Hispanic Marketing Boom: Corporations are ‘Waking Up’ to the Hispanic Market Opportunity

February 9, 2012

By Frances Allen, Forbes Contributor

Spanish Language DomainsI have heard marketers frequently say, “A data-driven decision is always a good decision.”  I don’t necessarily agree with that all the time – insights, innovation, and a healthy measure of gut certainly play a large role in my own marketing decisions, along with paying attention to regular data-oriented updates on what’s happening  in Denny’s demographics and market segments.

But anyone who says numbers don’t go into marketing is sorely mistaken, particularly large, growing numbers that signify dramatic change and opportunity. Here’s one number where it is very easy to see the obvious opportunity –the Hispanic population in the U.S. is growing at three times the rate of the overall population. A number like that is a marketer’s dream.

At Denny’s, one out of every five guests that walk through our doors is Hispanic.  We have long recognized how important it is to reach this group through some very specific marketing initiatives.  In fact, today we went live with our first national online marketing campaign targeting the Hispanic consumer to support our limited time offer for our recently launched Sizzlin’ Skillets.  We worked with our Hispanic marketing agency, Casanova Pendrill, to create a web video called the Skillet Whisperer starring famed dog behavioralist , Cesar Millan, otherwise known as ‘The Dog Whisperer’.  The video, which can be seen  on YouTube.com in Spanish and on Funny Or Die in English, is the first branded content that we’ve made in both English and Spanish to ensure we’re effectively reaching a more diverse audience.

It’s also the first time that we’ve produced a video segment in both Spanish and English to support a menu launch and we’re eager to hear feedback from our guests.  The spoof video shows a family at a real Denny’s diner trying to enjoy a Sizzlin’ Skillet that is misbehaving.  Cue Cesar Millan, known for his ability to tame unruly dogs, who helps the family get the Skillet under control so that it can be eaten in peace.  I have no idea if it’ll work or not, but my gut says it will.

I would encourage all marketers, and in particular those of consumer brands, to consider the dollars that the Hispanic community spends every year and determine a strategy to make sure you are effectively engaging with this growing population – in their own language.   By 2050, the U.S. census estimate projects the Hispanic population will more than double its size today, surpassing the 100 million mark. Now that’s a number I’ll certainly be paying attention to.