“Ad investment outside the top 10 Hispanic Markets can be a major growth driver for Corporate America”, says José Vélez-Silva. Partner, Director of Client Services, at Global Works, where he plans and buys media for companies including U.S. Bank and Cablevision. U.S. Bank has advertising programs in so-called Emerging Hispanic markets Arizona and Colorado and Cablevision in New Jersey and Connecticut.
In 2000, 61 percent of the Hispanic population residing in the 50 states and District of Columbia resided in just four states: California, Texas, Arizona and Florida. By 2010, that proportion had declined to 58 percent while nine states (Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, South Dakota and Tennessee) saw their Hispanic populations more than double. The change in the ratio is particularly noteworthy because the overall Hispanic population grew by a breathtaking 43% during the 2000-2010 time period.
Are advertisers and major brands following the expansion of the Hispanic population?”. According to Mark Stockdale, Director, Hispanic Marketing at TMobile USA, “T-Mobile recognizes the opportunity. This means that traditional focal points are no longer the only high growth areas. There are many secondary markets that are seeing an influx of Hispanic migration. If those emerging markets overlay well with our footprint, we do market to that demographic. We are a national carrier and definitely cater outside the top 10 Hispanic market. Our media and retail merchandising efforts are national.” Other advertisers that have “ventured” outside the top 10 Hispanic markets include Maseca, Cricket Wireless, WalMart, Verizon Wireless and H&R Block.
Zulema Tijero, Advertising Sales Director of Washington Post Co owned El Tiempo Latino in Washington DC, tells Portada that business has increased in the last few months due to the fact that advertisers have taken notice of the strong increase of Hispanic population between 2000 and 2010 in Virginia (+302,285) and Maryland (+242,716). (See table on page 14). As Phillip Woodie, president of LER says, “the growth which is taking place in many of these emerging markets is staggering and simply too compelling for agencies and advertisers to overlook. The list of emerging markets continues to evolve in concert with the migration patterns of Hispanics across the US. Markets like Denver, Salt Lake City, Milwaukee, Seattle, Atlanta and DC have gained some good traction. And as these markets progress through their growth curve, other markets like Boise and Minneapolis emerge as viable Hispanic markets of consequence. If advertisers are truly interested in growing their business, they will insist on including Emerging Hispanic markets as part of their overall media plans.” LER represents over 100 Spanish language radio stations serving close to 80- percent of the U.S. Hispanic market.
NOT ON THE RADAR SCREEN
Yet, to market outside the top 5 or top 10 Hispanic markets often falls outside the radar screen of major national advertisers. “The problem is that Emerging Hispanic markets are often outside of the comfort zone of clients”, says Global Works Vélez-Silva. According to Ronnie Coates, Director of Sales of Charlotte, NC, based Norsan Multimedia, advertisers often argue that a market needs to have at least a 12% to 15% Hispanic share of its total population to justify expenditures in Hispanic specific media. According to this view, markets with a Hispanic population of well over 700,000 like North Carolina, Georgia and Pennsylvania do not merit Hispanic specific advertising. Norsan Multimedia is a Hispanic Media conglomerate in the Southeast, offering coverage in North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, and Tennessee. Its media assets include AM, FM radio stations, Hola Noticias Newspaper, DescubreCharlotte.com as well as events, mobile text and out of home advertising properties.
Monica Messina, VP Northeast Regional at LER thinks that there are two valid approaches for marketers: “To go into big markets who have a 10%+ Hispanic share or into small markets with a very high Hispanic share. Among the latter she counts Bakersdale in CA, which has a 45% Hispanic share. Areas of high growth in both population and purchasing power of the Hispanic demographic are also overshadowed by major neighboring metropolis like Orange County and Riverside (Los Angeles) or Hoboken (New York). These markets often fall out of the radar screen of major national advertisers. For example, Inland Empire, comprised of the Riverside and San Bernardino Counties, is the fastest growing area in the U.S. for the Hispanic population. In 2010 almost 50% of Riverside County’s population was Latin compared to 29.2% in 2000. Often local media in emerging, smaller, Hispanic markets has a higher penetration than Hispanic media in bigger markets. This is not surprising as smaller markets tend to be less competed than the large metropolitan markets. Hernan Guaracao, publisher of Al Día in Philadelphia, tells Portada that his newspaper’s penetration rate in Philadelphia Hispanic households is higher than 80%.This extremely high penetration can not be matched by Hispanic newspapers in large metropolis such as Los Angeles, New York and Miami.
The low saturation of advertising messages targeting Hispanics in Emerging Hispanic Markets can be an advantage for marketers. Last year Maseca organized a tour of large U.S. cities, spearheaded by advertising agency Lopez Negrete. It included Charlotte, NC, in the effort. Perla Wasserman, Account Service Director at Houston based Lopez Negrete Communications, tells Portada that Charlotte was the only specific effort outside the top 10 Hispanic markets. The campaign supported the Maseca brand around the 2010 Soccer World Cup theme “Maseca tu Amuleto de Sabor” talking to females and moms. The idea was to help moms to celebrate and enjoy the World Cup with their families. The campaign included radio, POS at key retailers, events at stores, and national online advertising. The campaign registered a much higher engagement in Charlotte, where a very high number of consumers visited Maseca storefronts.
The number of visitors was much higher than the one registered in similar events in Dallas, Houston, Chicago and Los Angeles. It has to be taken into account that on a proportional basis the Charlotte engagement is even higher because there are more Hispanics living in Dallas, Houston, Chicago and Los Angeles than in Charlotte. Another advantage for major brands to invest in Emerging Hispanic markets is that they provide a more efficient way of learning about the Hispanic market than the bigger markets. The marketing/advertising expenditures tend to be lower and so are overhead costs.
WHEN TO ENTER: THE FIRST SIGNS
Martha Kruse, Senior Director Multicultural Marketing at Rooms To Go, says that usually a market is ready for advertising messages targeting Hispanics when Rooms To Go retail stores have a bilingual sales force. Kruse calls store managers to discuss how Hispanic clients are catered to. Kruse expects to start marketing in North and South Carolina next year. Rooms To Go has stores in Florida, Georgina, Mississippi, the Carolinas, Tennessee, and Texas. She cites as an impediment that sometimes the tools for effective advertising placement are not ready yet. For example she says that Atlanta does not have Hispanic TV ratings yet. In Atlanta Rooms To Go uses Hispanic radio and Hispanic newspapers such as Cox communications El Mundo Hispanico. The existence of community media such as a local newspaper and a Hispanic radio station is another sign of enough critical mass for an advertiser to enter an Emerging Hispanic market. According to LER’s Phillip Woodie, “Usually, a Spanish-language radio station is the first sign that a significant Hispanic population exists in a city. Radio continues to be the primary medium to reach the US Hispanic consumer – radio stations function as a trusted friend who brings news, sounds of home and information to their everyday life in the US – including ads about where to shop and which brands/retailers/services want their business.”
MEDIA PROPERTIES TAKE NOTE
Many media properties are adapting their offerings to reflect the increasing clout of Hispanics outside the traditional top 5 markets. Televisa’s Publishing and Digital’s Vanidades increased it’s rate base by 74% in 2011 to 270,000. An important reason for the population increase is the distribution in Emerging Hispanic markets. “We have started to increase our distribution in new Hispanic markets which are “hot” as a result of the census which include the Carolinas, Virginia and Maryland, etc.”, says Mariana Toledo, Marketing Manager at Televisa Publishing and Digital. In April Univision in Atlanta launched full fledged newscasts after years of producing local news briefs, Univision 34 in Atlanta finally launched 2 half-hour newscasts. They are airing at 6 and 11 pm Mon-Fri.
Gianncarlo Cifuentes, who had been manning the news briefs, is the news director and anchor of the newscasts. Amanda Ramírez, Mariela Romero and Omar García round up the news team. Atlanta’s Hispanic buying power is expected to increase from US $4.3 billion in 2000 to US $16.6 billion in 2012. Cox Media owned Mundo Hispanico is the largest Hispanic newspaper in Atlanta, Georgia. It has an audited weekly reach of 193,500 readers. Another major Atlanta Hispanic newspaper is the weekly Atlanta Latino. Local media properties are also emerging. Viva Now Magazine recently launched in Atlanta as a bilingual publication that covers the Southeastern U.S. (in print, on-line and multiple social media forums with a focus on special events) and is specifically designed to appeal to Hispanic professionals and entrepreneurs “Living the American Dream”. Viva Now is published in glossy magazine format; it has a circulation of 25,000, and is published twice a year.
Going forward, a substantial part of the growth of the Hispanic advertising and media market is going to be in Emerging Hispanic Markets. As LER’s Phillip Woodie says, “it’s a continuing education process and a story which has to be told at the client level as well as through the agency planning, account and buying teams. The challenge is keeping the emerging markets front and center in the client’s and agency’s mind and to continue to emphasize the amazing transformation and growth these emerging markets are experiencing.” Woodie adds that “for the longest time, the emphasis has been on the top 15 Hispanic markets. Now, with clients wanting and needing to grow their business and their market share, they are realizing the huge potential emerging markets offer. “ Woodie concludes with an example: “If an advertiser is doing business in Salt Lake City and they haven’t allocated a portion of their budget to reach out to the Salt Lake City Hispanic community, then their competition will. Their competition will cultivate the Hispanic consumer for long into the future. And as we all know, first one in wins.”