales.

This concert was not a sell-out but there is no argument that it was a fabulous concert. One patron said, “It started out great and got better and better as the evening progressed. People were out of the seats; screaming, crying and singing along – even people who did not know who he was before the concert.”

The concert did not sell out due to inadequate promotion. The promoters failed to educate the public that this two-in-one concert, which also featured the popular Paquita, would be well worth the price of admission.

That’s what promotion is all about. It is forgivable, however, because Hispanic promoters do not have the privilege of experience. It’s a new market for an event of this scope, and it was a brave first step. Many problems plagued the planning, including a rescheduling.

The promoters often failed to communicate with the media, and sometimes did not return calls. They were aggressive in procuring Kemper Arena for a high-priced show and the ticket pricing was highly ambitious. Braver men would have cowered at the very idea.

Many wondered if Kansas City could bear such a high price for such a highly charged show. Would the Kansas City fans be able and willing to fork out so much money for their favorite entertainer?

In El Paso, Texas, where there are many more Hispanics, the Juan Gabriel Show (without Paquita) sold out with tickets in the $45-$80 range. Journalists in El Paso marveled that this entertainer could demand $100 to $200 tickets in the Midwest.

We marveled too, at the ambitious prices. Could a promotion of this size succeed, or would it be a colossal disaster for these promoters and entrepreneurs? We were concerned for the future of such promotions. A wipeout would have sent a devastating message that the Kansas City Latino community was not ready for this.

We hope the promoter did not lose his shirt, and he has told us that he will bring Juan Gabriel back for another go-around next year. We sigh a sigh of great relief for him.

We hope it was a profitable venture for him and we wish him much success in his next venture. We also offer future support, as we did this time.
We congratulate him on a brave and hopefully gainful venture.

No doubt that other promoters will learn lessons from this ambitious undertaking.
That’s not our bottom-line message here, however.

Our message is that some 4,000 fans were willing to fork out that kind of money for such a world-class event. More than anything, it shows the greater community that green power in the Latino community does exist. Bring them quality events and they will respond in kind.

Anyone who doubts it has to take another look at this example.
Most entrepreneurs are beginning to realize that the Hispanic community is a sleeping green giant; green as in the color of cold cash.

Qwest starts up Web site in Spanish for Hispanic market

July 5, 2005
By Ross Wehner

Qwest launched a new stand-alone Web site in Spanish this month with special offers tailored to the 5 million Hispanic consumers living in its 14-state territory.

QuestThe site,, is the latest in a long list of strategic moves that Qwest and other phone providers across the nation are making to cater to Hispanics, the largest and fastest-growing minority in the United States.

Qwest offers a 10-cent-a-minute calling plan to Mexico, gives about $3 million a year to Hispanic-related charities nationwide and operates "El Centro," a call center staffed with 300 Spanish-speaking sales representatives.

Qwest's mostly Western and rural territory is heavily Hispanic. Qwest estimates their annual purchasing power to be more than $10 billion. Arizona's Hispanic population is even larger and faster-growing. Other booming Hispanic markets in Qwest's territory include Boise, Idaho; Yakima; and Minneapolis.

"Hispanics are a critical growth segment for Qwest," said Rick Werner, who until two weeks ago headed up Qwest's Hispanic marketing. Now he is rubbing shoulders with Qwest's top executives on Floor 50 of the Qwest Tower as head of Hispanic public relations, a new position.

Werner, who was born and raised in Puerto Rico, said his new job is to "create a Hispanic voice for everything we do." His job gets harder every day because of a younger generation of Hispanics who listen to hip-hop music and speak English.

"Years ago, you could just do ads in Spanish," Werner said. "Now, it's getting very complex."

But Werner's job is somewhat simplified because two-thirds of the Hispanics in Qwest's territory are originally from Mexico.

BellSouth, on the other hand, serves Miami's more challenging mix of Latin immigrants from the Caribbean and all over Latin America. SBC has Chicago, which is split between mostly Mexicans and Puerto Ricans. New York's Hispanic population, covered by Verizon, is all over the map.

But what Hispanics have in common, Cravens concluded, is that they are "more influenced by recommendations from family and friends than by particular advertising initiatives."

Erubey Peinado, originally from Juarez, Mexico, proves the point. He and his brother, Esdrel Peinado, own a real-estate company in Aurora, Colo., and struggled until last month with what they called "terrible" phone service from XO Communications. One day, the phones stopped working and Esdrel reached his limit.

"We keep our office door open all the time," Erubey Peinado said. "And my brother is kind of loud. He was yelling big-time."

At that moment, Alex Alvarez, a Cuban American employed by Qwest's "Feet on the Street" sales program, knocked on the door and offered his services. Alvarez's wife happens to work in the same building.

Alvarez is one of about 90 Qwest salespeople in Colorado who work the streets each day and focus on small, often Hispanic, businesses such as the Peinados' Top Producers Realty. Within 24 hours, Alvarez had the company's five lines and DSL high-speed Internet hooked up with Qwest.

The two larger Bells, SBC and Verizon, also spend millions of dollars each year to cater to Hispanics.

Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Businessman: Language barrier is biggest issue

July 4, 2004
By Eddie Stowe

A Gainesville real estate agent who specializes in home sales in the Hispanic market believes that language is the one major factor separating the area's Hispanic community from native-born residents.

And that, Marcelo Arteaga said, has kept the integration of Hall County's non-English speaking residents to a minimum.

Arteaga, who has sold commercial and residential real estate in the community for the past 10 years, said language is holding up the social adjustment of Hispanic immigrants in Hall.

"Here you have a Hispanic concentration where everything is supplied by bilingual personnel," he said.

Areas are so restricted by culture that even Coca-Cola and other soda products are imported from Mexico for sale in the local Hispanic community.

"There is a difference in sweetness of the Coke products made here than in Mexico," said Arteaga, a 1981 graduate of Georgia Tech with a degree in industrial management.

Other products like detergent, soap and shampoo also are imported because they are what the Hispanic community is accustomed to using.

"If you have the minimum requirements to sustain your life around your own neighborhood, there is no need to go outside of that community," Arteaga said.

"But, if they are speaking English, then there wouldn't be a hesitation to go somewhere else outside," he said.

Hall is home to some 22,502 residents who were born in another country, the 2000 Census said. Not all of those immigrants are from Spanish-speaking countries -- about 8 percent have come from Asia -- but Hispanics make up the vast majority, 87.4 percent.

Arteaga said there have been some local efforts to bridge the language gap between the two communities.

As a past president of the Hispanic Alliance of Gainesville, he said he has seen some Gainesville residents make an effort to extend a hand, but there has been little to no response from the Hispanic community.

"We have found that the majority of the Hispanics that move into the area do not have the interest to bridge that gap," he said. "Even in my church, we have tried to integrate, but they did not come to the meetings."

Arteaga said past presidents of the Hispanic Alliance have felt the same, becoming discouraged by the lack of response, knowledge and understanding.

The Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce has an annual Hispanic language series. This year, it will examine other ways to work with the community, said Kit Dunlap, chamber president and CEO.

Because there has been turnover of different age groups, and because some of the local jobs are beginning to become less available, Arteaga sees a leveling off of the Hispanic population in Hall.

Most Hispanic-owned businesses are along the Atlanta Highway (Ga. 13) corridor, in East Hall or on Cleveland Highway (U.S. 129).

The Hispanic residential population, he said, is concentrated in East Hall and what he called the Memorial Park area of Gainesville.

Arteaga said many second generation residents from Spanish-speaking countries, those completing high school, are moving on and out of Gainesville-Hall County. As a result, he said, real estate is recycling and he has sold some homes two or three times.

Source: The Gainsville Times

Minnesota Thunder attracts sponsors by targeting ethnic communities

June 24, 2005
By John Vomhof Jr.

MnthunderThe Minnesota Thunder is beginning to see positive results after moving from Blaine to St. Paul last year -- especially in terms of revenue from corporate sponsors, which is up 16 percent.

Part of the reason is that when the professional soccer team moved to James Griffin Stadium behind Central High School, the team refocused its marketing approach to attract minorities and new immigrants.

On Saturday, for example, the Thunder hosted Hispanic Heritage Night, drawing 3,552 fans, the largest crowd of the season. It was one of four heritage nights -- special events featuring ethnic food, music and dance.

"Last year 35 to 45 percent of our crowd was of ethnic decent," said Thunder general manager Djorn Buchholz. "In years past [in Blaine] it was less than 10 percent."

This demographic has attracted corporate sponsors like Comcast and Edina Realty who want to tap into those hard-to-reach immigrant markets. The Twin Cities has sizable and growing Hispanic, Hmong, Somali and Liberian communities, in which soccer has long been the favorite sport.

The Thunder's focus on ethnic communities was the "primary factor" in Edina Realty's sponsorship with the team, said Lynn Clare, the firm's vice president of marketing. The company saw the partnership as a way to tap into immigrant communities that otherwise might not understand home ownership in this country.

"We certainly are committed to the emerging markets and as long as the Thunder offer us great opportunities -- and if they pan out for us at the end of the year -- that relationship may expand," Clare said.

Comcast expanded its sponsorship this year, putting its name on the front of the Thunder's jerseys, a deal held by Target for the previous 13 years.

"At Comcast, we feel it is important to give back to the communities we serve," said Mary Beth Schubert, area director of corporate affairs for Comcast. "We also value diversity, and because soccer bridges the gap across a variety of cultures, we view a sponsorship of the Thunder as a natural fit for us."

Another factor in the growth of sponsor revenue is simple geography.

"When we were in Blaine, there were a lot of sponsors in the Twin Cities who wouldn't touch us because we were so far north," he said.
Attendance on the rebound

Total attendance figures show mixed results for the Thunder, which plays in the 12-team First Division of the United Soccer League, one step below the Major League Soccer. The team averaged 3,893 fans per game in 2003, its last at the National Sports Center in Blaine. Attendance then dipped to 2,688 a game last year, the team's first at Griffin Stadium.

The initial attendance drop was expected during the transition to a new venue, Buchholz said. But there were signs of improvement late last season, as the team drew crowds of 5,000 or more in four of its last five games, he said.

This year, the Thunder has averaged 3,203 fans a game through the first four games of the team's 14-game home schedule, despite a cool, wet spring.

Blois Olson, president and CEO of New School Communications Inc., a St. Paul public-relations firm that handles the Thunder's account, said the team has successfully expanded its audience by mirroring changes in the community.

"I think there's been an evolution of the team over the last 16 years from a fairly Minnesota-based team of players to an international team of players with an international community of interest," Olson said. "I think that shows the growth of the Twin Cities, and the Thunder has paralleled that growth."

The Thunder maintains a season-ticket-holder base of about 1,000, most of whom followed the team from Blaine to its new home in St. Paul. But the team's season-ticket numbers are limited by the economic realities of marketing to the immigrant community, Buchholz said.

"I think the spending habits of some of the ethnic groups probably prohibit them from going out and buying a season ticket," he said. "A lot of them, we find, just walk up to the gate to buy a ticket on the day of the game."
The Unity Cup

This weekend the Thunder will host the three-day Unity Cup tournament featuring local Hispanic and Hmong teams. Promoters of the tournament have distributed 10,000 tickets thoughout both communities and hope to have a good turnout. Four Hispanic teams and four Hmong teams will participate. The winning team gets the Unity Cup and a $5,000 prize. The event will culminate in a special soccer game in which an ad hoc all-star team picked from the Hispanic and Hmong players will compete against the Thunder.

"One thing we try to promote around here is that we don't all speak the same language, but we all understand soccer," Buchholz said.

The Thunder hopes to make the Unity Cup an annual event and expand the number of heritage nights.

"Hopefully next year we can have other heritage nights for the entire season," Buchholz said. "I think that would be kind of fun to have an ethnic event for every home game. I'd like to see it go that way."

Moving forward, the Thunder hopes to parlay its broad audience into even more sponsorships and, in turn, a stronger bottom line. The team, which has never turned a profit, has a chance to break even this year, Buchholz said.

"We're headed in the right direction," he said. "Will we break even this year? I'd love to; that's the plan."

Source: The Business Jorurnal / Minnealpolis-St. Paul

Accent on trust: Latino banks stress culture, communication

July 2, 2005
By Dianne Solis

Money is money. Interest rates are interest rates. So why would anyone tailor a bank to one ethnic group?

To boost the comfort level.
It's an important consideration for Latinos, a heavily immigrant group that tends to be distrustful of banks.

That's why so many banks are cropping up in Texas and elsewhere that look more like taquerías than finance houses, that sport murals rather than pastel landscapes, and that greet customers with, "En que lo puedo ayudar," Spanish for "How can I help you?"

Laredo National Bank, a unit of the Spanish financial house BBVA SA, has banks that resemble haciendas, with Mexican tilework, bright interiors and Bienvenidos painted over entrances.

Customers walking into Banco Independiente in McKinney, a branch of that city's Independent Bank, will find marigold-colored walls, bowls of Mexican candies and a children's play corner.

San Francisco-based Wells Fargo & Co. is hiring more bilingual tellers. New branches in areas with high concentrations of Latinos have Latin-themed murals.

But more needs to be done, says one market expert.

Some banks think it's enough to say, "Here I am. Now open an account," says Dallas Mexican Consul Carlos García de Alba, who has advised dozens of bank executives. But with Latinos, he points out, "it's a matter of trust."

The Latino population numbers 41 million in the United States, and the Lone Star State has the second-largest concentration. In Texas, Latinos number 7.6 million and make up 35 percent of the population, according to 2003 census data.

Surveys vary on the extent of the Latino "unbanked," but the Federal Reserve Bank of New York says that fewer than half of Mexican immigrants don't have bank accounts. Other studies have said that Latino households overall have an equally low rate.

Targeting this market isn't as simple as choosing a strategy for the fully assimilated vs. the freshly arrived.

The influx of people from Mexico alone is now so great and the homeland so near that it's creating a new class of consumer: the transnational.

U.S. immigrants are sending escalating sums of money back to the homeland and, increasingly, buying properties on both sides of the border.

Finance houses as diverse as North Carolina-based Bank of America Corp., Puerto Rico's Popular Inc., Spain's BBVA and Mexico's Hipotecaria Su Casita SA are trying different strategies to reach the Latino market.

Bank of America uses enticements that include reduced fees on sending money, or remittances, back to Mexico. Products range from checking accounts to mortgages to pension plans.

The courtship has included touting services at night meetings of Mexican state associations in cities such as Fort Worth, and sponsoring "financial fitness" events with the Mexican soccer team Chivas in Los Angeles, home to the largest concentration of Mexicans in the U.S.

In 2004, the efforts paid off with the sale of products to 1 million new Hispanic customers.

"Bank of America has been servicing immigrants for hundreds of years," says Marcos Rosenberg, senior vice president and multicultural marketing executive at Bank of America. First, it was Italians, then the Irish, and now it's Mexicans and other Hispanic immigrants, he says.

New York-based J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. has set up a mobile bank unit in front of the Mexican consulate in Chicago. In Dallas, Chase spreads its brand name by sponsoring such community groups as the local ballet folklorico.

Extra effort
Not to be outdone in the grassroots department, McKinney's Banco Independiente has even sent its staff to laundromats to court clients.

"Our biggest advertising is word-of-mouth," says Tres Garza, the bank's president. "You treat one right, and the rest of the family comes in and then the compadres."

The extra effort can be as simple as explaining a bank account's fees in Spanish, Mr. Garza says.

One customer switched to Banco Independiente simply because she didn't understand the charges she received each time her previous bank account fell below the $300 minimum, he says.

Many consumers in the banks' bull's-eye, commercially speaking, are like Martin Bravo, a 39-year-old bakery worker.

Inside the lobby of the Mexican Consulate in Dallas, Mr. Bravo braves lines of people snaking in several directions to receive an identification card now accepted by more and more banks and some government agencies.

Weekly, the Dallas consulate churns out up to 1,500 of the identification cards, known as a matricula consula, that have more tamper-proof features than ever. That's triple the amount of two years ago.

"I really need a better identification card," Mr. Bravo says, before he plunks down $27 for the ID application. "To get my checks paid, I need to have this identification."

Eventually, he plans to open a bank account, too. Payday robberies of immigrants have just become too common, he says.

Some immigrants distrust banks because of the history of currency devaluations in their homelands. Others simply dislike an officious manner that smacks too much of the U.S. government, or worse, a U.S. immigration agent.

Too many Mexican consumers think that if they go to the bank and suggest or disclose that they are in the U.S. illegally, they will be reported to immigration authorities, says Mr. García, the Dallas Mexican Consul.

"The people don't understand what happens behind the window," he says. "They think that if the employees discover they are undocumented, they will be taken and deported."

Offering comfort
Big banks may be able to price their products to get the business, but smaller operators may score more points on comfort, says Scott Alaniz, equity research analyst for Sandler, O'Neill & Partners LP.

"You're probably not going to be able to beat Bank of America on pricing, but that is fine," Mr. Alaniz says. "What they want is a bank they can trust."

U.S. banks are discovering they're going mano a mano with their Mexican competitors for one of the premium products: home mortgages.

Hipotecaria Su Casita, or Your Little House Mortgage Company, opened a Dallas office two months ago.

To get the word out, it bombarded laundromats, beauty salons and check-cashing outlets in neighborhoods with high immigrant populations with fliers that teased: "Su Pedacito de México, Your Little Piece of Mexico."

Says Francisco Cardiel, manager of the Dallas office: "It's a phrase that many Mexicans can identify with. They come here for the American dream. But in their mind, they still think of having their little pedacito de México."

Two of the first clients were Paulo Muñoz, a 32-year-old forklift operator with dual U.S. and Mexican nationality, and his 32-year-old, Mexican-born wife, Adriana.

The couple purchased their first home, a previously owned, two-bedroom house in Santa Catarina, just outside Monterrey. Mrs. Muñoz's parents are living there.

"You just want to have something over there where you come from," Mrs. Muñoz says. "And my parents didn't have a house."

More productive
Mr. Cardiel, the mortgage manager, notes that about $20 billion will be sent back to Mexico this year by immigrants in remittances, citing recent estimates by Mexico's central bank. And that money can be productively channeled into homeownership, he says.

"This is a way to create a patrimony for the family," Mr. Cardiel says.

Mexican interest rates are around 12 percent – about double the U.S. rate. The average loan is $15,000 to $85,000. Thus far, with 300 loans outstanding, Su Casita has had no delinquencies, Mr. Cardiel says.

"It is more than money at stake: It is a moral commitment to the family," Mr. Cardiel says.

To bolster a client's credit history, Mr. Cardiel tutors prospects on building a six-month history of their U.S. earnings.

First, they must open a bank account and deposit all funds in there, even if they are withdrawn quickly, he says.

The Muñozes, who live in an apartment in Mesquite, say they're very happy with their home purchase. And they're considering buying a second house.

"Allá," Mr. Muñoz says. Back there in Mexico.

Source: The Dallas Morning News

NASCAR and Hispanics

“By legitimizing itself in Mexico, NASCAR will legitimize itself to the exploding Hispanic market in the United States. That's where the big score is. There's entirely too much money to be made from the fastest growing demographic in the world…”
-Marty Smith, NASCAR.COM

NascarMy good friend Ed Rueda, is working hard putting together and gathering the sponsorships for an All-Hispanic NASCAR team, not only a driver but the entire pit crew. He's not only passionate about NASCAR, he has the resume to walk the walk, download it by clicking here. If your company is serious about reaching the Hispanic Market, and is prepared to put serious $$ into it, I strongly suggest you contact Ed.

Here's a very interesting article that expands on the many possibilities available out there:

Nascar Fever

June 1, 2005
By Richard Jacobsen

With limited growth possibilities in its traditional fan base, NASCAR hopes to use Mexico as a platform to reach the lucrative and burgeoning U.S. Hispanic market.

The red Taurus takes the inside lane in a high-speed, white-knuckle gambit to pass the Chevy. But the Chevy sweeps over, forcing the Taurus to hit the brakes in order to avoid tapping bumpers as both cars head into the curve. The drivers exchange one-digit salutes and musings on the occupation of each other’s mother.

Driving the highway from Mexico City to Cuernavaca, one can easily imagine how NASCAR-style stock-car racing could catch on south of the border.

Once associated solely with rebel flag-waving white Southern males, NASCAR has grown into something like America’s national pastime on wheels, and promoters are looking to expand the sport’s fan base even further, to Mexico and the U.S. Hispanic population. While these groups represent a potential goldmine for any sport, particularly one involving fast cars and pretty girls in bodysuits with beer logos across their chests, would appear to be a particularly easy sell.

“Most Hispanic males are car crazy,” said Alvaro Martin, president of SMartSports, a New York-based sports marketing firm that focuses on Hispanics. “For me they are an absolutely natural, fertile market for NASCAR. The challenge is how to reach them.”

GoetercarNASCAR is betting that it can connect with Mexicans’ deeply rooted love of cars, speed and death-defying risks to popularize a sport that until recently was as foreign to them as chitlins. But the move is not simply a geographical expansion. NASCAR hopes to use Mexico as a platform to reach back into the lucrative and burgeoning U.S. Hispanic market.

In a sign of Mexicans’ attraction to U.S.-style sports spectacles, the NFL drew the largest crowd in league history – more than 112,000 fans – to a preseason game in 1994 in Mexico City’s Azteca Stadium. Now the NFL plans to hold its first-ever regular-season game outside the U.S. on Oct. 2 at the same venue. Not surprisingly, the October game will pit two teams from states with large Hispanic populations: the San Francisco 49ers and the Arizona Cardinals.

Continue reading "NASCAR and Hispanics" »

Sponsorship grows at Hispanic festival

June 30, 2005
By Jeanne Sturiale

Organizers of the annual Festival de Verano in Winston-Salem were feeling upbeat this week, saying that the number of festival sponsorships has more than doubled over last year's.

The Hispanic festival, to be held Sunday at King Plaza Shopping Center, is produced by Que Pasa Media Network. It will feature booths and displays by about 50 sponsors, well over last year's 19 sponsors, said Jane Martin, a spokeswoman for Que Pasa.

"I think the market this year, in this area, now truly understands the commercial value of this audience," Martin said.

Signing on this year are previous sponsors, such as Time Warner Cable and Bank of America, and new ones such as the U.S. Army/N.C. National Guard and Coca-Cola Bottling Consolidated.

Sponsorships have grown steadily since 2002, the first year of the festival, Martin said. Organizers estimated that last year's festival drew 12,000 mostly Hispanic residents in Forsyth County and beyond.

Martin said that Que Pasa's research, based on U.S. Census material and other sources, estimates that there are more than 40,000 Hispanics in Forsyth County, with a buying power of $539 million.

Jose Isasi, the owner of Que Pasa, attributed increased sponsor interest to a shift in the festival's target audience, from single Hispanic males to Hispanic families.

Most of this year's entertainment, such as a rodeo and children's area, will be focused on the family, Isasi said.

"Folks are realizing that in Hispanic marketing, the Hispanic family is the more stable sector," Isasi said. "The housing market is starting to wake up to Hispanics. We have more real-estate, mortgage companies. All of that is the family getting more established."

Sgt.1st Class Marvin Bennett, who handles advertising and marketing for the N.C. National Guard, said that the growing Hispanic population is one reason he decided to rent a display booth at the festival.

"We're looking to see if there are qualified, legal immigrants or American citizens," Bennett said. He'll have brochures in Spanish on hand, he said, for potential recruits' parents. "The Guard is really a family thing," he said.

Isasi said that his company has made a "significant investment" in the festival - which will run from noon until 8 p.m., with free admission - although he declined to disclose the cost.

Martin said that the festival hasn't turned a profit.

"We're lucky if we break even," she said. "But it's good for relationships, good for the community."

Source: The Winston-Salem Journal

Hispanic Search Engine Marketing: A Breakdown

April 14, 2005
Source: fantomNews

Hispanic search marketing expert Nacho Hernandez... was kind enough to point us to a white paper he has authored covering the basics of this highly potential market.

Some highlights:

  • Hispanics make for almost 15% of the overall U. S. population, constituting the largest minority group and at an annual rate of 5.4% it is growing 5 times faster than the general population.
  • It is an exceptionally young market with a median age of 25 years.
  • Spending power for 2003 was estimated at $535 billion.
  • Hispanics are expected to constitute 8.4% of all U. S. Net users by 2007.

In a detailed case study the author outlines many of the specifics and quite a few unexpected quirks of the Hispanic market. For example, while the majority of of Hispanics is either Spanish speaking or bilingual, they also prefer to search for products in English.

Search phrasing is another case in point: while Anglos will place the brand in front of a search word (“Herdez salsa verde”), Hispanics will place it last (“salsa verde Herdez”) – obviously a highly important factor something to consider in web design when targeting this market.

Spanish letters (e. g. “ñ”) not typically being found on U. S. keyboards, introduces yet another level of complexity to effective search marketing.

He finally goes on to point out that targeting the Hispanic market successfully doesn’t come lightly and as a mere sidline: an intelligent, highly informed promotion strategy is critical, as is devoting competent staff and implementing a viable time frame.

There’s lots and lots more, so download the white paper here for a fascinating read (PDF format): Nacho Hernandez: Search Engine Marketing to the U. S. Hispanic Market

Nacho Hernandez can be contacted via his company, iHispanic.

In-Gym Refreshers Go Latin

June 30, 2005

BallyThis month Bally Total Fitness, will introduce low-calorie Licuados in its California gyms. Bally’s is betting this popular and long-standing Latin tradition of blending milk, fruit and ice, will shake up the way Californians pack a fitness punch before and after exercise.

It will introduce its own versions of the traditional Licuado in its clubs from Los Angeles to San Jose. Bally’s juice bars will serve up three 20 oz. fitness Licuados: the “Bicep Boost Licuado,” the “Piña Colada Licuado,” and the “Lean and Mean Licuado.”

In addition to Licuados, Bally’s offers Latin-inspired workouts like Salsa, Brazilian Samba and Capoeira, a unique Afro-Brazilian art form that blends dance, music, gymnastics and martial arts.

Mainland Hispanics: Opportunity for economic growth

June 30, 2005
By Elisabeth Roman

Goya may have been the first food producer to target the Hispanic market and to place its products on supermarket shelves on the U.S. mainland, but food producers throughout Puerto Rico now are recognizing the economic potential of this growing market on the mainland.

Hispanics are the fastest-growing consumer group on the U.S. mainland, with their purchasing power reaching $700 billion in 2004 and projected to reach $1 trillion over the next five years. This market is larger than the gross national product of many nations. Hispanic earning power is also on the rise, reaching an average of nearly $45,000 a year in 2004.

While Hispanics are playing a greater role in the U.S. economy, they have maintained their cultural identities as consumers, seeking the foods and products with which they most identify. As a result, the growth of Hispanics on the mainland presents major economic opportunities for Puerto Rico food producers and businesses. At a time when the island’s economy is projected to grow only a little over 2%, the growing Hispanic market on the mainland could open the door for Puerto Rico companies to export their services and products and generate major growth for their local business.

This week, CARIBBEAN BUSINESS has looked at the opportunities available within the island’s food industry to export its products to the mainland. Several companies already have begun to take advantage of these opportunities and are reaping major benefits.

Hispanics consumed over $153 billion in food and beverages in 2001, according to most recent studies. The Hispanic market, 41 million strong and growing, spent nearly 25% of its disposable income on food, which has sent many stateside supermarkets, particularly in Florida, California, Texas, Illinois, New Jersey, and New York, looking for products that appeal to the Hispanic market to stock their shelves. As a result, it is the perfect time for Puerto Rico producers to take advantage of the opportunities this market offers and to gain the loyalty of Hispanics with their products and brands.

Puerto Rico companies have a major advantage by being a part of the U.S., being able to identify with the demands of the Hispanic markets, and having the ability to fulfill the needs of this market with products that are native to Puerto Rico. While many companies on the island are targeting foreign countries for possible expansion, it is important they don’t overlook the potential for economic growth that the Hispanic market on the mainland offers. Puerto Rico companies possess talent, quality products, and open access to the U.S. market, allowing them to export exceptional products that appeal to Hispanics on the mainland. The 41 million Hispanics strictly refers to the mainland, since the four million Hispanics who reside in Puerto Rico aren’t included in that figure.

This week, during the Puerto Rico Chamber of Commerce convention, representatives from many businesses on the mainland will visit the island, including a group from the state of Florida and the Orlando Chamber of Commerce, to meet with local businesspeople. This activity provides an excellent opportunity for Puerto Rico companies to establish new business contacts and open doors to their products and services on the mainland.

Commonwealth government support is also necessary for local producers seeking to export to the mainland. Puerto Rico government offices in the U.S. must be used efficiently to assist local companies seeking to export or expand on the mainland, particularly in the states with the largest Hispanic populations. Just as Puerto Rico government offices assisted citizens who relocated from Puerto Rico to the mainland 30 to 40 years ago with jobs and other opportunities, these offices could help local producers of all sizes cater to the highly important Hispanic market.

Source: Caribbean Business via Puerto Rico WOW!

It's Time to Think Latino

June 27, 2005
By Connie Gore

MelroseWith $1.01 trillion of purchasing power coming in 2008, the nation's fastest-growing population--Hispanics--have retailers, developers and marketing agencies huddling over the right formula to get the high-spenders through their doors.

"Experts in the Latino market are made not born. I don't think anybody has come up with the magic formula," says Earl de Berge, principal of the Phoenix-based Behavior Research Center, a 40-year-old firm that's been tracking Latino patterns for the past 15 years. "I think that everyone's at the front end of this wave and I don't think anybody's hit a home run yet."

It's no surprise that Southwest retailers and developers are at the forefront of finding ways to mine the wealth as the pendulum swings to a majority minority in many of their cities and a product like salsa easily outsells catsup. According to de Berge's Latino Track studies, Latino spending has gone from $504 billion in 2000 to a projected $778 billion projected this year. The research firm reports the Top 10 markets and what's projected to ring up at the register this year are California, $189 billion; Texas, $113 billion; Florida, $81 billion; New York, $55 billion; Illinois, $30 billion New Jersey, $25 billion; Arizona, $20 billion; Colorado, $14 billion; New Mexico, $13 billion; and Georgia, $10 billion. As a result, Hispanic spending habits can no longer be ignored, industry experts tell GSR.

"Basically, we're a secondary market in the majority, but we're treated as a second-class market," says Liz Topete-Stonefield, president and CEO of the 20-year marketing firm, Topete-Stonefield Inc. of Phoenix. "We spread the word more than Anglos, which really makes us a prime market and not a second-class market."

The experts say it's critical to understand the culture before trying to pitch to a segmented population with a first generation of Spanish-dominant families, second generation of bilinguals and a third generation that's English-dominant and upwardly mobile--each layer with vastly different needs and bound by their heritage. When it comes to the approach, even the pros are divided. Topete-Stonefield, who also trains other marketing firms for Hispanic campaigns, believes it's imperative to have Spanish-speaking clerks, bilingual signs and a multi-cultural marketing approach while de Berge says the best bet is to recognize that the majority of the nation's Hispanic population is now acculturated--an upwardly mobile, college-educated, English-speaking segment of big spenders that respects its roots as much as its first-generation parents. He says the Spanish-dominant sector, using the media to learn English, represents just 24% of the Hispanic population.

"It's no more complex than the Anglo market," de Berge says. "You've got to shake off your old biases of low-income, sombrero-wearing immigrants. There is no one message for all." His best advice: think Latino. "It's what's happening now in style and fashion," he says. "Today being Latino is a matter of pride. There are icons in sports, entertainment and the art community who are greatly admired. They didn't have that 20 years ago."

From a statistical standpoint, the Latino/Hispanic market "really looks a lot more like the general market than people guessed," de Berge says. Hispanic families spend $5,648 per year on food while non-Hispanics spend $5,288. Hispanics also outspend non-Hispanics in apparel and personal services, $1,857 versus $1,732 per year. But, de Berge cautions, the number could be misleading because Hispanic families tend to be larger.

The experts agree misperceptions and misconceptions are the pitfalls for developers and America's mainstream retailers. "The issue is being culturally sensitive to them," de Berge stresses. "Get rid of the Hispanic market notion. There are huge segments in this market than need to be understood."

Research also shows Hispanics aren't any more brand-dedicated than the average consumer. "Hispanics are very experimental in their orientation, which means to the marketplace that you can get them if you reach to their market," de Berge says.

Topete-Stonefield says brand names are big sellers because "that's who advertises. It's not because we're focused on the brands."

Topete-Stonefield also says the race's values and cultural differences are the underpinnings that mandate different sales strategies. "We're in touch with our culture through the radio, print, TV, all the time. We will adapt and we will assimilate to a certain extent, but we will never melt," she says. "We're the nation of the future. If you don't get us right now, you might not get us in the future. Smart corporations are talking to us in both English and Spanish....If you get me, you get my mother, my father and my brother." And, she cautions mainstream retailers against believing the answer is to hire two marketing agencies--Hispanic and Anglo. The message can often get lost or distorted in the translation, she forewarns.

Natan and Tzipora Bar-Yadin represent one of the success stories in Hispanic retailing, immigrating in 1960 from Cuba and opening their first women's fashion store 16 years later in the border town of McAllen, TX. Today, there are 76 Melrose stores in malls, shopping centers and freestanding units in four states...with more on the way in a larger format.

"We as a company do better and better the less American they are," says Reuben Bar-Yadin. "The more American they are, the more mainstream they are and they go to the Gap and Kohl's." The heightened interest in all things Hispanic these days has Melrose riding a crest of favoritism in the development community. "The owners of properties in Hispanic areas look at us as a very viable tenant," he says.

But even the successful Sans Antonio-based Melrose has had to adapt. There are fewer dresses on the racks than there were three years ago, Bar-Yadin admits, citing the push for casual as the cause. But, the flair of the merchandise still remains firmly rooted in the Hispanic culture. "It's tight fitting, fun and lively," he says. "It's trendy and at the same time it's very price conscious."

Aside from merchandise, Bar-Yadin says there are several key elements to the Melrose strategy. Models are Hispanic; staff and signs are bilingual. Holidays on both sides of the border are recognized. There are even two Mother's Day sales to accommodate the May 10 celebration in Mexico and US' second Sunday in May. If the days fall close enough together as they did this year, the sale is simply extended by a few days, he explains.

David Watson, principal of Dallas-based Direct Development Co., has spent two years studying the intricacies of the Hispanic marketplace in anticipation of building a center in southeast Dallas. The groundbreaking is rapidly approaching for the $17.5-million Sierra Vista, an estimated 175,000-sf community shopping center bringing the first new retail space in nearly 40 years to the sector.

Watson likens the 26-acre project to 1970s-era development because it's a well-rounded lineup of apparel, footwear, banks and entertainment that's attracting some of the biggest national names in retail. The roster runs the gamut from a Foot Locker to a Chinese buffet. Also coming is a 13-screen theater with first-run movies and Spanish films. The cinema's name is being kept under wraps, but Watson says it will be a Dallas-first for the California company. Even Wachovia and Washington Mutual have jumped at the ground-floor opportunity of Sierra Vista.

Watson says his firm's foray into the Hispanic market is being governed by the community's needs for basic family-oriented retail. And, it's the shop owners who get to decide if signs will be bilingual. "We believe our market is Mexican-American and more of our community speak English," he says. "Our goal is to create a market that's comfortable for them to shop. I really believe if it's done right, you're going to end up with what becomes a part of the fabric of the community."

Sierra Vista's exterior will be bright colors and sharp geometric angles. "We're going to skin it and brand it in keeping with the culture so it's going to look very Hispanic in its orientation," Watson stresses.

As for the rents, they are equal to that of suburban communities. Watson says shallow-bay spec is running $20 per sf to roughly $30 per sf and deeper spaces in the mid- to high teens.

Source: GlobeSt.RETAIL

Telecoms Target The Hispanic Market

June 29, 2005
By Mia Gralla    

Telecom providers will drastically increase their focus on the Hispanic market this year, according to a new report released by In-Stat.

The firms will target Hispanics because the Hispanics make up the largest minority ethnic group in the US, with over 43 million people. Among the telecom marketing initiatives are Sprint's recently launched "Movada Communications" and Qwest's low-cost long distance calling plan to Mexico.

The report, "Culture Shock: Trends in Ethnic Marketing," found that in the future there will be a decrease in revenue from all ethnic subscribers, but Hispanics and Pacific Islanders will experience the smallest decrease because of their steady population growth. African Americans are expected to be the largest ethnic group of dial-up subscribers this year with nearly 6 million individuals, but the number is expected to fall to 4.9 million by 2009. The report also predicted that although 40.4 million whites will subscribe to broadband by 2009, the growth rate of Hispanics and Pacific Islander subscribers will be much greater..

"In-Stat has also found that some ethnic groups react better to specific types of advertising and marketing and are influenced by different sources," Amy Cravens, In-Stat analyst said in a statement. "In better understanding these differences, providers may be able to more fully realize the potential subscribership of what may be under-subscribing ethnic groups."

Source: Advanced IP Pipeline

Reynaldo's Mexican Food Company Inc. Enters 'The Cage'

June 29, 2005      

ReynaldoReynaldo's Mexican Food Company Inc. announced that Reynaldo's will enter "The Cage" as the sponsor of Mixed Martial Arts fighter Armando Lopez of East Los Angeles.

The "United Mixed Martial Arts" is Lopez's training center, located in La Mirada, Calif. Jay Martinez is one of the owners of UMMA and a veteran fighter of the sport; Martinez is training Lopez for his upcoming fight.

UMMA, better known as ultimate fighting, has seen its audience grow over the years and continues to attract and increase its audience, especially the ages 18 to 30 demographic of men and women. This generation is known to be the generation of convenience. It is convenience to which this age group has been accustomed, especially when it comes to food. Sales of Reynaldo's burritos, rice pudding and gelatins have experienced impressive growth in convenience stores like 7-Eleven and Am-Pm mini mart.

Reynaldo's believes that the timing is right to participate in a sport that has a young demographic and increasing interest among Latinos, as well. By sponsoring and being a part of mixed martial arts, Reynaldo's is positioning itself to attract new customers for the company's complete line of Mexican food products. It also emphasizes the fact that Reynaldo's is reaching out beyond traditional Latino venues in seeking to grow its consumer base, going where no other Mexican food company has gone before. All of which shows that Reynaldo's has a grander vision in working to maintain its position as one of the world leaders in Mexican food manufacturing.

Hispanic grocery store also a bridge for the people

June 29, 2005
By Denise Dammen

Ramon Munoz has opened the first Hispanic grocery store here, the "Latin Brother."

Before Munoz came to the United States he was a teacher whose students were the sons of the president of Peru. He traveled with the president of Peru and his family on a 300 passenger personal jet all over the world.

Purchases by the Hispanic people are interesting, Munoz noted. "It is interesting, like Coca Cola from Mexico. It's very expensive and sells for $1.36 plus tax. They like the flavor and pay for this. They eat tostillas every day."

Munoz travels to Chicago to buy spices, herbs and snacks, produce, and many hot, hot spices which he offers at his store. He said people from Peru like milder spices.

"I buy fresh produce, too -- tomatoes, mangoes, limes, onions, garlic and avocados," he said. He offers chicken soup and chayotes from Mexico, as well.

MexicanstoreOnce a week, he purchases fresh bread from Chicago: bolillos, conchas, croissants, cuernos, magdalenas and semitas. He said something in rapid Spanish to Anapaula, his daughter, and she came back marching and singing, carrying a white flag they place on the outside of the store when he returns from Chicago. The white flag indicates he has fresh bread available, just like in his native Peru, where, in some small cities, store owners place a white flag outside their establishments to indicate they have fresh bread.

Munoz not only has the only Hispanic grocery store in Darlington, but he also believes he is a "bridge for the people." Munoz said Hispanics come to him needing a job, an apartment, a bed, a microwave or even legal aid. He will call the pastor of the Hispanic church or police officer Tony Ruesga to see if they can help.

Ruesga explained they have formed an alliance to help the people. He added there is a fund available at the church and the church has also held clothing drives.

Because the cultures in America and Mexico are so different, and law enforcement in Mexico is corrupt, the newcomers need to learn to trust law enforcement, Ruesga said. The police department held an open house last month that was attended by 30 Hispanic people. Since then there have been calls of interest in a second presentation and officials expect to offer the program in Platteville in July. About 50 people are expected to attend, Ruesga added.

Source: The Times Plus

Dateline: Licensing 2005: Hispanics, Organics Key To '05 Licensing Success

June 27, 2005
By Brandweek Staff

Forget preaching to the masses: In the aisles of Licensing 2005, held June 21-23 in New York, properties and partners pitched to the niches.

To stand out at retail, many defined and aligned their properties with everything from Hispanics to organics.

The studios have taken notice of the shift. In addition to hyping Ice Age 2: The Meltdown (in theaters next March; master toy licensee Mattel), Fox used the show to focus on its more cult-y offerings that have proven strong with teens and young adults, such as The Simpsons, Family Guy, American Dad and Napoleon Dynamite, whose "Vote for Pedro" T-shirt has become Hot Topic's topseller. Ever.

"[Napoleon] is a dramatic success driven by consumer de-mand that continues to surprise us—it's this unique voice that speaks to young adults," said Elie Dekel, svp at 20th Century Fox licensing & merchandising. "It's great to see new demos coming into licensed products. [These properties are] a little on the edge and hitting a nerve that really resonates."

Flippin' great, you might say.

Te Amo, Strawberry Shortcake

Aside from courting teenage ironists, marketers have taken note of the 13%-plus portion of the population that calls itself Hispanic. DIC announced that licensees for Strawberry Shortcake will get design inspiration via a movie in 2006, a baby-fied line extension and a targeted push to the Hispanic market. The brand has introduced ethnic characters and will target the demo at events and festivals.

"We know Strawberry resonates with the Hispanic community," said Jedd Gold,

DIC vp-marketing.

United Media, in a deal with Spanish-language TV-producer Televisa, will develop product around El Chavo!, a wacky, slapsticky Mexican comedy that began airing in 1970. With 1,300 episodes in the can, "We think there's a great opportunity from a children's and 15-30 year-olds standpoint," said United's Joshua Kislevitz, svp-domestic licensing.

For its part, Warner Bros. is dabbling in soccer, a sport strong with Hispanics and international audiences. The studio has licensing partnerships with the 2006 FIFA World Cup, the Mexican National Team and football club A.C. Milan, and will employ its character and retail chops to develop and market these brands.

"There's been merchandise for these teams, but never on this level," said Jordan Sollitto, evp-worldwide marketing at

Warner Bros. Consumer Products. "This will be more than 'Let's just sell stuff to fans.'"

A more mass-appeal property with Latin flavor, Scholastic's Maya & Miguel, just introduced its first licensed goods at Target and Claire's Accessories. Up soon: Dolls from Toy Play (July), DVDs from Lions Gate (September) and Major League Soccer's Futbolito program will be rebranded as the "MLS Maya & Miguel Sportacular Challenge."

Kickin' It Like Preschool
Another fast-growing (ha ha) market is the very young one. For instance, just as the brand's exclusive deal with Kmart for apparel has expired, Sesame Workshop is rolling out its Sesame Beginnings program aimed at 0-2 year olds and moms as an introduction to the preschool brand. New markets also open up alt-licensing initiatives, such as Sesame's cheeky teen/tween apparel, which continues to perform. "We thought it would be a short-term trend," said Tamra Seldin, vp-marketing of global consumer products. "Wrong!" T-shirts originally at Hot Topic have trickled down to mass.

Booths buzzed about new TV destinations, such as Cartoon Network's Tickle U block for preschoolers and moms in August. While preschool TV has been a strong trend, recent debuts haven't done so hot with licensing. "Everyone's watching this space," said Joester Loria's Debra Joester, who reps two properties in the block, Pepper Pig and Little Robots.

"Tickle U gives us an opportunity to introduce new content for preschool and new licensed product," said Warner Bros.' vp & general manager of TV/studio licensing, Maryellen Zarakas, who's got Firehouse Tales and Harry and His Bucket Full of Dinosaurs on the lineup. Toys debut in spring and fall '06, respectively.

Continue reading "Dateline: Licensing 2005: Hispanics, Organics Key To '05 Licensing Success" »

La Paz translates uninsured medical needs to opportunity

June 24, 2005
By Roy Moore

At an estimated 80,000 strong, South Nashville's growing Hispanic population has become a business priority of the city's health care providers who have established operations in the area in recent years.

The trend, highlighted by Saint Thomas Health Services' decision last year to build a $3 million clinic at Edmondson and Nolensville pikes, continued earlier this year with the opening of La Paz Hispanic Clinic, a for-profit clinic targeting uninsured Hispanics in the Nolensville Road area.

The family practice operates as a bilingual clinic serving a population that speaks little English. The clinic is targeting those who often avoid medial care before eventually ending up at area hospital emergency rooms.

Facing relatively high hospital prices for uninsured and financially strapped patients, these individuals sometimes decline services that may be necessary, says Anne McLeay, a physician assistant at the clinic. La Paz officials are basing their pitch on ease of access - a wait time of 10 to 15 minutes - and a low price of $45 per visit.

Yuri Cunza, president of the Nashville Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, says Hispanics often worry that time missed to visit a hospital could mean a lost job. If they can visit a clinic that will see them immediately, they'll respond right away.

"Hispanics, in my observation, need to see the doctor right away because they can't lose their job and might not find another one," he says.

La Paz's owners don't see the clinic as a replacement for the hospital and say it will help take pressure off area emergency rooms. The clinics provide general services, typically seeing people with flu and stomach aches. They're not licensed to handle more specialized health issues and refer those cases to area hospitals.

Co-founder Robert Chavez wants to see the clinic become a health care education resource for the community. Recently pharmaceutical concern Bayer Corp. donated 500 glucometers to the clinic. The clinic will teach diabetics how to use the glucometers and educate them on diet, exercise and how to monitor their health.

La Paz, which has set a target of serving about 10,000 clients annually, represents the latest health care provider to set up shop in South Nashville. Cunza says there are four or five hospitals or clinics within a few blocks, including HCA's Southern Hills Medical Center and Harding Medical Center.

They're treating a rising tide of Hispanic patients in the South Nashville area. Although 2000 Census figures put the area's Hispanic population at 26,000, various people have put the actual number at twice that or more. Bill Tait, an investor in La Paz, says the influx of Hispanics has created an underserved health care population.

According to a 1999 study published by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, nearly a third of the nation's Hispanic population had no usual source of medical compared to 16 percent of white Americans and 20 percent of African Americans.

Saint Thomas Health Services, the parent of Saint Thomas, Baptist and Middle Tennessee Medical Center, opened a family clinic on Harding Place in December 2001, attracting more than 12,000 patient visits in less than three years. Last September, the hospital chain broke ground on a replacement 9,000-square-foot replacement facility that should be ready in the fourth quarter of this year.

Cunza says he isn't sure what impact the Saint Thomas clinic will have on La Paz, but additional services are welcome.

"We all need to catch up. We all need to become aware and come up with creative solutions to improve and continue what we do and what we'd like to do," he says.

The South Nashville area has become home to a diverse range of ethnicities, prompting some to call Nolensville Road as Avenue of the Nations.

"We now have a community that has more than one language being spoken, not only in this clinic, but other areas are trying to serve these communities," McLeay says.

Source: Nashville Business Journal

Hispanic Search Engine Optimization Consultant Needed

Leader in the Timeshare Resale industry, focused in increasing its exposure in LATAM is looking for a Search Engine Consultant fully acquainted with the US Hispanic market, Latin America, and Spain. The goal is to give project scope & cost estimate for search optimization in regional sites, search engines, links, and keywords. 

Fluency in English as well as strong and recent SEO experience is a must. You may apply by emailing your resume, cover letter and income requirement to

T.G.I. Friday's Celebrates the Launch of Its New Spanish-Language Menu

Main Street Restaurant Group Celebrates New Menu and Hispanic Culture by Donating to Local Mariachi Youth Foundation

June 24, 2995
Via PRNewswire

Tgif_logoStreet Restaurant Group, Inc. the world's largest franchisee of T.G.I. Friday's, will celebrate the unveiling of a new Spanish-language menu today at its West Covina store.  This event will commemorate the introduction of the Spanish-language menu at all of its 53 Friday's locations nationwide. Restaurants in Arizona, California, New Mexico, Nevada, Missouri, Nebraska and Kansas are now stocked with lunch and dinner menus in Spanish for all Spanish-speaking guests.

To add to the celebration, Main Street has donated $2,500 to the Mariachi USA Foundation.  The event will feature a special performance by Mariachi USA Foundation's own youth mariachi, Oro Angelino.

"The majority of our restaurants are located in areas that have a large percentage of Spanish-speaking residents," said Bill Shrader, president and CEO of Main Street Restaurant Group, Inc.  "We want everyone, including our Spanish-speaking guests, to know that they are welcome at Friday's.  And, we felt that providing a menu that truly speaks to them was one of the best ways to do that."

The new Spanish-language menu at Friday's maintains English-language menu item names and graphics consistent with the English-language menu; however  all menu item descriptions and support copy are in Spanish.  In-store signage and server buttons will tout the new menu at all locations.  Customers simply need to request for the new Spanish-language menu with the restaurant host.

"Friday's was built on listening to our guests and providing them with everything they need to make dining with us fun, delicious and easy," said Shrader.  "We believe our new Spanish-language menu will provide the tools that make dining with us as comfortable and enjoyable as possible."

Research supports the need for restaurants to provide Spanish-language menus.  According to a recent study by Restaurants & Institutions magazine, more than 90 percent of consumers in all minority groups reported they had dined out in the previous month, including 98 percent of Hispanics.

T.G.I. Friday's menus are consistently updated throughout the year to keep pace with culinary trends and consumer demand.  As the English-language menus are updated, their Spanish-language counterparts will be as well.

New effort aims to draw minorities to video gaming industry

June 26, 2005
Source: The Associated Press via

Some of the hottest video games allow players to fire guns in the streets of a ghetto, steal cars with reckless abandon or play basketball in one-on-one grudge matches to acquire coveted "bling-bling."

While many of the characters in these popular games are black, their creators are almost always white. At best, 80 percent of video game programmers are white males, say industry insiders and analysts. And only a small fraction of the rest are black or Hispanic.

"It's been said that a bunch of nerdy white guys are creating these games," said Mario Armstrong, host of a weekly National Public Radio program on digital tech. "The problem with a bunch of white guys creating the games is that the story isn't being created with balance."

To try to crack the lily-white code of the insular $11 billion gaming industry, Armstrong and two fellow black colleagues have started the Urban Video Game Institute, a virtual programming boot camp for minorities.

The institute will hold workshops this summer in Atlanta, Baltimore and Washington D.C. where minority students will learn the tricks of the trade and be encouraged to focus their studies on math, science and language skills.

Much of the idea comes from the frustration of seeing minorities _ particularly blacks _ depicted in games in a grating, cookie-cutter fashion.

"I'd love to hear what other stories exist in the world besides the stereotypical ones. There are good people in the ghetto. There are role models. There are great people of high integrity," said institute co-founder John Saulter, who runs one of the industry's few black-owned video gaming companies and teaches game design at an Atlanta college.

Fifteen-year-old Amil Tomlin, who lives in inner-city Baltimore and plays hours of video games each day, said the laughable depiction of blacks and Hispanics in games is one of the reasons he's one of the dozens of students participating in the institute's programs.

"Not everybody goes outside with bling-bling and listens to rap music all day," he said, referring to the stereotypes of blacks portrayed in some games.

Take for instance the game "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas," the latest in a wildly popular series that pits gamers as a black man in a ghetto-like setting, charged to steal an array of cars in a mission to wrest total control of the streets. The game's designers aren't a crew of inner-city youth nor do they even work for an American firm.

The game is produced by Rockstar North, a Scottish game studio.

"It sells like hotcakes, but it kind of gives African-Americans a bad image," said Tomlin, a rising sophomore who dreams of being a game developer.

Just once, Tomlin said, he also wants to see Hispanic characters who don't talk with thick accents and outdated expressions, or play a game with black characters who aren't inspired by early 1990s movies.

To get a feel for the game-making process, Tomlin and other campers will learn the ins-and-outs of game design, including the lighting of a three-dimensional computer-generated landscape and using cutting-edge software to digitally map and texture the alien terrain of some fantasy planet.

The five-week Baltimore program, which begins this coming week, will also lead the 50 students on a tour of Maryland's tech-friendly Hunt Valley, highlighted by a visit with Sid Meier, the industry pioneer known by many as the godfather of video games.

The organizers said they aren't surprised interest is high for their programs. A March study by the Kaiser Family Foundation revealed that blacks between the ages of 8 and 18 played video and computer games roughly 90 minutes a day _ almost 30 minutes more than white youths. And Hispanics play about 10 minutes more each day than whites.

"If you've got kids who can sit in front of a game for eight hours, then they have the cognitive thought process to learn how to build the game," Saulter said.

Some industry insiders say it's about time the institute is bringing attention to what has long been the invisible elephant in the room.

"For a long time, we've talked in the game industry about gender diversity as the one problem on the radar, but the racial split is worse," said Ian Bogost, a Georgia Tech game design professor who recently published a book on video game criticism.

And as companies try to expand their base into growing markets, it might just make financial sense to reach out to minorities now.

"Recruiting minority students into development may be one really smart way to address an underserved market and provide down-the-line benefits in terms of reaching a broader market," said Anita Frazier, industry analyst for NPD Funworld.

But Armstrong has hopes that the program will answer an even more fundamental question.

"How do you get diverse viewpoints to produce diverse outcomes and check the stereotypes at the door?"

In this case, Armstrong hopes increased diversity might just help.

Increase In Mortage-Based Credit Products In Hispanic Households

June 27, 2005

In line with the significant, and continued, growth of the Hispanic middle class population, two particular mortgage-based credit products – home equity loans and home equity lines of credit – have also showed a significant upswing among this segment, jumping 35 percent and 25 percent respectively from 2003 to 2004, according to an analysis of data from the Integras Market Audit.

Integras is the advanced analytical services division of market research leader Claritas Inc. and the administrator of the Market Audit – a comprehensive survey of household financial behavior. Data for this analysis was developed from over 175, 000 interviews comparing the percentage of equity product penetration, year-to-year, ending Q4, 2004.

The analysis found that 10.1 percent of Hispanic homeowners with incomes ranging from $40,000 to $100,000 took out a home equity loan in 2004 compared to 7.5 percent in 2003, and 12.7 percent applied for home equity lines of credit in 2004 compared to 10.2 percent the previous year.

“The data showed that the greatest gains within the Hispanic population (from one year to the next) in both credit products was in the Hispanic middle class, which is the largest growing population segment in the U.S.,” said Julie Simard, an Integras Customer Research Consultant, who conducted the analysis.

For affluent Hispanic homeowners with incomes of $100,000-plus, the household penetration levels for loans was 12.5 percent and 19.7 percent for lines of credit.

Comparing all homeowners to Hispanic homeowners, the 2004 numbers for home equity loans were virtually the same at 8.9 percent and 8.8 percent respectively. However, for lines of credit there was a comparative gap at 16.8 percent for all homeowners and 11.7 percent for Hispanic homeowners.

Conference to offer business ways to tap into Latino market

June 21, 2005
By Kirsten Fairchilds

Whether English, Spanish or another language is the first you learned to speak, Eric A. Gifford believes that a certain comfort level exists when doing business while conversing in that language.

So if a business owner is looking to increase the number of Spanish-speaking customers he or she has, hiring a bilingual employee isn't just a good idea.

"I think it's imperative," said Gifford, a senior account executive for Entravision Communications Corp. - a Santa Monica-based media company that operates five Spanish-language TV and radio stations on the Central Coast. "I strongly suggest it."

Gifford is scheduled to be the featured speaker at the marketing-related seminar, "Expanding Your Customer Base: The Latino/Hispanic Market" on Wednesday from 11:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. at the Best Western Seacliff Inn.

Sponsored by the Aptos Chamber of Commerce and the Small Business Development Center, the seminar is the final one in a three-part series held throughout the spring.

"There are a lot of markets people don't pay attention to," said Karen Hibble, the co-executive director of the Aptos Chamber of Commerce. "That's what we're trying to address."

"The demographics in Santa Cruz County show that everyone should pay attention to the emerging markets," she said. "Because most of our businesses are small businesses, we want them to be successful and to be able to reach out to every potential customer."

A Santa Cruz resident with more than 10 years in the business as an account executive for various media outlets, Gifford hopes to provide an overall insight into how local businesses can succeed by working with Spanish-language media.

He also plans to share tips on how businesses can become more Latino-consumer friendly as well as share statistical information on the Latino population and its growth at the national, state and local levels.

"I've found in my experience of working one and a half years in Latino media that I spend a lot of time educating business owners on what is available to them," Gifford said. "A lot of times from Aptos north, business owners don't consider soliciting the Hispanic media.

"Unless you start to consider the Hispanic media, you may miss the boat in the future."

Source: Santa Cruz Sentinel

Romancing Hispanics

May 31, 2005

Emerging Trend: Marketers continue to pursue the fastest growing minority group in America but are still puzzled by its many faces.

Why: The 2000 Census revealed Hispanics' growing dominance in the population, but it's taken a little while for marketers to see past traditional stereotypes, says Find/SVP analyst Keith Kirkpatrick. "The idea that Hispanics don't have any money or interest in mainstream products is going by the wayside," and companies that have reached saturation in their traditional markets are eager to reach a group estimated to have $638 billion in spending power by 2010.

Opportunity: But how to reach them? And who are they? Hispanic households often consist of multiple layers: seniors and recent émigrés who speak only Spanish, assimilated 30-somethings who still have a strong sense of ethnic identity and cultural pride, and Spanglish speaking teens and 'tweens. "It's a question of understanding what cultural forces are at work," says Kirkpatrick. These forces include differences in Latin cultures, shopping habits (Hispanics like to shop with family members and are early adopters of technologies) and values. Serious research will be rewarded, because there is a delicate line, Kirkpatrick notes, between accommodation and insult--"Don't just put salsa music behind every pitch." Close attention to Hispanic entertainment trends and its powerful media is also key.

Challenges: Don't make assumptions. "There are land mines everywhere, and you don't want to appear to be pandering," warns Kirkpatrick. "But you don't want to go the other way, either, creating a blanket campaign that doesn't take into account the rich heritage of these people."

Ethnic Groups Online

Published: June 20, 2005
Source: eMarketer
(Thanks to Tomas Custer for sharing this article with me)

A new study of media use by members of various ethnic groups in the US finds heavy usage of targeted Web sites—and surprisingly low Internet usage by some groups, Hispanics in particular.

Bendixen & Associates conducted the study, sponsored by New California Media, an association of ethnic media organizations. It found that 45% of all African American, Hispanic, Asian American, Native American and Arab American adults said they prefer ethnic television, radio and newspapers over mainstream media. Online usage showed similar preferences. Two groups, Arab and Asian Americans, were more likely to visit ethnic sites than mainstream sites.

The poll was co-sponsored by the Center for American Progress, a research and education institute, and the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights Education Fund.

The survey of 1,895 adults—conducted in 10 languages—found low Internet usage among a number of groups. Of the Hispanic adults in the survey, more than three-quarters said they did not use the Internet. More than half of Native and African Americans said they were not online.


Other studies have found Web use by various ethnic groups to be more in line with the general population. A Harris Interactive survey in May, for instance, found that while Blacks make up 12% of the US adult population, they make up 11% of the online population. And Harris found that Hispanics actually made up a slightly larger percentage of the online population than offline.


The Harris results are in roughly in line with data from the Pew Internet and American Life Project.


Survey: Minorities Snubbed by Life Insurers

June 15, 2005
Source: Bost Herald via HispanicBusiness

Blacks and Hispanics are being ignored by life insurers, a new survey says, even though both minority groups consider life insurance an "essential" financial product.

Only 32 percent of blacks and 40 percent of Hispanics said they own a life insurance policy - notably below the national average of 47 percent, according to the polling company inc. - a Washington D.C. market research firm. Yet 92 percent of blacks and 82 percent of Hispanics believe life insurance is essential, the survey found, compared with 72 percent of whites.

"You're talking about a population that says life insurance is essential and they can't get it," said Kellyanne Conway, president of the polling company. "If I were a life insurance broker I'd be dialing my cell phone with one hand and knocking on doors with the other to reach out to these minority populations."

The survey also found that families with lower incomes placed a correspondingly higher priority on obtaining life insurance.

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners is considering the creation of special sales licenses that would allow agents to exclusively sell term-life policies in certain underserved markets.

Multicultural Marketing a Game of Nuances: GMDC Study

May 25, 2005
Source: Progressive Grocer

Retailers must pay close attention to the many nuances of the multicultural market if they are to service their ethnic customers properly, according to the General Merchandise Distributors Council Educational Foundation's latest study, released in part during the association's GM Marketing Conference held here earlier this week.

The study, "Multicultural Marketing," which will be completed this summer, provides in-depth insight into specific issues for Hispanic, African American, and Asian customer bases, as well as demographic and consumer behavior data.

"There are a lot of nuances within the multicultural market that must be addressed," said GMDC Educational Foundation executive dir. Roy White. "What we have prepared is a checklist retailers can use when planning their category management for this demographic."

White and James Wisner of Wisner Retail Marketing visited the country's top multicultural markets, including New York, Texas, Florida, and Los Angeles, to study best practices of retail operators in these areas. "There are certain characteristics that successful retailers in these markets exhibit," said Wisner. They include:

  • Culturally relevant: Retailers provide products and services that address the cultural needs of the ethnic group. "This goes beyond language to the way in which people refer to objects, or the visual imaging that is important to the culture," said Wisner. "What may be innocuous to one person may be very relevant to another."
  • Seek out those who know: They work closely with vendor partners and associations, and talk to customers.
  • Have the right products: For example, in many Hispanic markets, consumers work outdoors. Providing basic clothing and accessories for outdoor work meets a crucial need for these shoppers.
  • Focus on food: Provide items that these cultural markets make part of family meals. "Frying pans are a great example," said Wisner. "Consumers in hot climates stay away from using the oven, and use a frying pan for many meals."
  • Build family ties: "Members of multicultural markets are very family-oriented," said Wisner. "Offerings that address this have a great impact. Items such as calling cards, treats for children, and anything baby-related are important."
  • Pricing and Promotion – with a purpose: Create price alternatives within different categories. Coupons and rebates, as a rule don't do well among multicultural groups, according to the study.
  • Show you care: Examples include having a bi-lingual pharmacy, focusing on health issues specific to ethnic groups, and in-store health clinics.

Marketing to Hispanics

Reaching out to increasingly diverse market can be a challenge

June 19, 2005
By Tilde Herrera
(Thanks to Jennifer Woodard Maderazo for bringing this article to my attention)

Colombian-born Ricardo Diaz is open to varying cuisines and American products but admits Spanish-language advertisements get his attention fast.

"They don't have to because it's their country," Diaz said of United States-based companies that choose to target the Hispanic community. "But money talks."

And since the 2000 census, more companies than ever are listening. Hispanics, the fastest growing demographic in the country, are projected to enjoy the most substantial increase in spending power during the next 15 years. But the group's diversity, coupled with the language barrier, can make Hispanic marketing a challenging prospect.

"All Hispanic communities are growing," said Pedro Perez, vice president of Nuevo Advertising Group in Sarasota. "Any Hispanic marketing done is not a hard sell."

The $4 billion Hispanic advertising industry is outpacing all other sectors of advertising, according to the Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies.

Some companies, such as Anheuser-Busch, have courted Hispanic and African-American consumers for years, said John Saputo, owner of Gold Coast Eagle Distributors, an Anheuser-Busch franchisee.

"We have at Anheuser-Busch try to be ethnically relevant in our marketing efforts," Saputo said. "We recognize the power, the burgreoning ecomonic power, that is blossoming throughout the country."

According to an Associated Press story about a Census Bureau report issued Thursday, there are 41.3 million Hispanics in the United States - or one in every seven people. In all, the U.S. gained 2.9 million people from 2003 to 2004, and half of them were Hispanic.

Census figures show that in 2000, 9.3 percent of Manatee's population was Hispanic or Latino.

According to the Selig Center for Economic Growth, Hispanic buying power is projected to reach about $1 trillion by 2008, a 357 percent increase from 1990.

But marketing to Hispanics isn't easy because of the subsets within the population.

No broad marketing brush
Although two-thirds of the Latino population is of Mexican origin, there are approximately 17 different groups represented, according to Dr. Roger Selbert, a trend expert and owner of Growth Strategies, a California-based research firm.

That variety makes it difficult to paint with a broad marketing brush, Perez said.

"The problem is no one knows how to do it correctly," Perez said. "Everyone wants to do something but they're afraid of offending people or the message is not what they want it to be."

Perez cites an infamous blunder by Microsoft in its marketing of products in Latin America. The company's Spanish language version of Windows XP software gave users the option of specifying gender. The choices: "not specified," "male" or "bitch."

Many others, Perez said, have made the faux pas of not understanding their target audiences.

Success often depends on a multi-pronged approach.

"Whatever marketing is done, it's not a question of putting an ad in this publication and waiting for calls to come in," Perez said. "What I've found is putting an ad in a publication without having an actual ad campaign is like hunting for ducks, shooting up in the air and hoping you hit a couple."

Perez said companies that recruit bilingual employees to serve the Hispanic customer base have a leg up on the competition.

Others are trying to break the mold by brand building and brand development through grassroots marketing.

"Create some connection between the community and the product," Perez said. "Include them in the conversation."

Continue reading "Marketing to Hispanics" »

Inside Dr Pepper's First Hispanic Campaign

Creating a New Sell for the 'Inconfundible' Drink

June 20, 2005
By Laurel Wentz

For Dr Pepper, it’s not as simple as just picking a language, Spanish or English, for its first Hispanic campaign.

Drpepper062005The challenge, one many marketers agonize over, was to find a concept that works with both acculturated Hispanics who grew up drinking Dr Pepper and recent immigrants for whom it’s essentially a new product. To make it tougher, everyone knows rivals Coca-Cola and Pepsi-Cola. Coke is one of the biggest brands in Mexico, country of origin of two-thirds of the U.S. Hispanic market. And Pepsi figures its fastest-growing market is multicultural youth and markets accordingly, spending $22 million, or 11% of its U.S. budget on Hispanic advertising last year, according to TNS Media Intelligence.

One word, two languages
To reach its dual target, Dr Pepper has come up with one word, in two languages: “inconfundible,” and its English equivalent, “unmistakable.”

But it took slow, deliberate steps to get there. Last September, Plano, Texas-based Cadbury Schweppes Americas Beverages hired Stephanie Bazan as Hispanic marketing manager to kick-start the Hispanic effort, starting with a test in Texas. Ms. Bazan, a Puerto Rican raised in New York, was working in ethnic marketing at Blockbuster after marketing stints in Latin America.

“Acculturated Hispanics speak English and are part of the American mainstream but identify with their Hispanic heritage,” Ms. Bazan said. “They’re watching general-market TV and listening to Hispanic radio. For the unacculturated, who are Spanish-dominant and have been in this country less than five years, this is more of a product launch.”

Hispanics generally consume more fruit-flavored beverages than non-Hispanics, and acculturated Hispanics drink 62% more Dr Pepper than the general-market population.

'Eye-opening' finding
“That was eye-opening,” she said. “We knew they were drinking lots of Dr Pepper but we didn’t know we had such a huge opportunity with the unacculturated. Hispanic is where we think the growth opportunity is for Dr Pepper.”

In November, the company picked a Hispanic agency, Cartel Group, based in San Antonio and run by CEO Victoria Negrete, originally from Mexico, and Executive Vice President Jesus Ramirez, a native of San Antonio.

Mr. Ramirez hit the road, renting an RV and traveling around Texas to interview pockets of Dr Pepper lovers he found through friends of friends and their friends.

“We had Dr Pepper lovers and people with no relationship with the brand,” he said. “We had to figure out a bridge to get them together so we could proceed with one target the way it is in the general market.” 

Continue reading "Inside Dr Pepper's First Hispanic Campaign" »

County gets Hispanic residents hurricane-ready

June 18 2005
By Sandra Walsh

During hurricane Bertha in 1996, English-speaking police officers with the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office surprised a group of Spanish-speaking residents with bullhorns.

Instead of getting to a shelter, many residents became frightened and fled from police.

"They fled into the woods versus getting out of the neighborhood," said Debbie Szpanka, spokeswoman for the Sheriff's Office. "But that was years ago when the Hispanic population was first beginning to grow -- it was nothing like it is now."

U.S. Census reports show that the county's Hispanic population grew from 8,208 people in 2000 to 9,572 in 2002, a 16.6 percent increase. The county's true Hispanic population isn't known, however, because the census doesn't include an also-growing number of illegal immigrants.

As a result of this ever-expanding new growth, county and private organizations are working together to help non-English speaking Hispanics be aware of the county's emergency procedures in the event of a hurricane.

"Word of mouth through the Hispanic community is the most effective form of communication right now in Beaufort County," Szpanka said. "If you don't speak the language you're not going to use regular mediums like television, radios and newspaper that the general public is going to use."

County organizations such as The Department of Social Services' Emergency Welfare Service, Beaufort County Emergency Management and Beaufort County Sheriff's Department are teaming up with the Hilton Head Island-based Latin American Council of South Carolina to offer emergency advisory assistance and help with the language training of county officials to better serve the Hispanic population in the area.

"Basically, we're going to be the bridge for communications with the Hispanic community," said Luis Bell, executive director for the council. "We will be in charge of the different ways to reach Hispanics in their own language and let them know about emergency bulletins or information that will be produced by the emergency management group through written bulletins, Spanish radio stations and also through different religious groups or churches and two magazines, Hola Somos Latinos and La Isla."

Bell said the council will use English language radio spots to communicate emergency information in Spanish.

Szpanka said a major concern with this type of endeavor is informing illegal immigrants that they will not be deported for using one of the county's four emergency shelters.

"Deportation is a federal issue to be carried out by federal agents," Szpanka said. "We do not have those powers. Our duty as law enforcement agents is to protect and serve the people of Beaufort County-- it doesn't matter what your legal status is."

William Winn, Emergency Management Services director, said finding bilingual workers to translate emergency procedures is also a growing concern.

"The biggest challenge is finding people who can speak the language and to covey to them what we're trying to get done," Winn said.

Szpanka says the department now has six Spanish-speaking police officers in the department to solve a portion of the communication gap.

She said the department also has a "language line," that makes emergency information available in various languages, including Spanish.

"I know it's difficult to reach everyone, but we have to do the best we can," Bell said.

Source: The Beaufort Gazette

Beyond Cinco de Mayo

By Pete Blackshaw
June 14, 2005

With the recent election of Antonio Villaraigosa as mayor of Los Angeles, a historic event Newsweek rewarded with a "Latin Power" cover story, it's fitting to ask an obvious and overdue question:

Are marketers prepared and ready to market to the nation's burgeoning Hispanic population? Do we even have a clue? Will we?

Census Bureau data released last week reveal the Hispanic population is growing faster today than in the past decade. Nearly one in seven people in the U.S. identify themselves as Hispanic, and this group alone accounted for half of U.S. population growth since 2000. Remarkably, a third of this population is under 18, suggesting Hispanics are not only a promising demographic for marketers but also a powerful, nascent political force.

Most of us remain vastly out of touch with this fast-growing segment of the population. You needn't look further than brand Web sites and online strategies to reach this easy conclusion.

From Packaging Latino Politicians to Hispanic CPG-Product Packaging
I'd be the first to raise my hand on the ignorance front, but I can probably get away with a little bluffing on the subject. My first real job after college was serving as press secretary and legislative consultant to Art Torres, a dynamic state senator representing the San Gabriel Valley and Latino-dominant East L.A. At the time (1989), Torres was seriously considering running for mayor of Los Angeles, an office no Latino had occupied since 1872.

Torres ultimately pursued other ambitions, but over the next few years we pursued an aggressive agenda of issues pertaining to California's exploding Latino population, from immigrant education and school dropout prevention to economic development and environmental protection in minority-dominant communities. In the process of giving voice to underserved communities, Torres turned out to be a relentless innovator. Indeed, my own fate in online marketing was signed, sealed, and delivered when Torres hosted the nation's first ever "interactive" legislative hearing in 1993, allowing average citizens to call a toll-free number to provide "live" feedback while watching a televised legislative hearing.

From a marketing perspective, keeping Torres competitive required equal diligence to the front page of La Opinión, the nation's largest Spanish-language daily, and to the front page of the Los Angeles Times. It also required sensitivity to subtle yet important ethnic identity nuances within the government-created term "Hispanic." So polarizing was the term, the Los Angeles Times' editorial style guide allowed only "Latino."

Business school later facilitated an almost-surreal shift from California ethnic politics to managing Hispanic marketing for Procter & Gamble's billion-dollar Bounty brand, but many challenges remained the same. My first P&G assignment involved back-to-back focus groups in Miami and Los Angeles, which uncovered remarkably distinctive differences in awareness, trial, and consumption around consumer products.

Newer immigrants, for example, relied more on word of mouth from relatives and other "familiars" when trying new products. And let's not confuse Cuban Americans with Mexican Americans. Bounty didn't have the resources to tailor messaging to all Hispanic subgroups, yet understanding the core difference was critical to prevent stupid or embarrassing generalizations.

The Road Ahead, Including Online
Are marketers prepared for this exciting new target audience? The good news is marketing dollars are up, many Hispanic/Latino agencies are finally getting the respect they deserve, and portals such as AOL and Yahoo! are laying impressive foundations to serve advertiser needs in this segment. Univision's recent squeeze on English-language networks is serving as a refreshing wakeup call regarding the growth and importance of this market.

The bad news is most brands still struggle with how to organize for success in "ethnic marketing." P&G often ebbed and flowed on whether so-called ethic marketing should be centralized at the corporate level or left within the scope of individual brands. It's a Catch-22. Brands theoretically do what's best for business and exploit all growth opportunities. Yet, corporate programs must look well beyond short-term brand volume needs to more holistic, long-term strategic considerations.

Either way, now's the time for CMOs to step up to the plate and take Hispanic marketing well beyond Cinco de Mayo promotions.

Online should play a critical role in this ramp-up. There's enough data on the table from Pew Hispanic Center and sufficiently abundant activity in the blogosphere and consumer-generated media to suggest Hispanics are online at dramatically higher levels than digital divide theory suggests.

A great starting point is to take a hard, critical look at multicultural or bilingual content on Fortune 1000 Web sites. ATM machines and product packaging seemingly bend over backwards to provide bilingual messaging, yet sites act as though folks speak (or prefer) only English. If interactive marketing's promise is all about targeting and relevancy, why are Web sites so out of touch? Consider:

  • The conspicuous global site paradox. Most major brands lead you to Spanish-language Web content through non-U.S.-based sites only, such as Mexico- or Latin America-based sites. This is a big miss, because there are more Spanish-language speakers in the U.S. than there are in most Spanish-language countries. The one category proving to be the exception is baby care, where U.S.-based sites are commendably duplicated in Spanish. Pampers and Huggies are good examples.
  • Insensitive, unresponsive brand search. It gets even weirder when you try to search brand Web sites by ethnic or Spanish-language issues or themes. Pepsi is one of the biggest spenders in offline Hispanic media, but if you type the word "Spanish" into its brand search engines, it fires back blanks. Nor can you easily retrieve (nor share with others) its Spanish-language TV copy (which I find far more upbeat and exciting). Coke isn't much better. If you go to the main Kraft Foods Web site and type in "cheese," the results return 2,619 recipes. Type in "queso" (Spanish for cheese), and you get only two results.
  • One-size-fits-all listening. Few brand site feedback forms cater to Spanish speakers, which is ironic because these are the little-understood segments brands must really listen to! Even my beloved Bounty fell short on this front. Most brand FAQs and search engines disproportionately weigh "popular" themes, which often marginalize highly relevant content for key ethnic groups.

Interactive is only a small part of the broader Hispanic marketing mix, but it may just be the fastest path to learning and wisdom. If we're to stay competitive with the rapid changes in today's marketplace, we must listen, learn, then listen again.

Los Angeles' election of a Latino mayor should serve as a long-overdue catalyst.

Source: (Thanks  to Jennifer Woodard for bringing this story to our attention)

Builder Consortium Reaches Out to Hispanic Home Buying Market With Website Offering Listings in Spanish Finds Success by Filling an Online Void for Spanish-Speaking New Home Buyers

June 16, 2005
Source: Market Wire

When a group of leading homebuilders were looking for a way to expand their online Hispanic marketing efforts, was born. is the only website that gives Hispanic new home buyers a searchable database of new home listings in Spanish from top builders. Builder Homesite, a consortium of 35 of the nation's largest homebuilders, announced today that since they launched in late 2004, over 1,500 new home communities have been listed on the site.

"When we looked at the information that was available for Spanish-speaking new home buyers, we saw an opportunity to create a single online marketplace that catered to their needs in their own language," said Melissa Morman, chief operating officer for Builder Homesite, the company that developed "There are currently over 1,500 new home communities listed on the site, and that number is increasing weekly. That fact, combined with a steady climb in our site traffic, is a good indicator that we are on the right track."

All of the content on is current, in depth and in Spanish, making it a valuable tool for Hispanic new home buyers. The Hispanic community is expected to make up 31 percent of the U.S household growth by 2010. This economic potential, combined with their Internet savvy, makes Spanish-speaking consumers a very attractive audience for online marketing. Sixty-five percent of Hispanic adults own a computer, and Hispanics spend an average of nine percent more time online than the general U.S. consumer.

Studies have also shown that Hispanics are four times more likely to buy a product online when content is in their preferred language. Since all of the content on the site is in Spanish, gives builders a turnkey solution to market their communities to Hispanics online and reach this valuable segment of the new home buyer market.

"It is important for Ryland Homes to embrace our Spanish-speaking consumers," said Eric Elder, senior vice president of marketing for Ryland Homes. "From a tactical standpoint, is a very beneficial resource because of the amount of individual product and community data that is translated into Spanish and delivered on the site."

The following builders are currently listing their new home communities online in Spanish with Beazer Homes USA, Inc., Capital Pacific Holdings, Inc., KB Home, K. Hovnanian, Morrison Homes, Pardee Homes, Pulte Homes, Ryland Homes, and Shea Homes.

To ensure consistency and accuracy among the listings, the site has enlisted to handle translation and setup for many of the builders on the site.

"The success of a website translation project depends largely on understanding the nuances of the target audience's language and culture," said Tim Coughlin, director of marketing at "Because our linguists are native Spanish speakers, they are able to successfully adapt the website content from the English source content so that the site is as engaging to a Spanish speaker as it would be if it were originally authored in Spanish." was developed by Builder Homesite, Inc., a leader in new home marketing. Funded and endorsed by a consortium of the top U.S. homebuilders, Builder Homesite and its partners reach hundreds of thousands of actively searching new home shoppers every month through the company's flagship website --

Core Values and Common Traits in the Heterogeneous Hispanic American Market

June, 2005
By Alex Camacho

“We become not a melting pot but a beautiful mosaic. Different people, different beliefs, different yearnings, different hopes, different dreams.” —Jimmy Carter

We have all heard the news: the Hispanic population in the U.S. is exploding, jumping from 22.4 million people in 1990 to nearly 40 million in 2003. And most marketers want to get to know them better, since their purchasing power is expected to grow to as much as $1 trillion by 2010. And by now, market researchers have realized that the term “Hispanic” is really just a convenient way of describing a large, heterogeneous group of people rich in diversity and cultural subtleties; a group for which a one-size-fits-all approach to marketing does not fit. Yet, the contemporary Hispanic American market shares many core values and traits that have implications for Hispanic research and Hispanic marketing.

Core Values in the Heterogeneous Hispanic Culture
Hispanics are a diverse group of people, coming to the U.S. from more than twenty different countries (in addition to the original U.S. Hispanics from the fourteenth century), with hopes of improved economic conditions, better educational opportunities, and starting their own businesses. Because of their different countries of origin, different levels of acculturation, and consequential distinctive traits and characteristics, Hispanics present unique yet complex business opportunities for marketers. Still, there are core values to Hispanics that U.S. marketers need to be aware of if they want to target them as their customers.

Allocentrism (or collectivism)
: The tendency of Hispanics to put the group’s welfare before their own personal welfare.

Familialism:Individuals’ strong identification with and attachment to their nuclear and extended families and strong feelings of loyalty, reciprocity, and solidarity. This includes Hispanics providing (and accepting) material and emotional support to members of their extended family.

Simpatia: The need for behaviors that promote smooth and pleasant social relationships (engendering social harmony).

Power distance (personal respect)
: Respect and admiration for those perceived to have more power and authority.

Common Traits
While it is difficult to make generalizations about Hispanics, there exist some common traits:

Language: Hispanic immigrants are immediately exposed to the acculturation process, but they are assimilated at different speeds. Many continue to speak Spanish as their first language due to living in Hispanic neighborhoods where newspapers, televisions, signage, etc., are in Spanish.

Gender roles: While men tend to be the financial providers, women play a key role in home economics, thus in deciding how the family income is spent.

Family size: Hispanics tend to have three children, on average, and consider their extended family and even close friends and associates part of the family. “Mi casa es su casa” (my home is your home) is a sincere conviction and practiced tenet among Hispanics.

Residence: Most Hispanics (91%) live inside metropolitan areas in the West, South, and Northeast of the U.S.

Church affiliation: Many Hispanics are very involved with their local churches and participate in church social events.

Personal Space: Hispanics enjoy close physical contact with others in social situations.

Implications for Research
Of course, the values and traits cited above do not describe every Hispanic; however, they do provide insights into the community that have implications on market research. One of the greatest challenges is recruiting Hispanics to participate in market research studies. This is due to several factors, including wariness of people outside the extended family or community, concerns about releasing personal information about income or immigration status, unavailability on weekends due to family and church social events, and language barriers. To address these and other issues, researchers should consider the following:

  • Survey samples should include both English-speaking and Spanish-speaking Hispanics in order to be representative of the U.S. Hispanic population.
  • Survey translation must be accurate and culturally sensitive; involving Hispanic researchers and interviewers can help ensure this.
  • For consumer packaged goods surveys, samples should be comprised of female heads of households, as they are the primary decision makers for these items.
  • Programs should be developed and implemented to educate Hispanics about the benefits of market research.Incentives should benefit the family or community and not just the individual.
  • Every effort should be made to create a positive survey experience, as positive word-of-mouth among Hispanics can be very powerful—and can help in recruiting additional Hispanic respondents.

Source: Ipsos-Ideas (Free subscription required)

New Approaches to Marketing to Hispanics

June 14, 2005
By Paul Epstein
(Special thanks to Tomas Custer for making me aware of this article)

Marketers who choose not to devote significant time and effort to the Hispanic population are missing out on a vital consumer segment that is growing faster than any other minority group in the United States. In fact, businesses should consider implementing new approaches and strategies to target Hispanics. Perhaps the most effective way to reach this evolving market is through the Internet.

Research conducted by Brand Strategy Journal shows that Hispanics are the largest minority group in America. By 2012, they will account for nearly one out of every five American residents if growth rates persist at their current pace.

Buying power among the Hispanic population in the US is also increasing at a rapid pace. Between 1996 and 2001, the median income of Hispanic households rose 20%, from $27,977 to $33,565, while the median for all US households increased just 6%, from $39,869 to $42,228. In this day and age, the Hispanic audience carries significant purchasing power and simply cannot be ignored in a company's marketing strategy.

As their household income increases, Hispanics are entering cyberspace more quickly than any other ethnic group in the US. Internet usage among them jumped 7.4% in 2004, after an 8% spurt in 2003, the market research firm eMarketer predicted. It also projected that 13.3 million Hispanics were surfing the Net by the end of 2004, up from 12.4 million in 2003 and 8.7 million in 2000. Though they are still likely to be less wealthy than the average, evidence suggests that more education among second and further generations is starting to ameliorate economic conditions.

Marketers must also be aware of the typical Hispanic-American Internet user: 28 years old, slightly more likely to be male, and unmarried, according to a study conducted by the Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies. Approximately half of all Hispanic-American Internet users are Spanish-language dominant; that is, at home they speak Spanish more than English.

This same study reveals that Hispanics spend almost five hours per week online, and for 71% of them the primary usage is from a computer at home. In addition to their time on the Net, typical Hispanic Internet users are watching 18 hours of television per week (approximately 50% of it in Spanish) and listening to 15 hours of radio (also half of it in Spanish).

More than three-quarters of respondents are using the Internet for email, 60% to get news, 54% to listen to music and 43% to chat. According to the 2002 Nielsen Media Research study, was the top Spanish-language destination for US Hispanic users for the second year in a row. Rounding out the top five Spanish-language Web destinations for US Hispanic users were Yahoo En Espanol, Terra, Yupi and StarMedia. There is abundant evidence that Hispanics are a crucial part of the American customer base and that a significant amount of them are using the Internet. That said, marketers should use the aforementioned data to find out the most effective ways to get through to this demographic via the Internet.

Marketers must first realize that there are two groups of Hispanics in the US: native-born Hispanics who have lived exclusively in the US; and immigrants. These two groups are usually very different in their consumer behavior.

For example, those who speak English fluently tend to be familiar with mainstream American culture and have buying habits similar to non-Hispanics that have spent most of their lives in the US. Meanwhile, the immigrant population often has shopping habits that reflect its natural heritage. They are more likely to use Spanish-language media and would prefer to shop where employees speak Spanish. Marketers must be aware of which group of Hispanics they are trying to target--fluent English-speaking Hispanics or immigrants--and plan their marketing campaigns accordingly.

Second-generation Hispanic-Americans have been deeply affected by American culture and are very different in their consumer behavior from foreign-born Hispanics, who usually view themselves as completely Hispanic and have minimal contact with or interest in mainstream US culture. Second-generation Hispanic-Americans have become much more acculturated and want to replace, or have already replaced, their Hispanic identity with a mainstream American identity.

An article in Hispanic Business titled "A Melting Pot With Flavor" explains this phenomenon. Upon arriving in the US, foreign-born Hispanics are culturally isolated. However, their children and grandchildren become assimilated or acculturated. These days, the Hispanic market can be divided with foreign-born and third-generation Hispanics at the poles of the cultural spectrum, and much of the market moving between them.

According to the Pew Hispanic Center, which conducts ongoing research of Hispanic Americans, first- and second-generation Hispanic youths tend to thoroughly identify with and embrace their cultural heritage even as they begin blending into American society. But by the third generation, Hispanic youths identify more with American culture and values. (This is a concern to many Latinos and Hispanic organizations, which fear that Hispanic youths are becoming disconnected from their ethnicity and not taking leadership roles in the Hispanic community.)

Some US companies are already catering to the Hispanic immigrant population, and it is paying off. H&R Block, in its first major Hispanic project, installed 4,100 bilingual tax preparers in 2002 and aired amusing Spanish-language commercials. This initiative helped Hispanic traffic grow by double digits. Lincoln Mercury featured actress Salma Hayek in its first Spanish-language ad campaign with a celebrity. The National Football League is rushing to promote itself to Hispanics, a group that has traditionally preferred soccer and baseball, by having its Web site ( available in Spanish and by featuring preseason games such as the 2001 American Bowl preseason match between the Dallas cowboys and Oakland Raiders at Azteca Stadium in Mexico City.

It is estimated that the worldwide online Spanish-speaking population is 50 million. By not making its Web site available in Spanish, a firm may be missing 20% of all Internet users. Now that the Internet is reaching relatively un-acculturated Hispanics who are frustrated by the lack of Spanish-language content on the Web, it is important for marketers to construct Spanish-language Web sites. A Terra Lycos study showed that in 2002 Hispanics spent 55% of their online time connected to Spanish language sites, compared with only 39% in 2001.

One of the most common mistakes that advertising executives make when marketing to Hispanics is assuming that the Hispanic population in the US is homogeneous. Most US Hispanics are Mexican, but some are from other Central and South American or Caribbean nations such as Cuba and the Dominican Republic, or from Puerto Rico.

According to a report conducted by the US Census Bureau, there were 37.4 million Hispanics living in the United States in 2002--about 67% Mexican, 14.3% Central and South American, 8.6% Puerto Rican and 6.5% from elsewhere.

Most Hispanics prefer to identify themselves by their country of origin rather than referring to themselves as "Latino" or "Hispanic." Although Hispanics in the US consider themselves to be a part of a common ethnic group, most have a stronger identification with their country of origin, and these different identifications should be considered when planning any marketing strategy.

Marketers, however, must also be aware of Hispanics' general preferences and habits. For example, they are group oriented. They take pleasure in group outings such as soccer games, street fairs and festivals. Companies must not rely solely on the Internet or television to reach the Hispanic consumer. Outdoor ads with simple messages generate the biggest reach and frequency numbers at low cost.

Hispanics are also extremely family-oriented, so any marketing strategies with family values themes have strong appeal to them. Hispanics can be characterized by strong and close bonds that often extend outside the nuclear family to include grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and other, non-family members.

For example, when Honda targets Hispanic consumers in advertisements for its Accord, it usually pitches the sedan version instead of the sportier coupe. Honda does this because its market research finds strong family orientation among Latinos. When Ford advertises its Ford Focus to Hispanics, it emphasizes the small car's attributes as a family vehicle. But the carmaker pitches it to other groups as a fun-to-drive vehicle for the young.

Hispanic families are very likely to be three-generational, with grandparents an integral part of the unit. Casting a Hispanic family in advertisements, complete with grandparents in the home, might be a wise marketing strategy for firms hoping to expand their marketing messages to Latinos.

Humor and laughter are also great ways to connect with the Hispanic consumer. Hispanics will often playfully tease a person about his/her physical attributes. This is considered playful teasing, which is endearing, not demeaning. Marketers should be aware of this and other cultural preferences when using humor in their advertising campaigns.

Hispanic Internet users are too large a consumer segment to ignore. Those that figure out a way to reach this group will reap the benefits.


The New Generation Gap

June16, 2005
By David Morse
President & CEO, New American Dimensions

The U.S. Census Bureau made headlines last week with the announcement that Hispanics accounted for half of the U.S. population growth from 2003 to 2004. It was reported that Hispanics passed the 40 million mark - there were 41.3 million a year ago - meaning that one in seven Americans is now Hispanic.

It wasn't shocking news for those of us who follow this stuff. But it did affirm, even amplify, projections on just how quickly the Hispanic population is growing. Hispanics are clearly still on the fast track to match or surpass prior estimates that they will comprise a quarter of the population by 2050.

Since the Census released its results, there has been a flurry of articles written about the new "generation gap," referring to the fact that older Americans tend to be white while younger Americans are increasingly non-White. For instance, one-third of the Hispanic, Native American and African American population is younger than 18 compared to a quarter of Whites. On the other end of the spectrum, Whites make up 85 percent of people ages 85 and older.

USA Today wrote: "The influx of newcomers, driven largely by Hispanics, is taking the country far beyond the traditional red-state/blue-state split between Republicans and Democrats that has preoccupied the country in recent years. It is forming sharp age and race divisions."

The same article quoted demographer William Frey of the Brookings Institute: "Age forty is a monumental dividing line. The white dominated society that we had back in the 1950's is being faded out."

During the 1960's and the height of the original generation gap, Jerry Rubin got a whole generation saying, "Don't trust anyone over thirty." Will "Don't trust anyone over forty" be the new rallying cry? How will successful marketers deal with such a monumental demographic shift?

The biggest news last week wasn't about the extent of the Hispanic growth, but rather where it came from. For the first time since before the immigration boom in the 1970's, domestic births outpaced immigration as population drivers. Over the last four years, the difference between Hispanic births and deaths (what demographers call the natural increase) was 3.3 million, compared to the 2.7 million who immigrated.

Not that no one saw it coming. According to a report issued in 2003 by the Pew Hispanic Center, "Over the next twenty years (there will be) an important shift in the makeup of the Hispanic population with second-generation Latinos - the U.S. born children of immigrants - emerging as the largest component of that population. Given the very substantial differences in earnings, education, fluency in English and attitudes between foreign-born and native-born Latinos, this shift has profound implications for many realms of public policy, and indeed for anyone seeking to understand the nature of demographic change in the United States."

So, yes, Americans will increasingly be non-white, increasingly Hispanic. And yes, marketing to an increasingly multicultural consumer population will become more complex. But a whole generation of Hispanics is emerging that will be raised watching American TV, consuming American products and loving American brands. It is likely that with this new generation of consumers, the cross-cultural gap will narrow, not widen.

Source: RetailWire

Study: No corresponding rise in adequate housing as Hispanic market grows

June 15, 2005
Source: New Mexico Business Weekly

Hispanics have made great progress, but still face many housing difficulties, according to a new report.

Commissioned by Esperanza USA, an affordable housing developer, and the Council of Federal Home Loan Banks, the report was prepared by the Institute for Latino Studies at the University of Notre Dame.

The growth of the Hispanic market is redefining housing demand and creating opportunities for innovation and new products for targeting that market, the report notes. However, this has not resulted in a corresponding rise in adequate housing.

Researchers found that:

  • About 47 percent of Hispanic household heads are homeowners, compared with 76 percent of Anglo (Caucasian) household heads.
  • Hispanics have lower mortgage approval rates than non-Hispanic Anglos.
  • While Hispanic homeowners' median income is far lower that than that of Anglos, the median current market value for homes owned by Hispanics is very close to that of homes owned by Anglos.
  • The nation's Hispanic population is disproportionately concentrated in more expensive urban housing markets, such as Los Angeles and New York City.
  • Hispanics face other barriers to accessing affordable housing and are severely cost-burdened.
  • Hispanics are more likely to pay more than half of household income for housing expenses than Anglos, and more likely to live in inadequate and crowded conditions than Anglos. This is true even though Hispanic households are more likely to be composed of additional family and non-family members, many of whom contribute to the household budget.


Spanish Ads On English TV? An Experiment

May 31, 2005
By Jose Antonio Vargas
(Thanks to Jennifer Woodard from Latin_Know for making me aware of this story)

On a recent Monday night, during the back-to-back wrestling shows "WWE Raw" and "WWE Raw Zone" on the cable's Spike TV, David Carcamo saw a commercial. The for-the-boys programming on Spike, it must be said, is in English. The 30-second commercial, touting the auto Web site, however, was in Spanish.

"I was like, ' What?!' " says Carcamo, 18, a senior at Cardozo High School in Northwest Washington. He understood the commercial, no problem there. But a Spanish spot on an English-language channel? "Maybe the antenna was off. Or something. Maybe it was just a mistake," he wondered.

"I was confused when I first saw it," says his friend, Sergio Romero, 19, also a senior at Cardozo. Like Carcamo, he's bilingual. "I thought I accidentally changed the channel to Telemundo."

They laugh., a one-stop shop for car buyers, is using the Washington area -- home to an affluent, diverse, growing Latino community -- to conduct an experiment: running a Spanish-speaking commercial on cable channels such as Spike, Nick at Nite, FX and Sci Fi, to name a few. The first ad, put on the air in February, features a bald, chubby actor and a Spanish voice-over. Three weeks ago, it began to be replaced by an ad featuring Latino actors speaking in Spanish. Either way, the result is more eye-catching than reading a flier in English on one side and Spanish on the other about a yard sale in Columbia Heights. Andrew Ward, a vice president at Comcast Spotlight, the advertising division of the nation's largest cable provider, says these are the only Spanish ads on English channels of which he knows.

The Salt Lake City-based Vehix is also running English-language ads on cable in an attempt to compete with bigger auto sales Web sites such as and But money also speaks en Español , and marketing to Latinos has gotten more complex. "When a lot of people talk about the Hispanic market, they really mean the Spanish-speaking market, which is only a part of the market," says Jeff Valdez, co-founder and chairman of Sí TV, a Los Angeles-based channel whose slogan is "Speak English, Live Latin."

"When you speak in that limited term -- Spanish TV for Hispanics -- you're only reaching a segment of a very big population," Valdez says.

Not every Latino is watching channels such as the Spanish versions of ESPN, Discovery Channel and CNN, says Chris Satovick, vice president of consumer and dealer products for Vehix. There's a generational gap at work, and it's symbolized by the Carcamo family. David's parents, Lucy and Tereso Carcamo, emigrated from El Salvador. Mom works at the Hotel Washington; Dad's a custodian downtown. They speak to their sons, David and Danny, in Spanish, but the boys, born and raised in the United States, answer in English or Spanish. Or Spanglish.

Sure, their mother catches Cristina Saralegui -- the Oprah Winfrey of Spanish TV -- on Univision, but her 18-year-old and 10-year-old sons opt for "South Park" on Comedy Central. The family rarely watches the same shows together.

"We know, because of the research we've done and everything we've seen, that there are a lot of bilingual TV watchers and that they're watching English channels," says Satovick. His firm prides itself as a "road map to the automotive world." On its site you can post an ad selling your car, find a used or a new car, read vehicle reviews of used and new cars, etc., and it's affiliated with more than 1,500 car dealerships in the country, 51 of them in the Washington area. The crossover ads are working, Satovick says. On the company's Web site, there's a Spanish-speaking module -- a voice-over piece -- and in the past two months the number of users clicking on that module has increased, Satovick says.

"It's still less than 5 percent of our total users -- more than 30,000 unique users check out per month -- but the increase has been more than 300 percent," he says, adding that the company is looking to expand the TV commercial experiment to other cities such as Miami, Los Angeles, Dallas, Chicago and Atlanta.

There's also been a bit of a backlash, he admits; a number of consumers have written to the site's customer feedback e-mail address. Satovick paraphrases them: Last time I checked, this is America; English is spoken here. Whether he's losing Anglo customers isn't clear, though he is convinced he's gaining Latino ones.

"It isn't at all surprising what that car company is trying to do. No market is black or white. Only English. Only Spanish," says Raul Cano-Rogers, president of the Washington area's Ibero American Chamber of Commerce. "You can't just say, 'I'm gonna do it in English because everybody speaks in English.' You can't just say, 'I'm gonna do it Spanish because Hispanics only want to hear Spanish.' It's complicated."

Indeed, even though David Carcamo has seen the commercial often, each time it grabs his attention. It hits him harder, he says, not because it is in Spanish but because it is in Spanish on an English channel.

"I guess that's what they" -- meaning the advertisers -- "think they gotta do to keep up with us," he says.

Source: Washington Post

Survey finds Hispanics helping drive growth of mortgage products

June 14, 2005
Source: San Diego Daily Transcript via Yahoo! News

The Hispanic middle-class population has created a significant upswing in two mortgage-based credit products, home equity loans and home equity lines of credit, jumping 35 percent and 25 percent respectively from 2003 to 2004, according to an analysis of data from the Integras Market Audit.

The jump mirrors Hispanic population growth, which accounts for half of the 2.9 million U.S. population growth from 2003 to 2004, making Hispanics one-seventh of all people in the United States according to a Census Bureau report. The report said this trend will probably continue because of immigration and a Hispanic birth rate outstripping non-Hispanic blacks and whites.

The analysis found that 10.1 percent of Hispanic homeowners with incomes ranging from $40,000 to $100,000 took out a home equity loan in 2004 compared to 7.5 percent in 2003, and 12.7 percent applied for home equity lines of credit in 2004 compared to 10.2 percent the previous year.

"The data showed that the greatest gains within the Hispanic population (from one year to the next) in both credit products was in the Hispanic middle class, which is the largest growing population segment in the U.S.," said Julie Simard, an Integras customer research consultant who conducted the analysis. For affluent Hispanic homeowners with incomes of $100,000-plus, the household penetration levels for loans was 12.5 percent and 19.7 percent for lines of credit.

Comparing all homeowners to Hispanic homeowners, the 2004 numbers for home equity loans were virtually the same at 8.9 percent and 8.8 percent, respectively. However, for lines of credit there was a comparative gap at 16.8 percent for all homeowners and 11.7 percent for Hispanic homeowners.

Integras is the analytical services division of San Diego-based market research company Claritas Inc. and the administrator of the Market Audit -- a survey of household financial behavior. Data for this analysis was developed from more than 175,000 interviews comparing the percentage of equity product penetration, year-to-year, ending Q4, 2004.

Hispanics, Internet send East West Mortgage's revenue north

June 10, 2005
By Eleni Kretikos

After 19 years of steady, quiet growth in Tysons Corner, East West Mortgage is turning up the volume by hiring 120 employees and expanding its office space in three locations.

East West, started in 1986 and still owned by Vietnamese immigrant Doug Bui, has seen growth fueled by a rise in its Hispanic and Internet activity.

"In D.C. metro, there hasn't been huge attention paid to the Hispanic market from the well-organized lending industry," says J.C. Jimenez, vice president of sales. "It was much more looked at in other markets like Florida, Texas and California. We saw it here earlier than most."

Since launching its Hispanic business sector five years ago, East West has worked hard to attract that clientele -- focusing on first-time home buyers -- by hiring many Spanish-speaking employees and heavily promoting itself with ads and call-in shows on AM and FM radio stations in the region, including the recently launched El Zol on 99.1 FM. The company participates in food festivals, church programs and sporting events in various Hispanic communities.

East West's Internet business has also developed. Now customers can log on, find basic information, study products in English or Spanish and apply for a loan regardless of credit history or financial status.

East West now does about 55 percent of its business with Hispanic customers. In 2004, the company had a loan volume of $1.3 billion -- up from $1.1 billion in 2003 -- and 2,400 of its 6,000 loans were for Hispanic customers.

Half of the new employees will work in Tysons Corner, 35 will go to Silver Spring and the rest to the company's newest office in Exchange Place, N.J.

Because the headquarters building on Springhill Road in Tysons is already full, East West is adding 13,000 square feet of office space nearby at 8521 Leesburg Pike.

It's also adding 4,000 square feet to its Colesville Road offices in Silver Spring and 3,500 square feet in New Jersey.

Source: Washington Business Journal

Spanish TV arrives in Georgia Cable TV

Local startup stands apart from Telemundo, Univision

June 10, 2005
By Rachel Tobin Ramos

On July 1, at 6 a.m., Georgia's Hispanic community will wake up to a new Spanish cable TV channel geared to them, with a line-up from kids to cooking shows. "Georgia TeVe" will launch on Comcast Cable Channel 150, as part of Comcast's digital packages or "Selecto" option (which offers channels in Spanish, such as CNN en Español).

The channel will reach more than 300,000 viewers in the Atlanta area and offer Georgia, with the third-fastest-growing Hispanic population in the country, a fresh infusion of Spanish programming, made locally, and produced to reach the burgeoning Latino community.

It is a rare cable startup, and will place Atlanta on a short list of cities with a local cable channel in Spanish not run by Hialeah, Fla.'s Telemundo or Los Angeles' Univision.

Georgia TeVe will offer 12 original programs, produced with Atlanta talent, plus several syndicated comedy and game shows, classic Spanish movies, children's programs and the staple of Spanish television: telenovelas, or soap operas.

Georgia TeVe means "Georgia, I see you," a title intended to portray how the station will be in touch with Hispanics in Georgia, said the channel's creator and CEO, Rafael Ortiz-Guzman. The name is also a play on the English "TV."

Ortiz-Guzman's venture, which he started from scratch in his Woodstock studios, is a calculated risk, and he's winning approving nods from Atlanta's Hispanic and business communities.

A 54-year-old Puerto Rican who studied film at The University of Puerto Rico and won several Emmys for his work over 19 years at Turner Broadcasting, Ortiz-Guzman has attracted outside investors who've looked at Georgia's growing Hispanic community and said it's time to give advertisers a way to reach them.

A July 2004 report from the U.S. Census Bureau says that 541,123 Hispanics reside in Georgia, but some Georgia demographers say doubling that number would give a more accurate count.

Continue reading "Spanish TV arrives in Georgia Cable TV" »

Latino middle class thriving in NH

June 8, 2005
By Kathryn Marchocki

Virtually non-existent 20 years ago, an estimated 26,000 Latinos now live in New Hampshire and are part of a growing Latino middle class, a research expert said yesterday.

"What you're seeing is this emerging community in New Hampshire that has a lot of promise," Yoel Camayd-Freixas, Southern New Hampshire University associate dean, told more than 150 people attending the second annual New Hampshire Latino Summit.

Traditionally not a state in which Latinos have lived, New Hampshire is part of a national settlement pattern in which Latinos are moving out of older, urban enclaves and dispersing across the Northeast, said Camayd-Freixas, who is also director of the university's Applied Research Center.

"These are big trends. They are unstoppable," Camayd-Freixas said.

"What is happening here is what will be happening in Maine 10 year from now," he added.

The growth in the Latino community is driven in large part by native-born Latinos migrating here from other states — mainly Massachusetts — in search of better jobs, more affordable housing and an improved quality of life, he said.

They tend to be more educated, more fluent in English and have more diverse job skills and backgrounds than the traditional Latino immigrant who left behind a rural, agricultural background to join the urban, working class, he said.

"These folks are not coming from the old country. This is a regional Latino diaspora," Camayd-Freixas said. 

Continue reading "Latino middle class thriving in NH" »

Hispanic births outnumbers immigrants in 2004

June 10, 2005
Posted by "nacho" in Search Engine Roundtable

... The U.S. Census Bureau reported official U.S. Hispanic population growth to 41.3 million. They also mentioned that the median age for Hispanics was 26.7 in July 2003, compared with 35.9 for the overall U.S. population. Here is even more news. In a radio interview over at NPR, Jeffrey Passel, senior research associate at the Pew Hispanic Center, talked about the following:

In past years, Hispanic population growth has been due to immigration, but last year was the first in which Hispanic births outnumbered immigrants. Passel says that's due to a large population of Hispanic women in the their 20s and 30s. "Even moderately high levels of fertility translate into large numbers of births".

What does this all mean? Millions and millions of babies that will be saying “Quieres hacer negocios conmigo?” when they grow up. Not only that, but they will be fueling growth in search queries when the general market slows down. The same goes for content that will be indexed by all search engines. I can vision a similar growth as this chart by Geoff Gaudreault (NPR) shows:

Latinos: A macro market for microfinance

Area Latinos sent more than $1 billion home in 2004. So why aren't more banks angling for their business?

June 12, 2005
By Erin Killian

Charlie Rizzo never expected to stay in the United States forever.

He moved to D.C. from Ecuador in 1986 when he was 21, to be near his sister, Maritza. But as fate would have it, Rizzo met and fell in love with a girl from New Jersey. They married, bought a big yellow house in Severna Park and had three boys.

When Rizzo's sister moved back to Ecuador in 1993, he stayed, moving up the executive ranks of Rio Grande Foods in Beltsville. Today, he's executive vice president of the international foods company. And he still sends money home to his two sisters and two brothers regularly, to "help them out."

Rizzo epitomizes the well-established Latino-American business executive who lives here and cares deeply about his family back home. He, like most, has a bank account, but Rizzo typically sends money home through Western Union despite the high fees and service charges.

"If you want to send it fast, you send it through Western Union," Rizzo says. "It's five times more expensive, but it gets the money there in 10 minutes or so. Through a bank it takes a day or two to get there."

Rizzo and the thousands of Latino-American immigrants like him represent a huge untapped market for the American banking industry. Last year, they sent

more than $30 billion home to their families in South and Central America.

A smattering of banks in the Washington area are just starting to make a push to capture immigrants like Rizzo -- as well as newer immigrants -- to get a cut not only of the lucrative remittance market, but also the purchasing power of the swelling and loyal Latino immigrant population.

Latino immigrants, many of whom come to the United States with nothing but dreams, historically have been wary of banks because of financial crises in their home countries. Their concern is compounded because American banks often require credit histories and rigid legal papers to open accounts; many are afraid of being deported.

Their hesitance to enter the banking system often leaves these immigrants vulnerable to high-fee financial services, especially when they send money home.

For their part, banks have neglected the market because of a perception that Latinos are lower-income customers.

"Banks always said, 'Latino immigrants -- oh, we don't want to touch it,'" says Pedro De Vasconcelos, remittances coordinator for the Inter-American Development Bank in D.C. "Now they are fighting over it."

Continue reading "Latinos: A macro market for microfinance" »

Customer Delight More Important To Customers Of Hispanic Descent

Ipsos Study Compares Differences In Opinions About Customer Service And Word Of Mouth Between Hispanic and Non-Hispanic Households

June 13, 2005
Via PRNewswire

Customers of Hispanic descent are more avid and passionate in their relationships with brands and stores than customers of non-Hispanic descent, say Tim Keiningham and Terry Vavra, keynote speakers at the Strategic Research Institute's 6th Annual U.S. Hispanic Marketing Boom & Profitable Customer Relationship Strategies Conference.

In their presentation made today in Los Angeles, Keiningham and Vavra, authors of the book, The Customer Delight Principle, and the upcoming book, Loyalty Myths, reported the findings of a new survey conducted among 100 Hispanic and 100 non-Hispanic female heads of households to test the differences in opinions about customer service, word of mouth and acting on bad service.

The results provide dramatic evidence that marketers appealing to Hispanic households need to be even more concerned about delighting these customers than marketers serving the general U.S. market. Among the findings of the Ipsos survey:

  • Hispanics are 50% more likely to report having stopped shopping at a store because they felt they were treated rudely.
  • Hispanics are 34% more likely to admit they'd stopped using a particular brand because they were not "delighted" by the brand.
  • Hispanics were 40% more likely to report they'd told a friend not to shop at a store where they felt they were treated rudely.

There is a stronger bond between Hispanics and smaller, neighborhood retailers than among non-Hispanics, Keiningham and Vavra showed:

  • Hispanics are 79% more likely to completely agree that "big stores don't treat you as well as smaller, neighborhood stores."
  • Hispanics are 130% more likely to feel that when they shop at a big store (employees at these big stores) sometimes are not being as nice as should be.

"The conventional wisdom that Hispanics are more loyal and expect more personal treatment by businesses and retailers are supported by the findings of this survey," the speakers told the conference audience today.

To peruse the full release, please go to:

Source: Yahoo! Finance

The language of commerce

June 3, 2005
By Rob Smith

While attending high school in Southern California, Brian O'Kelly first learned Spanish to better communicate with Latino co-workers.

"I went to Spanish classes in the daytime, but my co-workers at night would always say, 'No, no, you got it all wrong,'" O'Kelly recalls, laughing. "That's where I really learned to speak the language."

He had no way of knowing just how valuable that experience would be.

O'Kelly is expanding his Spanish-language shopper, El Carro (The Car) to Portland to tap into the region's burgeoning Hispanic market. The Marysville, Wash.-based publication is, in essence, the Spanish-language version of Auto Trader or Auto Mart.

O'Kelly has turned a solo operation into a growing five-employee firm by focusing on a neglected segment of the market: Hispanic auto buyers.

In Oregon, the Hispanic population surged 144 percent between 1990 and 2000, to 275,000. Between 2000 and 2003 the population jumped an additional 18.8 percent. Latinos now account for 9 percent of the state's population.

Hispanics in the Portland area alone represent more than $1 billion in buying power, according to online magazine Hispanic Portland's El Hispanic News estimates Latino car purchases were worth $29 million in Oregon in 2003.

El Carro, which O'Kelly started from his home in 2003 with a $3,000 advance on his Visa card, debuted as a 16-page shopper. It now has a weekly press run of 12,000, averages 40 pages per week and, after some lean times, is turning a profit.

Expansion is possible because O'Kelly recently accepted his first outside investment in the company.

Portland is a natural first step because of its geographic proximity and growing Hispanic population, he says. In fact, Portland boasts a greater percentage of Hispanic residents than Seattle.

In the broad metro area, which O'Kelly defines as Portland to Salem, Hispanics account for 15 percent to 18 percent of the population. In Seattle, it's 7 percent to 10 percent.

But that's just the beginning. The Hispanic population is often under-reported because of immigration issues and cultural misunderstandings that discourage participation in the census, he says.

He likes the trends he sees in Oregon.

"I just read that Linn County is starting to print ballots in Spanish. Enrollment in the Woodburn School District is almost 80 percent Hispanic," he says. "You get a pretty good idea of where the market's going."

O'Kelly is placing special emphasis on Hillsboro and Beaverton. The publication will be distributed in grocery stores and specialty shops.

O'Kelly plans to expand to Denver before year's end, and either Salt Lake City or Boise, Idaho, in 2006. California is also on his radar screen.

He recently launched a second product in the Seattle market, Compra y Venta (Buy and Sell), similar to Little Nickel classifieds. That's confined just to Seattle, though future expansion is possible.

His ultimate goal is to sell to a larger publishing company, though he's not ready to do so just yet. He's having too much fun building an organization.

"Fundamentally, people are motivated by the same things," says O'Kelly, who has a sales and restaurant background. "They want success for their family, security and to be treated well as customers.

"What works in one community works pretty well in the other. Too many auto dealers don't understand that."

Source: The Business Journal - Portland

Hispanics turning to internet for Summer Travel Plans

Increase In Online Travel Booking Leads to New Marketing Possibilities

June 6, 2005
Source: Bromley/Manning Selvage & Lee

With an increase in U.S. Hispanics utilizing the Internet to book trips online, Terra’s Turismo (Travel) channel has become an optimal gateway for advertisers to tap into this growing market trend.

Given the propensity for Hispanics to travel, both domestically and internationally, along with the above average household income of the Hispanic online user, it’s not surprising that travel marketers are targeting Hispanic consumers online,” said Michele Azan, vice president of sales at 

Scarborough reports confirm that Hispanics are heavy foreign travelers. The over-index rate reaches 131 for those having traveled outside the U.S. more than five times in the last three years.  Not surprisingly, more Hispanics are using the Internet to make travel arrangements.   More than 50 percent, affirms Azan.

“There are more than 14 million U.S. Hispanics online every day.  Among the top reasons for using the Internet are researching travel needs,” said Azan.  “Hispanics caught on quickly to the wonders of the web.  Users of all ages are finding there’s no better way to prepare for a vacation.  Consumers have become more computer-savvy and sites are providing vastly improved content and features.”

Knowing this, marketers such as Royal Caribbean, Embassy Suites, Choice Hotels International, Holiday Inn Express, Comfort Inn, Best Western, Thrifty, and Disney Resorts have taken advantage to plunge into the Hispanic market by advertising on Terra’s Turismo channel.  In addition, a full line-up of carriers are on board including : US Airways, American Airlines, Aeromexico, Mexicana Airlines, Air France, Air Canada, Continental Airlines, Copa Airlines,  Southwest Airlines and United Airlines.

Currently on the Turismo channel , Viaja con Visa features worldwide hot spots to travel at hot prices.  Texas State Tourism is offering trip saver coupons, e-postcards and even Texas memorabilia, while Thrifty auto rental enables Spanish-language users to locate their car of choice, anywhere in the United States. 

The Terra travel channel also offers a currency converter, weather services, travel forums/chats, polls and listings of top travel destinations.  Air, hotel and auto bookings are powered by

National City courts Latino home buyers

June 3, 2005
By Gigi Verna

National City, which has made a big marketing splash since arriving in Cincinnati last year, is adding Hispanics to its outreach efforts.

The bank and Freddie Mac, the federally chartered mortgage financing company, recently donated $25,000 to Su Casa, the Hispanic ministry in Cincinnati, to continue its seminars on home-buying for Latinos. The seminars were originally begun by Provident Bank, which National City acquired in July 2004.

Oscar Arrostegui, mortgage consultant for National City in Cincinnati, said the seminars, held on two consecutive Sundays at Su Casa's Carthage facility, focus on the role banks play in checking credit and granting mortgages, and how real estate agents work with prospective buyers. The seminars cover programs available to persons with little credit or those who can't afford a large down payment. The classes are conducted in Spanish.

"Some people are ready (to buy a home), they just need to be educated," Arrostegui said. "Their English is very basic."

The seminars have been integrated into National City's overall outreach for Hispanic customers, said Cristian Sandoval, vice president of Hispanic marketing for the Cleveland-based banking company. That includes the recently introduced "National Dream" mortgage program, which offers alternatives like no down payment, or approval of non-traditional credit.

"Home ownership is very low among Latinos," he said. "This year, we're focusing on that."

The strategy to reach Hispanics, including the "National Dream" program, is being rolled out in Cincinnati and five other markets, Sandoval said. "The main thing is to offer products that help the Latino community," Sandoval added.

Source:  Cincinnati's Business Courier

New Hispanic Marketing & Public Relations Book Weblog Offers Related Discussion Forum

June, 2006
Source: Hispanic Marketing and Communication Association

A new Hispanic Marketing & Public Relations Weblog for marketing professionals and students was launched recently. Centered on the upcoming Hispanic Marketing & Public Relations book due out later this year, the weblog includes author biographies, Hispanic marketing and public relations news and serves as a forum for authors and visitors to post comments and share insights.  The new book provides more than 350 pages of information, case studies, charts, tables, graphs, market data and opinions based on the knowledge of nineteen U.S. Hispanic market experts. Proceeds will benefit the Hispanic Marketing & Communication Association, HMCA.  Information on the book, including a list of authors and a pre-publication sign up sheet is available at the HMCA website and on the new weblog .

Hb_cover_mar_2005_1Seventeen practitioners and two university academics contributed chapters to the book. Topics include a U.S. Hispanic market outline, acculturation issues, reaching Hispanics online, reaching Hispanics in-language, demographic projections, perceptions, public relations, Hispanic media, electronic publicity and media training, special events and qualitative and quantitative research considerations.  Research guru Carlos Santiago, president and CEO of the California based Santiago Solutions Group, wrote the book’s foreword. Authors include a veritable who’s who of U.S. Hispanic marketing.

“The Hispanic Marketing & Public Relations book is a fabulous resource for anyone wishing to capitalize on this emerging and profitable market,” said book editor and project director, Elena del Valle. “It presents a detailed snapshot of U.S. Hispanics today including practical information and insights drawn from the authors’ more than 200 years of combined experience.”

The Hispanic Marketing & Communication Association (HMCA) is a volunteer driven nonprofit professional association dedicated to Hispanic marketing excellence. Hispanic market information, complimentary copies of the HMCA e-newsletter and invites to HMCA events, are available on the Association’s website

US Advertising Grew 4.4% & Hispanic Up 5.8% In Q1 2005

June 6, 2005
Source: Burson-Marsteller's Lat-"in" Buzz

Total advertising expenditures for the first quarter of 2005 increased 4.4% to $33.5 billion compared to the same time period in 2004, according to data released today by TNS Media Intelligence (TNS MI), the leading provider of strategic advertising and marketing information. Though this is the smallest gain in advertising spend since the end of 2003, spending continues to increase at a faster rate than the GDP; just as it has in 10 of the last 11 quarters. Local Magazines led all media categories in percentage growth, rising 26.2% to $104 million. Cable TV registered growth of 18.2% to $3.5 billion, taking market share from broadcast TV. Sunday Magazines grew 14.5% to $398 million (which is a reflection of organic growth and expansion in TNS MI measurement base) and Consumer Magazines increased by 9.5% to $4.7 billion. Internet advertising also continued to rise, posting an 8.2% increase over the previous year to $1.9 billion. By total dollar amount, Local newspapers and Network TV led all media at $5.9 billion and $5.8 billion, respectively. “It is clear that advertisers were fiscally more cautious in the first quarter of 2005, given mixed economic indicators and wavering consumer confidence,” said Steven Fredericks, president and CEO of TNS Media Intelligence. “Traditional stalwart categories such as Automobile, Banking and Retail Department Stores performed below market average, but those decreases were offset by increased spending by Direct Response and Restaurants,” added Fredericks.

Local bankers court deposits of Hispanics

May 27, 2005
By Tiffany Ray

It has been less than three weeks since Birmingham-based New South Federal Savings Bank launched Casa Mia, a new program designed to offer home loans to undocumented Hispanics, but already the bank has six new mortgage applications in the works.

The new program, which offers 20-year, fixed-rate home loans to U.S. residents without Social Security numbers, is part of an ongoing effort by the bank to address the needs of the growing Hispanic market in Birmingham and other areas served by the bank.

"We have had an emerging markets committee for three or four years and just couldn't find a way to break into that market," says Martha Walters-Pierce, vice president and Community Reinvestment Act officer for New South Federal.

In devising the program, Walters-Pierce says, she looked to similar programs in Chicago because there was nothing like it in the local market.

Walters-Pierce says news of the program spread quickly through the local community and she is "tickled pink" with the reaction so far.

After testing the program in Birmingham, the bank plans to roll it out in June in Houston, Phoenix and Atlanta, where Hispanic populations are much larger.

She says she's hoping Casa Mia will help position the bank as a leader in the Hispanic market.

"The immigrant population is the largest population group that is on the increase," she says. "If we don't recognize that we have a growing Hispanic population, regardless of where you are in the United States, you are just kind of putting your head in the sand."

Continue reading "Local bankers court deposits of Hispanics" »

A connection with Hispanics

Purchasing power creates a hot target in the Houston cell phone market

June 2, 2005
By Purva Patel

Salsa ring tones. News in Spanish. Soccer team sponsorships.

Cell phone companies are finding new ways to ring up business from the fastest-growing market in the United States: Hispanics.

Hispanics now surpass 40 million and are growing at twice the rate of the rest of the U.S. population. With a purchasing power of more than $800 billion, they make an obvious target for businesses looking to woo new markets.

Phone"This is a market that will help carriers with market share growth, but also on reaching out to the Spanish community," said Alisa Joseph of Scarborough Research, a marketing research firm.

Cultural nuances, such as the importance of keeping in touch with family and friends, make Hispanics among the telecom sector's best customers, experts say.

"They're very family oriented, very in touch with one another," Joseph said.

"And the wireless communication makes sense for that community because it's a way to have all of a family connected and together."

And when it comes to cell phones, Hispanics are big spenders, shelling out about 10 percent more to cover their bills than the general market, according to Scarborough.

Hispanics spend $66 a month per household, compared with $59 for the general market, and they account for more than 10 percent of total monthly spending on U.S. cell phone services.

The higher spending habits make them a prime target for cellular companies that have revved up their marketing efforts in recent years, especially in markets like Houston.

Continue reading "A connection with Hispanics" »

How Nextel quickly expanded its Hispanic sales

Stacey Crespo Details Intense One-Year Campaign

May 25, 2005
By Kris Oser

In an intensive yearlong effort, Nextel, which had not previously targeted Hispanic consumers, has made so much headway that one in three of all its new customers are Hispanic.

CrespoStacey Crespo told last week's iMedia Agency summit here, "Until the first quarter of last year, Nextel had not done any marketing in this space."

Nextel and Motorola
Ms. Crespo is the director of business development and partnership strategies at Motorola, which uses Nextel as its main service provider. She was instrumental in the cooperative effort of the two companies to reach out to the Hispanic market for its wireless phone products and services.

"The Hispanic population is a tough nut to crack because it is so diverse," she said in a presentation to executives from advertising agencies serving the interactive market.

She said as an African-American and Hispanic woman she knows that from experience. A company does not want to target a campaign to Cuban-Americans in South Florida only to wind up offending Mexican-Americans in California, she said.

Family, music, sports
She said the companies solved the diversity problem by finding the common ground among Hispanic groups. "We came up with three commonalities," she said, "family and culture, music and sports."

Focusing the media on interactive audiences, the companies went straight to Yahoo en Espanol. Advertising there was wrapped around events that related to those commonalities. For example, one promotion related to the World Cup. Another effort reflected Telemundo's Bachelorette reality program.

The results? "Now, one in three new handset customers is Hispanic," Ms. Crespo said.

Russell Simmons
Ms. Crespo, who was also instrumental in a campaign aimed at making mobile phones popular as fashion accessories through a partnership with hip-hop designer and mogul Russell Simmons, said Motorola's multicultural marketing strategy emphasizes individuality.

"Urban markets are not markets in need of penetration," she said, adding that consumers in these markets "are buying our products. We just need to reach new customers."

A marketer that wants to be successful targeting Hispanic consumers should identify a list of key partners that can reach the target group well. And hire someone like herself, Ms. Crespo told the audience, someone who is African-American or Hispanic -- because they understand the audience and can judge what sort of marketing is authentic-sounding.

"Forget about thinking out of the box," she said. "Create a new box."


Developments in Hispanic retailing

June 3, 2005
Via Display and Design Ideas

During the past month, several new developments have surfaced in the retail world to better serve and appeal to the growing Hispanic market. SuperValu Inc., Eden Prairie, Minn., a wholesale grocery retailer, has introduced a new private label called Carlita, designed to appeal to both immigrants and second- and third-generation Hispanic Americans. Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Bentonville, Ark., has also recently entered an agreement with Premier Retail Networks and Telemundo to air customized seasonal merchandising shorts, aimed at the Hispanic population, in 515 targeted stores. Publix Sabor, a new Hispanic format store, recently opened in Lakeland, Fla., where the Publix company is based. Publix also plans on opening a second store in Hialeah, Fla. The Food Marketing Institute (FMI) released a report this month saying that Hispanic shoppers, while frequently shopping at supermarkets for basic items, are more likely to visit authentic specialty markets than non-Hispanic consumers. These developments over the past month follow a year of developments in the retail world, with The Hope Depot, Circuit City, JCPenney, Sears and Target Stores adding bilingual signage, collateral materials, staff and merchandise to appeal to the Hispanic population. For retailers interested in learning more about accommodating the growing Hispanic market, visit to learn about the Hispanic Retail 360 Conference & Expo, which is being held in Dallas on Sept. 26-27.

Wal-Mart Brings Mexican Experience North of the Border

June 1, 2005
By George Anderson

Wal-Mart, as a report by The Wall Street Journal's Ann Zimmerman points out, has been the largest retailer in Mexico for five years.

WalmartmexicoWith more Mexicans moving into the U.S., Wal-Mart is taking some of the lessons learned at its stores in that country and putting them into practice at stores serving recent immigrants as well as second and third generation Mexican-Americans who call America home.

Among the lessons learned in Mexico, said Celia Clancy, Wal-Mart's general merchandise manager for women's and children's apparel, is that stores in that country devote more space to baby and children's clothing than is normally designated in U.S. stores.

Style is also very important and Ms. Clancy is working with Wal-Mart de Mexico to bring clothing to U.S. stores that better reflect consumers' fashion sense.

The reason for working with her Mexican colleagues is simple, said Ms. Clancy. "They do a better job in women's apparel, serving a higher level of fashion," she said.

Recent research shows Ms. Clancy and the rest of Wal-Mart have been largely successful in meeting the needs of Mexicans and other consumer groups with a Latino heritage.

A telephone survey of 500 Hispanic households conducted by the research firm NOP World found 36 percent chose Wal-Mart as their favorite store. (Target and Sears were tied for second with four percent.)

As to what factors are most important when deciding where to shop, respondents said, low prices (77 percent), convenient location (72 percent) and a wide range of merchandise (71 percent) were at the top of their lists.

Other factors deemed important were employees who spoke Spanish (54 percent), signage in Spanish (47 percent) and products relevant to Hispanic consumers (52 percent). Consumers in the study also said a wide range of payment options (47 percent) were important.

Source: RetailWire

Easter Brings More than Eggs to Your Basket

March 3, 2005
By Erika Prosper

Retailers, get your engines started. It's going to be Easter soon (March 27).  Are you ready for the Latinos about to swarm your stores?

Yes, specifically Mexican nationals who take the yearly pilgrimage across the border each Easter to buy, buy, buy.  Don't tell me you have not noticed how your stores suddenly become filled with Spanish-speaking families dropping hundred dollar bills at your registers.  It happens every Easter weekend.   

Easter in border cities is known as a cash cow.  Hispanics in the U.S. and from Mexico typically consider Easter weekend to be an unspoken shopping holiday.  South of the border, it is a vacation period, drawing thousands of Mexican citizens to visit their U.S. relatives and they take advantage of the trip to do their shopping for the season.

What are the culprits causing all the commotion?  Clothing, shoes, make-up and bedding.  After all, it's springtime and with it comes changing waistlines, growing children, and of course, the new color palette from Estee Lauder. 

If you're wise you will not only have bilingual customer service and staff, but you will hold special sales oriented toward these bargain hunters.  A smart retailer would also advertise on Spanish language media, letting family members know where to take their cash loaded relatives. A genius would have bought ads in Mexico, weeks in advance, complete with maps or directions on how to get to your stores.   

Don't despair.  You have three weeks left to see those crisp smiling Benjamins make their way to your pocket instead of your competitors.

Source: Garcia 360

Hispanic Beverage Tastes Are Influencing a Nation

February 23, 2005
Source: Retail Wire / Symrise

El gusto latino es muy caliente!
With a population that has grown in the U.S. by 77 percent over the last 12 years, it's no wonder that the influence of Hispanic taste is being felt on the mainstream population. We use the term "taste" literally, as experienced in everything from the tropical fruit varieties in supermarket produce to the thermal intensity of spices used in industrial recipes. Based on the Productscan Online database, more than half of the new products launched last year in the ethnic category had a Hispanic influence.

Loco para los sabores de la fruta
In 2004, Symrise conducted a nationwide online survey to better understand the current U.S. Hispanic population's taste preferences and taste expectations in various beverage and sweet food categories. Some of the more interesting findings revolved around fruit flavorings.

For instance, most assume that tropical fruits are preferred among the Hispanic population, but it may surprise some to learn that Hispanics' taste expectations include watermelon, kiwi and pineapple across beverage categories.

Soft Drinks: Ethnic Preferences
Ethnic preferences such as these are particularly evident in the soft drinks category.

Generally speaking, soft drinks have a high penetration in the Hispanic population, but acculturation levels are apparently also a factor. Immigrants are less likely to drink diet cola compared to native-born Hispanics. As with African-Americans, Hispanic immigrants are more likely to prefer regular cola and other regular soda flavors.

Source: Symrise study

However, compared to the general population, Hispanics tend to enjoy more fruit flavored soft drinks. When it comes to conventional fruit flavorings, Hispanics have a higher preference for strawberry, fruit punch and grape in soft drinks than the general population.

Look for growing popularity in these new soft drink flavors among the different ethnic groups:

  • Hispanics: Pineapple, mango, watermelon, cream, citrus
  • African-Americans: Watermelon, mango, cherry/blackcherry, peach, grapefruit
  • Causasians: Fruit and cream combinations, cherry vanilla, peach.

The Great Spanglish Controversy

February 2, 2005
By Rochelle Newman-Carrasco

(Susanna Whitmore, SVP Business Development, New American Dimensions and Laura Sonderup, Director, Heinrich Hispanidad contributed to this report.)

The number of conferences dedicated to the topic of US Hispanic marketing has increased exponentially over the past two to three decades. When I entered this industry in 1979, there were about 8 million Latinos living in the United States and I could count the annual conferences on one hand. Today, there are upwards of 40 million consumers loosely defined as Latino or Hispanic and it feels like there may be as many conferences in a given year.

At one such event held this past week in Miami, the 11th SRI Hispanic Marketing Conference, I was struck by a shift in the content of the program and the attitudes of the attendees (which included top level marketers from Citibank, GMAC Mortgage, Ballys Fitness, Coors Beer and others).

Historically, marketers have been presented with demographically detailed presentations about several tried and true topics which included: the growth of the US Hispanic market (fueled by birth rate and immigration), the brand loyalty of the US Hispanic market (full of personal anecdotes about choosing a cereal in the US for the very first time) and the important role that the Spanish language and Spanish language media played in the lives of Latinos nationwide (accompanied by reassuring research that indicated that ads in Spanish were significantly more effective with this target than ads in English).

So how was this conference different?

Continue reading "The Great Spanglish Controversy" »

Retro-Acculturation’s Impact on Market Research

By Sylvia Nieto-Vidal
(Special thanks to Suzanne Irizarry de Lopez for sharing this article with me)

For years marketers have been focusing on whether Hispanic consumers are acculturating vs. assimilating.  Well we are beginning to see a new phenomenon occurring among Hispanics in the U.S.:  Retro-Acculturation.  With the rapidly growing number of Hispanics in the U.S., many Spanish speaking consumers are increasingly holding on to their language and customs.  In many cities throughout the U.S., Spanish dominant consumers are able to live and work without having to learn English or give up their culture and traditions.

In addition to the less acculturated Hispanics holding on to their culture and traditions, we are seeing a possible trend emerging among some of the more acculturated, bilingual Hispanics as well.  As a result of much of the research we conduct, we get to analyze and interpret data from thousands of consumers annually and are starting to see what might be the beginning of a larger trend.  Many bilingual or Hispanics that are considered acculturated…those who live their lives in English, watch English-language television and for the most part are very similar to the general market consumers...go through an interesting metamorphosis when they begin to have their own families.  When this segment of the Hispanic population has children they begin to exhibit a strong yearning to pass on their Hispanic heritage to their offspring.  Their desire to pass on cultural traditions, Spanish-language and music sees a resurgence.

As a result of this “metamorphosis”, this Hispanic consumer begins to speak more Spanish in the home in an effort to pass on their native language to their kids, they view Spanish-language programming with their children (i.e., such as Plaza Sesamo, Dora la Exploradora), as well as show an increased tendency to listen to music from their homeland.

So what does this “metamorphosis” mean to marketers targeting this segment?  For one, the traditional criteria for defining and speaking with Spanish-dominant consumers may need to be augmented.  As the Hispanic market changes, so must the tools and research techniques to adequately identify the “target” consumer.  The standard “speak Spanish at home the majority of the time” and “Spanish-language media usage standard hours” may no longer ensure reaching Spanish dominant consumers.  Adding new techniques and out of the box thinking for pinpointing “truly” Spanish dominant consumers should be considered.  Some examples of additional screening questions we frequently recommend to our clients include:

In what language do you think or process information?
  Truly Spanish dominant consumers will think in Spanish as opposed to English.

What language do you speak with friends and relatives in social occasions? 
Spanish dominant consumers tend to revert to the language they are most comfortable speaking during social occasions (i.e., parties, family gatherings, get-togethers).

Do you purchase and consume products from your country of origin?  Consumers with strong ties to their culture are more likely to purchase and consume products from their homeland (i.e. native foods and dishes).

How often are you in contact with relatives from your country of origin?  A less acculturated Hispanic consumer will have more contact either via telephone or via yearly trips to their countries of origin.

These questions used in conjunction with other analytical queries will provide a more holistic view of the truly “Spanish dominant,” “less acculturated” Hispanic consumer.  The time is approaching when Spanish-language usage and media consumption may no longer guarantee that market researchers are speaking with a lesser acculturated Hispanic consumer.  As the market changes, so must we.

About the Author: Sylvia Nieto-Vidal is the Managing Partner of Multicultural Insights, a minority-owned market research company whose focus is specialized market research for multicultural and niche markets.

Concepts for developing Spanish language web pages

It makes good marketing & PR sense to give your customers the OPTION of getting the information they need from you in the language they prefer; be it because they don't know any other language, they feel like it at that particular moment, or for that specific subject they are more acquainted with your "industry's" lingo in English OR Spanish. It just shows both your current and future customers that you care enough and that you want their business enough to go the extra mile. Be it on a website, telephone answering service, brochures, signage, etc... If you are interested in serving a specific "group" whose native language isn't English, providing your company's information in their mother tongue is the way to go. When all is said and done it will be their decision, but you will have given them the OPTION; that's what's important.

You have to start somewhere… A simple couple of pages with the basics will do it at the beginning, as long as you let people know you are working on it and you keep adding more pages at a constant pace (independently of the speed) making sure to make a big fuss every time you add more pages (on your home page, newsletters, invoices, email campaign, the media, etc).

Be straightforward about the fact that the translated information is still a work in progress, if that is the case, and encourage your customers to give you feedback on how to make the information better. Always, but specially during this period, clearly provide a phone number, mailing address, and email address to which people could direct their questions and comments in Spanish; never assume that they can find this information elsewhere, it should be available on every “Spanish” page they visit.

The beauty of the web is that you don’t need to get it right the first time; you are ALWAYS able to tweak and edit your site in order to make it better.

One big mistake done by many companies on the “Spanish” part of their website is that hyperlinks in Spanish lead to pages only available in English. This is OK only if it is a temporary situation and if you clearly and openly inform readers that this is the case.

Embrace yourself to have people offended on both sides; one group will say, "If you live in this Country, learn its language!"; while others will say, "Just because I'm from [Country of Origin] you immediately assume I can't fully understand English?". It's impossible to make everybody happy; still, the majority of people will appreciate your efforts.

Be sure you have an accurate translation; pay the extra investment... it is definitely worth it. It is not a simple translation job; you have to make sure you are addressing Spanish-speaking Hispanics with the correct words, phrases, sentences, but most importantly, the correct industry terms they utilize; the ones they are already acquainted from.

It is not only having a couple of pages translated into Spanish… Is eventually having your entire website (at least the most critical parts of your website), forms, customer service, terms of service, glossary of terms, search, FAQs, and other contact information available in both languages.

In most situations I recommend utilizing neutral and formal (Usted) Spanish. Even if it is proven that a high percentage of the Hispanic Population is from a specific country of origin this type of Spanish speaks clearly and directly to all.

There is as much, if not more, diversity among Hispanics as there is among Non-Hispanic Whites. In fact, Latinos are present in every segment of society. So always present the information as clear as possible, but not in a manner that may be interpreted as condescending by a more knowledgeable customer. Give options, through Hyperlinks to get more specific and technical/financial information, whenever needed.

It is not only offering a glossary of industry terms, but offering it in Spanish and offering a link that provides a translation of each term (both English-Spanish & Spanish-English).

Each customer must be able to have as much as a unique experience surfing your site as unique the necessities for which they visited in the first place. This can be accomplished by the use of two techniques: Developing of personas and the accurate use of hyperlinks. (My friends Jeffrey and Bryan Eisenberg from Future Now Inc. are a great resource of information on this matter).

Even if you make an outstanding job with your online presence, it is not worth much if at the brick and mortar level, as well as over the phone you can’t walk the walk you talk about in your website.

As far as Icons and colors are concerned, do try to keep the same overall appearance of the English pages while succinctly incorporating warmer hues of the colors utilized as well as including, if appropriate, faces of both your actual employees and REAL Latino clients instead of models.

Have your multicultural staff (I am assuming you have one; if not… what are you waiting for) participate in the development of the Spanish pages, and have them take ownership of it.

Latinos are jumping in the internet bandwagon in high numbers and at a fast pace. This is being catalyzed  by aggressive initiatives like the one from AOL Latino, offering bilingual computer systems along with 1-year’s worth of dial-up internet service, for a total cost of less than the price of a comparably equipped PC elsewhere. On top of connecting Latinos AOL is rapidly establishing strategic alliances in order to provide relevant products, information and services to their new clients in their mother tongue. There are also several other portals fighting for the Hispanic market:, Yahoo! en Español,, and in Spanish. On top of that several Bilingual and/or English language sites catering to Latinos are now available: and to name a few. These facts help reinforce the fact that a Spanish language website is of primary importance in order to sustain and increase our presence among the growing Hispanic population.

Note to regular readers of Hispanic Trending: This article contains bits and pieces of several past articles posted on this site.

Changing US Perceptions of The Spanish Language

February 8, 2005
By Suzanne Irizarry de López

“The so-called "maiden speech" of a new senator is a historic moment for a newcomer and is often used to define his or her priorities. When Martinez broke into Spanish, followed by his own English translation, the stunned Senate stenographer looked up quizzically and just typed: "speaking Spanish."

This is an excerpt from the article in the February 4, 2005 edition of the Sun Sentinel on the historic moment where Cuban-born Hispanic senator Mel Martinez broke the 216 year tradition of making Senatorial inauguration speeches solely in English.

This stroke me as the beginning of change in the US system as we knew it.  With a growing Hispanic population, Spanish is slowly asserting its place in the USA as a native and all-American language.  Spanish was the first European language spoken in the US (since the late 15th century) particularly in Southern and Western states (most of whose names are still in Spanish).  It is the language many Americans are and have been learning “natively” from birth, and it is an official language, next to English, in New Mexico and Puerto Rico (Puerto Ricans born in Puerto Rico are US natives).

With the proliferation of media (TV, magazines, newspapers, radio, online) in Spanish, and more than 20 million US Americans speaking it regularly, sooner than later Spanish will pass from being associated with a foreign language option at school and an immigrant language, into being just one of the two languages most widely used in the US.  It is not for no reason that the USA is ranked number 5 among the countries in the world where Spanish is spoken, and Spanish number 2 or 3 (depending on methodology used and source) in the rank of languages most spoken on planet Earth.

In the meantime, we are going though “growing pains”, which is what I refer to the pain of being in the midst of the “Spanish is a foreign language” perception and “too many customers are speaking it!” realization.  A daily vignette of many US stores, government and health establishments reveals receptionists, sales and customer service representatives, legal and medical professionals, and their customers, unable to communicate with each other.

For instance, I went into a Dallas county, Texas Department of Motor Vehicles center in a highly Hispanic area, which, as many other states’ DMVs, offers the driver’s license written test in Spanish.  I observed a long line of people, close to 50% who spoke mostly Spanish, and observed how the English dominant receptionist could not understand the customers’ reasons for being there, one after another.  I am bilingual and although I can communicate in English, it rubs me wrong when I presence this lack of bilingual preparedness in places with high Spanish speaking customer traffic!

This picture applies every day to the marketing experience.  Particularly with the increasing interest in marketing to Hispanics, many companies jump the gun, and others (even Fortune 100’s) are still advertising in Spanish and spending a big penny to engage Spanish speaking consumers to visit them and/or buy their products but do not ensure that they put enough truly bilingual staff to serve the needs of the Spanish speaking consumer, and even less maintain the relationship, in Spanish.

The USA is beginning to see the birth of charter bilingual schools, but it will take at least a generation or two to change the more widespread placing of Spanish as a foreign language department elective.  Concurrently, Marketing to Hispanics, in their choice of language, can’t wait that long.  Those who chose to think within the common framework, that English is the only language of US business, will and are likely losing a lot of money, and positioning.

If marketing is about romancing the customer, and there is no effective communication skills in place, at all points of contact, customer relationships with Hispanics just may join the ranks of divorce.

“Tapar el cielo con la mano”, a popular Spanish saying that means covering the sky with one hand, or sticking your head in the ground like an ostrich, doesn’t mean reality will cease to exist.  And reality is that Spanish is a commonly used language, with deep socio-historical roots, in the USA.

About the author:

Suzanne Irizarry de López is Board Member of the Hispanic Marketing and Communication Association and Director of Business Development for Bilingual Research Services. She can be reached by email at

Tales of a Recent Immigrant

Laura Martinez, editor of Adweek's Marketing y Medios, honored me with an invitation to write an article for the February, 2005 issue of her magazine, which by the way has been selected as a finalist in the 51st annual Jesse H. Neal National Business Journalism Awards Competition in the category of best start-up publication.

Mym_feb05_coverThe title of this post is the same as that of the article; I invite you to check it online or on the print edition.

I hope you enjoy it and will greatly appreciate your feedback.

The Multicultural Tango

January 31, 2005
By Linda Lane Gonzalez

American’s fast-growing ethnic groups now account for a third of all consumers in the US. At eighty million strong, US Hispanic, African-American and Asian consumers represent a market segment the size of Germany. As advertisers attempt to target and influence these unique customer groups, savvy general market agencies are seeking strategic partnerships with dedicated ethnic agencies to ensure more effective results for the client. Quite simply, dedicated ethnic agencies understand the culture, mindsets, needs and perceptions of our market segments best because we are, in fact, members of the ethnic community.

Continue reading "The Multicultural Tango " »

Hispanic Marketing, a Hot Business for 2005

Source: Entrepreneur Magazine, December 2004 Edition

The Hispanic market is sizzling-Hispanic purchasing power is expected to hit $1.2 trillion in 2010. "This has become a highly desirable market for mainstream Americans," says Elena del Valle, president of the Hispanic Marketing & Communication Association.

But over the past three years, leading U.S. advertisers budgeted an average of just 2.4 percent of their resources to target Hispanic consumers, according to the Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies. The time is ripe to help these companies decipher the vast Hispanic market and target their marketing dollars to reach this prized demographic.

One possible niche is teaching companies how to communicate in Hispanic-oriented media and how to be sensitive to this market when mass marketing. Advertisers are seeking specific, up-to-date information on the Hispanic market-even down to the size and purchasing habits of Hispanics in a certain ZIP code. Becoming an expert on the types of segmentation is key-for example, you must know how the Los Angeles Hispanic population differs from that of Miami or New York City.

Tony Moreno founded, a provider of multimedia and marketing services for the Hispanic market, in Pembroke Pines, Florida, in 1998. "Hispanics are very proud of their culture and generally like to be catered to in their own language and according to their cultural heritage," says Moreno, 38. He's built his international company into a six-figure business by coordinating and producing events such as a pageant and fashion show in Florida aimed at the Hispanic market.

"It's hard to find an industry today that shouldn't have a Hispanic marketing strategy," says Luis Garcia, president and founder of Garcia 360 , a Hispanic advertising firm in San Antonio, Texas. Use that to your advantage when marketing your services: Show companies examples of other businesses whose sales have grown after targeting the Hispanic market. Just about any industry is worth a look-food retailing, clothing, financial services, travel, manufacturing. Simply determine which industries and companies are a good match for your skills.

Community Banker’s Guide to Hispanic Marketing

On January 19th Jesse Torres shared with me a white paper he recently authored for Cal National Bank where he occupies the position of Senior Vice President.

Jesse graciously gave me the OK to make this information available to you: download document

Positive Imagery and Community Development in Ethnic Marketing

Earlier this month I received an email from Stefannie Bernstein, who recently completed her masters degree from Johns Hopkins University, concentrating her thesis on multicultural marketing. She thoroughly worked during several month to shorten her paper in order to publish it with Gnovis: Georgetown University's peer reviewed communications journal.

Below is a link to download the paper; Stefannie really wants to share it with you, being certain that you will enjoy it; I did and highly recommend you read it to.

Download article

Five ways in which Lawyers can better serve their Latino clients

Some time ago I discovered a weblog called the [non]billable hour. It has a feature called "Five by Five" where five experts provide their five answers to a given question. Inspired by it, I decided to speak to the five ways in which I believe lawyers can provide better service to their Hispanic customers…

LawyerI address this subject fully assuming that you Mrs. / Mr. Lawyer have realized the opportunities that exist through catering to the needs of the largest minority in the Nation. To successfully accomplish this, some adaptations must take place within your practice:

1. Have a multicultural & bilingual staff: Even if your client speaks perfect English, with our without an accent, you must be aware of the fact that they could be much more comfortable and/or acquainted with the legal terms in their native language. So recognizing that simple fact and having at least one bilingual member of your staff, well versed in legal terms in Spanish as well as in English, will have a big impact in your practice. Still, speaking their language accounts for only half the battle, the person who acts as a liaison between you and your new clients ought to understand their culture. It really doesn’t matter if he/she is Hispanic or not, they must know what Latinos hold close to their hearts, what makes them tick, what to stay away from, and be able to achieve a comfortable, clear interaction between all parties involved.

Remember that Latin American countries have legal systems based on Civil Law, while the United States’ is based on Common Law. Be aware of the differences and be ready to explain them, if needed, to your Hispanic clients.

2. Empathize with your Latino/a client: Make a conscientious effort to recognize the person in front of you. They are seeking your council, your expertise, and they will cherish you allowing a couple of (non-billable) minutes for small talk, show your “unguarded” side. It doesn’t need to be a long period of time; a couple minutes per visit will do. Bottom line, get to really know your clients and let them really get to know you. Whether you are a real “people person” or not, please be yourself, do not put on a show (you may not be as great as an actor as you think you are). They are not expecting you to be all “touchy-feely”, they just need you to openly show you are dealing with another human being, and you truly acknowledge their presence and their needs.

3. Do NOT succumb to stereotypes
: When talking about Latinos / Hispanics, you need to fully understand that there is as much, if not more, diversity among them as within Non-Hispanic whites. You can go from the low-income, first generation, Spanish-only speaking person, all the way to the other end of the spectrum to a very wealthy, 4th or 5th generation, white collar individual, who barely speaks Spanish or does not speak it at all, to anyone and everyone in between. Then you have to add other layers of complexity… To which country or countries can their roots be traced? What is their level of Acculturation / Assimilation?

Do not judge them by their looks or their accent. Even if 65% of all Latinos are from Mexican descent, do not take that piece of information for granted. Ask questions and carefully listen to the answers in order to adapt and react to the new information being gathered.

4. Do your homework
: If you are really committed to grow your Hispanic practice, make it a habit to keep on learning about their culture, demographics, immigration trends, idiosyncrasies… Find online resources, magazines, newspapers, TV networks/programs that give you a broader perspective. Gain as much possible knowledge prior to openly beginning to attract Latino customers, but use it as pure research and display it openly only if the situation calls for it, otherwise you’ll come off as condescending.

5. Recognize the market potential
: According to the U.S. Census Bureau, by 2050 Hispanics will constitute 24% of the nation’s total population, or 100.8 million people. Which means that one out of four of your potential clients will be a Latino/a. Get a head start; begin investing time, effort and money in this community today. Show them you are there, show them you care. By delighting one Hispanic customer today, given that their relationships at both family and acquaintance level are stronger, there is an enormous potential for referrals. Begin today, it makes good business sense.

Jewelry Needs of the Surging Hispanic Market

January 26, 2005
Via National Jeweler

With some predicting that the Hispanic market's annual spending could exceed $1 trillion by 2008, U.S. marketing experts and retailers are scrambling to find ways to serve this "hidden giant."

Now the jewelry industry is following suit, with the Jewelry Consumer Opinion Council (JCOC) announcing its third "webinar," slated for Feb. 26, to help educate jewelers about the topic.

"The Hispanic Jewelry Market in the U.S.A.: The Hidden Giant," will be a 90-minute interactive virtual seminar focusing upon the Hispanic community's jewelry-buying habits and expectations, according to a JCOC release issued Tuesday. Citing statistics that show 39 million Latinos within the U.S. who spent more than $700 million in 2003, the council aims "to help the jewelry industry take its piece of the pie," according to the release.

Like JCOC's previous two online seminars, presenters of the Hispanic-focused session will include MVI Marketing President Elizabeth Chatelain and JCOC Market Research Manager Destini Gillham. Topics will include how Hispanic consumers react to recent fine jewelry trends, like right-hand rings and three-stone jewelry.

"Almost every geographic area of the country has a Hispanic market," Chatelain said in the release, "and all retailers should be benefiting from it. It is an untapped market of tremendous potential, and most retailers happen into it by accident."

My good friend and experienced Hispanic Market researcher, Suzanne Lopez de Irizarry, from Bilingual Research Services, had this words of wisdom to share with JCOC's staff:

I was pleased by the JCOC’s initiative of having conducted and made available a study on Hispanic use and attitudes towards jewelry. At the same time, I was shocked to hear that the study was only conducted online and in English, while not specifying such crucial element in your communications of the study. The press release, as I read in the National Jeweler publication, gave the impression that the study is representative of the US Hispanic population.

I believe this misperception and misrepresentation is a gross disservice to marketers of jewelry and Hispanic population at large. By excluding the Spanish dominant and the segment of the Hispanic population that is not online, your results may be as non-applicable to the general Hispanic market as conducting a study solely in English and generalizing the results to the populations of the 22 Spanish speaking countries in the American continent, the Caribbean, and Europe. Spending patterns/prioritization, jewelry tastes and needs, and purchase process needs of the offline Hispanic may be more different than those of an online Hispanic versus an online non-Hispanic!

Spanish Credit Card Portal Opens

January 27, 2005
Source: PRWEB via Yahoo!, a one stop shop for credit cards and prepaid debit card products is officially opened for business. The uniqueness of the site is that content is available in both English and Spanish, targeting the ever growing Hispanic/Latino markets in the United States.

"I am very excited about launching this business and the idea of becoming the premier financial credit card and debit card portal for the USA Spanish community", said Mark Colyer, owner and developer of the site.

"We feel the spanish market is poorly represented in this sector, and the always important need to establish ones credit history and sound financial future is a true growth opportunity for this market"., meaning "" in Spanish, receives thousands of random hits throughout any one day from Spanish people worldwide searching for a credit card.

"My goal within the next 90 days is to establish a Latin America, Caribbean, and Europe credit card issuer relationship, to cater to the many customers in those areas of the world that visit the site daily", said Colyer. "Then, we will have a true global spanish financial portal."

Latino markets and wholesalers in St. Louis are widening their offerings

January 20, 2005
By Shera Dalin

The ingredients required by the Hispanic melting pot in St. Louis are challenging local Latin markets to broaden their inventories to meet demand for yuca, mojo, banana soda and other products.

The more than 22,000 Mexicans and Mexican-Americans in the St. Louis area dominate the Hispanic population, according to 2000 census data. But people from other Spanish-speaking nations increasingly are moving here, too.

"We are getting more of an influx in the last few years from Central and South America," said Rafael Trabanco, co-owner of La Tropicana market near St. Louis Hills.

Like many other Latin markets, La Tropicana and the Trabanco family's distribution operation are carrying a wider inventory of products to satisfy non-Mexican Hispanics.

La Tropicana stocks plantain chips for Caribbean Latinos, Inca Kola for Peruvians, and Spanish-style chorizo for a variety of tastes. Trabanco also is seeing more demand for sundries with Spanish branding.

"Now with the Spanish channels on cable, you are seeing more Spanish advertising pushing those products," he said.

Over the last four years, Hispanic advertising nationwide shot up 45 percent to $3.1 billion, according to Hispanic Business magazine. Advertisers are paying particular attention to the $540 billion buying-power of Latinos, after they eclipsed blacks as the largest minority group at 38.8 million people in 2002.

Tienda Centro Americana in Maplewood opened two years ago to cater to Mexicans and Hondurans, said the market's new owner, Patricia Lynn.

She brings in green bananas that haven't been treated to speed ripening, as well as cheese, banana soda - her biggest seller - and other products from Honduras. The result: About half her clientele is from Honduras.

Similarly, Carniceria Latino Americana in St. Ann carries yuca, a starchy root; sweet potatoes; fresh, unshelled garbanzo beans; mamey fruit and other items for increasing numbers of Cubans, Guatemalans, Salvadorans and Hondurans who patronize the store, said employee Ana Dominguez.

Average sales have doubled or tripled from $500 a day a few years ago, said Dominguez, who works 12-hour days every day at the store.

Continue reading "Latino markets and wholesalers in St. Louis are widening their offerings" »

Hispanic Online Advertising Trended Upwards in 2004

January 21, 2005
Source:Cynthia Turner's Cynopsis

The latest data from The HispanicWebMonitor (Media Economics Group) reports an upward spiral in 2004's online advertisement trends. According to the report, the December estimates showed there were 939 original Hispanic online brands/campaigns and 439 new Hispanic online advertisers. The amount of unique Hispanic advertisers (parent company) grew nearly 25% from 2003 to 848 in 2004. UniqueHispanic online brand/campaign numbers jumped up 34.7% from 2003 to 2004 with a total of 1,249 for last year. The top online sites and their total number of campaigns/brands this past year were (313 with an 18.70% share), MSN Latino (230 -13.70%), Terra - US Hispanic (158 - 9.40%), (158 - 9.40%), (132 - 7.90%), Starmedia - US Hispanic (122 - 7.30%), El Nuevo Herald (103 - 6.10%), AOL Latino (70 - 4.20%), Yahoo! en Espanol (68 - 4.10%( and (49 - 2.90%).

Hispanic-style cheeses make a name in speciality market

January 12, 2005   
By Laura Werlin

'HABLA QUESO" may not produce picture-perfect smiles, but Hispanic-style cheeses certainly do. They are versatile, varied in texture and their fresh milk flavor makes them pleasing to almost anyone who enjoys cheese.

Because of the fast-growing Hispanic immigrant population in the United States, these cheeses have found a permanent place in American cuisine, both at home and in restaurants, and represent one the fastest-growing sectors of the specialty cheese market in the United States.

California is the largest producer of Hispanic cheese, with production in the Golden State having more than doubled in the past 10 years from 34.8 million pounds to 82.3 million pounds.

Despite their growing popularity, these cheeses still remain unfamiliar to many of us. Their Spanish names and the terms used to describe them differ from American and European cheeses. For one, Hispanic cheeses are either fresh or they are dried. With European and American cheeses, we use the term "aged" instead of "dried," but with Hispanic cheeses, "dried" is a literal term meaning that their texture comes from being salted, pressed and dried rather than aged over a period of time.

Continue reading "Hispanic-style cheeses make a name in speciality market" »

A Changing America: How Three Companies Are Catering to the Hispanic/Latino Growth Market

January, 2004
Source: Knowledge@Wharton 

(Thanks to Ed Lanza from HispaniCon for sending me a link to this story)

The participants in "A Changing America" panel at the recent Wharton Latin American Conference hardly needed reminding that 40 million Hispanics live in the United States today, accounting for 14% of the total U.S. population and establishing a base as the largest minority group and the fastest growing population segment in the country.

Which was exactly the point. Instead, the three panel representatives from Citigroup, People en Espanol and Univision discussed how their banking, magazine and television entertainment businesses have successfully captured the Hispanic and Latino markets in the U.S. by designing programs and products specifically tailored to these segments. 

Across these three diverse industries, similar themes emerged, with one overriding message: Though 60% of all Hispanics in the United States come from Mexico, Hispanics are increasingly recognized as a complex, multi-layered population segment that represents many different Latin American nationalities and varying levels of integration within the U.S. economy and the culture. And while the Hispanic population continues to assimilate, its tendency to hold on to its origins and its native language will create a complicated and challenging consumer market -- a "changing America" that won't be easy to define.

"We are not here to try to convince anyone that the Hispanic market is a relevant market, that it is a growing market," said panel moderator Fernando Valenzuela, a member of the Society of Wharton Fellows and the founder and director of Instituto de Desarrollo Empresarial Anáhuac del Sur (IDEAS), a group that brings academic and business worlds together to help Latin America. "We are going beyond that. It's a very live market that is changing every day."

Traditionals, Bi-Culturals and Assimilated
Panelist Rebeca Vargas, Citigroup's vice president and Hispanic markets director, leads the global financial giant's efforts to develop products and services that meet the needs of the Hispanic population. Citigroup recognizes that "there are three different types of Hispanics in this country," said Vargas: the Traditionals, those Hispanics who only recently came to this country, speak only Spanish, prefer to live in Hispanic neighborhoods, and do not use banks or banking services; the Bi-Culturals, Hispanics who have been in the U.S. longer, speak both languages, live in-between cultures, and "have their own bank accounts but still walk across the street to send money to their relatives through Western Union;" and third, the Assimilated, Hispanics who have lived the longest in the U.S., speak primarily English, have a higher level of education, and use financial services similar to the banking patterns of the general market.

Citigroup's outreach efforts focus on helping Hispanics -- especially the Traditionals and Bi-Culturals -- overcome what Vargas called the Hispanic population's "barriers to financial services ... Hispanics may lack identification or proof of address. They are unfamiliar with what the (banking) products and services are, due to lack of access in their country of origin. They feel intimidated dealing with a financial institution. Culturally, they have been used to living in a cash-culture basis. And Hispanics usually prefer face-to-face interactions and acquire products through word of mouth."

Continue reading "A Changing America: How Three Companies Are Catering to the Hispanic/Latino Growth Market" »

Houston company now dominates Central Texas' Hispanic radio market

Border Media, with 7 of 8 local stations, plans more growth

January 11, 2005
By Claudia Grisales

There's a new king of Latino radio in town.

Border Media Partners LLC of Houston now owns seven of Central Texas' eight Spanish-language radio stations. Border Media chief executive Tom Castro says big changes are in store, with plans to alter music formats on several stations, search for a new Austin home, and expand and improve operations.

"We will be the dominant Hispanic broadcaster in Austin," Castro said. "We love the Austin market, we think it has a great future and we think the Latino community in Austin will be a big part of that future."

Nationally, Spanish-language radio has about 8 percent of the market. But individual stations top the rankings in many cities, including Houston, New York and Los Angeles. In the most recent Arbitron survey, the morning show on Mexican regional music station KHHL-FM, "Exitos 98.9," was the most listened-to station among all 18- to 34-year-olds last summer, ahead of rock station KLBJ-FM (93.7).

Border Media, the country's largest privately held Latino radio chain, now owns 34 stations in several Texas cities, most of them acquired in the past year. Castro co-founded the company in 2002 and has raised $275 million in backing from Wall Street firms and individual investors.

Continue reading "Houston company now dominates Central Texas' Hispanic radio market" »

Burger King, Latin Music Stars Translate "Have It Your Way"

January 11, 2005
By Amy Johannes

PilarobieBurger King Corp. has partnered with Latin music stars Pilar Montenegro and Obie Bermúdez to promote a new sweepstakes in which one grand-prize winner can receive a $10,000 gift card.

The company will feature the pair in Spanish-language TV, radio and P-O-P materials targeting Whopper eaters in the Hispanic community to enter the Un Dia A Tu Manera sweepstakes in February.

The A Tu Manera, or Have it Your Way, sweepstakes brings consumers back to customizing their burgers the way they want them. Consumers can fill out an entry at 750 participating restaurants nationwide. Participating location include Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Chicago and Houston.

Continue reading "Burger King, Latin Music Stars Translate "Have It Your Way"" »

Sony Launches Spanish Language Web Site Designed for U.S. Hispanic Media

December 21, 2004
via PRNewswire-FirstCall

SonySony Electronics announced the official launch of a dedicated Spanish-language web site to provide the latest news and information about the company, its products and technologies to U.S.-based Hispanic media. Sony is the first major consumer electronics company to offer a Spanish-language site for press in the U.S.
The new site is designed as a resource to help Sony and the news media better inform the Hispanic population, the fastest growing ethnic group in the U.S. With this new site, Hispanic media in the U.S. media will no longer have to translate Sony press information, enabling them to communicate more effectively and efficiently with their audience.

Continue reading "Sony Launches Spanish Language Web Site Designed for U.S. Hispanic Media" »

Key Hispanic Marketing Trends in 2005

Q&A with Luis Garcia

What will be the most interesting trends in Hispanic marketing in 2005? 

Cross-functional business planning ­ corporations have awakened to the opportunity that the Hispanic/Latino market represents and will go beyond a media only marketing solution to include integrated marketing, product development, customer service, internal training/readiness, corporate responsibility. The winning strategies for 2005 and beyond will address this market opportunity with an integrated 360º business strategy.

Grassroots marketing is finally seeing it's day! Increased investment will go into events and sponsorships that enable brands to get into the community outside the traditional media channels.  We steer our clients in that direction and are able to establish deeper connections for their brands in the community.   
Clients realize that competitors are entering the market fast and furiously and that there is an edge to be found for companies who get their brand into the hands of the consumer first.  That is why events and other on-the-street tactics are becoming more valuable.

Another trend that we predict is the re-introduction of the branded TV show, where product integration beyond placement is negotiated at the time of the media buy.  We have done this successfully for some of our clients and have been able to see much stronger recall and understanding of the message. 

While content integration has been happening on English TV, we will be seeing a lot more of this on Spanish language TV, especially as smaller hungrier media competitors enter the market, like TV Azteca, which are willing to integrate. Telemundo does this well already because their production facilities are in the U.S., giving them more control in the content development and production.

How should advertisers think about this consumer segment next year?

As a market that is beginning to understand its influence, simply recognizing their presence (by doing a few ads in Spanish) will fall short of engaging them in a meaningful way. 
Hispanics want truly committed companies, that not only want to sell to them, but go further to embrace them in everything they do.  People need to view Hispanics as consumers, neighbors, employees, investors... just like everyone else (there is a tendency to think of Hispanics in a homogenous way, as low income immigrants).  Hispanics are poor and rich, tall and short, married and single, employed and unemployed, progressive and traditional.  They are unique in behavior and customs but are part of the overall marketplace, entering society at all levels and in all areas of interest/lifestyle.

Hispanics are re-defining the "General Market".  I think the biggest misconception today is that you should have the general market plan and then separately the Hispanic plan.  That makes no sense!  In places all over the country, if you aren't talking to Hispanics, you're not talking to the market as a whole. 
In some ways Hispanics mirror general or mainstream behavior and in some ways they are different.  Businesses that understand how Hispanics fit into their overall audience and take steps to include them with special efforts that show they understand them will be successful.

Continue reading "Key Hispanic Marketing Trends in 2005" »

Competing for remittances

December 19, 2004
By Joseph Mann

Susana Parra, an Ecuadoran who lives in Oakland Park, sends money home to her family in Guayaquil every two weeks to help pay for groceries and other living expenses.

Parra, who earns money by cleaning homes, previously used Western Union to send funds by wire, but switched to a competing, lower-cost service, DolEx Dollar Express, that makes payments to her mother and her nephew via a bank.

"I changed because Western Union is very expensive," Parra said. "Now I pay $3 or $5 for sending $100, depending on which bank I use. And the service is very good. If I send money by 8 or 9 in the morning, it's there by 1 in the afternoon." Western Union's online calculator said it would cost $15 to send $100 to Ecuador.

Parra is one of millions of Latin American and Caribbean immigrants, both legal and illegal, in the United States who regularly send money to family and friends in their home countries.

These consumer-to-consumer remittances will total about $30 billion this year, according to a report by the Inter-American Development Bank's Multilateral Investment Fund and the Pew Hispanic Center. Florida's burgeoning Hispanic population alone will account for an estimated $2.5 billion.

The personal remittance market is dominated by Western Union, the largest division of Greenwood Village, Colo.-based First Data Corp., which last year had revenues of $8.4 billion, mostly from transfers. But more and more companies, including other transfer agencies like DolEx and Money Gram, banks and online firms are fighting for a piece of this highly profitable business, which generates a fee for each transfer.

Even though competitors don't have a system of agents as large as Western Union's, they are attracting customers by offering lower rates. At a Western Union outlet in Fort Lauderdale, for example, it costs $15 to send $100 to Mexico or Venezuela. At a Money Gram outlet a few blocks away, the fee is $9.99 for Mexico and $8 for Venezuela. In both cases, the companies say, the money arrives at an agent in Latin America within a few hours or less.

Fees vary according to how much money is being sent, how fast it must arrive, the destination and market size.

Typically, a transfer company asks the sender, who usually pays cash, for the name and address of the recipient. Payment can be made at an authorized agent in the foreign country, which could be a foreign exchange house, a bank or other business.

To collect, the recipient must show a valid identification card and provide a code word or number, which is usually sent by telephone. There are limits on transfer amounts to avoid illegal operations, such as exporting the proceeds of narcotics sales.

Continue reading "Competing for remittances" »

Tapping A Market That Is Hot, Hot, Hot

Wealth is soaring among fast-growing Hispanics -- yet 56% have no bank accounts

January 17, 2005 Edition
By Brian Grow

Dollars2When National City Corp. bank decided to roll out 78 new branches in Chicago two years ago, it went in knowing its market. With Hispanics expected to account for virtually all of the city's population growth over the next decade, the bank hired dozens of Spanish-speaking staffers and printed thousands of glossy pamphlets, hawking savings accounts to new immigrants and explaining the benefits of IRAs to more established Latinos. This year, the nation's 10th-largest bank will double its Hispanic marketing budget, targeting middle-class Latinos with direct mail offering mortgage financing and money-market accounts, all written en español. "A simple hello in Spanish," says Christian Sandoval, vice-president of Hispanic marketing at National City, "can open the door to a Hispanic better than a product with a 4.5% interest rate."

From Bank of America Corp. to Banco Popular, tapping into the growing Hispanic market is increasingly key for U.S. financial institutions. Indeed, U.S. banks may soon go on a shopping spree in search of smaller regional players with ties to Latino communities. They'd better hurry: Foreign banks such as Spain's Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria have already snapped up banks in Texas, California, and Florida. Now, predicts Jack M. W. Phelps, senior financial analyst for the the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., "we'll see domestic banks buying small Hispanic-oriented banks to acquire their skills."

Continue reading "Tapping A Market That Is Hot, Hot, Hot" »

Population Growth Fuels Boom in Spanish-language Publications

December 22, 2004
By Mary Aviles

This year has been a boom one for Spanish-language media in the United States, which has seen the birth of new publications as well as mergers and purchases involving large corporations.

Even as the circulation of English-language newspapers continues to decline slightly, the Spanish print media are thriving, both in number and in dollar figures.

According to the magazine Hispanic Business, between 2000 and 2003, the number of U.S. Hispanic publications grew 14.2 percent, spurred in part by the 2000 census' revelation that the nation's 38 million Hispanics now constitute its largest minority.

One of the factors fueling this growth is the interest of U.S. businesses in reaching the Hispanic market.

One indication of the earnestness of the scramble to capture the $600 billion-plus Hispanic market was The Atlanta Journal Constitution's purchase of the weekly Mundo Hispanico and the Washington Post's acquisition of El Tiempo Latino.

"They (the Journal Constitution's publishers) wanted to enter Atlanta's Hispanic market, and on trying to decide whether to start their own publication or buy an established one, they decided on Mundo Hispanico," that publication's editor, Lino Dominguez, told EFE at the time of the deal.

"For us, the acquisition by The Washington Post Company represents an important step in the building of a bridge between cultures and signals the growing stature of our Latino community," El Tiempo Latino founder Armando Chapelli told EFE.

The large media companies have become aware of the potential of Hispanic publications to reach a coveted market, he added.

Continue reading "Population Growth Fuels Boom in Spanish-language Publications" »

Spicing Up the Shelves

Publix to Launch Store-Brand Hispanic Products

January 4, 2005
By Selina Roman

Publix Super Markets will be offering more "sabor," or flavor, on its shelves when it breaks new grocery ground by launching its store-brand Hispanic products this year.

The launch, planned for the first quarter of this year, is another indicator that Hispanic culture in America has gone mainstream, and shows the growing purchasing power and influence of Hispanics in Florida and the nation.

Items like frozen plantains and ready-to-eat black beans will give the store an edge over its competitors and offer customers more variety.

The Lakeland-based chain, ranked in the top 10 among grocery retailers, is one of the first in the Southeast to launch its own private-label ethnic foods. Publix ranked ninth among the top 75 food retailers nationwide with sales of nearly $17 billion in 2003, according to Supermarket News, a trade publication.

The new line of foods will compete against more established brands like Goya and Badia, but at a lower price, spokeswoman Maria Rodamis said. The products will be offered at all Publix stores. Rodamis said private label products typically offer about a 10 to 30 percent savings to consumers, compared to national brand labels.

A Palmetto company is also part of the recipe. Jonathan Greenlaw, who owns The Palmetto Canning Co., will make and bottle Publix's mojo marinade in his Palmetto plant. The company also bottles marinades for Goya, a New Jerseybased Hispanic foods company.

Continue reading "Spicing Up the Shelves" »

More Big Retailers Expand Hispanic Marketing Strategies

Ikea, Home Depot, JCPenney Change to Court Lucrative Market

January 3, 2005
By Mercedes M. Cardona

In what appears to be a major expansion of their marketing programs as well as their attitudes, many big U.S. retailers are spending more to target Hispanics and doing serious research to identify and develop Hispanic-designated stores.

Retailers ranging from home-improvement chain Home Depot and electronics giant Circuit City to department stores like JCPenney and discounters such as Target Stores are adding bilingual signage, collateral materials and staff and tweaking merchandise to appeal to a growing Latino community that accounts for 14% of the U.S. population but shops disproportionately in certain areas.

Spanish signage
“We just felt it was the next level of communication for us,” said Rich D’Amico, Ikea’s regional marketing manager. In September Ikea broke its first original Hispanic TV commercials -- and added Spanish-language signage in stores in five markets: Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and New Haven, Conn. At the same time, Ikea did its first Spanish-language catalog, and its “How to shop Ikea” video will get a Spanish-language version shortly, Mr. D’Amico said. Anita Santiago Advertising, Santa Monica, Calif., did the ads.

Aggressively courting Hispanic shoppers, JCPenney used U.S. Census data and its own market research to identify several Hispanic-designated stores. Changes there include bilingual signage, gift cards and credit applications, plus stocking more colors and sizes Hispanic consumers want, said Manny Fernandez, manager for multicultural and specialty marketing. “It’s about providing merchandise that’s relevant,” he said. He noted some stores stock jewelry appropriate for quinceaneras, the 15th-birthday celebration Hispanic families throw for their daughters.

In Hispanic marketing, a little can go a long way, experts said.

“You get great credit for saying ‘This store’s for you,’” said Randy Curtis, market strategist at consultancy Bueno Curtis Behavioral Marketing and a former Wal-Mart Stores marketer.

Continue reading "More Big Retailers Expand Hispanic Marketing Strategies" »

Meredith Promotes Gaviria to Head Hispanic Ventures

December 16, 2004
By Mickey Alam Khan

Meredith Corp. promoted Ruth Gaviria to publisher and executive director of Hispanic ventures for Meredith Publishing Group.

The 43-year-old executive is charged with increasing Meredith's presence in the Hispanic market. Based in New York, she already has helped develop Hispanic products across several Meredith businesses, including custom publishing, new business development and the publisher's American Baby products.

Prior to joining Meredith earlier this year, Gaviria was director of marketing and brand development for Time Inc.'s People en Espanol magazine. She created a full-service marketing operation for People's Spanish-language sibling, signature branded events and research efforts.


Advertisers look to Hispanic market

Spending power of the nation's largest ethnic group is growing at thrice the general population's

December 16, 2004
By Robert Barba

Marketing geared toward Hispanics has reached $3 billion so far in 2004, up 11 percent from last year.

That number is expected to rise to $3.6 billion by 2007, according to Hispanic Business Inc., which released "U.S. Hispanic Media Markets Report, 2000-2007" earlier this week.

"The Hispanic market is growing faster than the (general) market," said Juan Solana, chief economist of HispanTelligence, the research division of Hispanic Business Inc.

Solana said that the spending power of the general population of the U.S. has risen 2.8 percent annually over the past decade, while Hispanic spending power has risen 7.5 percent.

In 2004, Solana said that the spending power of Hispanics in the U.S. is $700 billion and that it's expected to reach $1 trillion by 2010.

The 2000 census is a major contributor in the surge of Hispanic marketing. Advertisers realized they had "a largely underserved" market of 35 million, Solana said.

The U.S. Hispanic population has since risen to 39 million, according to census estimates. Hispanics make up 17.1 percent of Colorado's 4.3 million residents. Denver is 31.7 percent Hispanic.

Advertising agencies catering to the Hispanic market have grown.

Denver-based Heinrich Marketing Inc. in 2000 launched a division called Heinrich Hispanidad to focus on Hispanic marketing.

The division has six staffers handling accounts with the Colorado Department of Transportation, Federated Department Stores, DexMedia Inc. and Focus on the Family. Hispanic marketing accounts for 20 percent of the agency's total business, said Laura Sonderup, director of Hispanidad.

In addition to a growing market, companies feeling the crunch of a weak economy are looking for new customers to help their bottom line, Sonderup said.

As the industry expands, agencies are encountering an extremely segmented population, Solana said. Beyond core Hispanic cultural stereotypes such as food, family and music, advertisers have to learn to discern other factors such as language and national origin.

"We teach our client that it is not a monolithic marketplace - such as Hispanic doesn't mean Spanish-dominant," Sonderup said.

Los Angeles, Miami and New York City are the biggest markets for Hispanic advertising, according to HispanTelligence.

Source: The Denver Post

Dr Pepper Taps The Cartel Group for Hispanic Marketing Campaign

December 14, 2004
Via News Release by The Cartel Group

Cadbury Schweppes Americas Beverages the Texas-based subsidiary division of London-based Cadbury Schweppes plc, announced that it has selected San Antonio-based The Cartel Group as the agency of record for Hispanic market efforts for its Dr Pepper brand.

Dp“Our vision is to accelerate the growth of Dr Pepper among Hispanic consumers by strengthening our relationship with our current Hispanic consumer base as well as capturing the attention of potential new users in this growing segment,” said Omar Garcia, Director of Multicultural Marketing for CSAB. “We are confident that we have selected a solid marketing partner in The Cartel Group. Their beverage and Hispanic consumer marketing experience will add tremendous value to our team,” added Garcia.

The agency’s responsibilities will include strategic support, media planning and advertising development. Billings for the campaign will hover in the low seven figures.

“We are honored to be able to leverage our skill set to serve such a terrific brand in this exciting campaign. Both Dr Pepper and The Cartel Group are ‘Texas born and bred’,” said Jesús Ramírez, Chief Creative Officer at the multicultural agency. “We both share a passion to reach Hispanics and are proud of our roots in this state. Our team members started this pitch as Dr Pepper lovers, but we were enlightened on the brand’s strength and its uniqueness by our research,” he concluded.

Thanks to Gustavo Bujada for sharing this news release with us.

PowerChannel, Inc. Launches First Phase of National Hispanic Infomercial Campaign

December 15, 2004
Via PRNewswire-FirstCall

PowerChannel, Inc. announced it that it has launched the test phase of a national Hispanic infomercial campaign.  The 30-minute Spanish-language infomercial, produced by Incredible Discoveries of Pompano Beach, Fla., promotes PowerChannel's low-cost, user-friendly Internet access product. It is scheduled to air in major national Hispanic markets, (i.e., Los Angeles, New York, Chicago).
"We believe a 30-minute format is the best vehicle to thoroughly showcase our products," said PowerChannel CEO Steve Lampert.  "We believe our core Hispanic market is one of the fastest-growing minority groups in the United States yet it has historically had one of the lowest levels of Internet penetration of any major ethnic group. PowerChannel products address such Internet access needs and the infomercial provides a comprehensive overview of the practicality of our products, as well as a simplified means to make a purchase."

Continue reading "PowerChannel, Inc. Launches First Phase of National Hispanic Infomercial Campaign" »

A New 'Daddy' for the Hispanic Market

December 15, 2004
By Holly M. Sanders

PedroPedro Martinez may not stay with the World Champion Boston Red Sox, but signing with the Mets will put him in place to win big with advertisers looking to reach New York's huge Hispanic population.

As a Latino sports star, Martinez is in a unique position to court baseball fans with a jump from Boston to New York, which is home to a large and growing Hispanic population, sports marketers said.

In particular, Martinez, as a native of the Dominican Republic, would hold special appeal for Dominicans, who are rapidly overtaking Puerto Ricans as the city's largest Hispanic group.

"They really embrace their native players," said Jim Andrews, editorial director of the IEG Sponsorship report. "If you wanted to reach Dominicans, he is one of your biggest stars."

Continue reading "A New 'Daddy' for the Hispanic Market " »

MKTG Offers Hispanic Program

December 12, 2004
Via DMNews

MKTG Services Inc. announced its management of the new-to-market Valores de Correo (Values by Mail) package insert program launching in March.

The program will reach 500,000 Hispanic households nationwide. The source of the names is MKTG's Compramos database of Hispanic direct mail and catalog buyers. The buyers are 80 percent female and have household incomes surpassing $40,000. The program costs $45/M.

MKTG, Newtown, PA, created the program in response to a broker survey it conducted in October in which respondents identified the Hispanic market as a desired target audience, the firm said. MKTG suggests this program for offers such as apparel, accessories, credit cards, music/video, gifts, fundraisers, magazines and offers geared to the Hispanic and Spanish-speaking markets.

Automakers Target Hispanic Market

Chevy, Ford and others going after an American revolution – Latino style.

December 13, 2004
by Paul A. Eisenstein               

Folks watching the World Series a few months back might have thought there'd been a mistake at the network when a Chevrolet truck ad popped up. As a Silverado pickup rolled across the screen, the announcer's message was delivered entirely in Spanish. But it wasn't an error.

Earlier this year, Chevrolet launched a new ad campaign dubbed "Subete" or "come onboard," the Spanish counterpart to the automaker's American Revolution campaign. Once the most popular car brand within the country's diverse Hispanic community, Chevy is hoping to regain lost ground by polishing its image through the high-budget effort. It has been sponsoring the popular Hispanic music awards, El Premio De La Gente. Determined by fans' votes, Chevy is even sponsoring appearances by nominees at showrooms in Latino communities.

The World Series ad, titled "Tribute," was the most high-profile effort to date, and the first to reach out through the mainstream, normally English-speaking media.

General Motors' largest division is by no means the only automotive brand taking aim at the Hispanic market. Ford invested heavily to target the Latino community, among many ethnic groups, with the launch of its redesigned F-Series pickup. And the payoff has been spectacular, Ford setting all-time sales records in 2004 with the full-size truck.

According to General Manager Steve Lyons, the eaking market. "But the Ford Division now devotes 15 percent of its marketing and advertising budget to the country's Spanish-spreal question is how much we've increased that spending," he says, answering that, "it is up 400 percent in two years."

Continue reading "Automakers Target Hispanic Market" »

Cultural differences key to successful Hispanic marketing

December 13, 2004
By David Gurliacci

Advertising and marketing to a Hispanic audience means paying attention to cultural differences even more than a different language, according to Westchester business people who have done it.

"There's just an automatic assumption that all people from all different races react to the same product the same way," said Maria Perez, owner of Adventures in Advertising/New Dimensions in Marketing, an Elmsford company that sells promotional products and related services for marketing campaigns directed toward Hispanics.

A Hispanic consumer often will have different interests than an average American consumer, so a simple translation often doesn't work as well as a re-crafted marketing campaign in which even subtle changes can be important, the executives said.

"Something that the average American person may like may not do anything for the Hispanic person," said Perez, a native of Spain who is married to a native of Peru.

Family-related promotional products - something that parents can take home to their children - are distinctly more popular with Hispanic audiences than with the general population, Perez said.

For Three Kings Day, a popular Jan. 6 holiday in many Hispanic cultures, a Spanish-language television station in Arizona promoted itself by providing children the opportunity to have their picture taken with the three kings or Santa Claus, she said. Her company arranged to get frames for the pictures featuring the name of the television station and a sister station in Arizona.

In another marketing campaign, Perez found that home fingerprinting kits that parents can use to keep identification material of their children was a very popular promotional item. The kits would come in handy if the child were missing or somehow needed to be identified. The kits even came with the ability to take DNA samples, she said.

Miguel A. Blanco, associate publisher of El Aguila, a 7-year-old biweekly Hispanic newspaper based in White Plains, agreed that products that appeal to families tend to be popular among Hispanic buyers.

"If they (businesses) have a family-related product, I'm always saying that they can capitalize on that," Blanco said. Sons and daughters are more likely to continue living with their parents, or live nearby even if they marry, he said, so an individual Hispanic consumer may be buying for more people, often other adults.

With people from so many different Hispanic cultures in the United States, marketers need to be careful about using slang or other words and phrases if they are trying to appeal to Hispanics in general, said W. Garrison Jackson, owner of Circulation Experti Ltd. in White Plains, a national public relations, advertising and marketing consulting firm specializing in African-American and, since 1999, Hispanic marketing.

Continue reading "Cultural differences key to successful Hispanic marketing" »

Businesses Scratch a Niche

Largely non-Latino entrepreneurs mine market for all things Mexican.

December 12, 2004
By Sam Quinones

When hundreds of immigrants celebrated Mexico's Independence Day at an Anaheim parking lot, they transformed the tarmac into a boisterous village carnival.

Vendors sold T-shirts with images of revolutionary Emiliano Zapata and his latter-day namesake, the Zapatista Revolutionary Army. Food stands hustled tacos and churros, sugary fried dough.

The crowd cheered as an announcer called out the names of Mexican states.

On that Orange County street corner, everything was cien por ciento Mexicano -- 100% Mexican. Everything, that is, but the man staging the event.

Ted Holcomb doesn't speak Spanish. He has never been to Mexico. Yet he has learned to put on carnivals across Southern California that mirror the annual festivals that Mexican villages hold to honor their patron saints.

"I have a closet full of [Spanish] books and tapes," Holcomb said. "I just don't have time to study them."

Over the past decade, Holcomb has carved a sizable business niche by offering an echo of home to thousands of Mexican immigrants.

He is not alone.

Continue reading "Businesses Scratch a Niche" »

Online Holiday Shopping Not So Feliz for Latinos

Most online retailers do not offer content and services in Spanish to reach multicultural shoppers

December 7, 2004
Via Hispanic PR Wire

Area malls and retail stores are often brimming with holiday shoppers come this time of year, hoping to find the perfect gift for loved ones and friends. But as any hurried shopper can attest, sometimes the crowds at the stores and long lines at the checkout counters can take the "merry" out of the holiday season. That's why many shoppers look for alternative ways to do their shopping that don't involve the hassle of getting in the car and spending all day at the store.

Online retailers offer the convenience of fast shopping from the privacy and comfort of your own home. With the click of a button you can purchase gifts and have them shipped directly to your house. Some will even do the wrapping for you. However, as Latinos and other ethnicities are learning, not all of these online retailers make shopping convenient for those who speak English as a second language.

Common Sense Advisory, Inc., an independent research firm, has researched online communications, customer service practices, and business-to-consumer marketing for online retailers and published a study on the ability of these firms to reach the American Latino community online. Unfortunately the results aren't promising for the Hispanic community.

According to the study, of the top 50 online retailers, only four offer content in Spanish. The results are based on the sites' multicultural content, e-mail and Web forms and whether customer service representatives are able to communicate in both English and Spanish.

Continue reading "Online Holiday Shopping Not So Feliz for Latinos" »

Arbitron Adds Black, Hispanic and Asian Reports to Local Market Commuter Profiles

Ethnic Commuter Profiles Provide Diverse Information for the American Marketplace

December 8, 2004
Via Arbitron's Website

(Thanks to for making me aware of this information)

TrafficArbitron Inc. announced that it has compiled detailed ethnic commuter profiles utilizing Census 2000 and Arbitron data to provide valuable information to the radio industry about ethnic commuters' travel time, time of departure and method of getting to work. This free tool is expanded to offer profiles covering Persons 16+ for Hispanic, Black, Asian, and Non-Hispanic White demographic segments.

Arbitron has posted the new profiles with the general population profiles on its Web site.

In Each Profile you will find:

  • Travel Time – Commuting time is broken out in increments, starting with less than 15 minutes and going up to 60 minutes or more. Average travel time in the Metro is also available.
  • Time of Departure – From the early birds to the swing-shift workers, the profiles have everyone covered.
  • Method of Getting to Work – Workers are categorized according to whether they drive to work alone, carpool, use public transportation, walk to work, work at home, or use another means of getting to their workplace.


Continue reading "Arbitron Adds Black, Hispanic and Asian Reports to Local Market Commuter Profiles" »

Grocery giant spicing up store brands with Hispanic Flavors

December 3, 2004
By Nicole Garrison-Sprenger

Once the ugly ducklings of the grocery industry, store brands have become geese that lay gold for the two major food distributors in the Twin Cities.

Now the companies, Supervalu Inc. and Nash Finch Co., are taking steps to goose those profits even more... Supervalu is... focused on becoming a leader in product development.

There's always been a 'me too' attitude with private label," said Craig Espelien, general director of store brands and strategic sourcing. "Now there is more of an impetus to create signature items."

One example of the trend to create unique store-brand products is Supervalu's planned introduction early next year of its Carlita line of Hispanic foods.

"People want something different and Hispanic food seems to be where the consumer is moving to," Espelien said. "We're trying to get out in front of that."

This is a very wise move, Bishop said, pointing to a marked increase in the Hispanic population in the United States as well as a general shift in the American palette toward spicier food.

"Private label with a Hispanic line offers the opportunity for increased uniqueness and differentiation, but it also opens the possibility to break into whole new categories of Hispanic food," he said...

"Traditionally, private label is easy to merchandise because you're not building an emotional connection to the consumer. You are selling on value and cost," Espelien said. "But when you create a signature brand, you don't want to sell it in that fashion. We want to create a different marketing program that will help connect the consumer to our brands."

Read the complete story at: Minneapolis/St.Paul Business Journal

S.C. credit union bids for Hispanics

Officials say they go beyond bilingual to offer bicultural services

December 10, 2004   
By Jen Aronoff

Lancaster's newest financial institution has a familiar name but speaks a different language.

Founders Federal Credit Union, based in Lancaster, opened its first completely bilingual branch Thursday. The result of more than two years of planning and outreach, the office at 977 N. Main St. is the first fully bilingual credit union in South Carolina, according to Nicki Amos, Founders' senior vice president of marketing and community relations.

Though such offices are rare in most parts of the county, Founders hopes to serve a segment of the population that has traditionally shied away from established financial institutions.

"Over the past few years, credit unions have been discovering the Hispanic market," said Bill Hampel, chief economist with the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) in Washington. "What they're finding is that it's easier said than done."

According to Sal Estrada, Founders' multicultural coordinator and a loan officer at the new branch, institutions can succeed by gaining Hispanics' trust -- something that begins with eliminating language and cultural barriers.

All seven full-time employees at the new branch are fluent in Spanish and English, and the location also boasts specialized decor and bilingual signs and brochures.

"By knowing our community, we basically know what to offer," Estrada said, noting that Hispanics are especially drawn to a variety of small loans, plus check cashing and money wiring services. "Anybody can be bilingual, but not everyone can be bicultural. We're bicultural, and we take tradition, religion and all the culture into consideration."

Continue reading "S.C. credit union bids for Hispanics" »

HOLIDAY MARKETING: Ads go multicultural to diversify appeals

New looks, sounds win broad audience

December 10, 2004
By Jewel Gopwani

It is 8:30 p.m. and it's time for commercials on prime-time television. A Target ad flashes on the screen. A family digs through their stockings, about to open presents, to a danceable tune that sounds like "Joy to the World," but you can't quite understand it.

That's because it's in Spanish.

Marketers increasingly are going beyond foreign language TV stations to reach a diverse customer base. Target Corp., General Motors Corp. and Major League Baseball have all recently aired ads in Spanish on network television. Locally, the Wayne County Community College District ran a recruitment ad in the general market in Spanish with English subtitles and another in English with Arabic subtitles.

"It's a way for marketers to really stand out," said Bill Duggan, a vice president of the Association of National Advertisers Inc.

Multicultural marketing have been buzzwords for years, especially after the 2000 Census, which showed that 12.5 percent of the population, or 35.3 million people, consider themselves to be Hispanic.

"It is not enough now to just talk to one audience. Our world is becoming more and more diverse every day," said Denise Blaya, supervisor of multicultural marketing for Ketchum Inc.

Advertising in different languages on what is traditionally considered an English-speaking medium is becoming part of marketing campaigns that already consist of ads on foreign language stations and feature diverse faces.

"As the Hispanic market grows, marketers are trying very hard to appeal to them," said Laurel Wentz, international and multicultural editor at Advertising Age. "They're realizing that they're not reaching Hispanics just on Hispanic TV."

Companies are concerned about turning away English-speaking viewers.

Some viewers who didn't understand the Spanish ads aired by Procter & Gamble Co. and GM on network television called the companies wondering what was going on. But both companies said most of the response to their Spanish ads was positive.

Both companies were careful to air their Spanish ads during events they knew would draw Hispanic viewers.

Continue reading "HOLIDAY MARKETING: Ads go multicultural to diversify appeals" »

Executive says companies must embrace diversity to better compete in future

December 9, 2004
Las Vegas Review-Journal

The face of America is changing, and businesses that want to stay ahead of the curve must diversify both their internal operations and customer outreach efforts, a Las Vegas gaming executive said Wednesday.

Speaking at the annual Governor's Conference on Tourism, which closed Wednesday at the Reno Hilton, MGM Mirage Senior Vice President Punam Mathur told an audience of travel professionals they can no longer rely on traditional societal structures when operating their businesses.

Blacks, Asians, Hispanics, gays and other minority groups have an increased role in today's America, and Mathur said tomorrow's successful companies are those that reach out to those groups today.

"There's virtually nothing in our building that won't be impacted by these changes. Nothing," Mathur said after running down a litany of statistics that showed how many minority groups are projected to increase in size, buying power and willingness to travel.

Continue reading "Executive says companies must embrace diversity to better compete in future" »

Where do Mexicans come from?

An assertive point was made by Cheskin’s Lalo Segovia last December 9th regarding the diversity amongst Hispanics, in this case just amongst Mexicans. It is a good wakeup call to all of those trying to gather us Latinos into a monochromatic lump…

Where do Mexicans come from? My colleague Carolina asked. I was preparing myself to hear a funny anecdote or a joke, but she was serious.

The importance of this question became clear to me immediately.

In the last ten years, one of the impacts of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA ) has been the Mexican, Canadian and US companies' expansion into each other's markets encouraged by the lowering of tariffs... Etc.

But, Where do Mexicans come from? This is what many Mexican company brands would like to know.

As more and more Mexican brands continue to enter the US market, their initial consumer target is often US Mexicans, followed by the broader US Hispanic segment. In-language brand communication is essential to make an initial brand connection with these consumers. However, there is one other main issue that needs to be taken into account once the decision to move into the US Hispanic market is made:

Imagine brand Mex is a Mexican beverage. Mex has been in business for 30 years in Mexico. Given regional distribution issues, Mex was only available to consumers in the Central and Northern part of Mexico. However, entry in to the US Hispanic market will be nationwide.

Continue reading "Where do Mexicans come from?" »

U.S. Hispanic Media Markets, 2000-2007

Check out the latest research by HispanTelligence

December 8, 2004
Via and Hispanic PR Wire

Advertisers spent an estimated $3.09 billion in 2004 to market their products and services to U.S. Hispanics, an 11 percent increase from the previous year. The boost comes amid an explosive increase in the U.S. Hispanic population, and surging purchasing power, that has advertisers jockeying for a larger share of this relatively untapped market.

While advertising spending in the top 10 Designated Market Areas has increased 26 percent since 2000, overall advertising spending increased by more than 45 percent – suggesting that advertisers are targeting smaller markets such as Atlanta and Denver in an attempt to increase their reach explained Dr. Juan Solana, HispanTelligence Chief Economist and a co-author of the report. By 2007, HispanTelligence estimates that Hispanic market advertising expenditures will increase to more than $3.60 billion.

Double-digit increases in advertising expenditures were made in all media, but television continued to garner the majority of ad dollars. Television ad spending accounted for more than 64 percent of all expenditures in 2004. In addition, nearly all media examined are predicted to continue double-digit growth through at least 2007. Spanish-language radio is expected to lead the way, with ad expenditure growth of more than 21 percent.

HispanTelligence estimates U.S. Hispanic advertising expenditures over the past five years have remained level at about 2.3 percent of total U.S. advertising expenditures, while steady gains have been made both in Hispanic purchasing power, from 7.3 percent to 8.5 percent, and Hispanic population, from 12.6 percent to 13.5 percent.

The media markets report also analyzes Hispanic disposable income by language preference. While the split between English-dominant and Spanish-dominant Hispanic households is almost even at 48.5 and 51.1 percent, respectively, the distribution of disposable income is not. English-dominant Hispanic households control nearly 60 percent of all Hispanic disposable income. Despite this, HispanTelligence found that Hispanic advertising agencies spend more than 88 percent of total billings on Spanish-language advertisements.

"To maximize return on investment, advertisers must understand which segment of the U.S. Hispanic market they need to target and adjust advertising campaigns accordingly," advised Dr. Solana and report co-author Tabin Cosio.

Product: Market Brief (36 pages) U.S. Hispanic Media Markets, 2000-2007
Catalog: HispanTelligence - Research
Price: $95.00
Unit: PDF Document

Source: HispanTelligence (by clicking on this link you will be directed to a webpage where you can purchase the report)

Hispanic Ad Work That Escapes The Holding Companies

How Independent Latino Agencies Outmanuever the Giants

(A special thank you to Yvonne DiVita from Lip-Sticking for sending me a link to this article)

December 06, 2004
By Laurel Wentz

As marketers increasingly review and align huge accounts at the holding-company level, they sometimes make a little-known exception and entrust their U.S. Hispanic business to fast-growing independent Latino shops instead.

Bank of America, for instance, last year consolidated its $180 million account at Interpublic Group of Cos. after a holding-company shootout against Omnicom Group. To accommodate Bank of America's multicultural needs, Interpublic is creating a unit within Draft Worldwide under Larry Harris to handle African-American and some multicultural responsibilities. Interpublic's Asian-American agency, IW Group, sidestepped a conflict with Washington Mutual by creating a spinoff agency called Ten to handle Bank of America.

Sole survivor

HispanicagenciesBut there is also a sole non-Interpublic survivor on Bank of America's roster: Lopez Negrete Communications, a 100% Hispanic-owned agency that has worked with the marketer for 11 years. Bank of America, Lopez Negrete's biggest client after Wal-Mart, will account for 17% of the agency's 2004 billings, which are up 36% from $80 million last year.

Perhaps the best example of bonding with a non-holding company agency is Zubi Advertising's eight-year relationship with its biggest client, Ford Motor Co. As WPP Group developed into Ford's global marketing partner -- and made several overtures to buy Zubi -- the family-owned Hispanic agency picked up more and more Ford work, even winning business from WPP's own Hispanic agency, Bravo Group.

"Being minority-owned is a benefit for both of us, and helps Ford fulfill minority contractor obligations," said Chief Operating Officer Joe Zubi. "Minority-owned Hispanic agencies tend to be a little more free-thinking and less constrained by profit, more able to serve clients based on their needs rather than the bottom line."

Continue reading "Hispanic Ad Work That Escapes The Holding Companies" »

Que Pasa seeking more Anglo advertising clients

A Hispanic media company is advertising for advertisers

December 6, 2004
By Mark Tosczak

QuepasaLatino Communications Inc., which operates the Que Pasa Spanish-language newspapers and three Spanish-language radio stations in North Carolina, says its campaign to get more English-language businesses to advertise in its media outlets is getting results, though the company won't have a final tally until the campaign is over later this month.

Latino Communications began its advertising campaign in mid-October and will end it in mid-December. The $20,000 advertising push includes ads in the Winston-Salem Journal and commercials on Time-Warner Cable.

Jose Isasi, the CEO of Latino Communications, says the campaign -- the company's first such English-language effort in the Triad -- is designed to draw companies owned and run by English speakers who are interested in marketing to the area's growing Hispanic population.

Continue reading "Que Pasa seeking more Anglo advertising clients" »

Foley's lands national Latina cosmetics line

December 6, 2004
By Allison Wollam

The first national cosmetic line for Latinas is rolling out at four Foley's department stores in the Houston area.

New York-based Zalia Cosmetics designed the diverse range of lipsticks, foundations, mascaras and eye shadows to fill a neglected market niche by complementing the skin tones of Latina women.

Zalia was launched by professional makeup artist Monica Ramirez, a first generation American of Peruvian descent who was continually frustrated with products unflattering to Latina skin hues.

Khaled Haram, Zalia CEO and a former Estee Lauder Co. executive, says more widespread accessibility will broaden market appeal for the specialty cosmetics.

"We plan on making our growth in Texas a blueprint for other major Latin markets nationwide," he says.

The products ranging in price from $9 to $26.50 are now being sold at Foley's stores in the Galleria, San Jacinto Mall, Willowbrook Mall and Baybrook Mall.

The Zalia line also found shelf space in Foley's stores in San Antonio and McAllen through a partnership with May Department Stores Co.

Ed Smith, a spokesman for Foley's, says the market has needed such a line for some time.

"At long last, the Latinas are telling us that they are happy they have a makeup line that works with their skin tone," says Smith.

Source: Houston Business Journal

Cash in on Hispanic Buying Power

December 4, 2004
By Enrique Carrion

According to a study conducted by the University of Georgia, Clarke County's Hispanic buying power for 2003 was $168 million, or 7.6 percent of the community's total buying power. This number will rise, reaching $302 million, or 11.9 percent, by 2007.

Particularly, Wal-Mart and other Athens retail stores benefit from this buying power since it is known they are popular among Hispanics. Wal-Mart proudly touts its involvement in the community, and monetary donations to local initiatives such as schools. Well, I agree, but for once, Wal-Mart forgot about an important part of its business and of Athens: Hispanics.

October was Hispanic Heritage Month, and as part of the celebrations taking place in Athens, the Latin American Women's Day event took place. It was a free health and community resources event for the whole Hispanic community in Athens.

Many non-profit organizations, including the American Cancer Society and Catholic Social Services, helped to organize the event. One of the organizing committees was in charge of looking for sponsors, and among the different businesses contacted was Wal-Mart.

You might not be familiar with trends of the local Hispanic community, but Wal-Mart is one of three major retailers which are sure stops during the week for any Hispanic family when looking to buy food, clothing and other basics.

Of these three stores, however, only the Epps Bridge Parkway Wal-Mart made a donation, and that was a $30 gift card.

That to me is an insult to our community. I do shop at Wal-Mart, at least twice a month and what I pay for two weeks worth of groceries is higher than the $30 gift card donated to the health event. Recently, I picked up a pamphlet at a local Wal-Mart store titled "Wal-Mart Good Works. We live here, too. And we believe good works."

Continue reading "Cash in on Hispanic Buying Power" »

Simmons Unveils 'Hispanic Cohorts' House Hold-based Segmentation System

December 5, 2004

Hispanic consumers are the fastest growing ethnic group, with over 10 million Hispanic households in the United States today. Companies have recognized the influence of this growing market and Simmons, an Experian Company, is providing a way to understand the unique characteristics of these consumers by announcing the release of its Hispanic Cohorts, the first Hispanic household-based segmentation system available.

CohortsNow available in the spring 2004 National Hispanic Consumer Survey (NHSC), Hispanic Cohorts™ identifies 19 distinctive and diverse consumer segments within the American Hispanic community. Hispanic Cohorts collectively offers marketers, agencies and advertisers the ability to understand the demographics, lifestyles, attitudes and behavioral characteristics of the Hispanic consumer.

“Enhancing our suite of services by adding Hispanic Cohorts arms our clients with another comprehensive research tool that helps them look behind the Hispanic names and realize the purchasing power of these consumers,” says Chris Wilson, president & COO, Simmons, an Experian Company. “For the first time, database marketers can combine Simmons syndicated research with household-based segmentation to enhance their Hispanic database marketing efforts.”

Continue reading "Simmons Unveils 'Hispanic Cohorts' House Hold-based Segmentation System" »

Homing In on Hispanic Buyers

Spanish Is Becoming a Language Of Both Sales Pitches and Protections

December 4, 2004
By Sandra Fleishman

¡Hola! Welcome to, where "su casa propia con Countrywide" -- it's "your home through Countrywide.'' Or to, for "el futuro en tus manos" or "the future in your hands." Or how about "Camino a Casa con Century 21," a TV series on the Telemundo network on how to find "a path home with Century 21."

In other words, welcome to the new world of wooing Latino home buyers.

While real-estate-related advertising in Spanish has been routine for decades in states such as Florida, Texas and California -- Wells Fargo says its first ad in Spanish dates to the gold rush days -- the pitch is going national.

Spending on real estate ads targeted at Hispanics has jumped 50 percent in the past three years. Banking and investment companies' targeted ad spending has tripled. While the numbers are still low overall -- less than 3 percent of the budgets of the nation's biggest advertisers -- they're expected to rise quickly to tap into the country's fastest-growing minority group, according to the Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies.

Home-buying classes and counseling programs offered in Spanish by nonprofit groups have also mushroomed as consumer advocacy groups and housing policy experts have pressed the government and the big government-sponsored buyers of home loans to bring minority homeownership rates closer to those of whites. The Latino homeownership rate has ballooned 21 percent in the last decade, but it still trails that of non-Hispanic whites by 48.7 percent to 76.1 percent and is below the overall national rate of 69 percent.

"The key growth numbers are that approximately 35 million Latinos are living in the country today, about 13 percent of the population, and that that number is expected to triple by 2050," said Gary Acosta, founder of the five-year-old National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals. One in four Americans then will be Latino.

"Most significant is that the average Latino is a full 10 years younger than the white population," Acosta said. "They're in the mid-twenties and they are just entering into the prime home-buying years."

Continue reading "Homing In on Hispanic Buyers" »

Latino Studies minor becomes newest addition to curriculum

Minor to bridge Latin American and American studies

December 03, 2004
By Danny Lutz

A Latino studies minor has been incorporated into the Tufts curriculum after a lengthy process of committee meetings and proposals.

The minor was added in May, but the news is only now reaching students through word of mouth because of minimal advertising of the new study program.

Over recent years, undergraduate Latino enrollment at Tufts has grown to seven to eight percent of the student body. "Recognizing the significance of these changes, Tufts has approved a new interdisciplinary Latino Studies minor," according to Tufts Latino Center's Web site.

The 2000 census recorded 38.3 million Latinos in the United States, making them the nation's largest minority group, the Web site said.

The interdisciplinary minor will serve as a bridge between Latin American and American studies, encouraging students to connect theories, methodologies and content from the two disciplines.

"It's important to understand the sending [Latin American] region," Associate Professor of Anthropology Deborah Pacini Hernandez said, adding that this topic is not fully covered in the context of U.S. immigration.

Continue reading "Latino Studies minor becomes newest addition to curriculum" »

Spanish is language of growth in the U.S., Canadian says

December 2, 2004
By Shawn McCarthy

The Hispanic market in the United States represents a huge growth opportunity for Canadian companies savvy enough to navigate its complex marketing challenges, Doug Knight, the chairman of the leading Spanish-language chain of newspapers, said yesterday.

Mr. Knight, a former publisher of The Financial Post and Toronto Sun, now heads an investment group that owns the leading Spanish newspapers in the top three U.S. Hispanic markets.

At a breakfast meeting yesterday, he warned that American and Canadian companies that ignore Hispanic consumers are missing out on the fastest-growing market segment in North America.

Companies as diverse as Procter & Gamble Company, Walt Disney Co. and Century 21 Real Estate Corp. are targeting the Latino population, which is expected to grow from 43.5-million people to 80-million by 2020, he said.

"This market represents 50 per cent of their growth and what they are struggling with is that their own infrastructure and distribution systems aren't really geared up to handle it," Mr. Knight said.

That includes not only ensuring that marketing and advertising materials are produced in Spanish and targeted to the Latino audience, but ensuring the company has Spanish-speaking employees who can handle communications.

Canadian companies operating south of the border need to recognize that a growing number of their customers -- as well as their employees -- will be Spanish-speaking, and prefer to operate in Spanish in their daily lives, he said.

Continue reading "Spanish is language of growth in the U.S., Canadian says" »

SMU Offers Hispanic Marketing Course

December 2, 2004
Via  Burson-Marsteller's Lat-"in" Buzz

Southern  Methodist  University's  Cox  School  of Business may be the only university  in  Texas,  and  one  of  a  few  in the country, to include an Hispanic  Marketing  course  in its MBA curriculum. 

Despite the phenomenal growth  of  the  Hispanic  market  to  over  40  million and a buying power approaching  $700  billion,  all  too  often  marketing  executives are not prepared  to make effective decisions that are based on factual information about  Hispanics.  The  course  is  intended  for  corporate executives and business majors who are likely to have a role in making marketing decisions related  to Hispanic consumers.  Business schools may begin to follow suit, but  out  front  on  this  effort  is SMU's Cox School of Business. "Only a handful  of  universities  are  offering  courses  on this topic," said Dr. Rincon.  "Yet  the  increasing  growth of the Hispanic population fuels the demand for new products and services. It is critical that today's corporate and  public  sector  executive learn that different segments require unique communications  and marketing approaches. This course will help provide the cutting  edge," he said. In the 2000 Census, one out of eight people in the U.S.  were  of  Hispanic  origin,  translating  to  32.8  million  Latinos, primarily  of  Mexican  descent.   

Add  to  this  the  fact  that  Hispanic households  show  the  fastest  growth  rate  of income, and are on average younger  than their non-Latino peers, and you have a market segment that is a  prime  target  for corporate America.  Cultural awareness and bi-lingual labels  are fast becoming the practice of many companies as they attempt to brand  their  products in Hispanic markets.  From snack foods to television programs,  major  corporations  are  hot  on the trail of the U.S. Hispanic market.

The Latino Media Boom

Here is an extremely thorough view from the people at Hispanic Business Magazine on the current state of Hispanic Media. Below you will find links to each media's specific report. Definitely worth reading...

December 2004

Surging interest in the Hispanic economy is reshaping Hispanic media markets from print and radio to television and the Internet. Fueled by growing advertising dollars and investment, dozens of new players this year have begun ramping up competition across the country.

The nation's advertisers spent an estimated $3.1 billion to market their products in 2004 to the Hispanic community, up 45 percent in just the past four years. And all but three of Hispanic Business magazine's Top 25 Hispanic Advertising Agencies increased their billings, bringing the group's cumulative total to almost $1.9 billion.

Spanish-language publications are in full growth mode with several new competitors in races to build national or regional newspaper chains. In the radio market, Hispanic companies are maneuvering for position, bolstering strongholds, and sprinting to establish dominance in newly emerging mid-size markets. In TV, English-language and specialty networks are emerging to tap an increasingly acculturated consumer. And after years of sluggish growth, Internet advertising to Hispanics is expected to reach $75 million this year, up 67 percent from a year ago.

But challenges remain – including the question of which language appeals to a new generation of consumer. And whether all of the new players can survive in a newly competitive environment.

Inside the Media Markets:

  • The Press in Print
  • Turning Up the Volume on Radio
  • New TV Networks Tuning In
  • Connecting to the Internet
  • The Top 25 Hispanic Advertising Agencies
  • Are Retailers Properly Targeting English-Dominant Hispanics?

    December 1, 2004
    By Terry Soto

    According to a recent survey conducted by Hispanic Business magazine, the top 25 Hispanic-advertising agencies spend approximately 90 percent of their total billings on Spanish-language advertisements. There are a number of indications, however, that a large segment of the U.S. Hispanic population spends their media viewing and listening time on English-language media and entertainment, and advertisers are taking note.

    Impressed by the financial success of films such as Frida and A Day Without a Mexican, a growing number of U.S. production companies and distributors are gearing their efforts toward English-speaking Hispanics.

    The potential market is enormous, with Hispanics making up 40 percent of opening-weekend moviegoers, and is particularly attractive due to the market's high proportion of English-speaking youth. Film companies believe they can target this segment of the Hispanic audience without losing the mainstream market.

    "We found that 55 percent, almost 60 percent, of what is considered the Hispanic market consumes American TV in English. That's a huge number because, in the end, that's the young audience and the audience that really carries the money," says Alvaro Garnica, film division director at Plural Entertainment, a Miami-based entertainment production subsidiary of Spanish media giant Prisa.

    Continue reading "Are Retailers Properly Targeting English-Dominant Hispanics?" »

    Banks focus more on Latino customers

    Accommodating: Some are gearing whole branches specifically to Spanish-speaking people

    November 30, 2004
    By Jordan Burke

    Utah Latinos spend nearly $4 billion annually, leaving banks eager to attract their business, yet some are learning it takes more than hiring Spanish-speaking tellers.
    More and more, banks are recruiting Latino employees and remodeling branches to make them more appealing to the state's 300,000 Latino residents.
    Wells Fargo Bank on Thursday will open its first remodeled, Latino-focused branch at 1710 S. Redwood Road in Salt Lake City, where signs, brochures and services will be offered in both Spanish and English. It intends to remodel another 15 such branches in the next two years, said Ascencion Vera, Wells Fargo vice president and business banking relationship manager.
    Salt Lake City-based Zions Bank already has six branches geared toward Latinos and will add a branch in December at 1635 S. Redwood Road, Salt Lake City, where all employees will speak Spanish. U.S. Bank doesn't offer   branches specifically aimed at Latinos, but several locations do have bilingual tellers.

    Continue reading "Banks focus more on Latino customers" »

    A battle for Hispanic hearts and wallets

    By 2010, this hot demographic may control $670 billion

    November 26, 2004
    By Allyce Bess

    Forgive yourself if you're feeling jealous of Hispanics.

    These days, they're getting a lot of attention.

    "It's like suddenly Hispanics are coming out of nowhere," said Alfredo Fernandez, president and co-founder of San Francisco-based DQ Advertising. "We're still digesting this Hispanic fever, but it's a good fever."

    Fernandez, who has worked in Hispanic media since the late 1970s, said companies ignored Hispanics for decades. A lack of information -- and a fear of risk-taking -- held them back, he said. Long misinterpreted as strictly Spanish-speaking, low-income or slow to warm to American goods, Hispanics as a demographic are now being eyeballed more closely than Jennifer Lopez on Grammy night.

    "The advertising business in Spanish radio and television is going up 12 percent, while the general market is going up 3 percent," Fernandez estimates. "There's more business now for the Hispanic market than for the general market."

    How did this happen? Fernandez and others site everything from Ricky Martin to the rise of the hip Cholo gang culture, but almost everyone agrees that the 2000 census was a watershed moment.
    Numbers climb

    The 2000 census proved that Hispanics, at about 30 percent of the U.S. population, are the largest and fastest-growing ethnic group in the United States.

    Continue reading "A battle for Hispanic hearts and wallets" »

    Latinos swindled more than others

    Lax oversight of Spanish-language media boosts fraud

    November 27, 2004
    By Rachel Uranga

    Health plans with no doctors. Jobs with no employers. Credit cards with no magnetic strips.

    Those are a sampling of the fraudulent offers targeted at Latinos who federal officials say are swindled at twice the rate of non-Hispanic whites.

    Consumer protection groups say lax enforcement of federal regulations for Spanish-language broadcast and print ads benefits hucksters peddling herbal weight loss programs, overnight breast enhancement pills and other bogus goods.

    "The opportunities for fraud are more prolific in Spanish-language media," said Alejandra Cedillo, a consumer attorney for Neighborhood Legal Services. "There are regulations out there, but there is not as much attention paid to Spanish-language media as there is for English-language media."

    Regulators say they are working harder to monitor and subsequently prosecute deceitful vendors who advertise in Spanish.

    The agency began a Spanish-language media campaign and partnered with law enforcement in 11 cities, including Los Angeles, that are home to some of the country's largest or fastest growing Latino populations.

    "We want to try and prevent fraud before it happens," said Laura Koss, coordinator for the Federal Trade Commission's Hispanic Law Enforcement Initiative.

    But, she admits, the FTC often relies on community-based organizations to report fraud, and it was not until 2003 that the agency began a Spanish-language monitoring campaign. Moreover, immigrants are the least likely to report fraud.

    Still, she said, "you have got to start somewhere."

    Continue reading "Latinos swindled more than others" »

    Pursuing Hispanic Wealth

    Latinos' Clout Grows With Their Incomes

    November 26, 2004
    By Ben White

    The booming Hispanic population is changing American life from pop culture to politics. And investing is no exception.

    In research reports and demographic studies, investment firms and business groups are scrambling to identify ways to capitalize on both the exploding size of the Latino population in the United States and expected shifts in consumption patterns. As second- and third-generation Hispanic Americans gain more wealth, they'll begin buying a broader array of goods and services, in banking, housing and health care.

    In a study released this week, investment bank Goldman Sachs & Co. noted that Latinos could make up 20 percent of the U.S. population within 25 years and predicted that the income and employment gap between whites and Hispanics will narrow over the same period.

    In another report, the Conference Board, a business advisory group, said income among Latinos in the United States could grow by as much as 43 percent over the next six years, to nearly $700 billion by 2010. Other estimates put Latino income in 2010 at closer to $1 trillion.

    Both Goldman Sachs and the Conference Board noted that the Latino population is unusually young, with a median age of 25.9 years, according to Census Bureau data, compared with 35.3 years for the broader U.S. population. This means many Latinos have yet to reach their top earning potential, will be spending money longer and are among the age group most coveted by marketers.

    As Latino wealth increases, analysts say, Hispanic Americans may begin spending a smaller portion of their income on things like rent, food and clothing and more on financial services, homes, media, health care and other products. Loyalty to traditional Latino brand names could also begin to dissipate as the children of first-generation immigrants become more assimilated into American culture.

    Continue reading "Pursuing Hispanic Wealth" »

    Market Policy

    Focus on growing Hispanic population earns loyal clients

    November 19, 2004
    By Amos Maki

    When Harry Lofton decided to open his own insurance agency, he left behind a comfortable salary and company car for $18,000 a year and a car note.

    The only policy he carried was on himself and everything he earned was based on commission.

    "The first four years were the hardest," Lofton says. "If you didn't make it, you starved to death."

    Ten years after Lofton started his business, his daughter, Pamela Lofton-Wells, somewhat reluctantly became an agent.

    "I didn't want to be an agent because I wanted to be a mom," she says.

    Now Lofton & Wells Insurance Agency has about 10,000 policy holders locally. Lofton says 90% of his business is auto and home insurance.

    "I always knew what it took," Lofton says.

    But now the company is looking ahead and has made significant inroads into the growing Hispanic community.

    A wave of Hispanic immigration inundated Shelby County in the 1990s, when the Hispanic population more than tripled between 1990-2000. The number of Hispanics grew from 7,091 to 23,364, a 329% increase.

    While that makes Hispanics the area's fastest-growing minority, they still account for a relatively small percentage of the overall population of Memphis, 2.6%.

    "I wanted to work with Hispanic citizens," Wells says.

    Continue reading "Market Policy" »

    Directory aims to bring information to Hispanics

    November 23, 2004
    By Jeanne Anne Naujeck

    One of the most important resources for any newcomer is the local ''yellow pages,'' that universal source of information on everything from accountants to zoos.

    But what if you're a native Spanish speaker who is just starting to learn English?

    Phone_bookEnter El Enlace Latino, or ''The Latino Link,'' a Spanish-language telephone directory targeting the fast-growing Hispanic population living in and around Nashville.

    About 75,000 copies are being distributed around town and have been mailed to Spanish-speaking households.

    The book is not only intended to build ''a bridge between mainstream businesses and services and the Hispanic community'' but to serve as a lifeline for new residents, said Juan Reffreger, sales director for Cobalt Publishing of Louisville, which purchased, revamped and expanded a previous directory.

    Along with the usual listings for apartments, churches and auto repair, the book includes 100 pages of ''survival info'' on topics such as getting a driver's license, buying a house and tackling immigration procedures.

    Nashville is one of six markets nationwide in which Cobalt has targeted Hispanic consumers as part of an effort to tap into the niche's estimated $690 billion in national buying power. Similar phone books are available in Louisville, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Birmingham and St. Louis.

    All six cities have fast-growing Spanish-speaking populations; Nashville's is the fastest growing, Reffreger said. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates the Hispanic community in the eight-county Nashville area has grown 21% over the past four years.

    Continue reading "Directory aims to bring information to Hispanics" »

    Hispanic Auto Suppliers Aim to Compete

    Trade group bands together auto parts makers to push minority businesses into the top tier

    November 23, 2004
    The Detroit News

    Hispanic auto parts makers have formed a trade group to help expand the Hispanic supply base with qualified businesses that are well-positioned to compete for new contracts with major automakers and top-tier component makers.

    The top 10 U.S. Hispanic businesses are Michigan-based auto parts makers with annual revenues of $25 million or more, according to Hispanic Business magazine. But the vast majority of Hispanic suppliers are small players in an increasingly competitive market. Many of them lack the business savvy to grow their businesses so they can compete against larger rivals for more lucrative contracts.

    The Hispanic Auto Suppliers Alliance, known as HASA, wants to help Hispanic suppliers become more globally competitive and make sure the overall supply base reflects growth trends among the Hispanic population generally and among Hispanic vehicle buyers.

    "By looking at overall minority spending levels by (automakers and top-tier suppliers), it’s evident that the spending with Hispanic suppliers is inconsistent with the current growth trends," said HASA spokeswoman Lizabeth Ardisana. "The formation of the Hispanic Auto Suppliers Alliance indicates that our member firms have the operating experience and capability to move to the next level."

    According to the 2002 U.S. Census, there are 35.3 million Hispanics in the United States, representing 13 percent of the total U.S. population and more than 8 percent of all new vehicle buyers. Annual North American auto supplier sales are about $500 billion, according to the Original Equipment Suppliers Association in Troy. Yet sales for Hispanic-owned auto suppliers, which are largely concentrated in Metro Detroit, were about $1 billion in 2003, up from just more than $500 million in 1995, according to the Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

    In part, Hispanic suppliers’ relatively small chunk of the parts market is due to a shortage of companies with the wherewithal to compete for major contracts.

    "Collectively, we have grown, and continue to grow, but the majority of us are still in the entry-level stage," said Jessie Lopez, president and CEO of BAE Industries, a Center Line-based maker of automotive seat latches.

    Continue reading "Hispanic Auto Suppliers Aim to Compete" »

    Target: Teens

    Marketing y Medios' 3rd edition is out and, as I'm getting used to, is full of very useful information and insights... You have to subscribe to it (I know, I'm sounding like a broken record; so be it). Here's a sneak peak into this issue's cover story...

    November, 2004
    By Luis Clemens

    Cover_1You can try to define them by their likes and dislikes but rarely by their ethnicity alone.

    They are, for the most part, teenagers first and Latinos second. Speak to them in Spanish, and they may not understand. Talk to them as if they were gringos, and they may not like it. Whatever you do, don't confuse an Angeleno with a Tejano or talk to a Cuban about La Raza.

    Out with the melting pot, ditch the tossed salad metaphor and consider instead that second-generation Latino teenagers may be "un ajiaco de contradicciones" (a stew of contradictions) as Gustavo Pérez-Firmat writes in his poem Bilingual Blues. Altogether, the multifaceted identity of Hispanic adolescents resembles a Rubik's Cube, even if that toy went out of fashion long before they were born. Puzzling out the best way to advertise and market to this group represents a fiendishly complex conundrum. Yet, their numbers make them difficult to overlook. Tony Dieste, the Mexican-born CEO of Dallas-based Dieste, Harmel & Partners, says "Ignore them at your own risk."

    Continue reading "Target: Teens" »

    Minority Market Emerges

    Realtors get ready for population shift

    November 19, 2004       
    By Steve Brown (The Dallas Morning News)

    For decades, America's real estate agents lived in an Ozzie and Harriet world.

    Many residential agents catered to the same buyers they had sold to since the 1950s - middle-class white families buying homes in the suburbs.

    But the new buzz in the business is about diversity.

    Real estate experts predict in the coming decades, almost 30 percent of their business could come from immigrant and minority buyers. The industry is gearing up to handle the shift.

    "Every part of this country will be affected by the huge tidal wave of minority population growth and immigration," Michael Lee, a California sales agent, told the National Association of Realtors at its annual meeting in Orlando, Fla., in November. "You'd better learn to deal with these buyers, or you might as well get out of the business."

    The latest industry survey suggests about 16 percent of the 6.6 million pre-owned homes sold in the United States this year will go to ethnic minorities. Lee predicts minority and ethnic buyers will soon grow to more than 60 percent of the first-time housing market.

    "This is a significant opportunity" for the 1.5 million-member residential sales industry in America, Lee said.

    At the convention, thousands of real estate agents crammed into seminars to get tips on working with ethnic buyers.

    "To serve this market, we need to treat these folks specially and customize our presentations to meet their needs," Lee told agents.

    Continue reading "Minority Market Emerges" »

    Abercrombie & Fitch allegations may chip away at stores' allure

    November 19, 2004
    By Allie Shah and H.J. Cummins

    Lance Hollie, 17, doesn't shop at Abercrombie & Fitch, a store he equates with tight jeans and collared shirts.

    "It's more suburban-type clothes," said Hollie, who attends Roosevelt High in Minneapolis.

    Now Hollie, who is black, says he and other minorities have a new reason to avoid Abercrombie stores -- the company's $40 million settlement this week with black, Hispanic and Asian employees and job applicants. The minorities had filed a class-action federal discrimination lawsuit accusing Abercrombie of excluding minorities from its sales floors and adopting a virtually all-white marketing campaign. The company admitted no wrongdoing but agreed to promote diversity and pay $10 million to cover attorneys' fees and monitor compliance.

    The settlement "could have an effect on minorities," said Hollie, who was shopping Wednesday at the Mall of America.

    Andrea Undlin, 18, said she, too, was put off by the allegations against Abercrombie, one of her favorite stores when she was in junior high.

    "If it is true, I wouldn't want to shop there," said Undlin, who is white and attends the University of Minnesota. "I don't want to support a place that is racist and isn't giving people opportunities."

    Continue reading "Abercrombie & Fitch allegations may chip away at stores' allure" »

    64% Increase In Searches For Ad Agencies With Multi-Cultural Expertise.

    November 22, 2004
    Via experienced a 64% increase in searches for advertising agencies and marketing communication companies that have an expertise in multi-cultural marketing. The increase occurred from the three month period ending October 31st 2004 compared to the three month period that ended July 31st 2004. Over that same period, searches for full service advertising agencies increased 31%.

    “We believe it’s a clear sign that advertisers are looking to target specific cultural groups for marketing their products and services to and they want to work with agencies that have a proven expertise in doing so.”, commented Christopher Wynne, president and CEO of “The fact that we’re seeing searches for agencies with experience in multi-cultural marketing growing more than twice as fast as full service agency searches is significant.” Above average growth was seen across all cultural groups with the Hispanic American category experiencing the largest percentage increase at 71%. It was also the most searched multi-cultural group representing one out of every four searches made during that period.

    Hispanic American - 71%

    Asian American - 69%

    African American - 59%

    Other Multi-Cultural - 61%

    Continue reading "64% Increase In Searches For Ad Agencies With Multi-Cultural Expertise." »

    The race is on to win America's Hispanic consumers

    HispanicfamilyI just ran into this article on the November 22, 2004 edition of Newsweek International, written by Malcolm Beith. It articulates in a succinct, crystal-clear way many of the concepts and trends being presented day in and day out on this website. If usually you just kinda glance at the stories I share with you via this blog, STOP and read this post carefully...

    Four Latinos—a Dominican, a Mexican, a Cuban and an Argentine—walk up to the bar. Each asks for the best beer in the house in his own colloquial Spanish, and the bartender—the maestro de idiomas, or master of languages—serves up Heinekens. No, this isn't the beginning of a bad joke; it's one of the hottest Hispanic ads of the year, lauded as a masterpiece in marketing circles for its ability to appeal directly to distinct Latino subgroups in the United States. "It celebrates the differences," says Tony Ruiz of the New York-based Vidal Partnership, the ad agency that produced the spot. "It gives consumers a chance to see themselves, and connect on a higher level."

    Prior to the 2000 U.S. Census, Hispanic marketing was little more than an afterthought to most of corporate America. "When companies considered Latinos, they thought, 'Sombreros and no money'," says Isabel Valdes, a California-based Hispanic marketing expert. But over the past four years, corporate America has come to realize both the diversity and power of Hispanic consumers—and the need to connect with them in more sophisticated ways. The stereotypical Latino may still be the poor Mexican immigrant. But in reality, Latino consumers now range from Argentine investment bankers in New York to Nicaraguan salesmen in Alabama; from English-speaking, teenage Cuban mall rats in Florida to Mexican NASCAR dads in Kansas. "The sheer growth of the market is an undeniable, in-your-face message," says Rochelle Newman-Carrasco, head of a Los Angeles Hispanic advertising agency called Enlace Communications.

    The numbers speak for themselves: America's 39 million Latinos spent nearly $700 billion last year and are the fastest-growing consumer group in the country. By 2008, Hispanic consumer spending is expected to top $1 trillion, according to the University of Georgia's Selig Center for Economic Growth. Faced with these astounding figures, the U.S. business community has made unprecedented overtures toward Latinos since 2000, changing the way the mainstream United States sees its largest minority—and itself—in the process. "The sleeping giant ain't sleeping no more," says Valdes.

    Continue reading "The race is on to win America's Hispanic consumers" »

    Youth Intelligence's Latino Intelligence Report

    November 18, 2004
    Via The Trendcentral Newsletter

    LatinoYouth Intelligence has just completed its first Latino Intelligence Report, a comprehensive study of 14-24-year-old Hispanics in the US, covering identity, language, media, shopping, entertainment, style and beyond. The Latino Intelligence Report will be available this week, and was co-directed with Christy Haubegger, a noted authority on Hispanic trends and founder of Latina magazine.

    Here are a few findings from the report:

    Language: Today, most young Hispanics don't define their Latino Identity by the language they speak. Instead, they define being Hispanic more in terms of maintaining their community's traditions and cultures through family, music, and food.

    Pioneers: Young Hispanics often see themselves as pioneers. Many young Latinos are the first in their families to finish high school or college, making them feel "different" at home and puts them in somewhat lonely position in that their parents are not able to offer guidance on many of the issues they're dealing with. As the first in their families and community to succeed, they feel they are acutely marking a path for future generations of Latinos.

    Setting trends for the Mainstream Public
    : Young Latinos take great pride in the fact that they are setting trends for general population consumers. As African-American culture becomes mainstream, the general population is looking to Hispanic culture for the next generation of trends. Shows such as Pimp My Ride speak to the acceptance of Hispanics’ longstanding interest in car-culture, and reggaeton is making its mark in the music world with artists such as Tego Calderon. Watch for more trends to emerge from this space.

    Party Crews: Almost a high school version of the Greek system, many Latino teens are into forming “party crews”. These crews work together to create elaborate flyers, promotion, and music for regular parties. Like fraternities and sororities, there are brother and sister crews who support each others parties (where they charge admission to make money). These crews speak to the fact that community is so important to young Latinos.

    Celebrities: Dave Chappelle and Angelina Jolie were co nsistent celebrity favorites among young Latinos. In general, young Hispanics say that they admire celebrities that exhibit core vales they can relate to on a cultural level. Both Dave Chappelle and Angelina Jolie fit this ideal, and are well-liked because there is a perception that they speak their minds and are not concerned with what others think.

    Hispanics are disproportionate moviegoers and see approximately 33% more movies per year than their non-Hispanic counterparts. Their tastes in movies, however, are fairly consistent with the general population, with action/adventure and comedy movies both ranking highly among young Latinos. Qualitatively, horror films were spoken of passionately and “car movies” were of notable interest.

    To buy copies and more information, contact Melissa Lawrence at

    Harte Hanks Hispanic Coupon Redemption Rates - A Mixed Bag

    November 17, 2004

    Harte Hanks is getting the first results on redemption rates for coupons inserted in its “Pensando en Ti” shopper (distributed to 1.1 million households in Southern California, launched last March, CPM US $10).

    According to Jorge Abrego, director of multicultural marketing at Harte Hanks, three advertisers, all of them Consumer Packaged Good Companies (CPGC), have shared their results with Harte Hanks. “It's a mixed bag.

    Coupon redemption rates range from as high as 1.9% to as low as 0.8%,” says Abrego. However, these results are not definitive. “Many of the coupons have a shelf life of up to four months and have not yet been redeemed.”

    Advertisers in “Pensando en Ti” include mainly local and regional retailers, as well as national CPGCs.

    To get more insights into coupon redemption rates among Hispanics, Harte Hanks is raffling several $1,000 grocery shopping vouchers to “Pensando en Ti” recipients who respond to the offer. The response rate for this offer hovers between 1.5% and 2%.

    According to Abrego, the main factor affecting redemption rates is brand recognition. “A coupon will not work well with Hispanics if it is not a well known product.” Abrego also explains that Southern California has a disproportionately high number of recent immigrants, who usually have to go through a learning curve before they become coupon clippers.

    Quepasa Signs Three Year Exclusive Search Distribution Deal With

    November 17, 2004
    Via PR Newswire

    Quepasa Corporation announced a new three year, exclusive search distribution agreement with Freyresoft Networks, owners and operators of  Under the terms of the agreement, Quepasa is the exclusiveprovider of paid search listings for millions of monthly users at in both English and Spanish.
    Latinbusca means "Latin Search" in Spanish.

    "Our agreement and implementation of the Quepasa paid search feed at again highlights the type of market that our clients look for: Latinbusca users are focused primarily on search," said Fernando Ascencio, Quepasa's President.  "This three year, exclusive agreement, renews our commitment to establishing and maintaining the Quepasa brand as the principal provider of targeted marketing solutions for reaching Hispanics online."

    Salsa Outselling Ketchup? Marketing to Hispanics Is Hot

    November 17, 2004
    Via Knowledge@Wharton

    Hispanics are now the largest minority and fastest growing population segment in the U.S., with annual spending power of more than $540 billion. As a result, marketers are scrambling harder than ever to address this market, which, in addition to its impressive size, is unified by a common language.

    Yet despite its promise, Hispanics as a buying bloc pose a number of challenges, including segmentation by national origin and varying levels of acculturation, according to speakers on a panel at last month's Wharton Marketing Conference.

    Mike O'Shea, vice president of business development at Spanish language television network Telemundo, suggested that the 2000 Census, which showed the Hispanic population had grown by 53% since 1990, was a wake-up call to corporate America. "CEOS were reading about it and passing notes to marketing directors asking, 'What are we doing to target this consumer?'"

    The answer for many companies is to hire strategic marketing directors to produce new business. "What better opportunity is there than the Hispanic market because it is the fastest growing consumer segment," said O'Shea. "It's a market you can really build your brand with." Hispanic influence is especially apparent in mainstream culture, O'Shea added, noting that Latin artists such as Ricky Martin, Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony are at the top of the Billboard charts, not just the Latin charts. Salsa, he said, outsells ketchup, and a third of all major league baseball players are Hispanic.

    Dina Weitzman, vice president of Hispanic markets at Citigroup, predicted the Hispanic market will experience a steady stream of immigration, unlike the European immigration waves in the early 1900s that eventually stopped. "The Hispanic segment continues to immigrate because of economic difficulties," she said. "You will continue to see a wide variety of first, second and third-generation people and those who arrived here last week. There will be the full spectrum, from those who are acculturated to those who have no clue what's going on in the United States."

    Video Cameras in Household Kitchens

    According to Yolanda Angulo, area director for multicultural marketing in the New York region for Kraft Foods, her company has established geographic-opportunity teams to create marketing programs targeting Hispanic, African-American and Kosher consumers. The company is conducting research into the way consumers in these segments use food products, and has installed video cameras into household kitchens. "We are going into consumers' households and living with them. We're cooking with them." Angulo has learned, for example, that people in her target markets usually have smaller kitchens in the United States than in their home countries, and tend to add a lot of spices to liven up their foods.

    Within the Hispanic market there are distinct segments. People of Mexican heritage make up 66.9% of the U.S. Hispanic populations followed by Central and South Americans at 14.3%, Puerto Ricans at 8.6% and Cubans at 3.7%, according to the census. Given this breakdown, the panelists agreed that it is difficult to slice up the Hispanic market by national origin. O'Shea, however, noted that his advertisers have the same message for Cubans in Miami and Mexicans in Los Angeles. "I treat the market in a monolithic way which makes a lot of marketers cringe. Still, it's the Spanish language that is the catalyst of the culture."

    Continue reading "Salsa Outselling Ketchup? Marketing to Hispanics Is Hot" »

    'Convenient' Hispanic Foods Experience 103% Growth

    New report shows entrees, hand-held items lead other food categories

    November 16, 2004
    Via PR Newswire

    From 1999 through 2004, sales of mainstream Mexican and authentic Hispanic convenience foods -- such as entrees and hand-held items -- have grown 103%, according to "The U.S. Market for Hispanic Foods and Beverages," a new market research report from publisher Packaged Facts. Sales grew from just under $250 million in 1999 to $505 million in 2004.

    Ongoing demands for convenience and portability among busy American consumers and shifting tastes toward bolder flavors are fueling growth. And, as U.S. Hispanics become more acculturated, they, too, are looking for ways to ease the daily burden of meal preparation. Dinner kits, single-serve beverages, and frozen foods are just some of the convenience products that are meeting demand in this segment of the $4.3 billion Hispanic food and beverage market.

    "Hispanic on the run -- from pseudo Mexican creations such as breakfast burritos to more authentic items such as Salvadoran papusas - appeals to our changing national tastebuds, populace and demand for convenience," said Don Montuori, Acquisitions Editor for Packaged Facts. "If you consider the fact that nearly 90% of tweens told researchers that quesadillas are an 'everyday food,' it's not wonder that Hispanic cuisine is poised to eclipse Chinese as the favorite foreign food for Americans."

    Source: Yahoo! Finance

    Latin American online marketers target Hispanics in the U.S.

    November 15, 2004
    By Alonso Soto

    Sandra Diaz came to the U.S. from Costa Rica more than a decade ago, but never lost her taste for home.

    Every year, Ms. Diaz would fly home to visit family and friends -- and shop. Minden, Neb., where she and her husband are painting contractors, has a Hispanic population of just 69, and Latin specialties are almost nonexistent in stores. So, in Costa Rica, she loaded up on spices and sauces to let her children grow up knowing their native foods. The suitcases often were so heavy she feared her husband would tear a muscle.

    Then, three years ago, her husband's back got a reprieve when Ms. Diaz discovered, an online shop based in the Costa Rican capital, San Jose, and owned by Y2K WebSolutions. La Carretica (whose name, "the little wagon," refers to a Costa Rican national emblem) offers clothes, coffee, food, spices, music and other local products she missed. She has become a regular customer, spending about $600 on the site. "Now I don't have to pay airline penalties for extra-heavy baggage," she laughs.

    With roughly 13.7 million Internet users, Hispanics are the largest minority group online in the U.S. -- and more of them are turning to Web sites based in their homelands for items that are hard to find or more expensive here. Marketers in Latin America are rushing to serve this booming market, seeing an opportunity to expand operations and smooth out balance sheets ruffled by troubled local economies. Regional governments have even helped set up some of these retailers, in an effort to boost exports.

    Online sales in Latin America account for just 1.2% of global volume, but many experts expect overseas sales to push that number higher. "With 40 million Latinos in the United States, this is a pretty substantial marketplace," says David Perez, founder of Latin Force, a Hispanic-marketing consulting company based in New York.

    Latin American online shops offer the full array of products sold on the Web in the U.S., but with a Central and South American flavor. For some recent immigrants still struggling with their new surroundings, the sites also provide an important connection to their homeland.

    Hispanics, like other immigrants across the globe, "are using the Internet to stay connected to their native countries and to their roots," says Lee Rainie, director of the Pew Internet and American Life Project in Washington, and the co-author of a 2001 study about the behavior of Hispanic Internet users. "This is part of a much bigger story that will take place all over the world."

    Continue reading "Latin American online marketers target Hispanics in the U.S." »

    Brewers Focus on Hispanic Market

    November 15, 2004
    By Stuart Elliott


    The accounts of five Mexican beers, with combined spending estimated in the tens of millions of dollars, are being reassigned after reviews to four agencies, a shift that underscores the growing importance to brewers of the Hispanic market and of brands with roots in Spanish-speaking countries.

    The reassignments, to be announced today, are the results of a three-year agreement, reached in June, between the Femsa Cerveza unit of the Mexican brewer Fomento Economico Mexicano, or Femsa, and the American unit of the Dutch brewer Heineken. Effective on Jan. 1, Heineken USA will take over the sales, distribution and marketing of the brands - Bohemia, Carta Blanca, Dos Equis, Sol and Tecate - from InBev, formerly Interbrew.

    The deal comes as the beer industry intensifies its focus on Latino consumers, as illustrated by an advertising contract signed last month by the Miller Brewing Company division of SABMiller with Univision Communications, the biggest Spanish-language broadcaster in the United States. The agreement, Univision's largest with a single advertiser, was valued at more than $100 million over three years.

    Hispanics, the fastest-growing American demographic group, are becoming more prized by marketers. The group is also younger than the general population, an important feature to brewers because drinkers aged 21 to 34 consume more beer than older drinkers and tend to be less brand loyal.

    The Femsa-Heineken deal is intended to help both brewers achieve a common goal: to compete more effectively against Grupo Modelo of Mexico, which makes Corona Extra beer. Corona outsells the Femsa brands in the United States and has overtaken the Heineken brand to become the best-selling imported beer among American drinkers.

    "The Hispanic, specifically the Mexican, component of the beer market is huge, and going to get huger," said Steve Davis, senior vice president for marketing at Heineken USA in White Plains, N.Y.

    Mr. Davis said that Heineken USA would initially concentrate its efforts on the two largest of the five Femsa brands: Tecate, which he estimated sells about 13.5 million cases a year, and Dos Equis, at more than 5 million. Corona, by comparison, has two United States distributors, Constellation Brands and the Gambrinus Company,  and sells about 100 million cases a year.

    "Tecate and Dos Equis are like two thoroughbreds at the gate," Mr. Davis said. "Year-to-date, these brands are up 10 percent, but they should be growing 20 percent.

    "It's up to us now," he added, referring to his company and Femsa. "If we do things right, we can have some real success here."

    Continue reading "Brewers Focus on Hispanic Market" »

    Hispanics on Internet More Affluent Than General Population

    November 15, 2004
    Via Center for Media Research

    Latinapc_1In the 80 plus metropolitan markets surveyed regularly by The Media Audit, 46.0 percent of adult Hispanics or 8.5 million access the Internet regularly and 19 percent or 3.5 million are heavy users (430 minutes per week or more) of the Internet.

    Bob Jordan, president of International Demographics, notes that "Hispanic adults (age 18 plus) who frequent the Internet are considerably more affluent than other Hispanics and adults in the general population."

    Continue reading "Hispanics on Internet More Affluent Than General Population" »

    Stereotypes Out, Research Up in Marketing to Latinos

    November 14, 2004
    By Rodd Cayton

    The "sombreros y mariachis" approach to marketing goods and services to Latinos isn't likely to work, a pair of experts in the field told people gathered at the Heartland Latino Leadership Conference last week.

    Those who want the business of the nation's youngest and fastest-growing ethnic group would do well to present themselves genuinely, make the effort to know their customers and have a little patience when it comes to results, the pair said.

    Mike Fernandez, a senior vice president at ConAgra Foods, explained why businesses of all sizes are expanding their marketing efforts toward Latinos. The U.S. Latino population more than doubled between 1980 and 2000, to more than 41 million today. Fernandez said that number is higher than the populations of Canada, Australia and Spain. Furthermore, he said, Latino buying power is expected to reach $ 1 billion by 2008.

    Latino numbers in Nebraska grew from 39,969 in the 1990 census to 107,000 last year.

    Liliana Solis-Grip (CQ) of Wells Fargo said Latinos will be the biggest group of future first-time homebuyers, meaning their desires will be watched by everyone from furniture retailers to healthcare providers.

    "As folks start buying homes," she said. "You'll have a huge opportunity to sell them furnishings and services and all kinds of things that go with homeownership."

    Solis-Grip said today's Latino median income is $28,456 per household, 43 percent of Nebraska Latinos have a household income of more than $50,000 and 11 percent of the total earn more than $100,000 annually.

    "The perception that we're all poor, uneducated, and have no money to spend, none of that is true," Solis-Grip said. "Companies that don't get that will be at a huge disadvantage. They won't be able to survive."

    A key to getting the business of Latinos, Solis-Grip said, is understanding the values of the Latino consumer. Those include the relative importance of holidays and respect for elders and privacy.

    Solis-Grip, speaking at the fifth annual Heartland Latino Leadership Conference, used examples from Wells Fargo's Latino marketing efforts to illustrate how businesses can appeal to those values. The bank has designed some locations with seating areas for additional family members and advertised in Roman Catholic diocesan newsletters.

    In addition, the bank has made moves to bind itself with communities in which it sought business, by hiring local residents, supporting community events, and making bilingual and bicultural staffers easy to find.

    Solis-Grip said that while many Latinos (including 68 percent of those earning more than $75,000 a year) prefer to speak Spanish, there's also often a desire to have written documents in English, particularly business-related documents. She said documents in English connote authenticity.

    Therefore, she said, Spanish-language literature on Wells Fargo products is also printed in English — making it clear that the same ideas are being conveyed.

    Solis-Grip said one coup that Wells Fargo achieved from its research was a place in the remittances market: that is, the practice of immigrants sending money to relatives in their home countries. Solis-Grip said Wells Fargo was able to secure significant remittance business by charging lower fees than the check cashing and wire-transfer establishments the customers had been using.

    Fernandez said many past Latino-oriented marketing efforts have been either "nice-to-dos," or patronizing to the point where they became offensive.

    Continue reading "Stereotypes Out, Research Up in Marketing to Latinos" »

    Hispanics Becoming Formidable Economic Force, Reports The Conference Board In New Study

    November 11, 2004
    Via PR Newswire

    Hispanic households across America will sharply increase both their numbers and economic clout over the next ten years, The Conference Board reports today in a comprehensive new study.    

    The number of Hispanic households is expected to increase at a faster pace than that of any other group in the United States, continuing a demographic explosion that began several decades ago.    

    Today's 10 million-plus Hispanic households will soar to 13.5 million by 2010, up from less than 6 million in 1990. These households will control $670 billion in personal income six years from now, with Mexican-American households accounting for $409 billion of this total.    

    Households hailing from Central and South America will earn $107 billion by 2010, with Puerto Rican households controlling $65 billion. Cuban families will account for $32 billion, with the remaining $56 billion being earned by Spanish, Dominican and other Hispanic households.    

    (The Conference Board study defines "Hispanics" as people whose origin is in Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba, South and Central America or other Hispanic/Latino regions, including Spain and the Dominican Republic, regardless of race.)    

    Hispanic households tend to be younger on average than the U.S. population at large. Of the more than 10 million Hispanic households, 38 percent are currently headed by someone under 35, and an additional 25 percent are led by someone between the ages of 35 and 44 (the national average for homes with heads under 35 is 23 percent.) By 2010, the under-45 Hispanic market will increase to 8 million households, and its purchasing power will leap from the current level of less than $295 billion to $397 billion. In other words, $3 out of every $5 flowing to Hispanic households in 2010 will be in the hands of this younger-than-average segment.

    Continue reading "Hispanics Becoming Formidable Economic Force, Reports The Conference Board In New Study" »

    Does Your Retail Brand Habla Español?

    November 11, 2004
    By Terry Soto

    At a time when there are close to 40 million Hispanics in the U.S., most of whom are most comfortable speaking and being spoken to in Spanish, some retailers are still wondering if there is a need to communicate their messages in en Español.

    Yet others have found success by going bilingual or even trilingual. Some retailers are realizing tremendous returns by successfully employing different approaches to promote their brand and products that are commonly purchased by their Hispanic shoppers. Often, advertising departments make it a practice to provide district managers with ad options for promoting products that are relevant to their Hispanic shoppers.

    Different ad versions and circulars are being used, including:

    • Separate and distinct mailers
    • Over-wraps with Hispanic merchandising themes
    • Hispanic sections on the front page
    • Different versions for city and suburban markets with appropriate product emphasis

    Continue reading "Does Your Retail Brand Habla Español?" »

    Hispanic Store Offers a Taste of Home for Many

    November 7, 2004
    By Lon Wagner

    A tractor-trailer and a phalanx of cars rush north on U.S. 13, their airstream battering wildflowers growing in a ditch.

    Past the ditch, cars with Virginia and Tennessee tags fill a gravel lot in front of an old wooden building. On a sign near the front door, drawings of a sombrero and cactus decorate the words, "El Remolino, Tienda Hispana."

    The Windmill, Spanish Store.

    A poster on the wall outside advertises, in Spanish, that the store can wire money to Mexico, Central and South America. A notice says cleaning jobs starting at $7.25 an hour can be had up the road at Perdue. Another informs about a gran baile, a big dance, at Club 13 in Eastville. Hombres, $20, mujeres, $15.

    Inside the front door sits Leo Bonilla. He's behind a desk and a cash register, the counter where for 12 hours a day he and his sister ring up Spanish juices, food and spices bought by Hispanics on the Shore.

    Bonilla has spent the past five years building the store into a constantly humming business. He's spent the past dozen years on Virginia's Eastern Shore building a life from scratch. He's still working on that part.

    Bonilla is 48 years old and moved here because his first wife's family lived on the Shore. He came to Melfa from Bogota, Colombia, where he was a manager for a small chain of Christian bookstores.

    On a sunny fall day, he sported an American look, a polo shirt tucked neatly into blue jeans. His English is spiced with an accent, but he speaks it well. He learned, he says, from translation dictionaries and just from listening.

    The clothes, even the language, are the easy parts about adjusting to a new land, he says.

    "I came from Bogota, a crazy, big city, noisy all the time, night and day. When I came here, it was lonely, too peaceful.

    "I couldn't sleep because it was too quiet."

    He sleeps better now, partly because he got used to the quiet, partly because the Shore has become less peaceful. Even in his years here, Bonilla has noticed fewer lulls on U.S. 13, and on weekends, no lulls at all, just a steady race north and south.

    And more of the New York and New Jersey drivers began to stop, not to shop at his store, but to buy land. To build houses that needed landscaping, so the shrub and tree nurseries got bigger.

    So more workers from Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Honduras came to join the tomato and potato pickers who had come for years during the summers.

    Early on, people always asked him, "Why the Eastern Shore?" Bonilla said. "Now, maybe they don't ask why the Eastern Shore."

    Continue reading "Hispanic Store Offers a Taste of Home for Many" »

    Imports Outselling Domestic Product in Hispanic Stores

    November 6, 2004
    By Louise Chu

    Deep in the heart of Coca-Cola country, the iconic caramel-colored fizz doesn't always reign supreme - at least not the American-made variety.

    In tiendas that have opened across the South to cater to a booming influx of Hispanics, the REAL real thing is the imported Mexican Coke that comes in a retro green glass and offers an authentic - some say sweeter - taste of home.

    "If you don't go back to Mexico often, you drink it and taste it - it's something you tasted all your life," said Eric Carvallo, manager of Las Tarascas Latino Supermarket, where the prized imported bottles are prominently displayed alongside tamarind-flavored sodas, coconut juice and horchata mix.

    Carvallo says his store in this town a half-hour's drive east of Atlanta goes through 10 to 15 cases of Mexican Coke each week - his entire stock - while he's barely able to push the five cases of the domestic version he orders.

    Taste is the main reason for his discriminating shoppers, who say the cane sugar sweetener used in Mexican Coke has a crisper, cleaner flavor than the high-fructose corn syrup mixed into the American version. Many are willing to pay $1.10 per 12-ounce bottle for the imports, even with cans of American Coke sitting nearby for 49 cents each.

    Nostalgia for home south of the border has suddenly become invaluable in the American South, where Hispanic populations have grown faster than in any other part of the country. Georgia, with a 23 percent Hispanic increase, led the nation, followed closely by North Carolina, Kentucky, South Carolina, Virginia and Alabama. Thousands have come to work in service industries, poultry farms and textile mills, bringing their own restaurants, carnicerias (butcher shops), bodegas (convenience stores) and tastes for a certain soft drink with them.

    Continue reading "Imports Outselling Domestic Product in Hispanic Stores" »

    U.S. Food Companies Aim for Hispanic Americans

    October 29, 2004
    By Kathleen Kiley, Managing Editor, Consumer Markets Insider KPMG

    U.S. food makers and supermarkets are positioning themselves in the Hispanic food market, but industry observers say they have a lot of catching up to do.

    They face established -- some would say entrenched -- competition ranging from independent grocery chains and local bodegas to products being imported from Latin America. Even foreign grocers, including Mexico's Grupo Gigante, have opened up stores in the U.S.

    As mainstream food sales mature, supermarkets and food makers see the Hispanic market as the next big growth segment. In 2003, 39 million Hispanic American consumers in the U.S. spent $64 billion on food, according to the Food Marketing Institute. On average, Hispanics spend 17.5 percent of their income on food, compared to 13.7 percent for the rest of the population.

    The growth of the Hispanic American population and their buying power makes American food companies retailers try to grab a greater share of that market. But are they too late to the party?

    "It used to be that maybe an [American food company] could put a Spanish name on a product, and get away with it because there were so few products on the market," says Ignacio Hernandez Jr., founder and vice president of La Jolla, Calif.-based delivers hard-to-find Mexican foods, including imported tortillas, salsa, and mole.

    "Hispanic and Anglo-American consumers want authentic products," he says.

    Continue reading "U.S. Food Companies Aim for Hispanic Americans" »

    Online Interview on Lip-Sticking


    I was honored to be asked by Yvonne DiVita from Lip-Sticking to participate on an online interview that has just been posted on her blog.

    Since the interview revolves around Hispanic Marketing, I thought you might want to check it out. Independently, I suggest you visit Lip-Sticking; you will find TONS of great stuff regarding marketing to women online.

    Fisher-Price ad campaign targeting Hispanic parents

    November 3, 2004

    LogoFor decades, Fisher-Price’s advertising campaigns assumed that moms grew up playing with the toy maker’s products and played on the iconic status their toys enjoy among nostalgic parents. But such assumptions fall flat with a growing group of consumers: Spanish-speaking moms who have no memories of playing with Little People plastic animals and other figures.

    So Fisher-Price’s first Hispanic advertising campaign — pegged to the Christmas season — doesn’t aim to push the toys themselves so much as to introduce the toy maker to parents.

    TV and radio spots rolling out in Houston, Los Angeles and Chicago depict parents happily watching their children play with Fisher-Price toys. In contrast, traditional Fisher-Price ads focus just on the child playing with the toy.

    Continue reading "Fisher-Price ad campaign targeting Hispanic parents" »

    Auto Industry Refocuses Attention on Hispanic Market

    November 2004
    By Paul A. Eisenstein

    An increasingly competitive new-car market, coupled with an increasingly affluent and burgeoning Hispanic economy, is prompting auto industry leaders to refocus attention on the growing Hispanic market.

    Each of the Big Three automakers now plans multicultural marketing campaigns as part of broader efforts, and advertising data detail Detroit's shifting strategies. Hispanic Business found that the industry's largest automakers spent a collective $148.2 million in Hispanic-oriented media in 2002 – up nearly 10 percent from the previous year and an increase of nearly tenfold in little more than a decade.

    Industry experts say the shift from traditional mass marketing reflects a growing awareness among automakers that they need to distinguish themselves in a supply-heavy market. "When you slice and dice the census data, you realize [Hispanics are] a particularly young population and increasingly affluent ... and as [the Hispanic community] ages and expands, it will absolutely become a more potent force in the automotive market," notes Dan Gorrell, chief analyst with the California-based automotive consulting firm Strategic Visions.

    While industry figures vary, in its most recent Consumer Expenditure Intelligence Report, Texas research firm Intellous says that new-vehicle spending by Hispanics grew 82 percent to more than $16 billion from 1997 to 2001. And the Hispanic share of the overall American new vehicle market rose from 4.5 percent to 6.3 percent during that period.

    HispanTelligence, the research division of Hispanic Business, estimates Hispanics spent nearly $35 billion in 2002 on new and used vehicles and repairs, accounting for nearly 8 percent of the market. J.D. Power and Associates has estimated that by 2020, fueled by growing purchasing power, Hispanics' share of the auto market could grow to 13 percent.

    Continue reading "Auto Industry Refocuses Attention on Hispanic Market" »

    AOL Latino New Destination For Las Vegas Travelers

    AOL Latino means business... Hispanic Business in

    that is.

    November 1, 2004

    AOL Latino and announced the launch of a new travel hub to provide Spanish-speaking consumers with the latest information and booking tools for those wishing to visit Las Vegas, one of the nation’s top travel destinations.

    Under the agreement, is serving as the premier provider of Spanish-language travel content and e-commerce services related to Vegas. AOL Latino and will work together to create special Spanish-language Vegas promotions and content on the co-branded site, which is accessible through AOL Keyword: Vegas Viajes or at

    “We are excited to work with as a new advertising partner to provide the most comprehensive and unparalleled Vegas travel and entertainment information available on the Web to our Spanish speaking members, says Peter Blacker vice president of International and Multicultural AOL Media Networks.

    Las Vegas is the top domestic city visited by Hispanics residing in the U.S., according to Scarborough Research, and travel is the largest category of spending among the Hispanic population in the U.S. (source: comScore/Media Metrics). And, as also reported by comScore, Hispanics are heading to travel Web sites at a 7% growth rate, outpacing the 4% figure for the overall U.S. market.

    Continue reading "AOL Latino New Destination For Las Vegas Travelers" »

    Course on Hispanic Marketing Communication

    One of this blog's readers, who happens to be a Doctoral Student at the Communication Dept at Florida State University, recently sent me an email with information about this course... check it out at the University's website.

    Wanted to make you aware of how important Latinos have become to American Business...

    The Top Three Mistakes in Hispanic Marketing

    Here is an interesting point of view directly from

    October 12, 2004
    By Blaire Borthayre

    The Hispanic population boom in the US has sent companies scrambling to win a piece of the lucrative pie.

    According to the The Selig Center for Economic Growth, Hispanic buying power for 2002 totaled $580 billion, with a predicted compound annual growth rate of 8.7%. (The standard rate for non-Hispanics is 4.8%.)

    The center's study predicts that by 2007 the dollar power of Hispanics will rise to $926.1 billion. The Hispanic community clearly holds a great deal of economic clout, which certainly explains why marketers are vying for its attention.

    Unfortunately, many marketing campaigns are ineffective. Here are the top three reasons.

    1. Advertising for Service-Related Products, But Not Educating

    There are 39.9 million Hispanics in the US, and half of the adults among them are foreign-born. Obviously, many Hispanics in the US are native-born, but they are typically served by standard marketing campaigns in English.

    The market segment that suffers from a tremendous void in services is the foreign-born Hispanics who have been in the US for five years or less. Often, they have limited or no English skills. Most significantly, they have a poor understanding of American systems in general. These immigrants rely on friends and family members to explain, or assist them to access, various services.

    If your company is conducting a campaign in Spanish, this segment is most likely the one you are trying to reach. If so, simply translating your materials into English is a mistake.

    For example, if you are a tax preparation company and are creating marketing materials for the average American, you would not waste print space explaining that Americans are required by law to file their taxes every year. You would not spend time explaining what a W-2 form is or that you need to bring it to the office when you file.

    Americans already know these things. Americans want to hear how fast you can deliver their refund, or they want to hear that they won't have to wait long to get their taxes done. They want to hear that you are an expert in tax law and tax preparation.

    But many recently arrived foreign-born Hispanics (and others) do not know that they must file taxes, and that they must do so with an Individual Tax Identification Number.

    Therefore, standard English-language advertising, even if translated into Spanish, simply will not work. Such ads might read, "Let us prepare your tax returns. We can get you a fast refund, and we are specialists in tax preparation." Since such information has no relevance, the message is ignored.

    Instead, the tax preparation company must launch an educational initiative that explains tax preparation in America, along with the filer's rights and responsibilities. For example, you would need to provide answers to questions such as "What is a W-2?" and "What do I bring to the tax office?"

    Continue reading "The Top Three Mistakes in Hispanic Marketing" »



    I just ordered my copy... This is good stuff for all research "aficionados" (or freaks, however you prefer to call us).

    Read more about it at the Hispanic Heritage Plaza 2004 website.

    To order a copy visit

    Hispanic Marketing Trends 2005

    Another Year, Another Margarita

    Here's an interesting article writtent by Garcia360's Erika Prosper:

    What a monumental year. Not only do we see a Presidential election, but we witnessed an interesting struggle between Hispanic marketers and Nielson over the long overdue revamping of their Spanish language tracking. It might not seem a big deal, but the accurate tracking of U.S. Latino customers' behavior and shopping habits actually means millions of dollars to corporations and to Latino marketers right now. This is a story to track in the year to come.

    For now, as 2004 winds down for us fourth quarter maniacs, it only seems fitting to look forward to what will stand out in Hispanic marketing in 2005.

    Hitting the Pavement
    As we forecast last year, grassroots marketing is the big thing most clients are looking for from media added-value. This trend continues to be dominant and it should be good news for radio stations, which have a tried and true method of grassroots marketing in radio remotes. Watch for a push from advertising agencies for increased use of the radio remote, especially in conjunction with community events, as marketers continue to look for ways to have "one-on-one" interactions with consumers.

    Continue reading "Hispanic Marketing Trends 2005" »

    Royal Caribbean Begins Hispanic Web Site

    October 14, 2004
    By Adweek's Jim Lovel

    VoyagerRoyal Caribbean International launched a Spanish-language Web site Oct. 11 in response to the growing number of Hispanics booking cruises on its ships, the company said.

    "We have seen the number of Hispanic travelers cruising with us continue to grow and want to ensure that they have an outstanding experience with our brand, starting with their very first contact with us online, " said Dan Hanrahan, senior vice president of marketing and sales for the company.

    The Web site is divided into several sections that include a primer for first-time vacationers, including details about the company's 19 ships, onboard activities, children's programs, ports of call and videos of the company's Spanish-language commercials. The venue also provides access to company employees who can book the voyage or helps visitors find travel agents near them.

    Del Rivero Messianu DDB of Miami, which has been Royal Caribbean's Hispanic ad agency for the past year, designed the Internet site.

    The company also provides a toll-free Spanish-language telephone number.


    "Targeting" Hispanics

    Recently, my friend and partner Joshua Stevens asked about my opinion on a question made to him by a TV sales rep. The question was:

    "With the rapid growth of the Hispanic population, which do you feel is the best way to target them without homogenizing the ads?"

    Felt compelled to share my answer with you:

    Reaching the heterogeneous Hispanic population in the U.S. can be as simple or intricate as the advertiser’s budget and strategy allows us, as well as the size of the market we are trying to reach (a city, state, region, or the whole country). We could be trying to reach a Spanish-dominant, fully bilingual, or English-Dominant audience; fully acculturated, bi-cultural, or non-acculturated customer; people descending from various countries or mostly from one country; different socio-economic levels, etc.

    It could go from a simple reference [in English], which only someone with a Hispanic heritage would get, on your regular, English-language media to an ad in Spanish, on Spanish media that specifically addresses Latinos…

    There isn't a simple turnkey solution to effectively reach "Hispanics"; it all depends on the specifics of EACH situation. It is the job of the advertiser and its advertising/marketing consultant to see the business real and approach the situation in the best way possible.

    Miller Locks Down Big Deal With Univision

    October 11, 2004

    MillerMiller Brewing Company and Univision Communications Inc. announced a major cross-platform advertising and marketing deal between America’s second-largest brewer and the nation’s leading Spanish-language media company.

    The $100 million-plus, three-year agreement will incorporate on-air advertisements, expanded property sponsorships and ownerships, substantial brand integration and sponsored public awareness vignettes on the following Univision outlets:

    -- National broadcast networks Univision and TeleFutura
    -- Univision and TeleFutura television stations in the nation’s largest markets
    -- Cable network Galavision
    -- Univision Radio’s AM network RadioCadena
    -- Local Univision Radio stations across the country
    --, the leading Spanish-language website

    For Miller, this partnership is a pivotal step in the company’s high-priority initiative to grow its business among Hispanic legal-drinking-age consumers. The Miller Trademark has shown growth over the past year-plus, and must begin to more effectively attract Hispanic beer drinkers to build on that momentum. The Univision deal is Miller’s biggest commitment ever to Hispanic marketing.

    Much of Miller’s success over the past year stems from its adoption of the able challenger mentality. The Milwaukee-based brewer has been successful at driving the dialogue in the U.S. beer industry, leaving its competitors in a reactionary mode. Luis Altuve, Miller’s director of multicultural marketing, said this deal is a great example of Miller’s newfound aggressiveness.

    “This agreement gives us a very real, long-term competitive advantage in connecting with adult Hispanic beer drinkers,” Altuve said. “It’s a very resourceful deal that fits well with our overall effort to compete as an able challenger with the dominant industry leader.”

    “We are thrilled that Miller has taken such a monumental step in recognizing the importance of advertising to Hispanics in Spanish with Univision and we are excited to be partnering with Miller in the creation of a new level of sponsorship encompassing national and local interests,” said Ron Furman, Univision’s executive vice president of network sales and marketing. “This cross-platform deal -- the largest in Univision’s history -- will give Miller unique exposure and exclusivity among Univision’s industry-leading properties.”

    The deal covers three main programming areas: sports, entertainment and music, and also includes a public awareness component as part of Miller’s “Live Responsibly” campaign.

    Continue reading "Miller Locks Down Big Deal With Univision" »

    Sears tailoring stores to have diverse appeal

    October 7, 2004
    By Christina Hoag

    Norma Rodríguez was impressed as she browsed the clothing racks at the Coral Gables-area Sears Wednesday morning. The colors were vibrant, the styles fashionable, the sizes right.

    ''This is nice now,'' said the Cuban-born Miami resident. ''I used to live in Puerto Rico. They have beautiful things there, but here . . . Not everybody is tall and thin. Spanish women, we have a lot over here.'' She slapped her hip. ``The stores don't think about us.''

    Rodríguez is exactly the type of customer that Sears aims to please with what it's calling ''multicultural stores'' where fashions, signs, color schemes and displays are geared to appeal to Hispanic, black and Asian shoppers.

    Sears is converting 97 of its 870 stores across the country to the new format this month. They're located in areas where at least 60 percent of shoppers are minorities.

    Twelve South Florida stores, including outlets in the Coral Gables area, Kendall, Pembroke Pines and Plantation, fit that bill. At the Gables store, 90 percent of the customers are Hispanic.

    Not only are such Hispanic-dominant stores increasing their bilingual signs and sales staff, they're getting in-store posters featuring models of color and four brand new apparel lines designed especially for multicultural women.

    Sears developed the concept after two years of research that pinpointed several key differences among multicultural and non-Hispanic white consumers. Sizing, for instance.

    Hispanic and Asian women tended to report problems in finding small sizes while some black women stated the opposite quandary.

    The multicultural stores will have increased stocks of petites in Hispanic-heavy areas and more plus sizes in predominantly black areas.

    Continue reading "Sears tailoring stores to have diverse appeal" »

    Opening doors to Hispanic buyers

    Growing segment in home purchases

    October 03, 2004
    By Christine Tatum and Macario Juarez Jr.

    Whether it's as home buyers or sellers, Hispanics have emerged as a force in metro Denver.

    Last year, Hispanics accounted for 26.5 percent of all applications received for loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration and the Department of Veterans Affairs, according to data provided as part of the federal Home Mortgage Disclosure Act. That's up from 15.9 percent five years ago. And the number of Hispanics applying for conventional loans also swelled - to 9.5 percent of all loans from 6.7 percent five years ago.

    "The Hispanic population is the fastest-growing segment in real estate," said Eugene Lucero, chairman of the Colorado affiliate of the 10,000-member National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals, a trade group. He spoke on the eve of the group's fourth annual convention, which opens its first full day today at the Colorado Convention Center.

    Still, there remains a large part of the Hispanic market that is either underserved or untapped.

    New census data released last week show Hispanics make up more than a third of Denver's population.

    Statewide, the Hispanic population of Douglas County grew the most from 2000 to 2003, followed by Garfield and Summit counties.

    Many of these newcomers can afford a home but have not bought because of language barriers, fear of the process, or lack of credit or identification status.

    But with the number of agents, mortgage lenders and financial assistance tailored to the Hispanic population, that can only change. Today, The Denver Post profiles some of the key players in the process:

    Continue reading "Opening doors to Hispanic buyers" »

    Selling Cars in E$pañol

    September 18, 2004
    by Domenico Maceri

    As the purchasing power of Latinos increases, smart companies make efforts to reach them in Spanish. Sometimes even when people may not be in the market to buy anything, just hearing a description may end up in a sale. A car dealership in Kansas City focused its efforts on reaching out to Hispanic and increased the bottom line by $825,000 in new and used car sales (Free Subscription). A study by J. D. Power and Associates found that Hispanics are responsible for 8 % of all new vehicle sales and that figure is expected to rise to 13% in 2020.

    Source: Language Blogger

    Barriers to Hispanics

    By James Aldridge
    September 17, 2004

    A study released recently by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute shows that most Hispanics want to own a home in a safe neighborhood. However, current industry practices make it difficult for families to achieve that dream.

    Based on data from an 11-city focus group, including San Antonio, a significant number of Hispanic families distrust the mainstream housing market because of a fear of predatory lending practices, complex home buying procedures and a lack of flexible loan products.

    If business practices don't change, the Hispanic homeownership rate (48 percent) will continue to lag significantly behind the population at large (68 percent). In San Antonio, Hispanics make up 58.7 percent of the total population, according to the city of San Antonio.

    "From the consumer to the loan officer, we all share the burden of the Hispanic homeownership divide," says Ron Jauregui, one of three senior housing professionals participating in the National Housing Initiative two-year fellowship program. "However, our message to the industry is that to effectively reach the Hispanic consumer, corporate messages and innovative product development must be consistent to what happens on the front line. Without a sincere understanding of the Hispanic consumer's experience and the trust factor that exists within it, neither the message nor the product will resonate."

    The National Housing Initiative is a bipartisan effort designed to increase homeownership opportunities for Hispanics across the country.

    Source: San Antonio Business Journal

    Hispanic market flexes buying power

    By Robert Mullins
    September 17, 2004

    Imagine a TV ad in which a blonde white woman runs into a supermarket for her weekly grocery shopping. She emerges from the store smiling and satisfied with her shopping experience.

    That ad would not persuade a Hispanic customer to shop at that store, says Deborah Gonderil of the research company Synovate, of Chicago. "It doesn't have anything to do with the way they shop."

    Grocery shopping is a family event for many Hispanics, Ms. Gonderil says. A Hispanic woman would be more likely to go grocery shopping with her husband, children or even parents than alone.

    Subtleties like these are lessons marketers are learning as they focus on selling to America's Hispanic population, including here in San Jose.

    Hispanics are the fastest growing ethnic group in America. While the U.S. population overall grew 13 percent between the 1990, according to the 2000 census, the Hispanic population grew by 58 percent, to 43 million. Hispanics represent 24 percent of the population of Santa Clara County.

    Mainstream companies such as Circuit City Stores Inc., Bank of America Corp., Miller Brewing Co. and Home Depot Inc. are tailoring their marketing message to this growing population.

    "Hispanics are the growth market," says Luis Casanova, a spokesman for Bank of America Corp., of Charlotte, N.C., which has 66 branches and 242 automated tellers in the San Jose metropolitan area.

    Eighty percent of the population growth in California between 2003 and 2008 will be of new Hispanic residents, Mr. Casanova says. And they are growing wealthier. While the average household income of Americans grew by between 1 percent and 3 percent in 2003, average Hispanic household income grew by between 5 percent and 6 percent.

    Continue reading "Hispanic market flexes buying power" »

    Spain is once again coming to America


    From the July 30, 2004 print edition of the San Antonio Business Journal
    By Carlos Freymann

    Spain, bordered in its south by the Mediterranean Sea and crowned by the Bay of Biscay, seems to be having a rebirth in the Americas.

    For three centuries Spanish medieval ideas controlled the huge lands Columbus had discovered for the authorities in Madrid, seat of the Spanish colonial expansion in the Americas. Its empire extended from south Oregon and Texas in the north, to the tip of Chile and Argentina to the south without Brazil. And though treasures never eluded the Spanish conquerors, not even the most ambitious among them ever imagined the riches their nation would accumulate as the centuries rolled by.

    Today, long lasting stone-made churches, aqueducts and missions stand like granite specters of yore reminding one of such a colossal epoch. But in the early 1800's, the cries of independence from a cluster of new American countries set into motion the epoch's end. After half a millennium in the Americas, Spain received a coup d'grace, a finishing blow in the early 1900's, with the loss of Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Philippines to the United States.

    Continue reading "Spain is once again coming to America" »

    Marketing y Medios: Premiere Issue


    I just received the magazine's September 2004 (Vol. 1 No. 1) issue. Glanced through it and will definitely read it from cover to cover ASAP. I strongly recommend subscribing to it; they did an absolutely marvelous job.

    Check out their website at

    Hispanamericanos: The Third Culture

    Here's some interesting research on Latinos that we should keep an eye on:

    DALLAS, Sept. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Cultura announces the launch of a comprehensive study of the US Hispanic market. Juan Faura, president of Cultura, a Dallas-based ad agency specializing in the US Hispanic market, stated it is the first study of its kind. "There have been extremely thorough and complete research projects addressing the US Hispanic market in the past, but they have not covered the breadth of markets and people that this one will," he stated from his office in Dallas. The project titledHispanamericanos: The Third Culture began on August 2, 2004, will cover more than 120 cities in 30 states across the US and Mexico, will include Spanish-dominant, bilingual and English-dominant Hispanics between 7 and 95 years old and is expected to take between 6 and 9 months to complete. Greg Knipp, general manager of Cultura believes the results will be invaluable to marketers looking to reach this audience. "The study is intended to provide the most complete picture of the market to date."

    Continue reading "Hispanamericanos: The Third Culture " »

    AOL Joins Hispanic Co-Op Mailing Program


    Kristen Bremner, Senior Editor of DM News reported on August 30, 2004 on how AOL is working hard to establish strong distribution channels for their Low Cost PC offer specifically focused on Latinos.

    Carmen's Cupones y Consejos, Aliso Viejo, CA, said last week that America Online has joined its Hispanic cooperative direct mail program for its Back-to-School edition. AOL developed a bilingual, tri-fold brochure for its AOL Optimized PC service that will insert into 500,000 outgoing co-op mailers.

    Carmen's Cupones reaches 2.5 million Hispanic homes each mailing in seven states and in the top 12 U.S. Hispanic markets. It arrives in an envelope with ads in English and Spanish.

    Source: DM News

    Continue reading "AOL Joins Hispanic Co-Op Mailing Program" »

    Entrepreneurs Tapping Into Latino Market

    Utah customer base and purchasing power rising

    This story By Deborah Bulkeley published Sunday, August 29, 2004 on the Deseret Morning News, although focused in Utah, gives a good overall picture of the Hispanic Market in the U.S.: culture, language, consumer habits, marketing and advertising, population growth, businesses catering to Latinos, Hispanic entrepreneurs. It is definitely a good read.

    Hugh McDonald realized the potential of Utah's Latino market a decade ago when he started a door-to-door meat business in Provo.

    "I learned something," McDonald said. "Hispanics consume about 10 times the amount of meat as non-Hispanics."

    So he stopped going door to door and opened one of the region's first meat markets geared to the small but rapidly growing Latino population. McDonald said he was one of three such markets along the Wasatch Front. Now he's one of about 120.


    They are all trying to tap into a growing demographic that has money to spend. Latinos now account for more than $2 billion in purchasing power in Utah, said Joe Reyna, Ogden deputy mayor and board chairman-elect of the Utah Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

    And the customer base just keeps growing. Utah's Latino population, at 84,597 in 1990 is now estimated at 229,386, or nearly 10 percent of the state's population, according to the latest U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey.

    Today's cultural landscape is very different from what Lorena Riffo-Jensen remembers when she first arrived in Utah from Chile in 1980.

    Continue reading "Entrepreneurs Tapping Into Latino Market " »

    Hispanic vote may be less of factor

    In an article by Sergio Bustos and Pamela Brogan for The Springfield News-Leader on August 26th, we are introduced into two interesting viewpoints regarding the Latino vote:

    1) It is not only the Hispanics themselves that politicians should be going after with the “Hispanic” issues, it’s also all those who relate and care for them and are not necessarily Hispanic themselves.

    2) The highly Latino-populated states are pretty much claimed by one of the parties; only a few of the “battleground” states have more than 9% of their population made up of Hispanics.

    This article is departure from what is usually covered through this weblog, but it was kind of interesting to notice that all the hoopla about the Hispanic vote could be just that. I am curious to see how things transpire on Election Day.

    Hispanics may soon become the forgotten voters of the 2004 presidential campaign.

    That's because the race to the White House has boiled down to 20 so-called battleground states, including Missouri, where Hispanic voters are few and far between.

    The 13,000 Hispanics in Missouri who voted in the 2000 presidential race accounted for just 1 percent of all state residents who voted in the election. White voters, by contrast, accounted for almost 88 percent of those who cast ballots. President Bush beat Democratic candidate Al Gore by 78,786 votes in Missouri.

    "Our numbers may be small but our votes are very important," said Yolanda Lorge, president of Grupo Latinoamericano in Springfield, a nonpartisan community group that helps Hispanics with issues like voter registration, immigration and education.

    "It's not just the Hispanic vote we are talking about, but other Americans who care about Hispanics, like husbands and wives, employers and neighbors," she said.

    Continue reading "Hispanic vote may be less of factor" »

    Kraft tailors items to Hispanic tastes’s Julie Jargon reported on August 30, 2004 that the food giant wants a bigger slice of this growing market. Read along; there are some good moves Kraft is making (like introducing manchego cheese), there are some through which they are simply stereotyping Latinos as a whole (their “Fiesta” Fuity Pebbles, basically the same deal as Fruity Pebbles plus a “fiesta” box design).

    Kraft Foods Inc. is looking to Mexico for products that might appeal to Hispanic consumers in the U.S.

    manchegoIn March 2002, the Northfield food company introduced a mayonnaise with lime juice, and in October 2002 debuted manchego cheese, two items popular in Mexico. It also started importing cookies made in Mexico by its Nabisco unit in March 2003. More recently, it added the word "fiesta" to its Fruity Pebbles cereal and slapped Spanish subtitles on packaging for Kool-Aid and Capri Sun beverages and Oscar Mayer meats.

    Kraft has long advertised on Hispanic media in the U.S., but has been slower to adapt its product lines to the particular tastes of the country's fastest-growing ethnic group. Hispanics currently comprise 14% of this country's population and are expected to make up 24% by 2050, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

    "This is a real growth opportunity for Kraft and an area we can't ignore," says Liz Perez Angeles, Kraft's associate director of Hispanic marketing.

    Continue reading "Kraft tailors items to Hispanic tastes" »

    AOL Latino Launches Spanish Language Automotive Channel with Content by Autobytel

    Service Partner to Provide Customized Packages of Autos Info, Research, and Purchasing Tools


    AOL is on the right track if they keep finding reliable companies to partner with to service Hispanics. They need to deliver real value (the difference between the perceived price and the sticker price) to all those Latinos being introduced to the web through AOL Latino and their low-cost PC so that when the 1-year commitment with AOL ends, they feel satisfied enough to not consider changing internet service providers. Stay “connected”.

    HISPANIC PR WIRE Aug. 17, 2004

    AOL Latino and Autobytel Inc., a leading automotive marketing services company, announced their partnership to launch a new channel called Automóviles (Automobiles). This new Spanish language autos channel, developed to provide AOL Latino members with comprehensive car search and comparison tools, includes expert automotive content, dynamic data and tools, and the ability to submit an online request to buy from a local Autobytel dealer.

    According to the most recent AOL/Roper ASW U.S. Hispanic Cyberstudy released this Spring, online Hispanic consumers are purchasing new cars at four times the rate of the general population. The study also finds that 46% of online Hispanics are using the Internet to design and customize their car of choice, as well as locate a dealer for that car. Also, about 48% of online Hispanics have bought a new car within the last three years.

    Continue reading "AOL Latino Launches Spanish Language Automotive Channel with Content by Autobytel " »

    Zalia Cosmetics Launches 'Latina' Product Line

    This I do call a product for Latinas. Born out of an unsatisfied personal need and the creativity to fulfill it, it resonated with enough people than its creator launched a business out of it… Zalia Cosmetics identified a niche market and it is claiming it its own; yes, not all Hispanics have a dark complexion but I am quite sure enough of them do to make this line successful. Also partnering with an already popular brand, chain store, and beauty line, Victoria’s Secret Beauty, was a very clever move, immediately obtaining path dominance, great “shelve space” if you may, that otherwise would have been much costlier to obtain.

    Ahead, the story by Miami Herald’s Christina Hoag (8/17/04)...


    Finding cosmetics to suit her olive skin was never easy for Mónica Ramírez, but since she was a makeup artist, she mixed her own colors, then started doing the same for friends and fashion model clients.

    Now Ramírez has taken her custom-made makeup to the next level: She has turned it into a business aiming at Hispanic women who, like this daughter of Peruvian immigrants, can never seem to find the right-toned makeup.

    Called Zalia Cosmetics, the line of 110 products is was rolled out August 18 in Miami, one of four major Hispanic markets across the country where it will be available in Victoria's Secret Beauty shops. Until now, it's only been sold in New York and New Jersey at three shops dubbed Zalia BeautiLounges.

    Both Ramírez and Victoria's Secret Beauty expect there'll be plenty of demand nationwide.

    ''I've found a lot of other Latinas with the same problem of finding makeup,'' said Ramírez, who's from New York. ``Women were telling me it's about time people were thinking about our needs.''

    Victoria's Secret Beauty plans to test Zalia Cosmetics in New York, Dallas and Los Angeles, as well as Miami. If it's successful, it will expand distribution, said Chief Marketing Officer Sherry Baker.

    ''The possibilities that a Latina-inspired line offers us is a great point of difference for Victoria's Secret Beauty,'' Baker said. ``It adds even more choice to the current color lines.''

    Zalia's national launch comes as many marketers are trying to lure Hispanic consumers with products advertised as tailor-made for them.

    Continue reading "Zalia Cosmetics Launches 'Latina' Product Line " »

    'The Whole Enchilada' - Giving Mainstream America a Taste


    A couple days ago I ran into this news release… The book’s name immediately caught my eye… They say you can’t judge a book by its cover; what do “they” say about it’s title? I digress. Anyway, felt compelled to share it with you.

    DALLAS, Aug. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Cultura, a Hispanic advertising agency based in Dallas, announces the release of The Whole Enchilada - Hispanic Marketing 101, a how-to book written by its president, Juan Faura. The book is meant to be a primer on advertising and marketing to the growing U.S. Hispanic market. According to Faura, the book will be useful to both large and small businesses. "A big reason for writing the book was the fact that there is nothing out there to show the small to medium sized business owner how to address this audience," Faura said. Jim Madden, publisher of PMP books believes The Whole Enchilada is a departure from what is available now. "Part of the book's appeal is the conversational and off-the-cuff style in which it is written. It definitely is a quick and easy read, chock full of practical advice."

    Continue reading "'The Whole Enchilada' - Giving Mainstream America a Taste " »

    Amount Spent On Hispanic Political Advertising Triples

    Both Parties Heavily Target Latinos in Swing States

    Read the latest report on the efforts each party is making to reach Hispanic voters, by Ad Age’s Ira Teinowits (8/19/04)

    With pundits predicting the Hispanic vote will be crucial to deciding this year's election, advertising spending toward the demographic is likely to more than triple the $3 million outlay of four years ago. So far, a combined $5.5 million has been spent by the parties and candidates on Hispanic ads, with a little more than three months remaining until Election Day.

    Democrats, shocked by Republicans' showing in '04 -- President Bush received 35% of the Hispanic vote four years ago and is aiming for 37% this time -- are responding in force.

    Continue reading "Amount Spent On Hispanic Political Advertising Triples" »

    Five-Tier Strategy Built Coke's Sixth-Largest Market

    chinaCokeNormandy Madden reports on (8/16/04) on how Cola-Cola is identifying the different sub segments within the Chinese people and addressing, through advertising, issues that are relevant to each “tier”. Even though Coke has deep, deep pockets this is an interesting model to translate and adapt into your efforts to market to the diverse Latino community. You might not be able to obtain such diverse campaigns as the Cola Giant, but little tweaks here and there, acknowledging the peculiarities of major Hispanic subgroups will definitely be recognized and appreciated by those Hispanos exposed to your message.

    Marketers at first focused on China's Big Three cities -- Beijing, Guangzhou and Shanghai -- but these days, China's growth engine depends on second- and third-tier cities such as Chongqing, China's capital before the 1949 Communist revolution.

    Coca-Cola Co. entered China 25 years ago. Since then, China has grown into Coke's sixth-largest global market in volume and it ranks third in incremental volume growth, after the U.S. and Mexico. Coke expects mainland China to become its third-largest operation within five years.

    "Our aspiration is to approach [the market strength Coke has in] the U.S., but it's a long journey," said John Cheung, Coke's marketing director for greater China, Shanghai. Per capita consumption of Coke products in the U.S. stands at more than 400 units a year. In China, the average is just 10.

    "You can cut China many different ways," said Mr. Cheung, who divides the country into five tiers. At the top he places Shanghai and Beijing, sophisticated "natural markets" where consumers act like those in developed countries. After that lies "urban one" with 27 major provincial cities such as Chongqing and Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan Province; "urban two," with about 2,000 smaller cities; 50,000 towns; and China's rural outskirts.

    Continue reading "Five-Tier Strategy Built Coke's Sixth-Largest Market" »

    Latinos can count on being wooed as a red-hot, untapped market segment

    Yolanda Rodríguez from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution wrote an extremely insightful article on August 17, 2004 on how various players in Atlanta’s Banking Industry (where only 6% of the population has Latino roots) are sprinting to claim Hispanics as their customers. They are aware of the opportunity, but not all will be able to bank on it (pun intended). As you will read below, the president of one of these banks, who’s investors are mostly Latinos, stated "It's one thing to speak Spanish, and it's another thing to understand the culture."

    A decade ago banks might have snubbed people walking through the door with small amounts of cash in hand. But now the buzz is to go after the "unbanked."

    Immigrants, particularly from Spanish-speaking countries, have helped drive the change.

    Nationally Hispanics, both native and foreign-born, have a disposable income of $686 billion, according to a recently released study by the University of Georgia's Selig Center for Economic Growth.

    ATMIn Georgia, where Hispanics compose about 6 percent of the population, their disposable income — money left over for goods and services after taxes — is expected to be $10.9 billion this year. That's a more than 700 percent increase over the $1.3 billion level in 1990.

    Banks — whether they are trying to sell remittance services or pushing savings accounts or mortgages — want a piece of that action.

    "The financial services companies were a little late, but now they are playing catch-up in a big way," said Jeffrey M. Humphreys, director of the Selig Center and author of the report. "The market is attractive not only because of the fast pace of the growth, but also because market penetration is low."

    But banks have their work cut out for them.

    Many Hispanic immigrants are distrustful of banks because of bad experiences in their native countries. Many are also inexperienced at banking. Consequently, they turn to check-cashing services and wire transfer companies. They buy money orders to pay their bills and keep cash at home or in their wallets.

    Continue reading "Latinos can count on being wooed as a red-hot, untapped market segment" »

    Businesses try, but not all succeed in marketing to local Latinos

    ¿Habla español?

    A great story (that will make you ponder) from the August 13, 2004 edition of the Cincinnati Business Courier, written by Karen Bells, Senior Editor.

    Marketing and media efforts aimed at the local Hispanic community are much like the group itself -- relatively small but growing.

    "Only about 2 to 3 percent of this area is Hispanic," said Roberto Peraza, president of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Greater Cincinnati.

    But, he said, the number is growing rapidly. And the numbers are expected to keep growing, said Mike Robinson, owner of Montgomery-based La Verdad/Hispanic Marketing Solutions.

    "Even though the greatest concentration of Hispanics is in places like California, Miami and Texas ... you'll find all the huge growth in Hispanic numbers in the Midwest -- Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan -- and places like North and South Carolina," said Robinson, who is Mexican-American.

    In the Cincinnati area, the Hispanic population grew 120 percent from 1990 to 2000, Robinson said, while the white population grew 5 percent during the same period. Nationally, Hispanics accounted for 40 percent of the increase in total population during that time period, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

    At 13 percent of the population, Hispanics are now the largest minority group in the country.

    All that growth means plenty of opportunity for businesses that want to get their message to the Hispanic community -- and also plenty of opportunity to mess it up.

    Continue reading "Businesses try, but not all succeed in marketing to local Latinos" »

    Chain Store Guide's Top 50 Hispanic Markets Report

    As reported late last month by, Chain Store Guide's Top 50 Hispanic Markets Report(TM), scheduled for release on late September 2004, provides intelligence on the geographic markets that are heavily populated by Hispanics. The market snapshot section outlines the retail and demographic details of each of the Top 50 Hispanic US markets, including rankings by Hispanic population, retail intelligence brake downs by sub-ethnic groups: Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, etc., market share information and media contacts. The retail profiles section contains listings of retail and restaurant headquarter information that have locations in these markets. Current and future Hispanic marketing plans are also noted in each listing.

    Click here for a sample.

    It could give you some valuable information...

    New Hispanic Market Studies Launched published an article by Laurel Wentz on August 02, 2004 on how two soon-to-be-released studies will provide a deeper understanding of the Latino market. One focuses on Hispanics as a whole, the other on Hispanic Youth (the latter caught my attention for the great wording on a sample question shared in this story; note that they are asking what people have actually done, not what they would do).


    A Hispanic research movement is starting to fill the gaps in syndicated research in order to help marketers better target Hispanic consumers.

    Universal McCann’s ongoing global research study, Media in Mind, is adding a U.S. Hispanic version, working with Simmons Market Research Bureau, with data out January 2005.

    Continue reading "New Hispanic Market Studies Launched" »

    Coding Mestizaje

    cuadrodecastasThomas Tseng from The Melting Blog, posted this interesting story On July 19, 2004. It is another important aspect of the Latino culture that you need to be aware of.

    Here is a short quotation, but you really must read the whole thing:

    For years, scholars believed that colonial Mexicans actually lived according to this intricate system of racial castes. They mistook these paintings as depictions of social reality. But the categories enshrined in casta paintings never came close to reflecting the variety and dynamism of colonial race relations. And while the minority white European elite was obsessed with racial purity, most Mexican commoners were not.

    But while widespread mixture made enforcement of a true caste system impossible, the notion of a racial hierarchy did nonetheless influence the nation's self-image. Today the relative absence of dark-skinned actors on Mexican television is a legacy of this tradition. Some Latin American-born advertising executives have imported this prejudice to the United States. Their advertisements routinely feature light-skinned models in campaigns designed to target a Latino population that is distinctly heterogeneous.

    Travel & Tourism Industry Failing To Invest In The Hispanic Traveler., July 19, 2004:

    Recent reports by the Travel Industry Association of America (TIA) show a significant increase in travel over the past three years by minority Americans.

    According to the report, Hispanic households generate the highest travel volume -- over 77 million person-trips or 8 percent of all domestic person-trips taken by U.S. households. Travel by Hispanic Americans has grown significantly, some 20 percent between 2000 and 2002 alone, a time when total U.S. domestic travel grew 2 percent.


    "These growth rates show the travel and tourism industry that the Hispanic market has substantial buying power. However, every sector of this industry -- hotels, theme parks, city visitor bureaus, transportation companies and convention centers -- continues to ignore the power of the Hispanic community taking the dollar value associated with it for granted," said Angela Gonzalez Rowe, Editor in Chief of Hispanic Meetings & Travel magazine.

    Either traveling within the U.S., visiting family and friends back home, getting closer to their Latin American Heritage, or traveling the world for business or pleasure, Hispanics are traveling in growing numbers and affecting the Travel and Tourism Industry just as they are having a strong impact on every industry in America.

    You need to know how serve them as they want to be served.

    Read the entire article at

    Hispanic Banking: The Race Is On

    MoneyThis most appropriate follow-up to yesterday’s post on Hispanics and financial institutions was published July 28th on Knowledge @ Wharton bi-weekly newsletter. Here are some excerpts:

    With Hispanics now constituting the largest minority in the United States – some 40 million people – their appeal to financial institutions is growing. Spanish banks are taking advantage of their strong presence in Latin America to move into the United States, even as U.S. banks are trying to take advantage of the growing Hispanic presence in their country to expand into Latin America. For the moment, the financial institutions that serve this market are focused on sending remittances, a business that will amount to $30 billion this year, according to BID, the Ibero-American Development Bank. That is more money than all the foreign direct investment in the region. The Hispanic market is extremely attractive for Spanish and American banks because most Hispanics do not even have a bank account yet; in countries like Mexico, credit accounts for only 10% of GDP.

    Continue reading "Hispanic Banking: The Race Is On " »

    Financial Institutions and the Latino Community

    SavingsLately, financial institutions have been paying much closer attention to Hispanics. Almost every day you can find a news release on the subject. From local credit unions to big financial corporations… They go from hiring bilingual staff, to launching a new bank specifically targeting Latinos, and just about everything in between. Here is a random sample of the news I’ve found during the last couple of weeks:

    Continue reading "Financial Institutions and the Latino Community" »

    2004: Targeting Hispanics

    Malcolm Beith reports on the July 26 issue of Newsweek that the ad fight is on for more than 20 million potential Hispanic votes. There are several interesting points brought up, but the one that caught my eye today, and applies not only to this year's elections but to every business marketing to Latinos, is the fact that both camps utilize the neutral-dialect "universal Spanish," which, while speaking to everyone, speaks to no one in particular.

    You want to speak to the customer, in the language (more specifically, regional dialect) of the customer, about what's important to the customer; you should be aiming at delivering your message with a familiar accent, word selection, resonance to the listener/viewer/reader's state of mind, belief system, culture, and frame of reference. Either if your message is in Spanish, completely in English, or somewhere in between, by aknowledging those cultural nuances you will score big with your customers.

    Continue reading "2004: Targeting Hispanics" »

    Hispanic clout grows at the cash register

    Romano Cedillos from the Tucson Citizen reported on July, 15th on how Latinos are changing the local business landscape. Yet another example on how companies, both big and small, nationally as well as locally, area making the necessary shifts in order to attract as customers those members of the largest minority in America. The race is on in every corner of the U.S. The winners will be those who understand that it is more about being culturally sensitive to Hispanics, equally through their advertising and the actual interaction with customers; those who see Latinos as an important part of America and treat them with respect; not pigeonholing them, but embracing them as part of the whole that is the American society.


    Recently discovered by corporate America, they are changing the way companies do business across the nation. From soda ads and clothing commercials to Spanish-language Web sites and commercial marketing campaigns targeting Hispanics, corporate America has jumped on the Hispanic bandwagon in the hope of tapping into the Latino cash flow.

    Continue reading "Hispanic clout grows at the cash register" »

    ¿Qué Pasó Chevrolet?

    While GM (who’s biggest brand is Chevrolet) boosts its Hispanic Ad spending in direct response to a market share increase after their last campaigns, Bilingual Research Services’ Suzanne López runs into this sign at her local Chevy Dealer:

    I invite you to read Suzanne's article, published on July 14th on I am certain you will enjoy the read as well as learn a lot from it.

    It is just another classic example of a company not being aware of the symbiosis between Message, Share of Voice, and Personal Experience Factor. The latter being the actual delivery of a product or service to a REAL customer and how does the company measure up when compared to the mental image it created on the customer’s mind though their ads.

    Continue reading "¿Qué Pasó Chevrolet?" »

    Attitudes About Diet and Health Differ Between Foreign-born and U.S.-Born Hispanics

    They vary as well with their preferred language, degree of acculturation, income level, gender...

    Diversity, diversity, diversity... It is the name of the game. The Latino community's diversity is perfectly portrayed on this July 13th news release by PRNewswire on diet and health attitudes among Hispanics. It could very well be about your product/service or any other gizmo you can think of, you would still need to consider how these variables, as well as several other, influence the choice of action taken by Latino/Hispanic consumers.

    Here is a digest version of the mentioned story:

    Hispanic consumers in the United States display differing attitudes toward health and diet, according to a new NOP World Hispanic OmniTel(TM) survey. The most striking line of demarcation is whether consumers were born in or outside of the United States.

    Continue reading "Attitudes About Diet and Health Differ Between Foreign-born and U.S.-Born Hispanics" »

    Latino trends fuel media, ad changes

    Jennifer Alsever, Denver Post’s staff writer presented a very straightforward overview on Sunday, July 11, 2004 on how advertisers have been waking up to realize the growth potential the Hispanic/Latino population represents for their bottom line and the subsequent proliferation of Hispanic media vehicles… Check out the interesting point she makes near the end, regarding translation blunders…

    Large corporations are continuing to chase the booming Hispanic population, based on a range of census and demographic trends:

    The U.S. Hispanic population grew 61 percent between 1990 and 2003 to reach 35.3 million people. That makes Hispanics the fastest-growing group in America, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

    Continue reading "Latino trends fuel media, ad changes" »

    Mortgage Frauds Targeting Latinos

    A follow-up to a recent post on Hispanics and Real Estate

    On July 6th, Rhina Guidos from The Salt Lake Tribune reported the following:

    On a lined piece of notebook paper, Luis D'az scribbled with his pen. He jotted down careful notes and numbers… during a recent meeting aimed at educating potential Latino home buyers on fraudulent housing schemes.

    He was careful to take notes because he doesn't want to be a victim, he said. He has heard stories of other Latinos being charged exorbitant prices for homes, of inflated interest rates, stories of fraudulent home-mortgage brokers who ask for a down payment and are never heard from again.

    Continue reading "Mortgage Frauds Targeting Latinos " »

    Too Sweet or Not Too Sweet?

    That is the question... Latinos should ask about themselves and their families.

    dulcesWhile candy makers focus on Hispanic tastes to include in their products, "busily filling the overdue need for sweets for the burgeoning U.S. Hispanic market"., as reported on July 2 by UPI, a new survey conducted in May 2004 for Kellogg by La Opinión/El Diario de la Prensa Market Research Center, shows Latino families not exercising at recommended levels resulting in rising obesity rates among them.

    My good friend Francisco Chada, Sales Manager at Austin's Maxwell Chrysler, told me right after I moved into the U.S. to be careful with the junk food (He sold me both of my family's cars by the way)... He noticed that many new immigrants went crazy with the excessive food offerings this country offers. If they are not careful, they will watch their waistline be a victim of over choice in just a couple of months.

    Continue reading "Too Sweet or Not Too Sweet?" »

    Latinos and Real Estate

    houseonmoneyReproducing like rabbits, news about realtors and real estate companies catering in some specific way to Hispanics have been cramming cyberspace over the last couple weeks. Yes, Latinos are buying more and more homes and those companies cashing in on this trend are the ones taking the risks and making the necessary efforts to provide those products and services that the Hispanic community was lacking in some degree: closing documents in Spanish, title insurance, mortgage loan services, sheer information on the entire home buying process.

    Here you will find excerpts of five different articles addressing these issues:

    Continue reading "Latinos and Real Estate " »

    More on English vs. Spanish

    On Wednesday, June 23, 2004, Thomas Tseng posted the following on New American Dimension's The Melting Blog:

    An Old Cat Sings A New Song

    ... the battle between English vs. Spanish is a very contentious one in Hispanic marketing. You can pretty much draw a thick line to separate those in the old Univision/AHAA camp ("Spanish rules, period") and the new generation Latino vanguard of SiTV/Mun2/LaTV ("English works too, for the young!"). As a result, I just about dropped when I read this passage from Felipe Korzenny in this week's Hispanic Market Weekly (paid subscription only)

    "The U.S. is the No. 2 Spanish speaking country in the world," said Felipe Korzenny, professor of communication at Florida State University in Tallahassee and co-founder of Cheskin Research. He estimated that there are 46 million Hispanics, including undocumented immigrants, in this country. That would place the U.S. behind Mexico, which has 105 million residents, and ahead of Spain, which has 41 million.

    Of those 46 million Hispanics in the U.S., Korzenny estimates that 70 percent - roughly 30 million - are proficient in English. "It's time to question some of the assumptions we've made about Hispanics," said Korzenny. "Just because they speak Spanish at home, doesn't mean they have to be targeted in Spanish." Research conducted by Korzenny indicates that Latinos whose first language is Spanish spend 13.64 hours per week watching Spanish-language television and 13.48 hours watching English-language television.

    Continue reading "More on English vs. Spanish" »

    Multicultural Marketing Guide


    If you are a sucker for research, for which I plead guilty as charged, you'll definitely appreciate the Cable Advertising Bureau's (CAB) recently released "Upfront 04/05 - A Multicultural Marketing Guide".

    Described as a "... comprehensive 48 page planning resource [which] features the latest statistics, psychographics, demographics, and programming options for both the Hispanic and African-American markets...designed to provide... actionable insights and strategies that will directly benefit your bottom line." It also includes "... detailed profiles of... Hispanic Networks like Galavision, CNN en Espanol, Casa Club, ESPN Deportes, Fox Sports Espanol, La Familia, MTV Espanol, VHUno, mun2, SiTV and Voy."

    My copy sits next to me as I write this post... I strongly suggest visiting the CAB's online reservation form to get yours. CAB says that quantities are limited and is available at no charge to advertisers and agencies.

    To read more about the Guide visit the article "CAB Sings 'We Are The World,' Targets Multicultural Buys" published on Monday, June 21, 2004 by MediaPost.

    Speaking Two Languages

    June 24, 2004. Betsy Spethmann of Primedia Inc. presented this superb article which at first appears to be about which language to utilize when marketing to Latinos/Hispanics… It goes way beyond that, it is a masterful rendition of several of the essential key issues one needs to understand about Hispanics in the United States if one is to reach them effectively.

    There's a dichotomy in marketing to the Hispanic community that goes beyond bilingual.

    Hispanic culture is hip these days, so it influences general marketing in the same way it influences food, music and fashion. But Hispanic immigrants aren't assimilating as quickly or deeply as past immigrant groups. Credit cultural pride, tight-knit geographic communities and an increase in Spanish-language media. Newcomers don't have to learn English, and marketers get national reach in Spanish.

    Put the two trends together and there's the dichotomy: a broader Hispanic flavor to general culture, but a smaller, tighter audience for targeted Hispanic marketing -- and a two-tiered audience at that, with some more Americanized than others.

    Some marketers dedicate their ethnic marketing dollars to Spanish-only immigrants, and let general-market campaigns suffice for second-generation and assimilated Hispanics. That trend will grow as long as Latino is cool.

    Others target two audiences: acculturated, bilingual consumers, and Spanish-only newcomers. That two-year-old trend will grow as the population expands, warranting segmented marketing.

    I believe, as mentioned before, that it is a function of how deep are the advertiser’s pockets, where, geographically they are advertising, and what are they trying to achieve. If one has a limited budget and is specifically trying to reach Latinos in Brownsville, TX, probably centering all advertising dollars into Spanish media at the beginning is a wise move. Then again, this would not be a wise move under the same circumstances in Albuquerque, NM.

    "We have to be O.K. with this dual current moving forward," says Maria Madruga, president of Mass Promotions, Miami. "The Hispanic consumer is a 150 percent person: He keeps the influences of his home country, then adds all the good things from his new environment. It enriches his personal possibilities and gives a greater frame of reference."

    Let’s not get too sanctimonious about Latinos/Hispanics… Unfortunately we do not only add the good from this new environment… We are easily adopting the bad…

    Continue reading "Speaking Two Languages" »

    Number of Hispanic-owned Service Firms Surges

    industry-sector-trendsMore interesting facts on how Hispanics are making their way into the U.S. society:

    June 2004

    The service and financial sectors are expected to show the largest growth in Hispanic-owned companies, according to HispanTelligence® analysis.

    Currently, the service sector leads all other industry segments in overall concentration and number of Hispanic-owned firms. And from 2000 to 2010, a total of 846,048 new firms are expected to enter the sector, raising its overall concentration from 48 percent to 50 percent. That increase is projected to account for more than half of the total increase in Hispanic-owned firms in the coming years.

    Continue reading "Number of Hispanic-owned Service Firms Surges" »

    Latinos' First Language: English

    This article, written by Ruben Navarrette appeared on The Record’s (Bergen County, NJ) June 17, 2004 edition. It touches several issues that I’ve discussed in the last couple of weeks. Even though we don’t see eye-to-eye on certain topics, I do believe his point of view enriches the entire Hispanic Marketing theme and will make us think.

    Everyday now I am more certain that the discussion on how to market to Latinos, shouldn’t be about which language to use, but should focus on values and cultural issues. Then it will depend on how deep are the pockets of a given company (if it is able to advertise in both English and Spanish media, or only one) and which language will the advertiser choose to advertise in first (decision that would vary depending on the particularities, demographics and psychographic profiles of each market).

    They’re what you might call "language lies." They're the little assumptions that Americans harbor about foreigners and what language they speak.

    Here are two of my favorites: That Latinos aren't learning English fast enough, and that the only reason we translate things into Spanish is to accommodate non-English speakers.

    Continue reading "Latinos' First Language: English " »

    Publishers Finding a Bilingual Gold Mine

    Daniel Shoer-Roth, reported on the Jun. 14, 2004 edition of The Miami Herald about an extremely interesting trend developing in the U.S. publishing business. One more example of the growing influence Hispanics are gaining in America:

    Cervantes and Shakespeare greet each other every day on the shelves of thousands of bookstores throughout the United States.

    Increasingly, U.S. publishing houses are releasing their main titles in English and Spanish simultaneously to maximize marketing and expand their reach into one of the few segments of the book industry that is reporting growth: the Hispanic market.

    Continue reading "Publishers Finding a Bilingual Gold Mine" »



    Mercedes Cardona reported that on June 8th, 2004 the Effie Awards handed out its first Hispanic prizes at a ceremony in New York City.

    The cool thing about this is that "the Effies honor advertising effectiveness rather than advertising creativity. They place a spotlight on those advertising campaigns that have achieved superior, measureable results for the marketers who commissioned them. Both the marketer and the agency that produced the most effective ads are honored by the Effies."

    Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy experiencing a great creative effort, but creativity for creativity's sake is one of my pet peeves. How many Clios and the like are adorning ad agency's halls and conference rooms, while their client's businesses stayed flat at best! I am all for creativity but if that creativity is not persuading the public to take the action the advertiser wants them to take, it isn’t worth a Guatemalan cent (1/8 of a penny).

    Yes, we are in the business of persuasion, seduction, allure. We are not here to entertain! I would choose, with full confidence, a persuasive though not too creative campaign over a “Hollywood-esque” delivery any day. It is about presenting the public new information so they can make a new decision; attaching positive feelings & emotions the customer already has to the product or service being advertised; making the client’s product/service be the one that people think of first and feel the best about whenever that category is mentioned and/or when the want/need for it arises . It is about truly partnering with clients, honestly feeling sorry for those in who are not buying their products; it is committing 110% to the client’s success.

    Don’t get me started…

    Therefore I am twice elated: first because of the whole concept of these awards, and, with the same (or even higher) level of intensity, for the fact that Hispanic Agencies are being recognized for delivering results to their customers.

    Way to go McKee Wallwork Henderson Advertising and Erwin Penland!

    Read the entire article at:

    Wineries using bilingual labels to reach Hispanic consumers

    As mentioned earlier this month, wineries have begun consciously marketing to Spanish-speaking Hispanics. I am glad that most of their approaches are slightly different ways of inviting them into the world of wines vs. creating a wine “specially formulated for Latinos”.

    Monday, June 14, 2004, Santa Rosa, CA (AP)

    Some wineries are using bilingual labels in an attempt to reach Hispanic consumers.

    "It is an emerging market and a significant opportunity," said John Gillespie, president of the Wine Market Council in St. Helena, which tracks wine demographics. "The potential is huge."

    Only 2.5 percent of the estimated more than 53 million U.S. wine drinkers are Hispanic, according to the council. But surveys on market growth show the number of Hispanics consuming wine is growing faster than other ethnic groups.

    Continue reading "Wineries using bilingual labels to reach Hispanic consumers " »

    New Fact Pack Details Hispanic Market


    NEW YORK, June 21, 2004 ( --

    The only thing growing at a more explosive rate these days than the U.S. Hispanic population is perhaps the interest that marketers, media companies and agencies have in tapping into this highly desirable market. Advertising Age has assembled a top-line look at this market, in its first-ever Hispanic Fact Pack that can be downloaded at left. Its pages offer valuable, hard-to-find data about demographic trends, marketer spending, Hispanic media and leading Hispanic agencies.

    There are 40 million U.S. Hispanics, representing about 13% of the population. And they are a diverse group. One in three are under 18. Two in five are foreign-born. Two-thirds are of Mexican descent. Over half watch English-language TV. Sixteen million are eligible to vote. Their purchasing power is a stunning $581 billion.

    Read the whole story and download (for free!) this 45-Page annual report at AdAge's Hispanic Fact Pack. This is great research material, independently if you are planning on marketing nationally or locally.

    Hispanic-Targeted Pizza Patron Chain Opens First Franchises in Denver

    Kristi Arellano from The Denver Post reports on June 9, 2004:


    Antonio Swad hit on the Pizza Patron concept in 1986 when he opened his first pizza store in a heavily Hispanic neighborhood in Dallas. He struggled to communicate with his Spanish-speaking customers and realized that he could tap into a huge market if he could reach out to those customers.

    The company [now] operates 16 stores and has announced development agreements for 94 more in Texas, Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado.

    "Our pizza is no different than what you would find at Domino's or Papa John's," said Pizza Patron spokesman Andy Gamm, although some stores offer toppings like chorizo.

    Pizza Patron is relying largely on language and cultural familiarity to set it apart from other pizza chains. The stores are staffed by bilingual employees, and store managers are required to live in the neighborhoods they serve.

    Continue reading "Hispanic-Targeted Pizza Patron Chain Opens First Franchises in Denver" »

    Hispanics Prefer Spanish Media

    Media Life’s Diego Vasquez reported on June 15th that “There's something that might seem counter-intuitive about America's burgeoning Hispanic population.”

    It is this: While so adept at assimilating into American culture, settling about the country with ease, Hispanics exhibit a surprisingly strong affinity for their native language.


    And if anything, that affinity is growing, according to the latest results of a study on Hispanic media preferences [by Meneses Research and Associates]. As Hispanics assimilate into U.S. culture, they're bringing their language and their media preferences with them.

    Continue reading "Hispanics Prefer Spanish Media" »

    Hispanic Market Key For Internet Services

    MediaPost reported the following on June 15th :


    A study by Horowitz Associates finds that while household penetration of PCs and broadband services is lower for Hispanics, the group's interest level is high particularly among urban Latinos.

    Continue reading "Hispanic Market Key For Internet Services" »

    Hispanics - Part Four of Four: THE MARKETPLACE

    Freelance writer, Tricia Despres presents today, June 17, 2004, the last of a four-part article on Hispanics for MediaPost:

    Analysts predict Spanish-language networks will bring in slightly over one billion dollars in the upcoming upfront, the first time that these networks have gone over the one billion threshold. Univision shocked the ad marketplace last year when its upfront broke alongside the English-language networks'. Whereas Univision or Telemundo may have had 30 or more upfront advertisers in the late '90s, they now do business with upwards of 130.

    Continue reading "Hispanics - Part Four of Four: THE MARKETPLACE " »

    ¿Cómo dice? The Language Bias Of Researchers & Pollsters in the U.S.

    Suzanne Irizarry de López, from Bilingual Research Services, shares her thoughts on how research results can’t be representative if interviewers only speak English:

    Researchers argue that 1,000 people is plenty to obtain representative results, as long as they're randomly chosen. The sample may be randomly selected, but that is useless if the interviewers cannot fully communicate with a significant cross section of the sample.

    What happens when the interviewer only speaks English and the person on the other line only speaks Spanish? In most cases the call is terminated, labeled LB (language barrier) and is put back in queue to be reassigned to a native speaker. The problem with this data gathering method is that, statistically speaking, callers will not answer the phone the second time around thereby further reducing the Latino - Hispanic sample size for the poll. You can begin to see the weakness in referring to such poll as indicative of a 'national representative sample'. You could be ignoring up to 49% of the largest minority in the United States.

    Continue reading "¿Cómo dice? The Language Bias Of Researchers & Pollsters in the U.S." »

    Hispanics - Part Three of Four: THE VENDORS

    Freelance writer, Tricia Despres presents today, June 16, 2004, part three of a four-part article on Hispanics for MediaPost:

    Not very long ago, advertisers could reach their Hispanic target with a couple of regional television buys and some unique translation tweaks to their creative message. Any savvy media guru knows that those days are over. With the traditional media marketplace being swept away and the continuing advancement of technology-related media opportunities, there is no magical media mix sure to reach the Hispanic consumer. Whether it's radio, television, or the Internet, Hispanics are tuned in to virtually all of the media that is available to them.


    RADIO 27%
    INTERNET 12%

    Continue reading "Hispanics - Part Three of Four: THE VENDORS " »

    Telcom companies are eager to help Hispanic families stay in touch

    Here is a summary of the Sunday, June 6 article By Washington Post's Staff Writer Yuki Noguchi, that hits the bull's-eye on depicting the diverse Hispanic community and how corporate America is getting a grip on how to market to it.

    Even after 18 years of living in the United States, Charlie Rizzo, a native of Ecuador and vice president of international food-distribution company Rio Grande Foods Inc., feels the pull of his roots, he says, echoing a sentiment often repeated by Latino expatriates and business people marketing to them. "We have the need to call."

    Heavy reliance on phone service of all stripes -- basic local service through land lines, long-distance calling and cellular minutes -- is common among Hispanics like Rizzo, who say that strong linkage to families and business contacts back home have him getting on the horn constantly. The statistics bear that out: As a demographic group, Hispanics spend more of their monthly budgets on telecommunications -- 10 percent more than average on cell phones and $6 more on monthly long-distance phone service, according to Scarborough Research -- mostly, the experts say, to stay in touch with their far-flung families. Whether it's local calls to friends on the same block or international calls to those thousands of miles away, calling is a big business in the Latin American community.

    Continue reading "Telcom companies are eager to help Hispanic families stay in touch" »

    MediaPost's Hispanics - Part Two of Four

    Freelance writer, Tricia Despres presents today, June 15, 2004, part two of a four-part article on Hispanics for MediaPost. More useful and interesting information:


    Hispanics are ultra-loyal to their family, their heritage, their religion, and the brands they buy. Seven out of 10 Hispanics say they are likely to purchase products from companies that have some sort of visual presence at Hispanic festivals and events. Just recently, Unilever responded by announcing plans for their Bestfoods subsidiary (Skippy peanut butter, Lipton tea, Ragu pasta sauce) to set up voter registration booths at a number of Hispanic festivals across the country this summer.

    Continue reading "MediaPost's Hispanics - Part Two of Four" »

    MediaPost's Hispanics - Part One of Four

    Freelance writer, Tricia Despres presented on June 14th the first of a four-part article on Hispanics for MediaPost. It is jam-packed with useful information for anyone trying to fully understand Latinos in the U.S. I am certainly looking forward for the next delivery...

    America, has always been a country of diversity, with the "melting pot" as one its most indelible images. And the ethnic group which has arguably added the most flavor and impact to our culture, from the food we eat to the entertainment we watch, has been Hispanics.

    Yet it wasn't until the mid-'90s that marketers finally woke up and realized the importance of putting big dollars behind reaching this promising market. Media and marketing plans especially went into high gear after the release of the 2000 census, which outlined in solid facts and figures the explosive growth of the Hispanic population. "The census figures proved to everyone that Hispanics represented a true economic force," explains Ronald H. Furman, executive vice president/sales and marketing at Univision Communications.

    Continue reading "MediaPost's Hispanics - Part One of Four" »

    Big Grocers Respond to a Market's Demands

    Michael Barbaro from The Washington Post reported on June 7th about the efforts Safeway has done locally to cater to the growing Hispanic community. Efforts that are paying off at the cash register.

    It was 2003 and the managers of Safeway's Langley Park store had a problem. Their shoppers were predominantly Hispanic. The store's groceries were not. And across the street, a Latin American supermarket had recently opened, threatening to take a big bite out of Safeway's sales.

    "Consumers kept asking us, 'Why don't you have this, why don't you have that? The other store has it,' " said Safeway store manager Jeffrey Crockett. "We realized we had to do something."


    So Safeway gutted aisles 12 and 13, relocating [products they traditionally carried and] printed Spanish signs, including one that is two feet long and reads "Mercado," or market. It [also] went shopping for some new products, choosing brands most of its managers had never heard of.

    Today, the Hispanic section of the store, about 400 square feet in all, carries more than 1,000 products, from rice and beans to specialty pans and religious candles.

    Greg TenEyck, a spokesman for Safeway, said the introduction of the store within a store has boosted sales. "Plain and simple, it is good marketing," he said. "We need to cater to our customers' needs."

    Continue reading "Big Grocers Respond to a Market's Demands " »

    Sophisticated TV spots wooing Hispanic voters

    Bush, Kerry campaigns know Latinos in swing states could decide election

    The Houston Chronicle’s Kim Cobb reported on June 8, 2004 on the efforts both parties are making, at presidential as well as congressional level, to effectively reach the Hispanic Population. Even though there is still work to be done, Democrats and Republicans alike are taking steps in the right direction as far as addressing Latinos in a thought-provoking manner that speaks to the issues that they care about the most.

    Hispanics may decide the 2004 election in a handful of swing states, forcing Spanish-language advertising -- still a novelty in the 2000 presidential election -- to elevate its content and context beyond simple English-language translation, experts say.

    [Recent] Spanish-language political ads are an improvement from what made it on the air in 2000, said Raul Yzaguirre, president of the National Council of La Raza.

    "The initial approach in 2000 was what I call `piñata politics,' " Yzaguirre said. "You know -- festivity, party, you break the piñata and the goodies fall down.

    "We want a substantive political debate. We don't want a battle over who can speak the best Spanish."

    Wouldn’t you agree that this ‘piñata’ approach applies not only to political advertising, but to the private sector as well? Not everything Hispanic is a party and the days when the Spaniards awed the true “Natives” of what we now call Latin America with mirrors have been long gone; let’s not try that again. Hispanics, just as anyone else, demand substantiation; vague claims and hype just won’t pull it off.

    Continue reading "Sophisticated TV spots wooing Hispanic voters" »

    Marketing to affluent Hispanics, is more than marketing communications

    On June 8, 2004 Cheskin's Carlos Ulibarri wrote this interesting article worth reviewing.

    Here is an excerpt:

    According to J.D. Power and Associates, about 50 percent of all Hispanic households in the United States earn $50,000 or more. There are now around 3.7 million affluent Hispanics in the US.

    There is also a growing number of wealthy Latin American families moving to America. They are affluent with disposable incomes of millions of dollars. There are also thousands that own vacation houses or apartments in the US and spend lengthy periods of time in the country as consumers.

    Merrill Lynch projected that the affluent Hispanic Market in the US will reach a combined buying power of $300 billion in 2006, almost two thirds of the overall Hispanic buying power.

    The members of this segment live in metropolitan cities in the US and Latin America, they look for comfort and authenticity, motion and tranquility, inspiration and entertainment. According to the Selig Center, in 2002 the five states with the largest Hispanic markets by spending power were: California. Texas, Florida, New York, and Illinois.

    This segment represents a unique blend of two cultures. Not only Hispanic or simply American, this is the Hispanization of North America and the Americanization of Latin American.

    For the complete artilce visit Cheskin

    U.S. Advertising Market Shows Strong Start For 2004 ... Except For Spanish Media

    June 7, 2004

    Total advertising expenditures for the first quarter of 2004 increased 9.6% to $31.5 billion compared to the same time period in 2003, according to data released by TNS Media Intelligence/CMR.

    Almost all of the media measured by TNSMI/CMR experienced growth throughout the first quarter of 2004, with the Internet, National Syndication, Cable TV, National Newspapers, and Network TV showing double digit year-over-year gains.

    Spanish Language TV, which includes Spanish Language TV (Univision, Telemundo, Telefutura and Galavision), Spanish Language Spot TV, Spanish Language Magazines and Newspapers rose by .1% in 1stQ 2004 vs. 1stQ 2003. The first time the sector has been below double digit growth since TNS Media Intelligence/CMR has been including the segment in their reports.

    Hey! What's going on here? Is this the beginning of a trend or was it just a weird single occurence? I'm curious to learn how this evolves.


    For the complete story visit

    D.C.: Hispanic Market Exerts Its Force

    On June 7, 2004, Krissah Williams, Washington Post's Staff Writer, reported the following:

    “In 1973, most Hispanics in Washington worked in civil service jobs or for the World Bank, Inter-Development Bank or embassies. Hispanic-owned businesses were a rarity, said Michael Veve, an attorney that moved from Puerto Rico that year.

    "Now you can do banking in Spanish with Hispanic tellers in the major banks. You can buy your food in bodegas, have your landscaping done by Hispanic landscaping companies. There are home-improvement contractors who are Hispanic. And you can do business with a variety of [Hispanic] white-collar businesses from lawyers to accountants to architects throughout the city," Veve said.

    Continue reading "D.C.: Hispanic Market Exerts Its Force " »

    Similarities and Differences Among Black, Hispanic and White Consumers

    Here are some interesting factoids on Cable TV viewing habits per demographic:

    The Center for Media Research reported on June 7, 2004 that:

    ... according to a special analysis of over 12,000 respondents to BIGresearch's newest Simultaneous Media Usage survey, when it comes to media usage, Blacks, Hispanics and Whites have more differences than commonalities. "One commonality is that Blacks, Hispanics and Whites each choose radio as the background media of choice when using other media," said Joe Pilotta, Ph.D., Vice President of Research at BIGresearch, "but when it comes to the cable networks each watch, there are few similarities."

    Top 5 Cable Networks for Consumer Groups
    Blacks: BET, Lifetime, TNT, USA, Pay Cable Channels
    Hispanics: TV Land, TNT, USA, Discovery, Pay Cable Channels
    Whites: Discovery, USA, TNT, History Channel, Lifetime

    "Marketers who automatically place consumers in silos run the risk of 'minoritizing' certain ethnic groups and may miss the continuous changes in tastes that are occurring," said Pilotta.

    I need to point out that with cable and broadcast TV we are able to psychographically target customers; with broadcast networks, as well as with commerical radio, we reach the masses; with cable TV we are able to target geographically, not necessarily demographically.

    Professional Hair Care Line for Latinas Launches in the U.S.

    Déjà vu...

    On June 5, 2004 I commented on "Culturally-inspired wines catering to Latinos" and just two days later (June 7, 2004) HispanicPRWire reports about Fórmula Latina, a line of hair care products "designed especially for Latina hair"... What are the odds?

    FormulaLatina Claiming to be "the first complete line of professional products designed to eliminate frizz and add shine – the top Latina hair concerns" JossClaude Products launched an extensive line of hair care products "inspired by Latinas."

    Joss Ifergan, one of the company's founders, conveyed that, “For a Latina, her hair is more than an expression of how she looks, but how she feels. It’s a personal statement of who she is and who she aspires to be... Beautiful hair is part of what makes the Latina woman so alluring and captivating... In this way, Fórmula Latina not only addresses her needs, but celebrates her dynamic spirit.”

    Right after that, the report goes on to say, "Though designed especially for Latinas, Fórmula Latina is an excellent choice for anyone who seek to eliminate frizz and add shine. It is appropriate for all hair types, from thick and curly to fine and straight to normal, color treated or damaged." Who knew?

    Maybe the fact that I am follicular-impaired doesn't let me understand the beauty of Latinas having a product designed exclusively for them, or could it be the fact that anyone who seeks to eliminate frizz and add shine to their hair will do so by using this products... ANYONE! So these products, designed with the Latina woman in mind, work perfectly well on an "Anglo", "Asian-American", or "African-American" lady.

    Continue reading "Professional Hair Care Line for Latinas Launches in the U.S. " »

    Speaking Spanish To Hispanics Pays Dividends

    I am sounding like a broken record here, but what's up with so much stereotyping? As reported in the Realty Times on June 2, 2004:

    Hispanics are more uncomfortable than any other ethnic group in handling business transactions in English, according to a study of home buying attitudes.

    "Real estate agents who conduct business in Spanish have an advantage," Gary Maler of the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University said at the National Association of Real Estate Editors' annual real estate journalism conference in Houston late last month.

    "Hispanics told researchers [at Harris Interactive ] they prefer or need to work with an agent who speaks their own language," Maler told the realty writers.

    While the study was confined to Texas, its findings are likely to be relevant everywhere -- and to all real estate disciplines, not just to sales. But Maler warned against type-casting any ethnicity.

    Continue reading "Speaking Spanish To Hispanics Pays Dividends " »

    A Prime Time for Latino TV Programming

    The Dallas Morning News reported last Thursday June 3, 2004 that no fewer than five networks (Univision, SíTV, Azteca America, Telemundo, and ESPN Deportes) debuted their fall television programming last month in New York City with the growing Hispanic market of 41 million as their huge commercial bulls-eye.

    The two stand-outs in the line-up were Univision Communications Inc., a Spanish-language holding company with three networks, a record label and a radio chain; and SiTV, a fledgling cable network whose biggest distinction is that its programming is in English.

    Read the whole story at HispanicsOnline where you will find great details on what each of the mentioned networks are planning to do. One comment that caught my eye, was made by Jeff Valdez, co-founder of SíTV, when talking about the Hispanic Market as a whole: "The market is not monolithic. People always gravitate to this Spanish versus English thing. It's a bilingual market."

    The "bilinguality" of the Hispanic market is something everyone that interacts with it, either from the inside or out, has to accept and confront. Often it is a somewhat more than being bilingual, it is talking Spanglish... interweaving not only Spanish and English words, but complete phrases from both languages when communicating in any manner. this is a fact that the TV networks and all media for that matter must seriously take into consideration in order to better connect with their audience.

    First Culturally-Inspired Wines Catering to Latinos


    As reported by HispanicPRWire on June 2, 2004:

    Palmera Vinos de Pasión is aiming to celebrate the passions, interests and faces of the Hispanic community. “Our wines have been specifically developed for the Latino consumer both in taste preference and branding,” says Will Arriaga, Community Relations Director for the US-based company. “Our goal is to be the first choice in wine for Latinos...”

    This is a tough one... I truly hope to be very wrong about this. Why? Well I like wine and I most certainly like the Hispanic culture. Hey, the concept just makes sense doesn't it? I also believe that you can't be all things to all people and choosing a specific market niche, and aiming to own it is a sound business strategy. Still, my gut feeling tells me there is just a little too much stereotyping going on here. Will wine-appreciating Hispanics, choose their "vino" because of its marketing, its taste, its chicness, its prestige, and/or its exclusivity?

    Continue reading "First Culturally-Inspired Wines Catering to Latinos " »

    Ignoring Hispanics could jeopardize market share for advertisers

    Here's an article from the Houston Business Journal written by Alex López Negrete, president, CEO and chief creative officer of López Negrete Communications and president-elect of the Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies; he presents lots of information that either if you fully agree with it or not, definitely makes you ponder about the importance of "The Latino Wave" (blatantly stealing Jorge Ramos' new book title).

    May 28, 2004

    Most advertisers are aware of the rewards to be gained by reaching the 40-million plus gold mine that is the Hispanic market. With a projected purchasing power of more than $1 trillion by 2008, this market has earned much press about its growth since the 2000 U.S. Census.

    What hasn't been talked about is the danger of ignoring, or not paying enough heed to, what will be the most economically influential force this country has seen since the baby boomers.

    Continue reading "Ignoring Hispanics could jeopardize market share for advertisers" »

    "El Mercado 2004" Survey Uncovers Shopping Habits and Advertising Preferences of Hispanic Consumers

    groceryResults from the new survey "El Mercado 2004", co-sponsored by ADVO, Inc., the Food Marketing Institute and New American Dimesions, LLC were presented at the Food Marketing Institute's Advertising Marketing Executive Conference in Orlando, Florida. Joella Roy, ADVO's Senior Marketing Research Manager says that "the results of this survey should help marketers in several retail segments better understand [the Hispanic consumer population] and, in turn, more effectively serve them and market to their needs."

    Results of the survey show that only about 20 percent of Hispanic consumers can be considered more brand loyal than the average grocery consumer. These results... may come as a surprise to many marketers who still hold the perception that Hispanic consumers as a group are more brand loyal than the average consumer.

    "There still seems to be a perception that Hispanic consumers are more brand loyal than other consumers, but this survey shows that only those Hispanics who are most unacculturated -- meaning they are foreign-born, have spent only a small percentage of their life in the U.S. and are less educated -- display above average brand loyalty. This brand loyalty seems directly correlated with familiarity of brands they were aware of before they moved to the U.S.,” says Roy. “The fact that this audience segment only accounts for about one-fifth of the total Hispanic marketplace means marketers can’t simply rely on branding and brand identity to attract the other 80 percent of Hispanic consumers who are not inordinately brand loyal. Price, quality and packaging must be of increasing concern when trying to reach the Hispanic consumer.”

    Ms. Roy hits the bulls-eye with the fact that foreign-born Hispanics will be more loyal to those brands with which they were acquainted with prior to "crossing the Rio Grande" as well as by saying that QUALITY must be an increasing concern when trying to reach the Hispanic consumer, and I add, ANY consumer.

    Continue reading ""El Mercado 2004" Survey Uncovers Shopping Habits and Advertising Preferences of Hispanic Consumers" »

    Home Depot to Increase Hispanic Ad Spending


    Certainly responding to the rising home ownership among Hispanics, Home Depot has increased its Hispanic ad budget to about $30 million in 2004.

    According to the Hillary Chura's and Laurel Wentz's article in

    Hispanics now account for 13% of first-time home buyers. Home ownership among Hispanic households has grown from 41.2% in 1994 to 46.7% in 2003, according to data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. But that figure still lags far behind the 68.3% for all households, and several government programs are targeting an increase in Hispanic home ownership.

    A good reason why to begin investing in being the brand Hispanics think of first and feel the best about whenever they need/want anything related to "Home Improvement".

    Read the entire article at

    Past, Present, Future of Hispanic Business

    On the 25th anniversary of Hispanic Business Magazine, Senior Editor Joel Russell presents a detailed snapshot of Hispanic reality in the United States of America and most importantly,as the article's name indicates, an eye-opening sneak-peak into its future. Business, demographics, job market, language usage, education, culture, purchasing power... Every relevant issue is addressed.

    Continue reading "Past, Present, Future of Hispanic Business" »

    Most Hispanic Publications Have Online Presence

    Online National Hispanic Publications Audit.


    According to a national informal survey of nearly 300 top, middle and small tier Hispanic dailies, weeklies, semi-weeklies and monthlies conducted by LatinClips and the Hispanic Digital Network, 90% of Hispanic print publications either already post their content online or will be live in within 18 months. The Hispanic print publications surveyed included newspapers and magazines throughout the United States and Puerto Rico.

    The new audit confirms data obtained from a previous survey conducted by LatinClips and Hispanic PR Wire in 2002 that showed a 75% online presence of top tier Hispanic media outlets with a projected increase to 90% by 2005. The current figure for top-tier Hispanic publications is in reality much closer to 95%.

    “Not only has the number of digital Hispanic publications increased at a rapid speed, but the quality of the data that can be found is comparable to that of the general market press,” said Dalia Paratore Salazar, LatinClips President. “This is exciting news for communications professionals who realize that the web is an increasingly important informational vehicle for their clients.”

    On average, the publications surveyed updated content based on the frequency of their print publication schedule. In addition to posting nearly 90% of the content available in their print version, 50% added current and local breaking news, some posting this data as often as hourly. Many sites also include direct wire feeds from EFE, Notimex, and the Associated Press as well as paid wire services.

    Continue reading "Most Hispanic Publications Have Online Presence" »

    Huevon and Guey: the crossover 'bad' words.

    Early yesterday morning, I received this article on the Coors Brewing Company's "Guey" commercial for the Hispanic audience, written by Erika Prosper, strategic planning director at Garcia 360º. I felt compelled to share it with you:

    OK, OK, I have been hearing tons of things about the new Coors commercial by Bromley Communications. Is it insulting to use "guey" on national TV? Is it a bad representation of Hispanics? Does it really matter?

    As a Mexican-American raised Catholic and chancleada when I used bad words in "polite" company, I did my own unofficial investigative reporting to find out what words are now so overused, that even polite company accepts them and uses them in conversation.

    As it turns out, "guey" is actually one of the two "bad" words that have pulled a Shakira and successfully crossed over into everyday speech. And interestingly enough, it is the milder of the two. "Guey" literally means OX, as the Coors billboards have already made clear. It used to be a derogator remark to someone who was a beer short of a six-pack, if you know what I mean. The evolution of the word into a dude-like greeting seems to have happened quite recently as Spanglish has made more and more of an inroads into the U.S. Latino community.

    Continue reading "Huevon and Guey: the crossover 'bad' words." »

    "Spanish-Only Speakers Rely on Yellow Pages" (??)

    MediaPost's Michael Shields reported the following on June 1, 2004:

    According to a new study, Spanish-only-speaking consumers may be ripe for the taking--particularly for lesser-known brands and local merchants. In fact, despite the inherent language barrier for many Anglo marketers in communicating with this demographic, these consumers may represent the ultimate target market: people who have not made up their minds about any brands.

    These brand-amenable consumers may be turning to the Yellow Pages to help them make up their minds, according to the Yellow Pages Integrated Media Association--which has cited a recent study conducted by Knowledge Networks/Statistical Research Inc., which reveals that Spanish-dependent consumers are more likely than their English-speaking counterparts to have no specific company name in mind when they reference the Yellow Pages (51 percent versus 35 percent).

    The Yellow Pages are useful when you are really new to a market, don't have access to a computer (for any reason), and don't know anybody who can give you a recommendation. The Yellow Pages are a good service directory as well. These statements apply to Anglos as well as Hispanics or any other minority, either first generation, with no knowledge of the English language, or 3rd-4th generation and very much "acculturated". It's just the way it is... Seriously, when was the last time you really went and looked for something in the Yellow Pages? Most probably, you Googled it , checked your notes (wherever they might be), asked an acquaintance, or dialed 411.

    Independently of which demographic we are talking about, Yellow pages are a much safer bet for rervices, compared to retail businesses... Just think about it, do you follow the same steps looking for a plumber that you follow searching for a clothing store or a jewelry store?

    Even though I agree with Yellow Pages I.M.A. 's Larry Small that in some cases "Spanish-only speakers who have only recently arrived in the United States have yet to be subjected to the effects of American mass media and consumer marketing", yes people in the U.S. are victims to overchoice, I have a much different point of view when it comes to "these folks don't know as much about brands and don't know as much about shopping." Let's not underestimate the influence and penetration U.S. culture and products have in Latin America, which increases directly proportional to how close any given country is to the States. If you are originally from Mexico you will be much more well acquainted with all things American than if you are from Chile or Argentina.

    Continue reading ""Spanish-Only Speakers Rely on Yellow Pages" (??)" »

    Hispanic women are the fastest-growing influence within Hispanics

    Either if you are selling Business-to-Business or Business-to-Consumer, it is imperative to prepare yourself to be dealing more and more with women, and as uncovered by the relatively recent research report, 2004 U.S. Hispanic Women in Profile by HispanTelligence(R), many of those will be Latina ladies.

    The March 31st Hispanic PR Wire report mentions that "Hispanic women are the fastest-growing influence within the quickest-expanding ethnic group in the United States today." Then it goes on presenting some really remarkable information:

    Continue reading "Hispanic women are the fastest-growing influence within Hispanics" »

    Pop TV quiz: What do Hispanics watch?

    Presuming television watching habits based on ethnic background turns out to be a risky business, according to a new study by BIGresearch of Columbus, Ohio.

    The study, which examined the media habits of nearly 12,500 white, black and Hispanic Americans, found that minorities don’t automatically tune in first to the networks that target their ethnic group.

    “Stereotyping doesn’t hold up very well in the face of these findings,” says Joe Pilotta, BIGresearch’s vice president of research.

    So reports Marisa Hoheb contributor of MediaLifeMagazine on May 24, 2004. Let's keep on talking about stereotyping. I'm a thirty-something year-old guy born and raised in Guatemala, living in the U.S. for just a couple of years... So when I lived back in Guatemala of course I constantly watched Spanish soap operas on TV (which by the way are mostly from Mexican origin, some Venezuelan, some Argentinian, and some Brazilian, translated into Spanish), I listened to Spanish music (again, almost 100% of it from Mexico), and always ate my tamales, rice & beans, and tortillas... Oh, and I learned English quite quickly after moving to Austin, TX... WRONG.

    Actually, I've been watching American Cable TV since my early teens, have been very much into English music, almost all genres but Country, for basically all my life (yes, yes... I do listen to some Latin Pop-Rock, Salsa, as well as the eventual mariachi and marimba), and even though I love and crave traditional Guatemalan food, I've been going to McDonald's ever since I can remember (yes again, there are very successful franchises down there). Regarding English, I was lucky enough to begin learning it during my pre-school years, though am still trying to get the hang of it. One last thing about McDonald's: I am very glad that they now carry veggie burgers, since I am a vegetarian... talk about breaking a stereotype!

    Continue reading "Pop TV quiz: What do Hispanics watch?" »

    Hispanic Nation


    Hispanics are an immigrant group like no other. Their huge numbers are challenging old assumptions about assimilation. Is America ready?

    Business Week Online

    U.S. Hispanic Purchasing Power Growth Rate 3X The National Rate.


    The U.S. Hispanic purchasing power growth rate was three times the overall national rate in the last decade. From 1994 to 2004, U.S. Hispanic purchasing power posted a compound annual growth rate of 7.7%—nearly three times the 2.8% total U.S. rate of disposable income. The Hispanic population is out-performing the general population by nearly every economic growth measurement. This is predicted to continue according to “U.S. Hispanic Purchasing Power: 1978-2010”, the HispanTelligence research report released.

    Hispanic purchasing power has surged to nearly $700 billion and is projected to reach as much as $1 trillion by 2010, according to estimates by HispanTelligence, based on analysis of U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis figures.

    “Rising education levels, rapid employment growth, and a changing labor profile fuel the growth,” explained Dr. Juan Solana, HispanTelligence Chief Economist.

    Higher paying managerial and professional jobs are the fastest-growing occupational categories for Hispanics, up from 11% in 1990 to 17% in 2003.

    Additionally, “Hispanic employment has shown strong growth, increasing 14% from 2000 to 2004, compared with an overall U.S. growth rate of 2%,” stated the authors of the study Tabin Cosio and Juan Solana.

    HispanTelligence estimates current Hispanic purchasing power is 8.5% of total U.S. purchasing power, but will reach 11% by 2010, when taking into account factors such as the narrowing Hispanic vs. overall U.S. income gap and the increase in the number of Hispanic households with earned income.

    Marketing with a Spanish Accent

    Madison Avenue once dismissed Hispanics as too poor and uneducated to be worth taking seriously. Big mistake then -- and monumental one today
    By Tere Zubizarreta

    The most important thing to remember about marketing to Hispanics is to think like a Hispanic. This is where many clients make their biggest mistakes. Clients have come to us expecting that we are going to merely translate a document, or even dub Spanish over the English version of things. Not only would this be a huge problem with any demographic, but Hispanics are so different in many ways that they get offended by a product whose marketing does not at least attempt to speak to them on a personal level. We all get up in the morning and out of bed the same way, but cultural traits are what we feel passionate about -- and the things differentiate us.

    The second mistake made when marketing to Hispanics is the all-too-common practice of talking down to them, instead of with them. I call this the "Carmen Miranda/Pancho Villa" syndrome. When I first entered the business, companies portrayed Hispanics the same way in every commercial and for every brand, stereotypes of the uneducated and poor. For this reason, the motto that we live and work by at Zubi Advertising is Erase Stereotypes. We attempt to remove the boundaries that impact Hispanics and enhance the image of our culture and profession through our actions and our work.

    SC Johnson Readies New Hispanic Household Products

    Marketing Test Under Way in Upstate New York

    May 17, 2004
    By Jack Neff

    CINCINNATI ( -- SC Johnson wants to expand its Glade air-freshener brand into household cleaners and is test-marketing the concept in upstate New York, primarily aimed at Hispanic consumers.

    Glade Cleaner-Limpiador, with its bilingual label, could become the latest in a series of high-impact, low-cost household product launches aimed at the U.S. Hispanic market, whose buying power increased 11% last year to $600 billion, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Hispanic Marketing