In What Tongue do you Speak?
The 21st Century Hispanic Marketplace is a good avenue to walk if you're looking for a "new" audience.
Here are a few USA stats;
- ... nearly a 34 million population - 12% of total, and growing almost 70% live in the States of Florida, Texas, Arizona & California
- ... yet growth is everywhere - even Iowa, where population has nearly tripled in a decade, where Sioux City has a Spanish language newspaper, and the most popular adult education class is English
- ... there are also large populations in New York, New Jersey and Illinois in the 4 most populace states 43% have a computer at home overall, 3.41 average household size - 30% larger than non-Hispanic and a young audience, too - 26.5 average age - vs. 32.9 for non-Hispanic 34% earn US/$35,000 or more
- ... 9 in 10 of these carry health insurance
- ... as a group have diabetes 3 times the national average
- ... yet, the healthiest birth weights & lowest infant mortality rates
- ... and, 40% of the men smoke overall spent $458 billion in USA last year
- ... $189 billion by teen-agers
- ... spending growth expected to double by year 2010 72% read their direct mail, 66% respond
- ... yet, they receive about 1/10th the mail as non-Hispanics and they like to talk
- ... 1 in 7 have made a purchase over the telephone in Arizona 43% visit Native American gaming casinos
- ... 25% attend professional sports events big radio audience ... listen on the average 3.3 hours a day 1256 Spanish language publications in the USA
- ... with a circulation of just about the total population - 34 million television is a major influence on buying decisions
- ... and a source of news, too 55% say national brands "best for my family"
- ... 84% of the women do their shopping in traditional supermarkets music a major source of "entertainment" prefer no debt - prefer to pay cash
- ... still, they spend an average of 104% of their disposable income, vs. 94% for non-Hispanics
Well, there is more - yet, you get the idea. The numbers are good. And will get better for direct marketers.
In the half year immediately prior to penning these words I am personally aware of at least 3 major nationally advertised marketing conferences with the focus on the Hispanic populace.
Companies like AllState Insurance, J.C. Penney, McDonalds, Nestle, Fox Sports World, PFF Bank & Trust and CitiBank have already discovered this audience. As have many of the package goods manufacturers ... Pepsi and Coke, General Mills and General Foods.
The U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce gets together every year somewhere in America. The event gets bigger every year - Phoenix, Arizona bid for the 2003 convention and got it. This is considered a big time move - as the market is a big time opportunity.
Online is in, too. www.hispanicad.com does a good job of keeping those interested informed. An E-zine firstname.lastname@example.org arrives in my E in-box about once a week.
Elections in Mexico are major happenings in the States along the border ... Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California. And front page television and newspaper news.
The Arizona Republic - the biggest newspaper in the State - runs lead stories regularity about what happens in Mexico. Of course, when you realize $3.2 billion in exports went from Arizona to Mexico in 1999 - and will probably be in excess of $4.2 billion in 2000 - it's easy to understand why what happens in the south is so important.
Let's share specifics about what some marketers are doing to tap this large and meaningful market. Even the government sees opportunities - beginning with the year 2000 Census Bureau folks.
They teamed up with Yupi Internet, Inc. of Miami Beach, Florida to deliver online census information to Hispanics. Yupi created a special Spanish language web channel to encourage everyone to complete the census forms.
Most Hispanic communities fell behind the national average for returning the forms by mail. The co-op effort between the Census Bureau and Yupi was designed to increase response.
For the first time the U.S.Army is targeting Hispanics. With a unique magazine style direct mail piece, in English and Spanish. Obviously, the Army is seeking recruits. The message is basically the same collection of benefits as always; the Army allows you to take control of your future, money for college, become a leader, learn self-confidence.
Interestingly, the mailer is aimed at men only. Why? Because the Army has learned women tend to initiate contact with recruiters on their own. When they are ready.
The Bank of America is targeting many special niches - including Hispanics. Since the merger with Nations Bank, B of A has a coast-to-coast operation, they have opportunities almost everywhere.
Radio, cable television, newspapers and magazines are all being used to drive prospects to a special web site - or a toll-free telephone number. Most often with 2 versions of each ad/message.
McMurry - a Phoenix based custom publisher - offers a Spanish language special edition of its' flagship healthcare publication - Vim & Vigor. The Spanish version is Salud Y Vigor - created expressly for the Hispanic marketplace. Not a translation of the English - instead created from scratch. McMurry has also begun a special newsletter - with quick facts, figures, stories of interest.
The most successful 1-800-Flowers as added www.1800lasflores.com - a flower and gift web site with content entirely in Spanish. Since 1995 they offered a 1-800-LasFlores telephone sales and customer service operation. The web site is an extension of that product.
In this instance most of the site is translated directly from the English-language version. With the exception of special offers at special times of the year.
Being "different" - as 1-800-Flowers has been from day one - they highlight the Sears credit card on the Hispanic site. Why? Because research has shown a high penetration of Sears within the Hispanic community.
FamilyMeds.com - an online pharmacy, and one of the top 25 retail pharmacy operations in the USA, with 122 sites in 15 states, has launched the first Spanish language online drug store. Which should expand the 6.6 million prescriptions and US/$250 million in sales last year to a much higher number.
Major differences include all customer service reps and pharmacists offering bilingual service. And all written materials available in English and Spanish.
Another major change is the Hispanic site will emphasize certain illnesses that are more relevant to the population - such as diabetes mentioned earlier.
Fingerhut is working the Hispanic community a number of ways. They have bought into Empire Direct - a Hispanic direct marketing company. Who, among other things, have created the Empire Club merchandise catalog and a bilingual call center to serve it's 1.1 million Hispanic mail-order buyers. Empire sells jewelry, electronics and a wide variety of general merchandise.
Fingerhut has been actively mailing to the Hispanic marketplace since the early '90s. And they've learned a few things;
... advertising on Spanish television, radio & print gets the phone to ring
... the buyers like to order in Spanish
... these same people like to read product descriptions in English.
Guess I'm not surprised. Similar "differences" have occurred in French Canada ... where the readers want to see it in French - yet read and respond in English. Different - yet the same.
What this says is do not "assume". Instead ask and test.
Baseball is a big time activity in much of Latin America. Especially Mexico, the Caribbean and Venezuela. The love of the game has come to the baseball big leagues of the USA.
It began several decades ago - and now there is hardly a team in the majors not to have at least one Hispanic player. The Arizona Diamondbacks and Los Angeles Dodgers are no exception. And because they are each located in pockets of large Spanish populations - a good part of their marketing is aimed directly at the Hispanic households.
In fact, many of the facts and figures shared in the opening of this article came from the sports teams. (Much of the rest of it came from McMurry, the Phoenix publisher) These baseball guys are serious - and they do their homework.
For many of my early years in this business I lived in southern California. I cannot remember NOT having Spanish language broadcasts of the Dodgers games. When I moved to Arizona - ditto. The Field of (Latino) Dreams is alive and well.
The Dodgers do a number of things to reach the second largest concentration of Hispanics in the world, outside of Mexico City - Los Angeles. Spanish-language television and radio. Print in selected publications.
And a major outdoor billboard advertising campaign - with messages that read "Ven Y Vive La Passion" (Come And Live The Passion), and Ven Y Vibre De Emocion" (Come and Feel The Emotion).
There are many other interesting things happening in this first decade of the new century. Online service Prodigy is teaming up with a Spanish language radio network to offer additional services.
Another Spanish radio network is working online with music providers.
The 2 major Mexican television satellite providers are bringing more programming in to both their home country and the United States.
And there is more.
If you're not yet "talking" with the Hispanic marketplace - now is the time to take a serious look. As it is very much alive, very well, and could be just what you're looking for.