At the invitation of Tu Ciudad, the Los Angeles based monthly English-language lifestyle magazine for the city's Latino population, leaders in the publishing industry discussed how to most effectively reach U.S. Hispanics in English with around one hundred and twenty participants at a one-day conference in New York.
The conference dealt with an increasingly important English-dominant Latino niche, of the rapidly expanding U.S. Hispanic market. Since the bulk of the market is targeting Hispanic audiences in Spanish, the language divide was on top of the conference's agenda.
Marketing to Latinos in English
Various panels at the conference attempted to unravel aspects involved in marketing to Latinos in English. The media panel evaluated what has worked in the recent attempts to develop ethnic publications for English-speaking Hispanics Jaime Gamboa, Publisher of Tu Ciudad Magazine, emphasized that his magazine does not print Spanish-language adverts. “We target a predominantly English-speaking audience,” he noted. A similar point was made by Sandra Guzman, Editor-in-Chief of the English-language insert Tempo in the New York Post, who also said that her paper is not accepting Spanish-language advertisements. “Our sales people are in despair, because like all publications we depend on advertising, but after all this is the policy of our publishing house,” Guzman noted. Yet there seems to be some flexibility to this policy, Guzman added. NY Post Tempo recently allowed a few words or short sentences in Spanish to be included in its advertising.
The research panel attempted to evaluate the latest available studies including the language divide between Spanish and English and the media preference of the Latino target group in order to assess their validity for and to develop a collective point of view on marketing issues.
One of the problems of current research studies is that they often suggest sweeping generalizations about Latinos in the U.S., said Edwart T. Rincon, president of Rincon & Associates. According to David Morse, CEO of New American Dimensions, which recently conducted a study on marketing to Latinos in English, “one of the main findings was that U.S. born Hispanics clearly prefer English in the publications that target them.” Rincon added that “even though most Hispanic households consist of members with varying language abilities, there is a general tendency to greater assimilation within the second and third generation of Hispanic immigrants that leads them to substitute Spanish for English.
Franz Solms Laubach