latino lingo

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

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Greetings from La Isla del Encanto

Otherwise known as Puerto Rico. I'm taking the week off at Palmas del Mar (if you haven't been here you must make it as it's pretty awesome) in anticipation of another hectic fall. I'll be checking in sporadically to offer my thoughts, comments, wise cracks, etc. Well, off to fall asleep to the melodic coqui ...

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Hispanic TV households outpace others (except Asians)

While experts debate the status of Pluto as a planet, one thing that is not in debate is the continued growth of the U.S. Latino population.

Nielson today released itsNational Universe Estimate that shows Latinos (and Asians now) continue to be the fastest-growing population with TV households, with an increase of 3.6% over last year.

Here's how the numbers panned out (these are increases over 2006):
Total growth: 1.1 %
Hispanic growth: 3.6 %
Asian growth: 3.6 %
African American growth: 1.3 %

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

When you're here, "eres familia"

Olive Garden today announced they will have a stand-alone Spanish website beginning September 28.

There is nothing on the link right now. I'm assuming they sent out this release for shareholder reasons otherwise they violated a big no-no in Web marketing, which is generating web traffic to nothing.

According to their PRNewswire release on Yahoo!, their new site is "designed to be an extension of the in-restaurant experience, addresses the language needs of Spanish-speaking guests and is the most extensive Spanish-language site among casual dining restaurant companies."

"Like our other communications tailored to Hispanic guests, the new Web site
conveys the messages of warmth and Italian generosity in a way that is
culturally appropriate," said John Caron, executive vice president of marketing
for Olive Garden. "We are excited to share our passion for Italy and the genuine
Italian dining experience with an even broader audience."

The release also says that while there are some similarities to the English site, "special attention was paid to the language translation to ensure that it resonates with U.S. Hispanics, regardless of their country of origin, making it culturally relevant and linguistically appropriate."

The site was developed by Captura Group. The release also says the site is part of Olive Garden's overall Hispanic marketing effort, which includes television advertising in 11 U.S. markets.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Hispanic reconnection to heritage increasing

A new Yankelovich study revealed that Hispanics (and African Americans) are reconnecting with their roots more than at any other time in the past.

The Yankelovich MONITOR Multicultural Marketing Study 2006 also showed that trust in government remained positive for Hispanics while it declined for African Americans. Yet, both groups still have strong trust in brands.

According to their release on Business Wire and covered in AdWeek and BrandWeek, among others, more than ever before, both Hispanics and African Americans place great emphasis on keeping culture alive and staying connected to heritage:
-- 67% of African Americans and 71% of Hispanics (versus 43% of Non-Hispanic Whites) say, "My roots and heritage are more important to me today than they were just five years ago."
-- 56% of Hispanics and 59% of African Americans (versus 22% of Non-Hispanic Whites) say, they "make a great effort to become more connected with my heritage."
-- 85% of Hispanics say they "consider myself to be Hispanic first, American second or consider myself to be both American and Hispanic equally."

Among Hispanics, a stronger than ever re-connection to Hispanic roots is driving retro-acculturation and contributing to a larger bi-cultural and bilingual segment of the U.S. Hispanic population.

In addition, the release says the study shows that despite the recent immigration debates and other stories that have influenced trust and comfort, both ethnic groups maintain high trust in brands, especially name brands:
-- 58% of Hispanics and 55% of African American (versus 41% of Non-Hispanic Whites) say, "It is risky to buy a brand you are not familiar with."
-- When asked the likelihood of doing the following activities if your family suddenly found itself with less money: Only 42% of African Americans and 40% of Hispanics (versus 62% of Non-Hispanic Whites) say they would "buy private label and generic brands."

Finally, the study showed that family and community come first . According to the study, both Hispanics and African Americans seek their nuclear and extended families' advice, guidance and support in most matters.

-- Nearly half said, "when it comes to important things in my life, I almost always seek the opinion of my extended family members," compared to 33% of Non-Hispanic Whites.
-- Almost two-thirds (60%) of Hispanics (compared to 45% of African Americans and 48% of Non-Hispanics Whites) say, "In my family, we discuss everyday things together before making a decision."
-- Nearly half of African Americans (42%) and 35% of Hispanics say, "I believe my children will take care of me when I am older, so I don't need to worry about having enough savings and investments to support myself in that stage of my life," compared to just 21% of Non-Hispanics Whites.

I've spoken about to many about how culture is an increadibly important notion to consider in Hispanic marketing. Marketers can't rely on language alone. More directly, an approach focused on translations to Spanish will only take you so far, if it even takes you anywhere in the right direction.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Updated Census data available

The Census updated its website today. Here's the press announcement on today's release of the updated American Community Survey.

Hispanic population continues boom ... except in West Virginia

The U.S. Census Bureau is set to release new population estimates today (as of this posting at 9:25 a.m. EST their web site is not yet updated, I will continue to monitor their newsroom).

Called the American Community Survey, the annual survey of about 3 million households provides yearly data on communities of 65,000 or larger, and covers, race, immigration, education and age characteristics, according to an AP article on The survey doesn't include the 3 percent of people who live in nursing homes, hospitals, college dormitories, military barracks, prisons and other dwellings known as group quarters, the article reports.

Here are some key statistics:

-- Hispanics increased their hold as the country’s largest minority group, at 14.5 percent of the population, compared with 12.8 percent for blacks.

-- Hispanics grew by 48 percent in Arkansas, the most of any state

-- California, New York, Texas and Florida have the nation’s largest immigrant populations. The new data show that immigrants will travel beyond those states if there are jobs available.

-- West Virginia is the only state that did not see an increase in the percentage of its immigrant population

Monday, August 14, 2006

Hispanic supermarket shoppers generally not satisfied

58 percent of the general market feels satisfied with their shopping experience but only 35 percent of Hispanics are satisfied, according to Jack Neff's "Study: Habits and Preferences of Hispanic Shoppers."

A story carried in the Des Moines Business Record explains part of the reason is that many stores have been slow to offer a greater selection of products that appeal to Hispanics, when they do, they fail to make products consistently available, there's a lack of creating a comfortable environment and not enough marketing of the products that are available. There is also an AdAge article (subscription based) on the study as well.

The end result is some Hispanics may assume that a specialty product isn't available at a larger grocery store and thus are more prone to go to smaller Hispanic markets (i.e bodegas), according to the article.

This additionally confirms my notion that non-Hispanic supermarket chains are yet to effectively develop and execute on a comprehensive program to attract Hispanic consumers. Many are "doing something" but in the end most approaches are fragmented at best. I've advocated about the need for more than an aisle offering Hispanic products or marketing around events like Hispanic Heritage Month (aren't cultural observances more geared toward the general market? After all, every month is Hispanic Heritage in my house!).

Too many supermarkets today take a similar approach to the Hispanic market as they do the general market. The main tool they use is the weekly circular with the featured on sale items. However, if research shows that Hispanics pay more per product than the general market (in addition to spending more per week), doesn't that tell you that price alone isn't the determining factor in Hispanics' purchasing decisions? Instead of the weekly battles with the competitors to gain market share (that is often lost the following week when the competitor has a better sale), why not invest in gaining loyalty. How much would you spend to gain a loyal customer that spends more per product and more per week?

Loyalty is the name of the game in the Hispanic market. By this I don't mean relying on the loyalty card program (remember, we don't like to give out too much personal information). Supermarket chains need to think creatively and out of the box to gain Hispanic loyalty. While this takes time, strategic planning -- and, yes, a dedicated budget -- the good news is that there is still a great first-to-market advantage to be had for many chains in many areas.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Black colleges recruiting Hispanics

USA Today ran an AP article earlier this week about how traditionally black colleges are seeking to boost their enrollments by outreaching to Hispanics.

The article mentions some campuses are hiring Hispanic recruiters, distributing brochures featuring Hispanic students, and establishing special scholarships for Hispanics. In addition, recruiters are visiting predominantly Hispanic high schools and setting up booths at college fairs geared toward Hispanic students, the article says.

These are all good and effective approaches.

The number of Hispanic students attending historically black colleges increased more than 60% from 1994 to 2004, while the number of black students grew by 35%, according to the U.S. Department of Education.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Lieberman/Lamont Race in CT largely ignore Latinos

Anyone paying any kind of attention to politics knows Joe Lieberman is in trouble. The 3-term incumbent senator from Connecticut is trailing newcomer Ned Lamont in the latest polls with the primary tomorrow (the latest Quinnipiac University poll has Ned Lamont ahead but within the margin of error).

Lamont is a millionaire who is essentially running on an anti-Iraq war and anti-George Bush platform. He has succeeded in using Lieberman's vote for the war (although Lieberman's position is no different than most Democratic senators including Hillary) and the now infamous "kiss" from Dubya to pit Lieberman as less than a Democrat (although independent Congressional Quarterly has Lieberman voting w/Democrats 90% of the time).

What is interesting, from my perspective of course, is that neither candidate has actively sought the Latino vote in Connecticut. While Latinos historically don't vote in primaries, unlike in other parts of the U.S., Connecticut Latinos are largely Puerto Rican -- meaning they are at least eligible to vote. Lieberman's track record with jobs, health care, social security and others would track well with Connecticut's Latino population.

There are now approximately 440,000 Latinos in the state and approximately 65% are Puerto Rican. With the race so close, the candidates should have recognized the Latino vote could be the deciding factor to give the winner a few additional points. Unfortunately, neither has and thus they have wasted an opportunity.

Wooing Futbol fans to Football

The NFL has launched, a Spanish language website that is similar in branding to the English version.

According to an article in AdAge, the website is run in partnership with NFL Mexico.

The site has all the regular features (league and team news, schedules, scores, standings), but also features analysis from two Latino columnists, Hispanic-player diaries, and a listing of Latino players in the NFL.

As importantly, the site has a section that teaches the basics and rules of the game. To the uninitiated futbol fan, football is not easy to comprehend.

According to the article, internal NFL research shows that 72% of the 40 million U.S. Hispanics said they have spent or would spend time engaging with the NFL. In terms of marketing, the article says for now this is a soft launch of the site. They will promote it closer to the start of the season. They are working with AOL Latino.

I'm back ...

Was away last week taking care of my military reserve commitments. Stay tuned for more from Latino Lingo ...