New Immigrants Key to Growth for Spanish-language Print

A Q&A with William Vincent, Director of Advertising for Diario La Estrella

What factors will enable Spanish-language print to grow over the next few years as circulations for general market pubs continue to drop?

What is driving the drop in newspaper circulation in the general market is access to broadband internet. Before that it was Cable TV. Pretty much since the mid-80's, circulation for general market papers has been dropping. The difference in the Hispanic market is that the new and recent immigrants don't have broadband access yet and their numbers are growing. It's not going to stay that way for long, maybe 1-3 years. But during that time, this demographic represents great growth potential for Spanish-language print media. It's going to be the best ROP growth sector, maybe the only growth sector, over the next three years.

What are the biggest obstacles to growth in Spanish-language print media?

Broadband access is an obstacle. As increasing numbers of immigrants get online, Spanish-language newspapers may experience the same decline that the general market has been experiencing. That's why Diario La Estrella is making such a big investment in developing our on-line presence.

Another obstacle is the inferior measurement vehicles of ROI for Hispanic advertising. Advertisers need to know how their investment in Spanish-language media is affecting their top and bottom lines just as they do for the general market. Some hard data do exist, but we still rely too much on store-based anecdotes. As such, agencies and publishers cannot partner as effectively with the advertiser to positively affect the bottom line. On the positive side this means the advertiser extends more trust to the agencies and publishers. The thought process in conversations between the advertisers and the agencies/publishers becomes more philosophical and conceptual, and thus more entrepreneurial. Decisions in that environment can be made more quickly. Risks are then taken.

Are more and better metrics being developed for the Hispanic market?

Yes, very quickly. I think in the next 2 to 4 years large companies are going to force agencies and publishers to really account for how their decisions have positively affected the advertisers' top and bottom lines. Marketers, publishers and agencies are getting more and more effective in accumulating hard data about the spending habits and media response of Spanish dominant consumers. As they do, they will require us to be more accountable, to show the return on investment when it comes to Hispanic advertising. And this will mean developing metrics to measure ROI that are comparable to what's available in the general market.