February 24, 2008

It’s no secret that all Hispanics are not alike. Hailing from 24 Latin American countries, Hispanics are making a diverse and indelible mark on the U.S. landscape. From music to food, they have infused customs and traditions into the American mainstream. But mainstream marketing to this diverse group is a recipe for failure. New fusion analyses now go beyond traditional age/sex demographics to provide a more accurate method of target marketing. Advertisers cannot reach their goals without winning the Hispanic consumer.

Hot and savory cuisine. Latino music. Spanish television programming. Bilingual product packaging and automated banking services. Hispanics have made ‘ethnic’ mainstream in the U.S. It’s not new news that the U.S. Hispanic population is growing – or that all Hispanics are not alike. In fact, by 2050, non-Hispanic whites will become a minority. According to projections from the Pew Research Center in Washington, nearly one in five Americans will be foreign-born – 29% will be Hispanic and non-Hispanic whites will account for 47% of the population. Asians will grow to 9% and blacks will hold steady at 13%.

So while Hispanic influence and culture is pervasive, why is it that many advertisers are still not getting the message right when addressing this powerful and influential segment? The simple answer is that targeting metrics to date have not encapsulated the full breadth and depth of the Hispanic consumer. That is until now.

By: Ceril Shagrin, Executive Vice President Corporate Research Division, Univision Communications Inc. and Howard Shimmel, SVP, Client Insights, Nielsen Connections

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