latino lingo

All things related to effective Hispanic marketing, Hispanic advertising and Hispanic public relations.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Latino supermarket wars growing

This from the Arizona Republic, supermarkets -- at least there -- are increasing their efforts to get Latino shoppers. The competition is keeping prices lower for Latino consumers ... what a concept!.

Some stores now include restaurants, larger bakeries, meat markets and produce sections, with some adding travel agent and money transfer services, the article reports.

One chain, Phoenix Ranch Market, has music blasting, freshly squeezed drinks and restaurant service, the article goes on to report.

This goes well beyond, as I've discussed in other posts, simply putting your Goya products on sale during Hispanic Heritage Month or running a special on Corona for next week's Cinco de Mayo celebration.

To fully capture the hearts, minds and, ultimately, purse strings of Latinos, supermarkets need to go beyond the cosmetic. I say cosmetic because we see right through efforts that aren't genuine (such as those I just described above ... plus, do Latinos really get drunk on Cinco de Mayo or is it just the Anglos?). And, we certainly embrace those that are genuine... research even shows we also don't mind paying a premium to get this.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

May 1 boycott looming

I've been asked by several people about my lack of commentary on the on-going immigration controversy and demonstrations. I reiterate that the focus of Latino Lingo is about how to effectively market to Hispanics, not about addressing all issues affecting our communities.

With that said, it is appropriate to address and highlight the call for a Hispanic economic boycott on May 1. The boycott calls for Latinos to not attend work, not purchase any product or service, and keep their kids home from school.

From a strictly marketing perspective, the May 1 date does present an interesting opportunity to show the economic power Hispanic have in the U.S., now estimated at more than $700 billion. However, with many companies now actively seeking to not only seek Hispanic purchasers but also to employ Hispanics, it is an effort that could also backfire and lead to more resentment.

In my dialogues with people, the point I try to make clear is that while everyone talks about the 11 million or so illegal Mexicans in the U.S., that is only the tip of the iceberg on the total illegal population in the U.S. In essence, if you're proposing to build huge walls across the Mexican border to curb illegal immigration, then you also should do the same for the Canadian border. And perhaps build one around JFK airport and other places where illegals from other countries make their entrance to the U.S. That's where I feel the real security threat comes from. After all, if you were Al-Queda, would you want to treck across the deserts for days to try to get into this country or simply walk in through the lovely state of Maine?

The biggest strategic mistake being made in the pro-immigration stance, in my opinion, is that the immigration debate has manifested itself into almost exclusively an illegal Mexican issue. Not an illegal alien issue. Mexicans are not the only illegals here. However, nearly all the debate has to do with Mexican illegals. I think protest organizers realized their mistake and the backlash it caused because later protests seemed to have more U.S. flags waving, and we began to see other minority group representation. This was too little too late as still nearly all the the video footage the media shows is usually of large crowds waving Mexican flags. These images have only added to anti-Mexican sentiment across the U.S., and not positively contributed to an actual debate and/or dialogue about existing and/or proposed immigration laws.

I've gone on and on in my postings how today more and more companies "get it" when it comes to having to outreach to us Latinos. My fear is that when all is said and done, the May 1 boycott may do little more than add to this pervasive and growing resentment against Hispanics, especially in non-border states.

If this was a true boycott about immigration issues and laws, it should have included more calls from pro-immigration groups of all minority groups, not just Hispanics, and specifically Mexicans.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

More Puerto Rican programming coming to U.S.

WAPA America today announced an alliance with Puerto Rican Public TV station WIPR to provide Puerto Ricans living in the U.S. with access to 16 weekly hours of the public TV station's programming via WAPA cable and satellite channels.

WIPR is also known as TU UNIVERSO TELEVISION (TUTV), according to the release.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Hispanics and the Internet

eMarketer has an update story on Hispanics and the Internet. Key statistics they cite include:

- There were 15.7 million Hispanic internet users in the United States in 2005, rising to 16.7 million in 2006.
- The number of users is expected to grow 33 percent over the next five years, reaching 20.9 million in 2010.
- By 2010, the number of Hispanic internet users will approach the number of African American users.
- Around one-third of U.S. Hispanic internet users are under the age of 35, an audience that straddles both Hispanic culture and youth culture.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Wal-Mart CEO: Hispanics key "growth opportunity"

Interesting nugget in a interview with Wal-Mart CEO Lee Scott. He identified the Hispanic community as a "key growth opportunity" and that Wal-Mart was spending $45 million a year in Spanish-language advertising and building marketing events around events like World Cup soccer.

He is quoted in the article as saying:

"Right now Hispanics have a greater affinity for Wal-Mart than any identifiable segment of the U.S. population. Hispanic consumers are projected to hold about 10 percent, or $1 trillion, of U.S. consumers' buying power by 2010 and Wal-Mart is well-positioned to "capture a significant portion of this market."

Monday, April 17, 2006

Alaska Airlines targets Hispanic

The Portland (Oregon) Business Journal reports that Alaska Airlines is planning to tap into the growing Hispanic market by adding more Spanish-speaking reservation agents, creating a Spanish Web site and offering Spanish as an option at check-in kiosks.

Additionally, they plan to include at least one Spanish-speaking flight attendant on non-beach flights to Mexico and targeting Hispanics with Spanish-language radio ads and billboards. Alaska Air said this will be a three-year effort, with the "major steps" expected to be completed this year.

Here are some words of wisdom from Gregg Saretsky, executive vice president of marketing and planning, that the article quotes:

"By the year 2010, one out of every seven people living in the U.S. will be Hispanic, and by 2050 one of every four. By taking the steps now to be prepared, we'll be in a good position to make Alaska Airlines the airline of choice for Spanish-speaking consumers."

Monday, April 10, 2006

Hispanic Portal Launches

The Hispanic Professional Network re-launched its website HispanicPortal.Org on Friday at the city hall in Hartford.

The site features a new look, new content and more resources for Latinos. It also offers a lot for non Hispanics, as it is a place to learn about our community and learn what we have to offer and contribute to the communities we live in.

The portal is also home to HPN’s Hispanic Events Calendar for the northeast, a tool to maximize participation and eliminate overlapping of major events within the Hispanic community.

The new Web Portal also offers:
-- News feeds for national, regional and posting of local news of interest
-- Health information page to address the disparities in health care and diseases that affect Hispanics
-- Hispanic Marketing page with tips on marketing to the Hispanic population, media lists and listings to Hispanic publications
-- Professional development tools
-- One-stop source for Latino Arts & Culture
-- Links to organizations that advocate and provide services for Hispanics

HPN President and CEO Gil Martinez first developed HispanicPortal.Org in 1999

Since 1990, the Hispanic population in Connecticut has more than doubled and there are now more than 1.2 million Hispanics in New England, according to the U.S. Census.

Check it out.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Out for the week

I'm out this week at an Air Force training exercise in snowy Alpena, Michigan. I'll be back to the blog when I return next week.

Please e-mail me with any ideas, suggestions, stories as usual.