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Second Tier Hispanic Markets Post Big Growth

Emerging Markets


States like California, Florida, New Mexico and Texas are well known for their burgeoning Hispanic populations and represent the old guard of Hispanic-heavy states; presently, however, we see a whole slew of states emerging as second-tier Hispanic markets with significant spending powers. These states include Arkansas, North Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, Nevada, Minnesota and Colorado. Each has registered growth in Hispanic buying power of at least three-fold over the last 15 years, and in some cases buying power has grown as much as ten-fold.

While we know what the big markets are, let’s take a look at the up-and-comers to see where the new marketing and publishing opportunities exist.

> ARKANSAS conjures up images of different things for different people, but the booming growth rate of its Hispanic buying power is probably not one of them. Nonetheless, since 1990 the state has registered a stunning 1175% growth rate in Hispanic buying power, and has emerged as the fastest growing Hispanic economy in the nation, although in absolute dollar amounts it is still dwarfed by many on the second tier list. Its Hispanic population has also grown considerably during the same period, up 615% to 137,442 over the modest 19,000 Hispanics that were there in 1990.

Hola Arkansas (15,000, biweekly, bilingual) is one of two main Hispanic publications in the region. It is distributed through racks and stands and at various events that the paper sponsors throughout the year. It also has a website that is a member of the Hispanic Digital Network.

Arkansas’ other main paper is La Prensa del Noroeste de Arkansas (13,000, weekly, Spanish) and is distributed in Northwest Arkansas and SW Missouri in Hispanic churches and stores. They also do some home delivery. The paper covers a lot of immigration-related news. Advertising is mostly local, although it does draw some national interest from retailers like Wal-Mart. In volume, the state’s national print advertising market is still very small, with advertisers investing just over $30,000 in ROP in 2006, according to Portada Ad-Tracking.

> NORTH CAROLINA is a prime example of a second tier Hispanic market that is positively booming. In 1990, its Hispanic population measured just over 75,000, representing a spending power of about $840 million. By 2005, the Hispanic population had ballooned to over 500,000, spending upwards of $9.5 billion.

While this marked growth has considerably changed the ethnic face of North Carolina, it has also created a ripe market for Hispanic national print media advertising, which was worth about $420,000 (ROP) in 2006, according to Portada Ad-Tracking.

Qué Pasa (85,000, weekly, Spanish) is North Carolina’s largest Hispanic newspaper and is also an established radio property. Between the two mediums, the company claims to reach 90% of North Carolina’s Hispanics every day. The paper is distributed in Charlotte, Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill and the Greensboro/High Point/Winston-Salem Metro areas. Qué Pasa features a combination of both local and regional advertising, such as Lowe’s Food, Lion Supermarkets, as well as national advertising for companies like Motorola, Burger King, Colgate, etc. The paper also does a fair amount of inserts for retailers like Walmart, and auto parts companies. The paper does offer a combined radio and print buy. As for its digital presence, “We feel that the market is not ready yet for online. Our average online story will get between 80-110 hits a week, which is not a lot,” says editor Francisco Camara. “Our audience is composed mainly of new immigrants and blue-collar Hispanics. Our website at this point is basically a sales tool.”

North Carolina’s oldest Hispanic newspaper is La Conexion (20,000, Weekly, Spanish), having opened its doors in 1996. The paper is distributed at Hispanic restaurants, grocery stores and libraries in what is known as “The Triangle,” consisting of Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill.

“Most of our advertising is local, although we also get some national advertising such as Delta, SunCom and Hertz Equipment Rental through the North Carolina Press Association, of which we’re members,” says Vania Garcia, office manager at La Conexion.

In the online space, social network site is a major player, serving over 2.7 million  Latinos. While it was founded in North Carolina, the site's viral nature has extended its presence far beyond the North Carolina's borders.

> TENNESSEE may be famous for cowboy music and whiskey, but mariachi and Tequila are quickly gaining ground. With 70% of the state's Hispanics of Mexican heritage, their buying power stands at a solid $3.7 billion, up from just $4 million in 1990. The Latino population is up almost 500% in the same time frame. La Prensa Latina (43,000, weekly, bilingual) is Tennessee’s largest Hispanic paper, and it also distributes in Arkansas, Mississippi, and Kentucky. The paper was founded in 1988 and covers a range of regional and national news.

Tennessee’s other Hispanic paper is the Knoxville-based Mundo Hispano.

The paper started in 2000 and now claims to have the largest geographic coverage of any Hispanic paper in Tennessee. We are very thankful for the way our readers respond to each edition, many store owners where we put a stand with newspapers can witness how fast they get empty,” says Carlos Nicho, founder and editor.

> GEORGIA is a state whose Hispanic population more than quintupled between 1990 and 2006, where it currently measures close to 700,000. Latino spending power grew 832% during the same period to almost 12.5 billion in 2006. About 40% of the state’s Latinos are Mexican, while 25% are South American, and the remaining are from Central America and the Caribbean. National Advertisers invested almost $1.5 million in ROP advertising in Georgia newspapers during 2006, according to Portada Ad-Tracking.

Portada estimates that the volume of Hispanic print advertising (national and local) in the Atlanta DMA is approximately US $6 million.

Mundo Hispánico (weekly, circ. 68,000, bilingual an an additional 7,000 in Gainesville and Athens), was acquired in 2004 by the Atlanta Journal Constitution (Cox Enterprises) has launched coordinated ad-sales projects in collaboration with the Atlanta Journal Constitution to sell advertising in Mundo Hispánico pages in seven different Atlanta neighborhoods. Mundo Hispánico publishes an automotive supplement called Motores as Paginas Amarilas, an annual Yellow Page book published in Spanish and English.

Atlanta Latino (30,000, weekly, bilingual) covers the Atlanta metro arena and is available for free at area racks and stands, as well as at Hispanicowned businesses. While the paper is bilingual, a strong majority of its readers – 81% — say that they prefer Spanish to English, which is reflective of their relatively un-acculturated, recent immigrant status. When asked what major purchases they plan to make in the coming year, almost half of the respondents said they plan to buy a vehicle, 37% said they plan to buy furniture, about 25% said they plan to buy a major home appliance.

The paper is CVC audited and is a member of the NAHP. Founded in May of 2000, La Visión (60,000 weekly copies, daily, Spanish) is the first Hispanic paper in the state to distribute on a daily basis. It is available at racks and stands, and home-delivers approximately 30% of its distribution. La Visión also publishes a special sports edition on Monday named “Vencedores” and an entertainment supplement on Friday called “Variedades.” The paper is also online and receives thousands of visitors each day.

> NEVADA is not only home to the country’s fastest growing city – Las Vegas – but is also home to a growing number of Latinos. Between 1990 and 2006, the Hispanic population spiked 366% to well over half a million, representing a buying power of $11.5 billion, up 750% from 1990. While ad investment is still relatively small, with just $100,000 invested in ROP in 2006, it is relatively diverse, covering the Financial, Home Furnishings/ Improvement, Insurance, Alcohol, Retail and Telecommunications categories.

The state’s two Hispanic papers are Ahora Spanish English News and El Mundo.

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