By Chiqui Cartagena
Next week's NGLC conference promises to elevate the conversation
The Census reported data on the last eight remaining states at the end of March. And although the data that has already been released over the past several months has garnered plenty of media coverage, the real story on the impact of the 2010 Census has yet to come.
Over the next several months, researchers and marketers will have the opportunity to really digest the data and analyze it to see how it should impact marketing efforts. For the first time ever, the Census will be using the American Community Survey data to release small area data, which will allow marketers to really see the impact of the census on the local level. To nobody's surprise, Census officials are saying that one of the big stories the 2010 Census is the growth of Hispanics.
Robert Groves, director of the U.S. Census Bureau recently summed it up like this: "This is the big headline of the Census, in both size and scope: the Hispanic population has dispersed throughout the country. Second, we are starting to a see growth in suburban areas of minority populations. Finally, the continuation of a huge demographic pattern, the gradual movement from Northeast and Midwest to the South and West."
Next week NGLC will host its fourth conference on the New Generation Latino. The event is already sold out, but you can still sign up to view the webcast. I commend David Chitel for shining the light on a very important point that often get's lost in the conversation about the Hispanic market. No, it's not the issue of language; it's the issue of fair share.
Let me address the language issue first. What NGLC has effectively done over the years is to say, “hey some Latinos, especially younger ones, are more bilingual, so in order to attract them media companies must create more culturally relevant programming.” The knee jerk reaction is: “aha, we need to do more in English! The reality, however, is that cultural relevance must happen in both languages.
There have been English-language programming options in the Hispanic market for at least a decade (SiTV - or should I say Nuvo, Mun2, etc…) and we can expect more options in English targeting Latinos in the years to come. That should surprise nobody either. But how do you explain the huge growth of young, bilingual viewers both on Univision and Telemundo? Good, culturally relevant and engaging programming. Period. So we who toil in the Hispanic market must stop bickering over Spanish vs. English issue. The truth is that it should be both!
Now we should focus our attention on the real problem facing Hispanic marketing, which is the issue of getting our “fair share” of advertising budgets in the United States. And this is the issue I hope gets a lot of attention next week at NGLC. Mr. Chitel argues that currently about $6 Billion is allocated to US Hispanic marketing efforts (90% of which are spent in Spanish-language media). That figure, however, represents only 5% of the total advertising spend in the US, which was about $117 Billion in 2009.
“Rather than focusing on how the $6 billion pie is going to be divided up and doled out, our position is that we should focus on the much larger $117 billion pie and question why more dollars are not earmarked for U.S. Hispanics as a whole. At last check, we've been short-changed about $12 billion to get our total market 'fair share,' says Chitel.”
You can question the numbers, but you can't question the point: Hispanic media companies are not getting their “fair share” of advertising dollars in the US. And the only way we are going to get closer to what we deserve is by working together to “elevate the conversation” about the whole Hispanic market.