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En Español: Optimizing and Measuring Hispanic Media Investments in 2016

1 Dec, 2015 By: Denira Borrero Response

Advertising spend in Spanish-language media outlets grew 12 percent year-over-year, according to the 2015 AdAge Hispanic Fact Pack. Compare that to less than 1-percent growth for the entire U.S. media market.

This double-digit growth is expected to continue as companies look to capture high-potential consumer segments in the next five years. No other population segment in the U.S. compares to the Hispanic market’s mass appeal, with spending power and population percentage projected to reach nearly $2 trillion and 20 percent, respectively, by the year 2020.

The challenge for most marketers is identifying the unique elements of a U.S. Hispanic media strategy that will lock in a successful outcome. Executing on and measuring the impact of a Hispanic campaign under the same assumptions as a general market campaign can lead to misleading results and prematurely halted tests.

To understand the unique driving forces of Hispanic media vs. general market media, following are the top considerations moving into the 2016 media landscape to optimize and measure a smart Hispanic media investment.

Highly Concentrated Audiences per Program

With more than 50 TV and 500 radio networks available on the Spanish-language media landscape, there are plenty of testing and targeting options for a U.S. Hispanic media plan. About 30 percent are ethnic-oriented programming for Hispanic subgroups and countries of origin (i.e., Mexicans, South Americans, and/or Caribbean Hispanics) allowing for further targeting of individual age groups and acculturation.

By contrast, on the general market side, there are more than six times more outlets to choose from, leaving very fragmented audience and demo targeting options per program, compared to Hispanic networks. A well-targeted Hispanic TV test, utilizing a smaller number of concentrated audience networks, can give you a fairly reliable read on rollout potential with a very efficient buy. A common mistake made by general market planners developing Hispanic plans is investing too soon on the larger, more costly broadcast networks. That can eat away on testing options quickly without giving a true read on potential or enough time or budget to optimize.

Higher Live Viewership

With over-the-top (OTT) TV and live streaming becoming a disruptive element on the media buying landscape, the Hispanic audience is maintaining the highest level of live viewership. A recent Univision report showed 92-percent live viewership, compared to 57 percent or lower for all other major networks, including ABC, CBS, and NBC.

This gives a higher level of control for timing and actual dollar efficiency of a media buy. This is particularly important for retail-support campaigns targeting audience reach during high-traffic shopping days and/or seasonally sensitive categories. It also allows for more accurate media impact predictions, as audience reach is more reliable and controlled.

Unique Behaviors With Unique Implications

Sixty-eight percent of U.S. Hispanics speak Spanish at home. The average household size is 3.6 persons, compared to 2.4 in the general market, and they are more likely to have multiple generations living in the household (22 percent vs. 13 percent). The implications of these unique demographics are multifold and include:

  • An increased propensity to purchase in bilingual transactional formats — such as searching reviews on English websites and then ordering on the English site or choosing to buy at retail after seeing Spanish-language ads.
  • Channel surfing between Spanish- and English-language programs with viewership of media ads in both languages increasing frequency impact.
  • Family viewership of programs and advertising spots as common family entertainment activity.
  • Shopping in big box retailers for bulk buying and discounts for large households.

These behaviors speak to the positive compounding sales effect on this market when you have both strong English and Spanish media running simultaneously on the same campaign, as well as a strong bilingual presence on the Web and at retail. It is important to consider the sales impact on telemarketing, Web attribution, and retail impact in both English and Spanish formats. The ability to understand, measure, and track the purchasing path is critical, yet more complicated, in the U.S. Hispanic landscape.

Denira Borrero is COO of Miami-based Omni Direct. She can be reached at (305) 535-8892 or via E-mail at

About the Author: Denira Borrero

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