Doing Hispanic Marketing the Right Way-Why Should You Target Hispanics in 2019

In January 2017, I wrote a similar post previewing the changes that would eventually happen in the field of Hispanic marketing and why it should be a demographic to closely look at and  what brands should be paying attention to generate sales from this group.

Two years later, and two weeks into 2019, using the same idea and the same structure, I would like to share how the demographic have changed and what is projected to reach this ever-growing demographic and why still within a two year span are marketers still not in the ball with this demographic. The numbers are there; their vision is not.


In December of 2016 it was estimated that the Hispanic usage of the WhatsApp alone was 45%.  Back then it was projected to increase by 62% (overall usage of smartphones in 2017).  Fast forward to early 2019 and by 2018 numbers, although it number varies by education levels and disposable income, it is generally at 77%


What Has Changed?

With several factors remaining constant as income and education levels, the three studies show that there was a consistent annual growth in usage and ownership.


Why is It Still Important?

When it becomes the sole instrument of communication, research, relationship building, entertainment, engagement and purchasing, it will be then the most effective and most productive way to reach them.

Back in 2017, I discussed that geo-marketing and that geo- location would be the way to target not only the Hispanic base but most all markets. Per e-Marketer spending for geo-location ads will top 38.7 billion by 2022, more than doubling 2017 figures.


Given that TV ads and billboards for the most part have been largely replaced by targeted ads directly sent to smartphone devices it is not surprising that this mode of advertising is projected to grow.

English Language Hispanic Targeted Content

What Has Changed?

Language is still important but culture is more. While most 2nd and 3rd generation Hispanics are English proficient and acculturated their connection to their Latin roots is still prevalent and are more inclined to follow, buy, promote and share content that speaks to them culturally and if it is bilingual they are more inclined to share it.

This is a big factor for Hispanics, for most Hispanics who are US born, their affinity to their culture and everything that embodies it, is very important to them, third generation Hispanics value their cultural heritage through food, traditions, family values, and family name. Language came in 7th most important. This is also true when searching online. They search in Spanish for general keywords but research entirely in English. AdWords in Spanish is a good way to go too.

What Has Remained Constant?

Cultural connection and cultural relevance go hand in hand and most often is is defined by language and customs. Because this connection is important to them, language is important and should not be ignored in your advertising.

Cultural connection regardless of foreign born or US born Hispanics, is very important to them because of family’s connection to their homeland. This is ingrained by parents and reinforced by grandparents and although they have adapted or acculturated to US customs, they do preserve and are proud of their Latin heritage. Therefore, ads targeting the cultural relevance or that portray that specific group in a non-stereotypical respond favorably to ads.

Why Is It Still Important?

Hispanics value community and base their choices on other people’s recommendations. As stated above when they feel that brands cater to them they are very willing to recommend and share it with their peers and family.

It is what triggers their desire to purchase. It means that a brand is going the extra mile to understand and resonate with their culture. It furthers their loyalty to the brand and become mayor brand ambassadors to it by sharing and promoting their ads.



What Has Changed?

Latino populations generally concentrated in (link my post) in early 2017 were in The greatest growth in the  Hispanic population from 2010-2015 were  in the states of California, Texas, Florida, New York, Illinois, Arizona, New Jersey, Colorado and New Mexico 

By late 2018, the multicultural population (including Latino and Asian- another growing subgroup) was at 50% in Hawaii, District of Columbia, California, New Mexico and Texas, with Nevada, Maryland, Georgia, Arizona, Florida and New York, where Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Dallas, Houston and Miami are already a multicultural majority.   Not only do more states account for more multicultural populations but that they account for about 50%

Growth by the Numbers

What Has Changed?

Source: Forbes

  • Hispanics’ spending is growing faster than non-Hispanic expenditure. Hispanics led CPG sales growth in 2017 with + 1.0% in $ change vs. a year ago, vs. only + 0.3% growth from Non-Hispanics. (per Nielsen Target Track, Total US xAOC, 52 weeks ending December 2017)
  • In 2018 this trend continued with a + 1.8% increase in Hispanic spending YTD vs. +1.3% from Non-Hispanics, a 33% difference! (per Nielsen Target Track, Total US xAOC, YTD ending 4/28/2018)
  • Out of 15 different departments within a regular retail store, 13 of them experienced growth from Hispanic consumers vs. only 8 that saw an increase from Non-Hispanic consumers. (per Nielsen Target Track, 37 markets, 52 w/e 4/28/18)
  • In 11 of these 15 departments, sales growth with Hispanic consumers outpaced Non-Hispanic consumers’ sales. (per Nielsen Homescan, Total U.S., 52 weeks ending 4/21/18 vs YAGO)
  • From a geographical standpoint, Nielsen tracked sales performance in 37 markets. In 76% of these markets, Hispanic consumers’ sales growth was equal or stronger than Non-Hispanic consumers’ sales. (per Nielsen Target Track & Homescan, Total U.S. xAOC, 52 weeks ending December 2017) From Time to add Hispanic marketing… shopping cart. Forbes

Why Is It Still Iimportant?

This is important because the numbers consistently show an increase in expenditure per year. Back in 2017, when the immigration crackdown began there were many articles that (I have a blog post on this subject) that stated that Hispanic consumption and businesses that relied on the Hispanic consumer were suffering mayor losses because many were afraid to leave home in fear or being stopped. These numbers disprove this notion entirely.



With all of this information at hand, what then is the ‘right’ way to reach them? Above all, why would I be interested in giving these facts and figures to marketers? Because to me despite of all this information and facts stated over and over again, there are still have a:


  1. Blanket approach to selling to them.
  2. Rely on bad translation and stereotypical images of Hispanics on TV, film, music and ads. (This is where I could really be of help to them)
  3. The notion that because 2nd and 3rd generation Hispanics are fully bilingual and acculturated, they should be able to understand our system by now.
  4. Because rather that investing on a largely potential market, they find it too costly to do so because of the large adjustments that take to fully engage the audience in their ads.


Therefore, according to MediaPost the three takeaways that could be implemented in 2019 are:

  1. You have to implement and address multicultural marketing. Growth means incorporating diversity into your marketing.
  2. Implementation of diversity and multicultural marketing in all levels from beginning to end.
  3. They must invest in diversity. Most agencies spend less than 1% on multicultural marketing.
  4. Human interaction
  5. Diversity, Diversity.

So in short, everything is connected to engage them; language, culture, customs, heritage, family and community. Embodying all this factors with a bit of creativity will go a long way with the Hispanic consumer.

Will This Anti-Immigration Sentiment Affect the Hispanic Consumer?

To answer this question, the simple answer is yes and it affects  everyone in the Hispanic community.

This anti-immigration sentiment and raids have made the Hispanic consumer a bit cautious about their spending and avoiding altogether places and situations where they may be subjected to raids or being perceived as an undocumented immigrant.

Will this Anti- Immigrant Sentiment Affect the Hispanic Consumer?

After Trump’s victory in 2016 and his campaign promise of curbing illegal immigration, the large majority in the Latino community has scaled back in discretionary spending and is saving their income due to fear and anxiety about their future in the US.

So, to answer the question “Will this Anti- Immigrant Sentiment Affect the Hispanic Consumer? The simple answer is yes and it affects everyone in the Hispanic community; documented or non-documented and Hispanic and non-Hispanic owned businesses alike.

This anti-immigration sentiment and raids have made the Hispanic consumer a bit more cautious about their spending habits in fear that they might be the subjects of deportation; they keep a low profile and refrain from spending or even going on job searches.

 They purposely avoid places that can be subjected to raids or where they are perceived as an an undocumented immigrant, such as local restaurants, bars and other local businesses, in turn creating a great economic strain on the local businesses where the Hispanic community once thrived.

This decline in spending has not only affected the small Hispanic communities in border towns, but Hispanic marketing as a whole.

Given the importance of family in Hispanic culture, and that a large number of families have 2 or more members in the household, the 2nd    and 3rd   generation Hispanics, which are US born and part of the demographic that marketers love because it is a young growing demographic, social media savvy, have a big disposable income, and are eager to spend.

However, they themselves are ultimately affected and linked in one way or another, to a family member or someone’s family member that might be undocumented and need satisfy the needs of a person and the result is also to cut back back on spending. Ultimately for them, in these times the family oriented consumer stick to what is important: relatives and family. Its mistrust in the system, particularly with immigration, clusters them together as a whole.

By mid-2017, the retailers began to see decline in sales in certain products mostly purchased by the Hispanic consumer.

Industries most affected by the Hispanic consumer spending

  • Sportswear
  • Apparel
  • Footwear
  • Financial Services
  • Auto Sales


Companies that have seen sizable decrease in Hispanic spending.

  • Target
  • Walmart


On the flip side of things, Amazon has seen a large number of sales from this demographic and although the slow foot traffic to main stores like Target have been a factor, Amazon as a whole are taking steps to  attract this group. For example they have opened up Prime subscriptions in Mexico and have the Amazon interface in both Spanish and English.


Yet, although not mentioning the Trump administration per se and the immigration crackdown, Target CEO has seen a decrease in sales from the Hispanic consumer. Target is a variety store model and although they are not a food seller, nor a home goods store but 20% of it sales does go to food sales and most importantly the Latino consumer.  It also finds it hard to compete with Amazon and Walmart two of their main competitors in the home delivery. With the acquisition of Whole Foods and Walmart’s delivery, Target was poised to have a disadvantage, however, with their diverse model, not exactly a retailer, a food retailer nor a electronics department store (although they do carry all brands), they are poised to be the one stop for all.











Hispanics under the Trump Administration



Today we swear in a president that throughout his campaign has demonstrated extreme dislike  for the Hispanic population(immigrants and US born Hispanics). His rhetoric on immigrants and emphasizing the border wall was enough to make you shudder.


Hispanic and minorities were supposed to be the core of the election and turned out not to be true. Although the census and studies state otherwise, will the results of  the Hispanic vote on this election affect the marketing strategies? Will it be believed that it is such an influence as once thought.

Continue reading →

Targeting Multigenerational Hispanics Through TV and Media


We have more than covered the Hispanic  millennial’s use of social media and  their hyper connectivity with the internet  and smartphones. However, traditional mediums like television and radio still remain constant with their demographics particularly station like Univision that although it is slowly changing, still have a problem connecting with the acculturated Hispanic. Catering to this group involves more than the Spanish language  .


II is  all about cultural relevancy.   Time and time again research has  shown  this is what this group seeks. In my earlier post , I discussed 10 of the most important factors important to this group and although they are an acculturated group, they are still proud of their heritage.


They still seek that connection or that identity that binds them to something that if not preserved they  lose part of themselves.

 Continue reading →

Why Are Minorities So Misrepresented In the American Media?


There are many problems with misrepresentation of minorities in film and TV.  The reason behind this lack of diversity is basically that the majority of  entertainment executive and studio’s CEO are overwhelmingly white and male.  It is a very competitive field and most of the decision makers are overwhelmingly white male seeking the best profit in film.  The bottom line is that  movies are costly to produce and Hollywood is big business. It is  highly motivated by consumerism  and the marketing dollar,  and the result of the limited analytics and demographics about television media.


The lack of minority writers is also a factor. For the past 20 years the writer rooms have been staffed mainly with overwhelmingly white writers and if a Latino role gets written in at all it is portrayed as the stereotypical over sexualized Latina and the Latin macho.

Continue reading →

Share This