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Hispanic Consumers Should be on the Minds of Major Marketers In the United States

|Includes:AF, Citigroup Inc. (C), FCF, GGP, JPM

It's Friday April 17, 2009 and it's time for me to dive a little deeper into a certain topic. Back in 2005 I did a write up on the topic of how marketers were really missing the mark as it relates to the Hispanic market, and just reviewing the current situation I decided to revisit this topic and just expanding on my current views on it.

Over the past twenty-five years the buying power of the Hispanic community has almost tripled, even in this current economy those numbers continue to escalate. For the first time the U.S. Census has indicated that Hispanics have become the largest minority group in the United States today. They have reached this point five years earlier than reports projected eclipsing African Americans. Advertisers and their agencies have taken notice of this but will they really be able to connect with the Hispanic community.


The greatest misconception that marketers as well as their advertising agencies still have is that all Hispanics are the same and they can be marketed to in the same manner. There are several different Hispanic groups in the US, and a marketer would be throwing their money away if they have come to the conclusion that they can advertise to a Puerto Rican community the same way they would advertise to a Cuban community.


The Hispanic culture is both rich and diverse so first they must understand who their audience is before they can market to them. For example an advertiser would be foolish to create an advertisement that has a Puerto Rican flavor and market that in a Mexican or Cuban community. Lets take it even further, an advertiser will totally miss their target market if they figure that by running an advertisement in Spanish that is covers the total spectrum of the Hispanic community.


The Hispanic community consists of both English and Spanish speaking people from different cultures. This is something that marketing directors have to begin to understand, until they understand they will never be able to take advantage of the large Hispanic population here in the US. Most marketers file in line to ride the bilingual trend, but in reality they haven’t done their homework, they would have greater results if they just created the campaign in English instead of stereotyping the Hispanic community.


When a marketer just assumes that all Hispanics speak Spanish, react to Spanish or Spanglish type ads and have the same preferences, this is considered “Stereotype Marketing”. An example of this would be to market hip hop music to just the African American community, or to market pasta just to the Italian American community, when we know that all nationalities listen to hip hop music and everyone loves pasta, of course it sounds ridiculous, but marketers are doing this when they try to market to the Hispanic community.


Marketers and their advertising agencies need to change their view, even four years after my write up on how they were missing the mark it still holds true, which amazes me, they are still looking at the Hispanic community as a group when in fact there are many factors that make up this “Group” and they must take into account the diversity which includes the country of origin, whether they are the first or second generation here in the US, and their general location


For example a second generation Latino living in Texas would react differently to an ad that is geared toward a second generation Latino living in New York or a second generation Latino living in Miami Florida. Hispanics are like every other line of immigrants that have come to the United States, they aspire to do better for their families and embrace the American culture. It is very possible that close to half of third generation Latinos marry Non-Latinos, which should be a flashing sign for marketers.

With President Obama sitting with leaders both in Mexico and Cuban, as well as other Latin American countries, we are sure to see not only an increase in the number of Hispanics in the United States but also an increase in trade between the United States and Latin American countries. I make mention of this because it will impact how the Hispanic communities through out the USA need to be viewed by marketers.
Granted some commercials that I've seen have an appealing feel to them, and there are a few english speaking commercials that are fun on the Spanish Television Programs, but that is a select few marketers compared to the majors that may just be out of the loop with the times.

With banks such as Citigroup, Astoria Financial, JPMorgan Chase and First Commonwealth coming out of the financial abyss little by little, and retailers such as Circuit City Stores going out of business and General Growth Properties becoming the most horrific bankruptcy in US history to date, you would think that generating interest from the Hispanic communities would be part of a marketers main focus and it may be in focus but in my opinion not enough to impact their bottomline.

Next week on Wall Street to Main Street I will be speaking about Astoria Financial, First Commonwealth and the real estate market, and my views are my own, I do look for feedback from our readers/listeners so feel free to tweet me your questions or comments on these companies as well as other topics, we will try to provide a platform for the non-radio or non-financial personalities to voice their views and opinions. Just make sure to tweet me your first name and location so that you can get credit for your input.

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