Is targeting this growing group smart business?

Executive Summary

By 2060, Hispanics are expected to represent approximately 28 percent of the U.S. population, up from 17 percent in 2014. They are the country's fastest-growing demographic group and an increasingly important market for companies seeking to expand: In 2003, companies spent $3.4 billion on Hispanic advertising campaigns. By 2013, that figure had almost tripled to $8.3 billion But for marketers, crafting effective messages is challenging. Although English is increasingly becoming Hispanics' first language, they maintain ties to, and pride in, Latino cultural roots, creating a growing segment of bicultural, bilingual consumers with characteristics that companies must key on if they want to reach that market. “How marketers go about it continues to be a discussion,” says Carlos Santiago, president of a Hispanic market research group in Burbank, Calif.

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Burgos, David, and Ola Mobolade, “Marketing to a New Majority: Strategies for a Diverse World,” Palgrave Macmillan, 2011. Multicultural researchers detail strategies on reaching minority markets.

Cartagena, Chiqui, “Latino Boom II: Catch the Biggest Demographic Wave Since the Baby Boom,” Worthy Shorts, 2013. The chief marketing officer of Univision looks at the Latino explosion in marketing.

Dávila, Arlene, “Latinos, Inc.: The Making and Marketing of a People,” University of California Press, 2012. A New York University professor examines how the Hispanic market developed.

Korzenny, Felipe, and Betty Ann Korzenny, “Hispanic Marketing: Connecting with the New Latino Consumer,” 2nd ed., Routledge, 2011. The director of the Center for Hispanic Marketing Communication at Florida State University and a researcher expound on how companies can break into the Hispanic market.

Kutchera, Joe, “Latino Link: Building Brands Online with Hispanic Communities and Content,” Paramount Market Publishing, 2011. A Hispanic market consultant details strategy to reach Hispanics online.


Gutiérrez, David G., “An Historic Overview of Latino Immigration and the Demographic Transformation of the United States,” in “American Latinos and the Making of the United States: A Theme Study,” National Park Service, Washington, D.C., 2013, pp. 57–75, An essay by the chair of the history department at the University of California, San Diego, traces Hispanic immigration patterns.

Kelly, Nataly, “Univision's Ratings Win Underlines the Power of Hispanic Marketing,” Harvard Business Review, Aug. 5, 2013, An article by the vice president of market development at Smartling, a translation management company, looks at the role of Hispanic media in marketing.

Sebastian, Michael, “People en espanol to Break Its Long Spanish-Only Streak,” Advertising Age, April 22, 2014, A reporter at the advertising industry trade journal details the effort by the Spanish-language magazine to reach English-speaking Hispanics.

Vega, Tanzina, and Bill Carter, “Networks struggle to appeal to Hispanics,” The New York Times, Aug. 5, 2012, An article by Times staff writers looks at mainstream TV networks' efforts to win Hispanic audiences.

Wentz, Laurel, “Captivating McDonald's Spot Highlights Bond With Soccer,” Advertising Age, March 4, 2013, The multicultural editor of the advertising agency journal examines a bilingual TV commercial.

Reports and Studies

“America's New Upscale Segment: Latinos!” Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies, May 2013, A study by the Hispanic advertising industry trade group looks at the rising segment of affluent Hispanics.

“11th Annual Hispanic Fact Pack,” Advertising Age and Crain Communications, July 28, 2014, An industry trade journal analyzes Hispanic demographic, media and advertising trends in a report issued annually since 2003.

Brown, Anna, and Eileen Patten, “Statistical Portrait of Hispanics in the United States, 2012,” Pew Research Center, April 29, 2014, Researchers with Pew's Hispanic Trends Project analyze the 2012 American Community Survey from the U.S. Census Bureau.

López, Mark Hugo, and Ana González-Barrera, “What is the future of Spanish in the United States?” Pew Research Center, Sept. 5, 2013, The Hispanic Trends Project explores Hispanics' use of language.

Passel, Jeffrey S., D'Vera Cohn and Mark Hugo López, “Hispanics Account for More Than Half of Nation's Growth in Past Decade,” Pew Research Center, March 24, 2011, Researchers with Pew's Hispanic Trends Project analyze results of the 2010 U.S. census.

Traina, Chris, and Verena Sisa, “The Hispanic Influence on American Culture,” Conill, 2012, A study commissioned by a California advertising agency looks at Hispanics' influence on mainstream U.S. society.

The Next Step


Bond, Shannon, “Hispanics shine bright amid US television's advertising gloom,” Financial Times, March 24, 2015, Spanish-language television networks have been unaffected by industry-wide declines in ad revenues and live viewers, thanks to the continued popularity of real-time shows and sports broadcasts.

Max, Sarah, “Tono Studios Helps Marketers Reach Hispanics With Culturally Authentic Ads,” The New York Times, March 25, 2015, More large companies and organizations are using Spanish-language audio studios, such as Santa Monica, Calif.-based Tono Studios, to cater their advertisements to Hispanic viewers.

Shields, Mike, “YouTube Rolls Out Ad Targeting Tool Geared For Hispanic Audiences,” CMO Today, The Wall Street Journal, March 11, 2014, YouTube's recently released Hispanic advertising tool allows brands to purchase online ad space for videos that will likely appeal to Hispanic viewers.


Masunaga, Samantha, “Target takes aim at Latinos with new marketing campaign,” Los Angeles Times, April 18, 2015, To reach Latino consumers, Target Corp. is one of several retailers that have started Spanish-language advertising campaigns depicting Hispanic cultural scenes and values.

Tagliani, Hernan, “How to translate the Hispanic culture into big business,” Orlando Business Journal, Feb. 19, 2014, A communications expert says advertisers seeking to reach Hispanic audiences must account for cultural values and nuances related to family, spirituality and language in their messaging.

Yoon, Eddie, “The Mistake Companies Make When Marketing to Different Cultures,” Harvard Business Review, Feb. 17, 2015, Companies often fail to reach Asian and Hispanic audiences because their messaging excludes members of other ethnic groups, according to a principal consultant with The Cambridge Group.


Elejalde-Ruiz, Alexia, “Hispanics play large part in beauty spending, Nielsen says,” Chicago Tribune, Feb. 20, 2015, Millennials were largely responsible for the 7 percent increase in cosmetics purchases among Hispanic consumers in 2014, according to the senior vice president of global consumer insight at market ratings company Nielsen.

Salzman, Marian, “The new power of millennial Hispanics,” CNBC, Aug. 13, 2014, A majority of Hispanic adults under age 24 in the southwestern United States indicated they were optimistic about their futures and were committed to living in their home states, a survey by a global public relations firm found.

Thompson, Nicole Akoukou, “Hispanic Millennials are Not Acculturating, ‘They're Shaping the Broader Culture, They're at the Center of Your Brand,’” Latin Post, Oct. 1, 2014, The president of a marketing firm says brand loyalty and social media influence are among the most important components of marketing to Hispanic millennials.

Spanish Speakers

Chappell, Lindsay, “Nissan Times Spanish-Language Effort to World Cup Kickoff,” Advertising Age, June 12, 2014, Japanese car manufacturer Nissan capitalized on the popularity of soccer among Hispanic consumers by running a Spanish-language advertisement during the 2014 World Cup.

Dahlberg, Nancy, “Open English sets out to conquer U.S. Hispanic market,” Miami Herald, April 17, 2015, Open English, an online English-language school offered in 20 countries, will expand to U.S. cities with growing Spanish-speaking populations this spring.


American Association of Advertising Agencies
1065 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10018
Trade association for the advertising industry that researches Hispanic marketing, including media, investment and trends.

Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies
8280 Willow Oaks Corporate Drive, Suite 600, Fairfax, VA 22031
Trade association for companies involved in Hispanic marketing.

Association of National Advertisers
708 3rd Ave., 33rd Floor, New York, NY 10017
Trade association for companies engaged in consumer marketing; holds annual Multicultural Marketing & Diversity Conference and Multicultural Thought Leadership Forum.

Cable Television Advertising Bureau
830 3rd Ave., 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10022
Trade association for advertising-supported cable television industry; tracks Hispanic media consumption and advertising spending.

Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility
1444 1st St., N.W., Suite 850, Washington, DC 20005
Organization advocating corporate social responsibility in the Hispanic community, chiefly in employment, procurement, philanthropy and governance.

Interactive Advertising Bureau
116 E. 27th St., 7th Floor, New York, NY 10016
Trade association of technology and media companies involved in digital marketing; its Multicultural Council researches and advocates Hispanic market best practices.

National Hispanic Corporate Council
1050 Connecticut Ave., N.W., 10th Floor, Washington, DC 20036
Informational clearinghouse for Hispanic issues, including diversity, human resources, suppliers, marketing and community relations, for Fortune 1000 and S&P 500 companies.

National Hispana Leadership Institute
P.O. Box 70061, Washington, DC 20024
Organization developing Hispanic women as leaders in corporate and other arenas.

National Society of Hispanic MBAs
450 E. John Carpenter Freeway, Suite 200, Irving, TX 75052
Organization that builds and advocates Hispanic corporate leadership.

Pew Research Center Hispanic Trends Project
1615 L St., N.W., Suite 700, Washington, DC 20036
Research institute studying Hispanic trends and issues, and conducting public opinion surveys.

DOI: 10.1177/2374556815588527