Are You Shifting Marketing and PR Plans Based on Hispanic Demographic Trends?

May 26th, 2010

by Colleen Flood*

Hola, como estan todos?  Es un placer de estar aqui. Estan todos disfrutando la conferencia? 

This is similiar to how David Henry, founder and president of Telenoticias and co-author of Hispanic Marketing and Public Relations: Understanding and Targeting America’s Largest Minority, started the session “A Sleeping Giant” at the PRSA Counselors Academy Conference, which BurrellesLuce sponsored, this past weekend. Henry switched back to communicating in English and asked if we understood what he had just said. Only one or two hands went up in the group. He then related this to what Hispanics understand when they are marketed to in English.

The current marketplace in the U.S. is comprised of a diverse group. There has been boom over the past few years and by 2050, it is estimated that 30 percent of the population will be Hispanic. This is a population with a purchasing power that is progressing 50 percent faster than non-Hispanic groups. (In fact, BurrellesLuce first began writing about these trends in a 2007 newsletter entitled, “Top Five Tips for Reaching the Growing Hispanic Market.”)

This is the “sleeping giant,” according to Henry, since Hispanics seem to be more of a brand-loyal and relationship-driven community. Even though U.S. Hispanics speak English, in the home many of them are only speaking Spanish and are making buying decisions and vacation choices in a family setting. Henry explained that not enough companies include Hispanic outreach as a core part of their PR and marketing plans. If we are not communicating in Spanish or speaking to their values how are they interpreting what they will purchase? 

Henry also insists that Hispanic consumers need to be engaged via online and social media. They are the fastest growing in terms of online usage in the U.S. and to dispel any myths, Henry explained that 82 percent of Hispanics do have computers.  Fifty-eight percent of the total Hispanic population is online and 55 percent are using Spanish language sites – this is up 41 percent according to Henry. Companies who engage with Hispanics will have success – social media is perfect for the Hispanic market.

Henry offered some ways to reach Hispanic audiences:

  • Adapt to your market. Research the culture and garner an understanding before trying to market it. (This also applies to other consumer groups and niche markets as well.)
  • Take a bilingual approach. This will help to send a consistent, effective message.
  • Understand core values.  The family dynamic plays an important role in purchasing decisions, among other values.
  • Get involved in the community. Partner and communicate with Hispanic organizations.
  • Employ a fluent Spanish language spokesperson. Some larger agencies even have dedicated teams.  Just because you know some Spanish, does not mean you know the Hispanic market or their communication preferences.

How are you marketing en Espanol? What about in other languages or to other non-English speaking groups or niche communities? What are some of your tips for communicating and marketing to an increasing diverse group of influencers and constituents?


*Bio: Colleen Flood has been a sales consultant with BurrellesLuce for over 12 years and is eager to become a more integrated part of the social-public relations community. She primarily handles agency relations in the New York and New Jersey metro-area. She is not only passionate about work, but also about family, friends, and the Jersey Shore. Twitter: @cgflood LinkedIn: Colleen Flood Facebook: BurrellesLuce

8 Responses to “Are You Shifting Marketing and PR Plans Based on Hispanic Demographic Trends?”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Tressa Robbins, BurrellesLuce. BurrellesLuce said: Are you shifting PR plans based on Hispanic Marketing trends? @cgflood @BurrellesLuce […]

  2. […] Posted originally on May 26th, 2010, by BurrellesLuce Insider […]

  3. It is great that articles continue to bring to light some of the very basic and fundamental approaches to marketing to Hispanics.

    However, I challenge Hispanic marketers to start voicing more innovation and progression on this topic. Hispanic marketing has come a long way and Corporate America today is well-versed on some of these nuances mentioned (i.e. understand values, have a Spanish-speaking spokesperson).

    I also feel that the entire population is not necessarily a “sleeping giant” at this point; we all know the statistics. What I do believe marketers should be talking about are the sleeping giants within the group such as the growing power and influence of Latina women, as an example – research shows that Latinas are graduating from college more than their counterparts and are the fastest growing small business owners among the population. How will this shape the future of the Hispanic community?

    Our industry is as at an important juncture in our evolution. We have reached an apex and unless we start bringing some forward thinking to the table, the next generation of Hispanic marketers will not be able to continue our successes and we will lose our role in the marketing mix under the weight of digital strategies (though we should be integrated with this) and increasingly limited budgets.

  4. Colleen Flood says:

    Hi Sandra,

    Thank you for your comments. I agree with you that Hispanic marketing has come a long way and see your point that we should also be talking about the influence of the Latinas. The women in this group that you point out are the fastest growing small business owners will definitely have an affect on the future of the Hispanic community.

    I appreciate your thoughts.


  5. […] this conference, checkout, my BurrellesLuce colleague, Colleen Flood’s latest Fresh Ideas post, “Are You Shifting Marketing and PR Plans Based on Hispanic Demographic Trends?,” as well as the PRSay blog, Jay Baer’s blog and […]

  6. Jason Murphy says:

    I believe the statistics state that we have around 45 million Hispanics in the United States. What are the affects of online marketing via social networks? For example, I have Spanish-speaking friends throughout Latin America and they all use Facebook, twitter, etc. There are no borders online. Most of my international friends watch US television and movies, pay close attention to US trends, and travel frequently to the US for shopping. Maybe the REAL number of Hispanics in the US market is higher than we think.

  7. Colleen Flood says:

    Hi Jason,

    Thanks for your comments. You are probably right about the real number of Hispanics in the US market being higher. Also, I totally agree with your statement about no borders online. I just recently read that if facebook were a country it would be the third largest in population! So like you said the numbers are higher than we think.


  8. marcus says:


    […]Are You Shifting Marketing and PR Plans Based on Hispanic Demographic Trends? « BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas[…]…

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