December 5, 2011. Multichannel News by Laura Martinez.
Hispanics represent 16% of the U.S. population and while most speak Spanish, about half of the demo speaks English with fluency, watches Englishlanguage TV and surfs the net in both languages. So Spanishonly media buys are no longer on the marketing agenda.
While most marketers continue to buy and allocate resources based on what’s left over from their general-market plan, others have started to dip their toes into this “total market approach,” working in partnership with media properties to reach audiences across different channels, properties and even languages.
NBCUniversal, with its recently launched Hispanics at NBCU initiative, is among the media companies embracing this concept. The Comcast-controlled media giant has a dedicated sales and marketing group pitching clients on the opportunity to reach up to 93% of U.S. Hispanics across 42 brands and their online extensions, be it broadcast, cable, Spanish, English or even Spanglish. “The key here is cultural relevance,” according to Telemundo chief operating officer Jacqueline Hernandez, the executive charged with leading the Hispanics at NBCU initiative.
AD INVESTMENT: NUMBERS GAME
Selling ads like “bread out of the oven” might be on everybody’s mind, but Hispanic ad agencies want it to make it top of mind. A recent survey by the Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies claims marketers who spend heavily on Hispanic media are seeing their revenue grow faster than those who don’t. According to the study, those advertisers who spend 14.2% (the percentage of Hispanic adults) or more of their advertising budgets to target Hispanics have seen their top line revenue grow in the past five years.
“The biggest surprise [of this study] was the correlation we found between high investment in Hispanic media and top line revenue growth,” said Carlos Santiago, president of Santiago Solutions Group, which conducted the study for AHAA.
The study, which did not break down figures by media channel, found that 57% of the top 500 advertisers spent less than 1% of their budgets on Hispanic advertising in 2010, a group AHAA refers to as “in denial.”
The results aren’t free of controversy because, for some, allocating budget is not about picking the “right percentage” or a number that is consistent with the population number. “When you look at Coca-Cola versus, say, BMW you have to apply your brand development index, your consumption patterns, who is your consumer, etc.,” Maney said. “To pick a percentage and go with it is an easy answer to a complicated question.”
Still, the AHAA study claims a select group of companies that spends more than 14.2% of budgets on Hispanic media — which it calls “best-in-class” — have all reported revenue growth after investing consistently against the segment.
“But this has to be consistent; you have to invest more than 14% for at least five years for these results to show,” Santiago, whose group continues to pore over the results and plans to monitor the companies’ performances in the near future, said.
The media measured by the AHAA study comes from Nielsen, which means it takes into account budgets spend on what Nielsen defines as “Hispanic media” (be it cable, broadcast and print). It does not take into account spend on English-language networks that have large Hispanic audiences, like Fox or NBC.
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Language, Cultural Barriers Are Becoming Irrelevant in Marketing to U.S. Latino Segment – Multichannel News