October 18, 2011

  Carat USA and Aegis Media - Multi-Cultural Marketing released the finding of their new Hispanic Consumer Connections research study that according to them reveals that 90 percent of Hispanic media budgets are working hardest against targeting only 20 percent of the Latino population, due to old assumptions, outdated information and approaches — missing the opportunity to drive significant business value among 80 percent of the Hispanic market.

First, Bull Shit

Second, Bull Shit and this appears in Media Post magazine online where as I have stated before US Hispanic demise pundits have a platform that allows for the dissemination of “Bull Shit” without being challenged.

Third, Bull Shit and the whole methodology for this study is based on: It originated with a custom survey questionnaire administered to a total of 2,019 Hispanic adults ages 18 and older, with 1,519 administered online to a random set of respondents and 500 collected via a telephone re-contact methodology. The telephone re-contact sample was randomly selected among prior respondents to the Experian Simmons NCS/NHCS survey and included Spanish dominant Hispanics and English dominant/bilingual Hispanics. Responses were then modeled against Simmons NCS/NHCS survey of nearly 7,000 consumers.

That’s right, an online study that projects that we are DOOMED and got it all wrong.

To read the release see below:



New York, New York, Oct. 18, 2011 — Carat USA, a global independent media network and an Aegis Media Company, today announced surprising results from its proprietary Consumer Connections research study, which examined the media consumption and purchasing habits of the fast growing Hispanic consumer segment — revealing many unexpected shifts in behavior that have significant implications for marketers. In the most surprising twist, the data showed that 90 percent of Hispanic media budgets are working hardest against targeting only 20 percent of the Latino population, due to old assumptions, outdated information and approaches — missing the opportunity to drive significant business value among 80 percent of the Hispanic market.

According to the U.S. 2010 Census, there are 50.5 million Latinos in the U.S., an increase from 35.3 million in 2002, including a thirteen percent jump from 2007 to 2010. The 20 percent of the Hispanic population that marketers currently target (which represents only 11M of the 50.5M) are typically segmented based on language and acculturation levels. The remaining 80 percent (38+M people) is comprised of multiple segments, which are as complex, multifaceted and nuanced as their general market counterparts. Carat’s industry leading proprietary research, which studies the preferences and behaviors of thousands of Hispanic consumers, reveals deep analytical insight across a variety of segments of U.S. Latino consumers, including: current patterns of spending, financial beliefs, marketing influence, and media consumption.

“A one size fits all model approach to U.S. Hispanic consumers does not work anymore,” said Laura Hernandez, director of Multi-Cultural Marketing, Aegis Media. “Today, acculturation is no longer a sole predictor for media and overall behavior. In many ways, Hispanics are demonstrating behaviors that are much more multi-faceted, with motivations and decisions driven by factors beyond language and culture, reflected in the media they consume. Marketers can no longer make one or two media buys and say their Hispanic marketing is done; they need to take into account all of the many nuances to this group and realign their marketing strategies accordingly.”

Carat Research Uncovers Five Major Shifts in Hispanic Market:

1.    A significant decrease in traditional word of mouth level of influence from friends and family

·         Today, grassroots marketing has given way to a rise in the influence of digital and social content (i.e. ratings & reviews, blogs, editor’s choices) and social commerce --all of which now sway the majority of Hispanic purchasing decisions. Previously, children had higher influence in purchases made by parents, whereby marketers would seek to tap into this influence. Today 50 percent of U.S. Hispanic consumers indicate they no longer shop with their children, opening up a significant opportunity to directly market to the individual through social media channels

2.    Motivations around purchase behavior vary widely, making it insufficient to talk to Latinos in ‘one voice’

·         Impulse purchases and self-indulgence are rising as a mindset among U.S. Hispanics. Nearly 60 percent of Latinos indicated they no longer wait for things to go on sale before purchasing them. More than half of Latinos now make purchases to keep up with the latest fashions. And nearly 40 percent of Latinos now make purchasing decisions based on if they believe the product or service is environmentally-friendly

3.    There is a new and emerging US Latino/multicultural identity, replacing the emphasis solely on acculturation — acculturation is now only one of many factors that define this consumer

·         Today, English language Latino-oriented networks help validate Hispanic identity in the U.S. as the media programming has grown to reflect their lifestyle, evolution and expanding numbers. There has been an explosion in online content and cable programming specifically created for Hispanics, reflecting the influence of the growing population. More than 60 percent of Latinos make up the top watchers of Spanish language cable programming; today there are significantly more choices --Latinos can pick or choose if/when they watch in Spanish or English

4.    There is a shift towards a need for self-actualization

·         Nearly 60 percent of Latinos prefer to enjoy life versus feeling a sense they have to place duty ahead of personal goals and fulfillment. Personal passions tend to be more indulged versus previously when needs of the family were seen as the foremost driver of behavior

5.    The majority of Latinos admit they turn to media to escape from day to day reality and to acquire social currency

·         In a break from how the general market behaves, Latinos today see media consumption as a way to escape stresses of day to day life, driving a need/desire for “escapist” type content; The mobile web is quickly growing to become a preferred way to get this content

“Some in the industry have predicted that Hispanic marketing is dead; on the contrary, not only is it not dead, but it’s now emerging as a very rich opportunity for brands willing to throw out their old assumptions and look with fresh eyes at this fast growing consumer market,” said Doug Ray, President of Carat USA.  “Our research shows there is an immediate opportunity for marketers to maximize their media value and use their dollars more efficiently and effectively by embracing this tremendous cultural shift. Advertisers can now tap into a more current set of passions and motivations, some of which are entirely different from those typically identified with Hispanic shoppers, even as recently as five years ago.”
Key Marketing Implications

·         Ensure social media activities are designed to be inclusive of Hispanic audiences via a Total Market approach

·         Increase associations with curation of pop culture content (e.g. increased investment in Spanish language cable)
Understand how U.S. Hispanics  align within overall audience segments to craft Total Market communication  platforms
·         Campaigns need to incorporate activation via social media and digital content including: ratings, reviews, blogs, and photos

·         There isn’t only one segment that behaves the same way; the increase of U.S. Hispanic birth rates is driving the need to look at the full spectrum which has different shades of gray when it comes to motivations for purchasing

·         Spanish Language media is still highly relevant when approached in a more targeted format, tapping into the current passion points

·         Music, style, fashion and sports are key drivers of evolving Latino’s identity

·         Marketers need to map motivations to the content in order to satisfy different segments, while incorporating the nuances of Hispanic consumer behavior

·         Consider program genres like travel, adventure, celebrity gossip, sensationalist type content, and dramatic situations

About the Study & Methodology
The Carat Hispanic Consumer Connection Study, referred to as CCS Latino, is a proprietary study to measure Hispanic's lifestyles, attitudes, passions, media use including digital, social and mobile as well as overall advertising receptivity.  It originated with a custom survey questionnaire administered to a total of 2,019 Hispanic adults ages 18 and older, with 1,519 administered online to a random set of respondents and 500 collected via a telephone re-contact methodology. The telephone re-contact sample was randomly selected among prior respondents to the Experian Simmons NCS/NHCS survey and included Spanish dominant Hispanics and English dominant/bilingual Hispanics. Responses were then modeled against Simmons NCS/NHCS survey of nearly 7,000 consumers.

What do you think?

Bull Shit or NOT?

Gene Bryan


Michael, I read the post on the Big Tent on regarding you “Can’t Bet Everything on Spanish-Language TV Networks”. First, I don't know who this guy is and why he was vetted as an expert. Oh, I should add ‘Bull Shit’ here as well to continue the theme of this specific post. He makes statements without putting them into context, and I agree with Scott Keeler's statement above, “All good deception is based on some truth, and we all know how to create the methodology to deliver the best results.” Regarding Golf Channel, Hispanics represent 53% of their late night audience and 68% of LOGO’s late night audience is Hispanic in this post. These are percentages without context. How many viewers were there in total, not a percentage? I would imagine that these were not the main viewing dayparts for these channels. I will leave that to the TV experts to analyze, but I have a hunch that the author was very, very, very selective to make his point. You can always find negative numbers to justify the demise of Spanish-language media, instead of finding numbers that justify the inclusion of both English and Spanish language media in combination to reach the particular Hispanic Consumers in language, culture and lifestyle. There is a need for English-Dominant media entities to reach Hispanic Consumers, but each media alternative has a place in the media mix. I am an advocate for our Industry to support the Hispanic focused and English dominant media entities being created in our Industry. What I find very perplexing is how other US Hispanic trade journals just run the above release or allow un-veted individuals that make Industry damaging remarks or statements and do not challenge them. What are you looking for a Business to Business Pulitzer by being neutral? If that is the case, the Adweek - Marketing y Medios Hispanic trade journal won two awards as the Best of Class in BtoB Hispanic publishing which in turn could not stop the demise and closure of the magazine. It’s about loving your Industry and defending it against the pundits. It’s about having Corazon! Fortes in Fide. Gene Bryan - CEO -

"Man will not fly for 50 years" - Wilbur Wright to his brother Orville, 1901 (Two years later the brothers made the first successful flight at Kitty Hawk, N.C.) The lesson is to not always trust the experts, whether from one side or the other. But what you can trust is history. My collection of history gives me piles of old articles, quotes, ads and "research" saying that Spanish is the language of Hispanics, and without a precise Spanish campaign Hispanic consumers are unreachable. History also shows that non-English media eventually goes the way of the horse and buggy. Hispanics cannot fight being mainstreamed. It has happened to everyone else over time, and will happen to us. Every Latino born and raised in the U.S. is a consumer inadequately reached by Spanish media. I don't believe the percentages quoted in the research, but the idea is basically a sound one. And as someone who actually sold English language Hispanic media years before it became plausible, I have plenty of letters from Hispanic advertising experts saying English language Hispanic advertising was not feasible, a "waste of time", or only a secondary option after all Spanish options have been exhausted. These same people and agencies now talk of multiple touch points, context, integration, etc. But the vast majority, if not all, of their tiny budgets still go to Spanish media, so not much has changed. Times have changed and Hispanic demographics have changed, as they inevitably would. Now our past philosophies are catching up with us. That is no Bull Shit.

Interesting to read all of the comments addressing methodology. To raise such questions is a necessary and legitimate exercise. I wish I had seen such a lively debate when the seminal Peter Roslow study on Spanish-language TV came out years ago. For the record, I never accepted its conclusions.

Nothing in the release makes sense nor merits the label of "findings". Even if the the methodology is flawless the approach and interpretation is narrow to begin with and stirs more needless confusion and complexity. Thank you for raising the red flag Gene. Now what?

Gene, this is a fantastic industry discussion on how research is conducted and how sometimes methodology, while seemingly proper, can yield information that is misleading, or downright wrong. I believe this study has merits, but perhaps the panel could have been more representative of total Hispanic consumers as it seems only a segment of them were queried. Such discussions should be held at industry conventions in roundtable discussions, so we can truly keep Hispanic advertising and marketing professionals relevant to client-side marketers in the years to come.

These two statements below particularly struck me as major BS: 1) "Previously, children had higher influence in purchases made by parents". Please, this must have been answered and compiled by someone that has never had children. 2) "Today 50 percent of U.S. Hispanic consumers indicate they no longer shop with their children". Give me a break, I have spent thousands of hours in stores and recently many hours more, across the country and nothing has changed, Hispanics continue to shop as a family, Abuelita, Mama, el bebito y los hermanos y hermanas... Gene, thanks for calling this out, those of us who have been around this industry for a few years have seen this type of tactic many a time before, different day, same style of BS.

It's great to see all these comments from the REAL EXPERTS in the Hispanic market! Once again, though, we know that very few of the people who see and believe the Carat findings will ever question them. Many media "experts" will be patting themselves on the back for the fine jobs they are doing for their clients, who'll also see the Carat findings and believe that they have awesome Hispanic marketing programs. Thanks, as always, for cutting to the chase with your commentary, Gene!

Y que opinan del articulo publicado recientement en Ad Age titulado: Where the Hispanic Viewers Are (Not Just on Univision) Trying to Reach US Hispanics? You Can't Bet Everything on Spanish-Language TV Networks Y en el cual aparece el siguiente parrafo: "According to Simulmedia data, Hispanic viewers are heavy viewers of late night sports. On a recent Wednesday in late night, they were were 54% of SPEED Channel's audience mid-week, 53% of GOLF Channel's and 40% of ESPN News. In daytime, midweek, Hispanics were 68% of the audience of LOGO, 37% of the audience of G4 and 25% of Planet Green's audience. Surprisingly, at least to me, Hispanics are 30% more likely to watch FOX Business on Sunday mornings than non-Hispanics." El enlace para el articulo completo:

On a research level, not enough here in this relesase to make a judgement. We know Spanish Dominants were included, but was there some level of weighting by language? Was there weighting to account for lower penetration of internet by Spanish Dominants? Without know more about the mechanics it is hard to pass say much about the results. There is a lot to be said for acculturation being a worn-out and misleading concept at this point, but I am not sure I would say that is the case for the same reasons the authors are.

What's particularly Bullshit is the notion that anyone ever thought any of the below quote: A one size fits all model approach to U.S. Hispanic consumers does not work anymore,...” Marketers can no longer make one or two media buys and say their Hispanic marketing is done; they need to take into account all of the many nuances to this group and realign their marketing strategies accordingly.” While it serves the Carat headline to act like a discovery has been made that shows up Hispanic marketing specialists to be living in the past, it really speaks to the ignorance and the limited vision of the non-Hispanic specialist who has only ever looked at this market as monolithic and a two-station buy. We specialists have always known about the diversity and complexity of the Hispanic market. We have always sought out multiple touchpoints beyond TV even before there was an internet or before product integration or branded content was the "mainstream" thing to do. What we have also always been is highly focused and targeted - bringing our client opportunities that were not highly duplicated. As for music, style, fashion and sports being key drivers of Latino identity. Let me sit down. Wow, what a finding. And frankly, the other findings are right in that zone - just things those of us who are dedicated to this consumers already know packaged in a way that is intended to make the study worthy of client attention -- or more annoyingly, packaged in a way to minimize the importance of Hispanic marketing as a result of a condescending headline. It's bullshit and it's truly getting boring. Clients that are truly marketers should know how to read between the lines by now. Clients that are never going to invest properly in this market are always going to find some ammunition to support that decision. We can only hope that like the dinosaur, the decision makers with their heads in the sand will become extinct - and these types of headlines will become more and more ignorable.

I think that using panel data does not give the complete picture, and although you can make a case based on assumptions, we all know what happens when you assume incorrectly. General market agencies that are now US Hispanic "intelligent" because they command a share of media dollars, forget what we are the US Hispanic market. Each one of us in an ad agency serving our clients, understands that there is a greatly expanded content offering, and so we spend out time understanding the Latino consumer, regardless of the acculturation level. We understand our lives cross the English/Spanish lines and we have more choices, and this gives us richer possibilities. The statement we all should make is how under served the USH market has become, regardless of language, and we need to reach more Latinos in culture and context.

I believe Joe has put the Onus of an answer upon them. Well done!!!

Gene, thanks for the Blog!

Ah yes, it reminds me of a white paper circulating in the early 90's that said basically that Hispanics with any significant levels of income (ie-"good" Hispanics) could be reached in English media. All good deception is based on some truth, and we all know how to create the methodology to deliver the best results. But goes to a broader question, as we all seek to address the multi language use market in an honest fashion, there are those who still wish Spanish speakers would go away, so as to make their marketing lives easier.

Where is Doug Darfield on this ? if anyone can smell bullshit its him

Absolutely agree. It's 100% misleading Bull Shit!

My interpretation of this article is that the Hispanic market is shifting it's media patterns away from traditional sources and aquiring information about products and services from the vast array of new media available to all of us. While there is a level of validity to that statement, I think the numbers speak for themselves when time and time again we see growth in Spanish language media and not much significant growth in English media geared towards Hispanics. More interesting to me is the findings that we, as a culture, are becoming more self centered and losing our emphasis on family above all. We don't see that in the research we do for our clients, in fact, we see the Hispanic family unit stronger than ever. That is not to suggest that every communication should focus on family values, that would be stereotypical and goes against eveything we at Zubi believe in but to say that we are now more intested in the "me" instead of the "we" does not jive with what "we" are seeing. Lastly, I think it's very interesting that these two huge media companies as well as the others are making close to 80% of all the upfront buys on Univision and Telemundo to the point where independent agencies who have been making fully integrated media recommendations to their clients for years are now being challenged on the basis of CPP effeciency and cost savings. Thank you Carat for pointing out the obvious, we are not one common group and we don't make our purchase decisions solely on the basis of what the "Don" tells us to buy. I hope you didn't spend too much of your clients money on this study.

Carat's findings are congruent with results from other research studies (nothing new here, at least to me). I don't see any red flags in the methodology and design of the study either --though I am not a researcher (I would like to see the screener though). Yes, Spanish is an important aspect of our culture but that doesn't mean Hispanics only consume Spanish language media. This would myopic! The 90-20 ratio may not be as extreme as you might think, which infers bilingual consumers consume mostly English media. What you need to think about is that as much as bilingual Hispanics (who represent 2/3 of the Hispanic population) would like to watch more TV in Spanish, Telemundo's and Univision's programing does not deliver on their needs and desires for content, and this is why they gravitate to English networks.

Just read an article by Jason Heller titled “The Most Dangerous Phrase In Marketing” were he exposed the mindset of companies and possibly our Industry adopting the “That's not how things are done around here” mentality to innovation, alternative thinking and new ideas. He is right, but not when you have self-proclaimed experts and companies trying to bring forth unveted ideas & concepts in an attempt to promote themselves or their companies in an Industry that is looking to grow and expect to get exposure on platforms that DO NOT challenge their thinking or rational. ¡Aqui No! It also reminds me of Neil Comber former Hispanic Director of Procter & Gamble who stated in a research forum, “Paradigm that destroy current Paradigms are fought with great vigor because they can destroy current investments.” I say bring vetted PARADIGMS to the table and let’s put them to the test, instead of looking for a sliver of truth to create a whole concept of reality and self promotion. Gene Bryan - CEO -

I congratulate Gene and HispanicAd for getting all of us riled up and motivated to have this discussion. It's also a good example of economics in action...when an industry is in growth mode, lots of players jump in and want to carve out their position and share. I believe the Carat study was primarily for PR purposes, since the methods seemed somewhat supercifial. What's undisputable is that Latinos today are a complex yet increasingly rich (in many ways) segment of the economy and that will only accelerate over the years. Another concept that is gaining acceptance is that Latinos are "moving towards the middle" that is, we are not fully acculturating (assimilating) and we are not getting stuck in a Hispanic mono-culture either...we are embracing our Hispanicity and even retro-acculturating. I'm not sure who ever used acculturation as their only metric, if they did that was a basic flaw, so rather than advocate the demise of this concept (it is real and will continue to be) we should be more realistic in accept that many factors other influence consumer behavior -- life stage, origin, socioeconomic status, lifestyle, location, emotions, etc. The good news for all is that we have more and more "experts" to help corporations re-direct their funding from flat growth segments to high-growth segments, where Latinos are the sweet-spot of this new mainstream. The challenge for us veteranos is to grow our companies at the pace (or faster) than the market itself. I'm up to that challenge and I believe all of you are as well. Abrazos a todos mis amigos!!! César

Last I looked, wasn't the make up of the Hispanic population almost 60% Spanish dependent? I wrote previously that for every 100 Target rating points , 85% of those impressions were Spanish Dominants. This fact is undeniable by any Spanish-language media mavens, you can mix the dayparts, 100 ways until Sunday, the fact is audience composition of Spanish-language Television, over the past 15 years has not change. The quality of programming has change, but the appeal of this programming has not, this programming is relevant to the Spnish dependent Hispanics, and so too are the dynamics of new Spanish-language entrants in the media landscape, I would surmise. This is just a clarification on my earlier comments. I think this forum has spoken volume regarding their opinions on this study.I never seen such eloquent BS commentaries on a study's conclusions which is obviously off base and not well thought through. I couldn't help myself!!!!! George Ortiz

Disappointing attempt to get headlines and attention with misleading research. I am surprised that any serious Hispanic marketer would publish these erroneous statements without seriously questioning the methodology. Especially when it contradicts serious research done on the issue. Unfortunately, some will believe it and be thankful that they are working with the ONLY company that knows how to buy Hispanic media efficiently. Gene, thanks for screaming that the king has no clothes.

I won't necessarily agree with these findings, but if you are a marketer who invest basically 100% of your resources in Spanish-language Television, these findings are not far off base. The idea of 20% is ludicrous, how many Spanish sur-named Hispanic are truly Spanish dependent? Those who are Spanish dependent are prisoners of their own "shortcomings". For years It was conventional wisdom to ignore the impact of language stratification among Hispanics. If you pointed out that for every 100 target rating points in Spanish language Television 85% of those impressions generated by these 100 TRP's would be deemed "blasphemous"! Everyone said you were crazy. I'm not at all surprise by these stilted findings! That's all from an univited guest, George Ortiz

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