Following up on last month’s reflection on the things that have changed and the ones that have stayed the same in Hispanic marketing over the past two decades, I invited three leaders from the media side of our industry.
First, Claudia Puig, President and General Manager of Univision Miami, is a leading voice in Hispanic media and, more specifically, a leader in the radio industry. Here are her thoughts:
‘Despite the rapid changes in technology and media consumption, Hispanics continue to live radio and television and the connection they bring to their culture and community.
Most recently, the COVID pandemic showed that far from linear media being a dying breed, Hispanics turned to radio and television as a source of information, support, and connection. According to a Nielsen study, one-third of all Hispanics listened to radio compared to 24% of non-Hispanics. They reported that listening to their favorite radio hosts kept them company during the uncertain times of the pandemic.
Technology has made linear content available whenever and wherever audiences want to consume it. This has fragmented its measurement but not necessarily the amount of consumption. Hispanics continue to actively watch and listen to their favorite TV and Radio personalities, just not in the traditional fashion. Hispanic audiences are uniquely different in how they interact, trust their brands, and engage with them.
The enhanced accessibility and ubiquity of talent have allowed them to transcend beyond their original linear medium turning them into “influencers” across platforms and formats (social media, streaming, podcasts, etc.).’
Second, I heard from Isabel Rafferty, CEO, and Founder of Canela Media and an executive with many years of experience on the media side of our industry. Here’s Isabel’s perspective:
‘Thankfully, what has changed in the last few years is that brands are more focused on supporting minority-owned businesses and creating more tailored marketing towards Hispanics. Brands are focused on authenticity in their marketing to minorities, which is positive for both minorities and the companies that serve them. Marketing to Hispanic audiences shouldn’t just be about translating messages to Spanish; they should connect with consumers in a culturally appropriate means. Hispanics represent many different cultures, and marketing to them is not a one-size-fits-all approach. An important step forward is that there is now a distinction between businesses that target minorities and those that are minority-owned.
What hasn’t changed is that funding and capital for Hispanic founders continue to be extremely low, making it much more difficult to scale those businesses. Even though the demand for services continues to grow, the Venture Capital community doesn’t immediately see these companies’ value to the market. Particularly in marketing, media, and advertising, investors should pay attention to the shift happening with brands to realize that the companies that support them are poised for growth and need support to prosper. Once investors catch on, the market will have a chance at actual growth.’
Finally, I heard from Gian Pablo Kates, VP Client Partnership and Ad Sales at NBC Universal, a respected industry leader with decades of experience in the Hispanic market segment. Here are some of Gian Pablo’s thoughts:
‘Five key pillars that have significantly changed over the last decade are the number of platforms vying for consumers’ attention, the increase in culturally relevant content geared to capture the hearts and minds of the consumers, greater appreciation for the economic contributions of Hispanics, a focus on supporting minority-owned businesses and a realization that DE&I is good business. So much so that DE&I must be part of a company’s DNA.
The increase in distribution platforms gave consumers greater control/options while opening opportunities for creators and advertisers. Publishers and marketers must meet the consumers where they are. Consumers are equally streaming and consuming content across multiple platforms. Since 2010, Hispanics have streamed 218% more content, paving the way for trailblazers such as Guillermo del Toro, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Ariana Debose, Fernando Frias de La Parra, and many other greats to move their projects forward.
While there have been many significant accomplishments over the last ten years, there are many areas where the industry is still lagging. There are substantial gaps between Hispanics’ financial contributions and intentional marketing dollars invested in reaching them. Luxury goods/autos, Pharma/healthcare, and Finance are just a few categories where Hispanics are projected to drive growth. However, many brands within these categories are not fully engaging with this consumer. Some fall back on data/measurement as a barrier to entry- another key area where little has changed. There are significant gaps in accurate representation, measuring the consumer where they are, in speaking to the consumer in the language they interact in.
We still see brands asking about the role of language in their creative and the importance of having e-commerce/back end in language. While it’s proven that multicultural dollars work harder for brands, it’s generally the first line item impacted when marketers are forced to make tough decisions.’
Over the past decades, the Hispanic media ecosystem has become larger and more sophisticated, and marketers have access to a variety of options that were not available before. Moreover, in my experience, Hispanic focused media companies tend to also demonstrate more flexibility for marketers and their ad agencies to co-create media experiences. As we close another Hispanic Heritage Month, it is important to celebrate this vibrant and exciting Hispanic media industry and its many leaders that helped make the Hispanic segment more vital.