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En Español: Understanding the Evolving Hispanic Media Landscape

1 Nov, 2014 By: Alex Agurcia Response

You are likely reaching Hispanics in your current marketing efforts. The majority of U.S. Hispanics is bilingual and consumes both English and Spanish language media. However, more than any other ethnic group in the U.S., they maintain their connection to home, language and cultural traditions.

The majority of U.S. Hispanics say they like ads more if viewed in Spanish and targeted to them specifically (compared to English ads). They also tend to buy from and be loyal to brands that advertise in Spanish.

Even though they move between American and Latino cultures during the work day and in their social networks, capturing U.S. Hispanic loyalty and dollars requires an ability to understand the media consumption and buying behaviors of your chosen Hispanic demo. Understanding their preferred spoken language by media outlet is highly dependent on age, immigrant generation and even country of origin. Even with culturally relevant creative, a campaign is unlikely to pass the test phase without knowledge of the quickly evolving media landscape catering to this segment and its subgroups.

Spanish-language and bilingual programming and content have proliferated on local and national formats and across all channels — including TV, radio, print, digital and social. Following are some recent trends on the Hispanic media landscape.

There are more than 130 Spanish-language national channels available through cable, satellite and broadcast — the majority launched in the past 10 years. This does not include English-language channels that launched recently to cater to bilingual, English-preferred millennial Hispanics (such as Fusion and El Rey). With Hispanic TV advertising dollar growth at nearly 9 percent in 2013 compared to less than 1 percent for the general market, there will be more growth in programming and network availability catering to this market in 2015.

Traditional radio programming and stations are also expanding, with more than 800 radio stations currently focused on Spanish-language programming. In fact, many local Spanish-language stations in large metro areas hold the top-rated position for the entire market. Popular syndicated shows and most local stations offer host endorsements and promotional event marketing as packages to ad buyers. This offers unique value compared to other media outlets. Success in radio campaign results is growing, particularly within certain categories like health supplements and financial services.

The digital radio space has also expanded in recent years, with satellite stations increasingly catering to Latinos and those that want to advertise to them. Currently, Pandora boasts 19 million Hispanic listeners per month with 27 stations as part of its Latino package. Sirius XM also launched expanded Latino programming and stations in 2013. Digital radio offers the advantage of highly targeted ad reach, which allows for targeting age and language preference. It also offers the ability to click through to a phone number or website for easy transactions and campaign measurement.

Digital and Mobile
U.S. Hispanics continue to be over-indexed in their use of mobile devices and tablets to access the Internet, stream video and make purchases compared to non-Hispanics. They are also more likely to review products and share their experiences through social networks and blogs, making them key influencers to adoption of new products and technologies.

Since digital ad technology allows for targeting by age and language preference (including bilingual), this is an ideal platform to reach those elusive “ambi-cultural,” young but trendsetting Hispanics. Most social networks are aware of the large percentage of Hispanics that make up their loyalty base and have expanded their efforts to reach and engage them.

The mass market spending power of this group, along with its ability to influence general market trends and new product introductions, is fueling the investment of advertising dollars to reach it. Integrated media opportunities are vast and growing, but a keen understanding of the evolving media landscape coupled with an expert knowledge of cultural nuances is the key success factor in winning the hearts and wallets of Hispanics. ■

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