Uncovered Facts About Online Hispanic Women and their Media Usage

Are you considering going after the online Hispanic women market? Here’s all your questions on their online media usage answered but to find out you must read every word of this comprehensive report.

Online Hispanic women are social networking butterflies

Online Hispanic women are social networking butterflies

One of the main factors that decisively affects business profitability and ROI is market share. The connection between market share and profitability has been recognized by scholars, business executives and consultants.

Hispanic women in the U.S will reach 51 million by 2050 and will make up 25% of the total U.S female population by 2050, according to Hispan Telligence.

If we add the fact that U.S. Hispanics are ahead of the curve when it comes to digital, they lead in adoption of new devices, are power users of mobile and over-index in video consumption, the conclusion is clear. It’s time to pay attention to the online Hispanic women market.

Hispanic women RULE in digital

Many brands believe that the only places to reach online Hispanic women are lifestyle magazines, celebrity gossip and mommy sites. While these sites are very effective in reaching them, Hispanic women trace their own path and can be found in other online properties in droves and we will cover these shortly. You just have to know where to look.

Check Out These Uncovered Facts About Online Hispanic Women and their Media Usage

Uncovered Facts About Online Hispanic Women and their Media Usage

Online Hispanic women are social networking butterflies

Hispanic women of all ages engage in a multitude of online activities, such as blogging, photo-sharing, gaming, video viewing and instant messaging. Mobile social networking is a habitual practice in the lives of today’s women.

Social retail, clearly demonstrated by the percentage of women that participate on Pinterest and because it combines two activities that are already firmly embedded in the daily activity of online women, is the next logical step in this evolution.

Women transact online more than men

In the U.S., currently the largest e-commerce market in the world, women are the key drivers of online buying. More women than men conduct business online and, collectively, they spend more. Women account for 85% of consumer purchases (She-conomy) and 58% of U.S. ecommerce spend but in spite of this, 91% of women say advertisers don’t understand them.

Differences between women and men on Social Networks

Even when their online behavior is similar, motivations can differ widely between the two genders. The adoption of Twitter is a great example – both genders adopted this technology at similar rates, but for different purposes. Men are far more likely to post their own Tweets than women. Meanwhile, a larger percentage of female Twitter users say they use the site to find deals and promotions. Women are also more likely to use the service as a conversation medium, to ask for help from other users and to follow celebrities. (comScore)

Online Hispanic Women Social Media and Other Web Media Use

Girls dominate visual platforms - Pew Internet 2015

Girls dominate visual platforms – Pew Internet 2015

Social Media Networks with the largest incidence of Hispanic demographics are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.


73% of adult Latino internet users (18+ years old) say they have a Facebook account with a slightly higher Hispanic women presence in the social network. (Pew Research Center 2014)


25% of Hispanics are on Twitter versus a 21% of non-Hispanic whites. The site’s reach is marginally higher among men than among women. Still, this is a great network to reach a college-educated, affluent, and urbanite demographic.

Instagram, Flickr, Other Photo Sharing Sites

Hispanic women surpass men in every age group in both reach and time spent on photo sites. They were also much faster to adopt photo sharing when it first reached the market.

SnapChat tends to be used by wealthier teenagers - Pew Internet 9-4-15

SnapChat tends to be used by wealthier teenagers – Pew Internet 9-4-15

Instagram has the largest percentage of Hispanics out of all other social networks. 34% of Instagram users are Hispanics, a much higher percentage than their white counterpart (21%). This demographic skews much younger, especially in the 18 to 29 years old segment. Besides young adults, women are particularly likely to be on Instagram, along with those who live in urban or suburban environments.


Pinterest does not fall behind on the Hispanic forefront. Definitely the Queendom of women, with 21% of Hispanic Pinterest users, looking for inspiration, this is “the” place to be. The first social commerce network (I really hate calling it a social network as Pinterest has always been so much more than that and by the way, don’t miss out on these outstanding Pinterest for Business statistics when you are done reading this article. If you are not active on it, you will want to be.)

To sum up: Women dominate Pinterest with 42% of online women using the platform, compared with 13% of online men.


Did you know that 70% of SnapChat users are women? And they are a very young demographic. Now, let’s do the math. There’s a much higher incidence of Hispanics on Gen Y and Gen Z than on any other generation. If you have not considered a SnapChat campaign for your Latina teens, you may be missing the mark.

Read What Everybody Ought To Know about the Latino market to discover even more


LinkedIn seems to rank low on Hispanic demographics with just an 18 percent of adult Hispanics but if you are looking for online Hispanic women who are college-graduates and between the ages 30-64, then this is your site.

Remember that users are becoming more and more multiplatform and if you find them on Pinterest, it is highly likely you will also find them on Twitter and Facebook.

Source: September 2014, the Pew Research Center

Online Video Sites

59% of all Hispanics are on YouTube and 72% of Hispanic Americans using YouTube’s app. By the same token, YouTube has the higher share of viewed minutes for online women.

Universal has a Universal Latino YouTube channel dedicated channel to online Hispanics. You can read more about their success in driving this audience on this article.

Online Streaming

Latinos stream way more online TV than their white counterparts, according to Nielsen: “Latinos on average watch 6 hours and 22 minutes of online video per month, whereas white viewers clock 3 hours and 44 minutes on average.”

There are several players in this field.

Hulu Latino, has been developing its own original content. Hulu Original Latino Series ‘East Los High’ Receives Three Daytime Emmy Nominations. They are partners with Univision, Galavision and Telefutura. In 2012, Hulu Latino added shows from new partners Azteca America, Butaca, Caracol Televisión, Comarex, Estrella TV, Imagina US, Laguna Productions, Maya Entertainment, RCTV, Todobebe Inc and Venevision.

MiTu Latino is a multi-channel streaming network that receives over 100 million views per month and in just two years it amassed an audience of more than 36 million subscribers.

mun2, re-branded as NBC Universo on February 1, 2015, was the fastest growing Hispanic cable network with women 18-49 in total day Monday -Sunday 6a.m.- 2a.m., +8% year-over-year.  The network continued its double-digit growth with women. Source: Nielsen Media Research.


We cannot skip online radio, so we’ll take a look at the Pandora demographics. These are mostly Hispanics Males/Females younger than 24yrs old no college, some grad school, income range $0 – 55k, no kids. This is a very young demographic.

Hispanic Women and Online Search

Language used by Hispanic women to surf the web

Language used by Latinas to surf the web

“Latinas search in English for information in Spanish. Beyond language, a majority (62 percent) of Latinas wish for more lifestyle information about Latinas online, and over sixty percent want more lifestyle information written in Spanish. When Latinas search for Latino subject matter online, recipes top the list, followed by news, music, family health, beauty and celebrations.” Source: Comscore

Google is the most popular search engine among both genders but their behavior on Bing displays an interesting behavioral twist. In general, men perform a higher number of search queries than women (71.6 searches per searcher for men vs. 64.0 for women). When it comes down to Bing, Hispanic women perform a much higher number of searches than males that use this search engine do.

Google has seen the number of Google search queries that include common Spanish-language question words nearly double over the past 3 years. If you still think of “Hispanic Marketing” as “Spanish Marketing,” it’s time to re-evaluate your knowledge of this market. Looking for Spanish SEO or Spanish Inbound marketing will not help you capture a solid market share of the Hispanic market in the U.S., unless you only want to target this particular Hispanic market segment. But remember that even people who have recently immigrated to the U.S. will eventually be searching in English, Spanish and Spanglish.

Combine cultural relevance with language to get to the winning formula. – Havi Goffan

Why you need a Hispanic Inbound Marketing Agency

Hispanic Women market Opportunities & Challenges

I wouldn’t end this article without providing some tips and data regarding the Hispanic women market. Here are a few of the market’s opportunities and challenges.


  • Once a brand is identified as a trustworthy one, Hispanic women will share the news with family, friends, co-workers and this might lead these reference groups to continue the buzz about the brand around their own set of groups.
  • Customer relationship management is another important aspect to consider when marketing to Hispanics. Both from a cultural and language perspectives, this audience deserves careful consideration. The last thing a business should do is generate interest in their products or services to lose them once they form part of the customer-base.
  • Coupons have an influence on the Latino consumer’s decision.
  • Latina Bloggers have a strong influence in the purchasing decisions of many Hispanic moms.
  • 33% of Hispanic moms claim to have learned more about products and brands from online ads than from traditional media. Don’t forget internet ads!
  • Hispanic women are also more open to companies’ content: 57% said they read emails from brands while only 19% of U.S. moms do so.


  • Brand loyalty towards one brand vs. another is very strong in some industries – e.g., the baby care industry. It may be based on brands used by previous generations or it built out of a product trial.
  • Hispanic women email lists need to be built in-house. Otherwise, be prepared to pay heftily for a solid list.
  • Trust generation is one of the most important achievements when targeting the Hispanic women market.

This audience IS the future. Play it smart and play it well. If you were doing business in China, you wouldn’t leave your marketing in the hands of people who knew nothing about the language and the culture, right? And there’s even more variations of Spanish than versions of Chinese. Don’t blame the market for not responding to your campaigns. The numbers are there and they are yours for the taking.

Words to live by

Words to live by

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Culture Code for Money: The Insider’s Guide

Hispanics represent over $1 trillion in household disposable income. It’s time to understand their culture code for Money. This article covers: the definition of culture codes and biculturalism; the code for money for American, Latin American and Hispanic American markets, its affect on marketing to financial and banking industry products; and a suggested segmentation of the U.S. Hispanic market for this particular industry.

Culture Code for Money - The Insider’s Guide

Culture Code for Money – The Insider’s Guide

Besides their sheer numbers and outstanding growth, the Hispanics’ over $1 trillion in household disposable income make them extremely appealing to Financial institutions. 14.5% of U.S. Hispanics can be considered affluent with incomes over $75,000. Still, many may perceive Hispanics to be mainly lower income even though approximately one in five Hispanics live in poverty. Hispanics bear noticeable differences from their non‐Hispanic white counterparts for financial products preferences. Further, Hispanic Americans lag behind with regard to breadth and depth of financial assets, particularly riskier but usually higher return asset classes. By the same token, the preferences for different financial products and services vary for Hispanic Americans based on their income level, education, country of origin, and number of years that they or their families have been in the U.S.

It’s time to understand their culture code for Money.

What is a Culture Code?

A culture code is the representation of our cultural understanding of a physical or abstract object. A full set of culture codes form the cultural unconscious, which is hidden from our own understanding, but is seen in our actions.

These culture codes or mental structures are formed at an early age and these strong imprints placed in people’s subconscious are determined by the culture in which they are raised. This is why people from different cultures have such different reactions to the same things.

American Culture Code for Money

First, let’s cover the definition of the culture code for money.

Dr. Clotaire Rapaille, the renowned anthropologist states that “the notion that we “come from nothing” pervades America. In a sense, we have the poorest rich people in the world, because even those who accumulate huge sums of money think like poor people. They continue to work hard, they continue to focus on cash flow and expenses, and they continue to struggle to earn more.”

But thinking of Americans as worried only about money is a misconception. To Americans money isn’t a goal in and of itself. It symbolizes a measure of how far they’ve come and how much was achieved. Money show us who the big winners are, therefore, the American Culture Code for money is PROOF.

Hispanic Culture Code for Money

Hispanics are risk averse. This changes with new generations being born in the U.S. You don’t talk about money and the risks associated with financial instruments and unstable economies.

Let’s examine the Latino culture in Latin America, where money is not proof of achievements or self-worth but a taboo. In Latin America, just like in Europe, there’s very little movement between economic classes. The children of professionals become professionals, the children of business owners become business owners and, for the most part, people stay within their class. Therefore money stops being proof to become something unpleasant you do not speak about.

In the United States speaking about money does not carry the same negative connotation than in Latin America, where doing so (speaking about money) in front of others or with others of same, higher or lower means is considered vulgar.

There is a also belief in Latin American culture that you can strike it rich with a fabulous (and easy to implement) idea. This notion is very much in line with the Hispanic fatalistic outlook in life where the belief is that things are predestined to be or to happen. The idea being that no matter what my origin or inherited resources, one can achieve financial success, not by hard work but by serendipitous means.

Therefore, the Latino culture code for money is LUCK. You got lucky to have been born into money, or lucky to have struck gold. Maybe you got lucky because you married somebody with money.

Among Latinos, the culturally accepted way to indicate wealth and material success is by owning the latest technology, wearing the latest fashion (designer, of course) or a high end luxury car. These are all symbols that enable people to demonstrate their wealth without having to talk about it. This is the exact opposite to the U.S. culture, where comfort rules and people wear what they prefer without worrying about being judged as successful or not for it.

US-born Hispanics Culture Code for Money

Let’s analyze the impact of both culture codes on U.S.-born Hispanics and highly acculturated ones. We will notice a dichotomy of thought that is accentuated the more the Latin and American culture codes are incorporated into their acculturation and enculturation process.

This process does not mean switching one cultural more for another. Changing mores would imply a process of assimilation whereas adopting and incorporating a new more implies a process of acculturation. What takes place inside of the bicultural persons’ brain is cultural frame-switching (CFS.) Cultural values switch, one taking prevalence over the other at different times to evaluate a message or situation. As a bicultural person, one can feel more comfortable speaking about money while looking at the situation from one’s culture perspective or feel less comfortable when perceiving and interpreting through the other culture, all thanks to cultural frame-switching.

The concept of cultural frame switching (CFS) or double consciousness was made popular by W.E.B Du Bois and focuses on how an individual switches between cultural frames of reference in response to a stimuli or to their environment.

“Individuals who integrate two cultures into their identity often attach cultural meaning systems to a framework that can be elicited by the language, icons, or stereotypes of that culture. Bilingual biculturals, when primed for a framework, may switch compatibly or incompatibly with the cultural frame elicited.” — Cultural frame switching and cognitive performance by Miriam Walsh, Ed.S., California Sate University, Fresno, 2011, 104 pages; 3458356

A good way to measure acculturation level for Latinos is how comfortable they become about speaking about money and less comfortably about sex.

American Hispanic Market Segments for the Financial Industry

While understanding the culture code for money pertaining to any culture is key for the marketing of any product and service, this need becomes heightened when we talk about the Financial and Banking industry.

We have identified 5 Hispanic market segments for Hispanics over 18 years of age who reside in the United States and are bicultural. It is important to highlight that biculturalism does not go hand in hand with bilingualism. Different strategies may have to be developed for these segments and for specific financial products or services these segments may have to be merged or split even further.

“Although the terms “bicultural” and “bilingual” are often seen together in the same text, there is very little work that attempts to encompass them into one reality, bicultural bilinguals. This paper takes up a number of themes that pertain to bicultural bilinguals, most notably how they are described in the literature, how they become both bilingual and bicultural, and how their languages and cultures wax and wane over time. Other aspects discussed are their linguistic and cultural behaviour as bicultural bilinguals, how they identify themselves both linguistically and culturally, as well as their personality as bicultural bilinguals. An effort is made whenever possible to bridge the gap between the two components that make up bicultural bilinguals – the linguistic and the cultural – and to show how the questions that interest linguists when studying bilinguals can be taken up and adapted by researchers examining cultural issues, and vice versa.” — François Grosjean, Université de Neuchâtel, Avenue du Premier-Mars 26, 2000 Neuchâtel, Switzerland.

These segments range from low-income Hispanics who can only access second-chance lending mortgages, prepaid or debit cards and basic savings accounts to high-income Hispanic Americans interested in more complex investments, mortgages and home equity loans.

In addition, language becomes a key factor in communicating and engaging with each segment. A large number  of Hispanics prefer to do business in English, particularly since the Spanish version of most financial literature existent in the U.S. misses out on detail and key disclosures that directly affect the financial transaction. Some companies make the horrible mistake of sending translated information to prospects and/or customers based only on whether their last name seems to be “Hispanic-like.”

Financial Industry Hispanic market Segments

Financial Industry Hispanic market Segments

To give you an idea of how attractive this market is, we think it’s worth mentioning the Underserved market. The “underserved” market represents more than 88 million individuals and nearly $1.3 trillion in wages.

Financial Industry Hispanic market segments characteristics and size

Financial Industry Hispanic market segments characteristics and size

It is important to highlight that biculturalism does not go hand in hand with bilingualism. Different strategies may have to be developed for the segments presented and, for specific financial products or services, these segments may have to be merged or split even further.

More about Hispanic Market Segmentation


Target Latino has studied the U.S. Hispanic population, the Latin American and U.S. non-Hispanic, their online and offline behavior, for over 30 years, even before the Hispanic market was first “discovered.” As a result, we’ve developed proprietary methodologies that enable us to identify and segment Hispanics, online or offline, by age, gender, country and region of origin. We specialize in the identification of culture codes for the Hispanic market.

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Uncovered Facts About Online Hispanic Women and their Media Usage
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Be yourself. Sometimes it's easy to lose who we are... Once you get the real "you" back, happiness follows.

Be yourself. Sometimes it’s easy to lose who we are… Once you get the real “you” back, happiness follows.

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What Everybody Ought to Know About the Latino Market

What Everybody Ought to Know About the Latino Market

What Everybody Ought to Know About the Latino Market

Companies all over the world are becoming more aware of the opportunity the Latino market in the U.S. presents. Not only due to the market size, as there are more than 54 million Hispanics in the U.S., but because of its increasing purchasing power.

The Latino market will represent $1.5 trillion in purchasing power by 2015 and 30% of the U.S. population by 2050. Numbers not easily dismissed.

What Everybody Ought to Know About the Latino Market

If the above numbers haven’t dawned on somebody yet, and to grasp their full impact, let’s just focus on the following two U.S. Latino market facts:
One out of 5 people in the U.S. is Hispanic.


And our personal favorite, as it will take place in less than two months from today:

By 2015 one out of 3 babies will be Hispanic.

If you are targeting women and are not considering Latino women, you may be missing the boat.

Understanding the Latino Market in the United States – Acculturation Process

Assimilation is defined as the process whereby a minority group gradually adopts the customs and attitudes of the prevailing culture and it implies the rejection of the original culture.

To acculturate means to incorporate or acquire a new culture without foregoing another culture.

Hispanics do not “assimilate”, they “acculturate”. They do not let go of customs and/or language in order to learn to navigate in the American culture. Furthermore, U.S.-born Hispanics, retro-acculturate by learning how to navigate in the Latino culture as well.

The Biculturals or Semi-Acculturated (a segment of the Latino market labeled last year by Nielsen as the Ambicultural middle) are “People that can navigate in both cultures” – Goffan, June, 2008 – Understanding Hispanic Market Segmentation.

“Today, these circles still represent culture more than ever. Not segments. Not slices of the population. Cultures. Everybody in the Venn diagram below is Hispanic and depicting today’s reality that about 70% of Hispanics are bi-culturals (and bilinguals to a certain degree.) Why are we still debating on what language to address this population and not concentrating on what message will resonate better with the market depending on the level of Hispanic Acculturation? Bi-culturals have two sets of cultures, two sets of maps with which to interpret behaviors, messages, thoughts and everything they do as members of a society.” Goffan, 2013 – Hispanic Acculturation Secrets Unveiled.


U.S.-born Hispanics, retro-acculturate by learning how to navigate in the Latino culture as well.

Research Findings for the Latino Market in the U.S.

What Everybody Ought to Know About the Latino Market

What Everybody Ought to Know About the Latino Market

Overall, U.S. Hispanics (both U.S.-born and foreign-born):

  • Believe in the importance of education
  • Are willing to adopt non‐traditional household roles
  • Are religious
  • Are conformist
  • As Hispanics acculturate, they’re more likely to experiment with new brands, but somewhat less inclined to switch based on price.
  • Compared to U.S.‐born Hispanics, the less acculturated are more inclined to buy brands based on price, Spanish‐language ads, recommendations by family or friends, or the belief that the brand makes them feel more successful.
  • The majority of foreign-born Latinos stick with brands they trust.
  • Promotions with highest foreign-born Hispanic awareness:
    • In-store product demonstrations or
    • in‐store taste tests, product demonstrations, & free samples for home use
    • Sponsoring an event or celebration with a Hispanic Theme
    • Games or contests involving a product or service
  • Hispanics Shop with Their Senses: double the number of Hispanics than non-hispanics like to touch and feel a product, think it’s fun to immerse themselves in the store atmosphere, and judge product quality by the product packaging.
  • U.S.-born Hispanics are more than twice as likely vs. non-Hispanics to:
    • follow the trends
    • like to try new products first
    • like to be first to share with friends

Being able to transmit your message and truly connect with your audience, can really make a difference and turn things around for a business.

What does the Latino Market do Online?

In a comScore research study, the following activities were the most mentioned by the participants:

  • Leisure Activities
  • Research products online
  • Visit social networking websites such as Twitter or Facebook
  • Buy products online
  • Socialize with friends at your home
  • Send or receive text messages using your cell phone

If you know somebody that ought to know this information on the Latino market, go ahead and send it to them!!

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What Everybody Ought to Know About the Latino Market
Social with Hispanics
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people make mistakes Even the people you love

people make mistakes Even the people you love

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Millennial consumer shopping insights and trends

We all love good research and especially when it is about millennials. After all, they account for 21 percent of consumer spend and marketers look for ways to make millennial consumer shopping insights actionable.

Millennial consumer shopping insights and trends Infographic

Millennial consumer shopping insights and trends Infographic

Today, marketers can use these insights  to influence, reach, activate and accelerate a specific shopper along the path of purchase with added focus on digital, social and mobile trends; millennials; and Hispanic shoppers.

Non-millennial and millennial consumer shopping insights

  • Nearly eight in 10 consumers consider themselves value seekers, promotion sensitive or price conscious, as described by themselves
  • 71% of those who search the Internet for coupons searched after learning about the promotion via social media
  • An average of 67% engage in showrooming, with millennials at a much higher rate
  • 40% reported a higher rate of coupon usage when compared to the past year
  • 24% noted increases on the use of smartphones to get deals

Non-milennial and millennial consumer shopping trends

While the download of coupons on retailers shopping cards and the search for coupons online trend continues to grow, the price conscious or value-seeking consumers still prefer finding coupons in traditional media. Fifty two percent prefers the newspaper as a media to receive the coupons. Fifty one percent prefers snail mail. By the same token this research highlights an increase of a 6% point among those who prefer to receive their coupons via mobile.


  • 85 % of consumers who use coupons search online
  • 33% say they are doing so more in 2013 compared to 2012
  • 40% have shared or traded coupons on social media – an increase of 10% from 2012

Millennial consumer shopping insights


  • are more likely to buy online after checking out products in store
  • are more likely to combine online and print coupons or manufacturer and store coupons
  • require up to one-third higher coupon value to engage
  • 92% of millennials use coupons to plan shopping lists
  • 51% of millennials say their coupon usage has increased this past year
Millennial consumer shopping insights and trends - Copyright 2014 Target Latino

Millennial consumer shopping insights and trends – Image created by Target Latino

Hispanic Millennial consumer shopping insights

The Hispanic shopper has a daunting purchasing power. The Selig Center projects that by 2015, Hispanics are expected to control $1.5 trillion in spending.

There are clear differences among Hispanic shoppers especially in their engagement with digital, mobile and social media.

  • Hispanic use of online search has increased
  • Hispanic use of smartphones and frequent shopper/loyalty cards have increased
  • Hispanic shoppers are much more likely than their non-Hispanic counterpart to combine print and digital offers
  • 95% of Hispanic Internet users download coupons from retailer websites or mobile apps before shopping
  • 70% have used a coupon found on social media; a 16% difference from all consumers.

To find out more about marketing to Hispanic Millennials, read “Hispanic Millennials require New Marketing Strategies

There are clear differences among Hispanic shoppers especially in their engagement with digital, mobile and social media.

There are clear differences among Hispanic shoppers especially in their engagement with digital, mobile and social media.

Snapchat Marketing to Reach a Young Hispanic Audience
Millennial consumer shopping insights and trends - Copyright 2014 Target Latino - All rights reserved
Hispanic Millennials
Hispanic Consumer Shopping Behavior Insights

Source: Valassis Shopper Marketing Report – This report is based on findings from a national consumer panel and was fielded in conjunction with Ipsos, a market research firm with expertise in Internet surveys. Responses were weighted by factors obtained from national census data to provide appropriate representation of demographic groups. The Shopper Marketing Report compares millennials’ purchase behavior with generation X and baby boomers.



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Hispanic Acculturation Secrets Unveiled

At the Governor's Mansion Claudia Goffan with Gov. Sam Brownback after Hispanic Day on the Hill

At the Governor’s Mansion Claudia Goffan with Gov. Sam Brownback after Hispanic Day on the Hill

Hispanic Acculturation secrets were unveiled at the Keynote Speech given by Claudia Goffan, Hispanic Marketing expert and Target Latino CEO, at Hispanic Day on the Hill and she reveals some of them on this article.

As you may be aware, the Kansas Hispanic & Latino American Affairs Commission, with the office of Governor Sam Brownback, proclaimed Hispanic Day on the Hill at the Capitol in Topeka, Kansas that this year took place on April 1st- a day wherein Hispanics from Kansas come together to obtain updated information on key policy and meet with their legislators at the Capitol, and I was called to deliver a keynote speech on Hispanic marketing.

First of all, I’d like to thank the Kansas Hispanic and Latino American Affairs Commission with the office of Governor Sam Brownback for selecting me as their keynote speaker for such an important event for both their Latino and political communities. I was truly honored by the request.

I would also like to extend a special thanks to Adrienne Foster, Executive Director of KHLAAC and Mayor of Roeland Park, for organizing such an outstanding and highly attended event and for making me feel so welcome and introducing me to such a distinguished group of people.

I was positively impressed by Governor Sam Brownback who opened his home to us, for his eagerness to learn and understand the issues that concern the Kansas Latino community and Latinos in general.

I was overwhelmed by the impact my presentation made and the number of positive comments received from the audience. I hope the understanding of cultural differences and similarities continues as I see the impact it could exponentially have in the immediate future on the improvement of relationships with Latinos in Kansas and in the rest of the United States.

The audience was entertained and surprised when they found out that every 30 seconds a U.S. Hispanic turns 18 years old. Happy birthday!!! By the sheer numbers alone, the Hispanic market has become a key demographic, not just in states like California, Florida, Texas and New York but in Kansas as well.

The Kansas landscape has changed dramatically since the 2000 U.S. Census. The state’s Hispanic population grew by 59 percent over the past decade. There are over 301,000 Hispanics that reside in Kansas – the 17th largest Hispanic population share nationally- and more than 37% of them are eligible to vote (higher than North Carolina with only 24%). And while U.S. Hispanics have a purchasing power of $1.2 trillion as of 2012, Kansas Latinos purchasing power is $5.6 billion and Kansas Hispanic businesses generated $1.3 billion in 2012.

Hispanic households spend almost as much as general market households and they earn about 70% of what these earn. Therefore and in relative terms, Hispanic households spend more. (Hispanic households spend approximately $40,123 each year, compared to $46,409 for general U.S. households. This gap is shrinking at a very fast pace)

Unfortunately, many of America’s corporations – and it is definitely not limited to them – hang on to stereotypes instead of learning about the Hispanic culture and how it shapes the identity of Hispanic consumers and their communities. This disconnect makes it difficult for these companies to build trust, truly engage with, and begin to value U.S. Hispanics as viable consumers. After all, the ability to identify with an advertisement or a message is affected by identification with a society or the culture of that society.

And what is culture but a mental map which guides us in our relations to our surroundings and to other people? It may be tied to ethnicity on occasions but not necessarily so. Thus, the culture of people that live in the city will be different that the ones that live in a farm and so on. Understanding Hispanic acculturation becomes crucial to understanding the Hispanic culture tapestry that has been weaved in the U.S. and makes it different from the ones in their respective countries of origin.

Several years ago, I shared an article on the Hispanic Acculturation process and understanding segmentation on this same blog. Today, these circles still represent culture more than ever. Not segments. Not slices of the population. Cultures. Everybody in the Venn diagram below is Hispanic and depicting today’s reality that about 70% of Hispanics are bi-culturals (and bilinguals to a certain degree) why are we still debating on what language to address this population and not concentrating on what message will resonate better depending on the level of Hispanic Acculturation? Bi-culturals have two sets of cultures, two sets of maps with which to interpret behaviors, messages, thoughts and everything they do as members of a society.

Hispanic Acculturation Process

Hispanic Acculturation Process

Bi-cultural Hispanics have two sets of codes and they can switch between them just as they can switch languages but only one can be prevalent at a time. Culture works in the same way than language. It can even be mixed and matched, conjugated, re-invented. Understanding Hispanic acculturation is one of the elements to understanding U.S. Hispanics. But remember that no one knows their own culture fully and to understand culture, you have to understand other cultures and their similarities and differences.

Of course, these are just a few of the Hispanic acculturation secrets. I promise there will be more in the future. Meanwhile, I hope that what has begun here is a long lived effort and the example is followed by many others.

Thoughts of the Day

To be kind is more important than to be right

To be kind is more important than to be right

all the secrets in the world are contained in books

all the secrets in the world are contained in books

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