Is Hispanic Marketing an Afterthought?

I was recently invited to speak at a large national marketing conference and noticed an emphasis on the size of the U.S. Hispanic population, spending power, language preferences and acculturation, in another speaker’s presentation. This forced me to ask — “Why are we still having this conversation?”

Why does Hispanic marketing continue to be an afterthought for many companies; yet those companies who have invested in this consumer segment — Wal-Mart, State Farm, McDonald’s, and Toyota, for example — have seen their sales increase exponentially.

Regrettably, many marketers continue to view Hispanic outreach as an “add-on,” instead of seeing it as an opportunity for significant growth or a way to sustain their bottom line in a challenging economy. I’ve seen numerous examples of companies allocating one, or maybe two, percent of the mass market advertising budget to Hispanic outreach and at year-end, showing double-digit growth against the general market’s single-digit growth. And, despite that irrefutable evidence of success, they continue to treat the segment as an afterthought. And allocate their spending accordingly.

Nevertheless, I believe that smart companies will continue to facilitate a two-way conversation designed to ensure that Hispanic consumers are being considered, and cultivated, at every appropriate touch-point. And smart agencies will continue to challenge their client’s thinking, prompting them to examine their strategies and ensure a truly comprehensive approach.

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