AHAA Predicts Strong Momentum for Hispanic/Multicultural Fueled by Digital

By: AHAA Chair Linda Gonzalez, president of viva partnership

As 2016 ends, there’s no denying that the booming Hispanic market made headlines – in the political and economic sectors as well as in digital and consumer trends. But what does 2017 mean for Hispanic marketing? At AHAA, we believe we will see an increase in multicultural media spend by just under ten percent with digital accounting for about a third of that growth. Still lagging behind the general market, digital media investment is on the brink of an explosion in the Hispanic and multicultural sectors, and we anticipate big gains in search advertising and live video formats in the next two years.

Here are our predictions for 2017:

1.    More branded activations in an on-demand landscape

As technology has advanced, consumers are craving the instant gratification that comes with on-demand access to information and services – Amazon’s same-day delivery service and Uber Eats are just two examples of brands fulfilling that need. When it comes to on-demand content, live video products like Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat, are on the rise, adding noise to an already busy consumer ecosystem. Coupled with today’s high use of mobile, we predict video advertising will double by 2019, making it a $14 billion market.

“As consumers are bombarded with more content, brands will need the right approach and the right creative that connects in a moving and interactive way,” said Lee Vann, partner at Captura Group, “because consumers, and Hispanics in particular, are no longer watching TV but rather using their mobile devices as alternate platforms to consume content.”

Case in point: the MTV Video Music Awards was broadcast across 11 networks for a viewership of six million; however, their Snapchat integration that led up to and continued during the broadcast yielded 30 million Snapchat views! In fact, mitú has launched a Snapchat channel becoming the first Hispanic/multicultural channel on Snapchat.

“With Hispanics consuming mobile media at an unprecedented rate, brands will need to connect and deliver a great experience with speed, customization and authenticity,” said Pete Lerma, principal at Richards/Lerma. “We are seeing new household segments who have never had cable and only use Internet platforms for their viewing experience. Brands must evolve to connect with these ‘Cord Nevers’ by becoming content creators while leveraging live video formats and social media apps at the right time, in the right way, and with the right message.”

And while video is a strong vehicle to engage consumers, don’t discount the one-on-one interaction provided by messaging. 25 percent of mobile time is spent on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram with a lot of time on Messenger. 46 percent of Whatsapp users are Hispanic, as they connect with family and friends in Latin America. We anticipate that brands will begin to involve themselves in messaging platforms as a customer service strategy to give tips, answer questions but also insert subtle messaging advertising.

2.    Brands will reverse their one-size-fits-all faux Total Market approaches.

Don’t roll your eyes – yes, we must talk about the elephant in the room: Total Market. As we have previously reported with the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), many brands tried to maximize efficiencies by cutting their segmented approaches and utilizing one overarching campaign that was supposed to speak to all audiences. Some even used this faux Total Market banner to cut their multicultural agencies. Big mistake. For a true Total Market approach to work, you must have an overarching campaign AND segmented approaches for messaging to resonate in a customized, authentic way. Companies that fell for these oversimplified, erroneous Total Market implementations saw their market share fall and are reassessing their strategies. We predict this will mean big business again for specialist agencies that can deliver on unique consumer insights and behaviors and drive seamless, integrated marketing campaigns.

3.    Smaller, more targeted approaches to key subsets of consumers

Household income is on the rise across the U.S., but there has been significant growth in Hispanic household income driven by higher employment rates among Multicultural segments and lower Hispanic dropout rates. According to Isaac Mizrahi, co-president and COO of Alma, there are sub-segments big enough to target with a robust portfolio of digital strategies to reach them efficiently – for example, the younger “Cord Nevers,” the 55+ year old segments, and Upscale Latinos.

“We predict a boom of targeted messages to smaller slices of Hispanic segments,” said Mizrahi. “For example, there are eight million Latinos with a household income of over $100,000 ripe for luxury brands, investment services and other products – it’s about using the right technology and the right messaging to reach out to them with cost-efficient tools.”

It’s this young, upscale, college educated segment that is becoming the image for Hispanic America. They possess higher social shareability, which presents big opportunities for brands. These Upscale Latinos, not only contribute 40 percent of the Hispanic buying power, but they can serve as brand advocates where they can be a speaker for a broader group.

4.    Gains will be made across paid search and data & analytics

As brands identify the right brand advocates and content influencers, paid search will become a game changer, particularly in the Hispanic marketing sphere. Paid search has quadrupled in the last four years, and we anticipate it will double again for 2017. Google reaches 94 percent of online Hispanics and it reaches them when they’re searching for something. Expanding text size and character count will facilitate Spanish-language text and provide more canvas for search ads. Coupled with location-based targeting, this combination can convert the digital consumer experience to retail.

“With Google Analytics, you can identify if a consumer is near or comes into your store and tailor your search ads and messaging,” added Vann. “Three-quarters of people who search for things nearby go back to the store within a day and of those, a third buy something. Paid search and location-based targeting becomes your 1-2 punch to help increase your sales.”

That’s why data & analytics are quickly evolving to keep up with the pace. According to Gonzalo Del Fa, president of GroupM Multicultural, “the conversation is shifting and we are moving beyond syndicated data. We now have access to data plus the speed of analysis to identify the right audience, the right message, which media, when, and in what environment.”

As our society becomes more complex, it will take all the tricks up our marketing sleeves plus the right measurement analytics and data-driven insights to connect with consumers in an authentic way. Here’s to a prosperous and innovative 2017!

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