The internet has become part of their daily lives. Latinos are connected, digital, smart phone happy and socially linked.
I often say the Hispanic market in the U.S. has been changing as quickly as it has been growing the last 15 years. One of the biggest ways it has changed is geographic distribution. One only has to take a quick glimpse at the following heat map to understand how the Hispanic population is spreading to what demographers increasingly refer to as “nontraditional” Hispanic markets.
A few words used repeatedly start to sound like a chorus when Macy’s talks about unveiling its new line of clothing and accessories with Thalía Sodi, a Mexican pop star: Curves. Prints. Color. And the one perhaps used most, which signals this venture’s true value, is “Latina.” “This is an amazing opportunity to deliver to the Latin consumer,” Ms. Sodi said, who described the brand as “specifically focused” on Hispanics. “The dresses will be stylish and sexy, but not too simple. Colorful prints, nice contouring to flatter the body.” With the collection, the company joins media companies, political parties and other major retailers like Kmart, all of which have been showering attention on the country’s fast-growing Hispanic population
Regardless of language preference, for Hispanics there is nothing more culturally relevant than Spanish and the amount to which they use it —and the way they use it— might evolve as they become more acculturated and embrace technology, but research shows Spanish will remain central to their identity. A 2012 report found that “three-quarters of U.S. Hispanic adults prefer to speak at least some Spanish” (75%). The study looked at language usage by generation and confirmed that 45% of third generation Hispanics say they prefer to speak Spanish at least some of the time.
Spanish language is key in attracting and leading to action of Spanish speaking internet users here in the U.S. Language represents a strong connection to culture and should play an important role in marketing messages. Among Spanish-preferred it goes without saying that ads in Spanish are critical. What is surprising is that it is also important to bilingual and English-preferred Latinos. Advertising in Spanish makes them feel their culture is respected and they are more loyal to those advertisers.
Hispanics are still the fastest growing population in the U.S., and their numbers are predicted to soar another 167 percent by 2050. This growth has impacted several key demographic characteristics that are shaping the Latino consumer segment as an economic powerhouse, including higher education attainment, increased workforce presence, higher earnings, and surging buying power currently in the neighborhood of $1.2 trillion. At 52 million strong and growing, Hispanics are also the largest minority group on U.S. college campuses at 16.5 percent, and the number of Latinos with a bachelor’s degree or higher has nearly doubled in the last 10 years. More education means more jobs and higher salaries.
In “El Capo 2,” one of the first original shows on new U.S. Spanish-language network MundoFox, a Colombian drug kingpin fights off challenges from all sides, the U.S. authorities, rival cartels in Mexico and the victims of his violence. The show, from its origins and target audience to its plot, is emblematic of the escalating battle over Hispanic television viewers in the United States. In the world of U.S. Spanish-language television, Univision stands at the top with a majority of the audience while Telemundo nips at its heels. Other networks such as Azteca America and MundoFox are trying to carve out their own piece of the market, one that shows great potential for growth and increased interest from advertisers.
Credit unions from the West Coast to the South and the Midwest are waking up to the fact that reaching out to potential Hispanic members is an important part insuring a growth for the industry. According to U.S. Census Bureau estimates, there are roughly 52.0 million Hispanics living in the United States, representing approximately 16.7% of the total population, making people of Hispanic origin the nation’s largest ethnic or race minority. The U.S. Hispanic population is estimated to reach 132.8 million by 2050.