A look at Latino social dynamics and the implications for marketers in light of the increase in the Hispanic contribution to the overall U.S. population growth.
Since I wrote my last column, the Hispanic contribution to overall U.S. population growth has increased from 51 percent to 56 percent. Yes, in just two weeks, as the U.S. Census Bureau continued releasing information per state, the #shift in America's demographics is getting more dramatic. And to help spread the news, what better way to start but by sharing some insights in the form of 140-character tweets? Tweet this:
This new demographic landscape will certainly impact both "aficionados" and newcomers in terms of how they allocate marketing dollars and the role that Latinos play in their overall strategy. But in order to succeed, marketers need to go beyond the usual marketing variables; they need to understand the whole social environment and its impact on Hispanics and vice versa.
Latino Social Dynamics
1. Education: Help me help you. One of the biggest challenges comes in the education arena. Many kids start kindergarten without knowing how to speak English, and teachers don't know how to communicate with them. Once the barrier is broken and kids become more proficient, a new issue arises; parents that are not as proficient in the English language can't help their kids with their homework.
2. Social Security: The two sides of the coin. With the Hispanic population growing at a rate that exceeds projections, and with over 60 percent of Latinos under the age of 35, there is no doubt that Hispanics are making significant contributions to the Social Security fund. This has been the side of the coin that most of the media has been focusing on.
The other side is that, because of their relative youth, Latinos would be disproportionately affected by any changes to Social Security that imposes a new structure on younger people.
3. Politics: The power shift. While the population grew almost 9.7 over the last 10 years, the number of seats in the House of Representatives will stay the same at 435. Yet, when you look at it from a state-by-state basis, the picture is completely different. Take, for example, the changing demographics of the southwest: there are more Latino voters and fewer white voters. Latinos tend to lean more on the Democrat side. How will this trend impact politics moving forward?
Location, location, location. While Latino presence continues to expand both in traditional and non-traditional Hispanic DMAs, retailers need to constantly adapt. Latinos are not one-stop shoppers; they love to shop and they are not as price sensitive in certain channels. This is more obvious in the CPG category where they spend 14 percent more than the general population, especially on food.
Hispanics are also much more social, sharing their experiences and where they bought ethnic products. They are very brand-oriented: they look for brand names from their country of origin and also for major American brands. They might skip buying a category if their favorite brand is not available at a specific store. A retailer might lose a Latino customer if their favorite brands are not being offered on a regular basis.
5. Urbanism: The new good neighbor. As the U.S. population and the country's infrastructure evolve, urban planners are facing new challenges. Urban planners are ahead of the trend in understanding the key role Hispanics are playing: using them in pilot programs to test new urban models. "Latino New Urbanism" is an approach to urban planning that might include small lots, houses located close to main roads, front porches, compact neighborhoods, and public spaces. Pioneered by James Rojas, the notion of "Latino New Urbanism" is a way of understanding community, public spaces, and neighborhoods, taking into consideration the preferences and culture of Latino immigrants.
Implications for Marketers
I think it would be a good idea to finish this column the same way I started: with ready-to-tweet insights. I hope you join the conversation and share your thoughts.
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Gustavo Razzetti is EVP, Managing Director of Lapiz, the Latino shop of Leo Burnett. He has 20+ years of experience in integrated marketing communications in U.S. and Latin American markets.
A change agent, with the expertise of transforming agencies into digital at the core shops, Razzetti has become one of the leading voices when it comes to understanding the new market dynamics of US Latinos.
Former Chief Strategy & Engagement Officer at Grupo Gallegos, president of GlobalHue NY and CEO of Euro RSCG Latino. Razzetti's career is marked by extensive experience working with top consumer brands such as Comcast, Walgreens, Verizon, NestlÃ©, Chivas Regal, General Motors, Coca-Cola, and BBVA, and 200 others. He also served as CEO of Euro RSCG both in Puerto Rico and in Argentina. Prior to that, Gustavo was CEO and founding partner of WhyNet - the no. 1 interactive agency in Argentina.
Strategist by conviction, digital pioneer by choice, leader by evolution; Razzetti has received recognitions that include Effie awards, Gran Prix AMBA, Euro RSCG's CBI Award, and Strategic Planning Director of the Year, McCann Erickson. Many of the campaigns he strategically led won Cannes, Clio, New York Festival, London, and FIAP awards, among others.
On a personal note, Gustavo loves scuba diving, bicycling, gourmet cooking, and fine wines.
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