The following commentary appears in the July 23 news update of HispanicAd.com.
Over the weekend I had the pleasure of chatting with a 22-year-old Miami-born second-generation Cuban who is off to medical school in Pittsburgh next week.
We chatted about her desire to run a marathon, and about life in Miami.
She had on Variety 103.5, an English-language pop and classic hits station, but noted that her first choice when listening to the radio is Mega 94-9, “a Latin station.”
I suggested that before the big drive north that she pack supplies from Navarro Discount Pharmacy such as Café Bustelo, Maria cookies and other Cuban treats and products such as Adobo or Mojo Criollo that are difficult to find west of the Appalachians.
As we chatted it dawned on me that this young woman will soon represent one of the most desired consumers in the US – the young professional Hispanic millennial. We have seen study after study focus on this complicated group of Hispanics, who have embraced US and Latin culture and traditions in ways that are largely unique and incomparable between other groups of similar Hispanics by geographic area.
I am sure this young Cuban-American woman has little in common with a 22-year-old Latina who was born and raised in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles, or Dallas, or Chicago, or … well, just about everywhere else.
This got me thinking about Hispanic advertising, and why Hispanic advertising agencies and consultancies are more vital than ever when connecting marketers and brands to Latino consumers. We live the market. We understand the market. We experience the market.
A small boutique-like shop within a shop designed to allow general-market giants to capture Hispanic business may not have the individuals in-house that have the deep personal understanding of the Hispanic market as, well, the individuals at a Hispanic shop.
At the same time, Hispanic advertising agencies employ largely bilingual, bicultural individuals who are both US-born and first-generation immigrants from across Iberoamérica. Many are millennials. Many are the very target that so many marketers crave.
Hispanic agencies, thus, hold all the right cards. Or, in Miami, all the right domino chips. They have the insight to not only direct Hispanic marketing efforts but also hold the keys to the truck that’s driving all of a brand’s efforts moving forward, given the multicultural population surge that will one day soon make Whites a minority across the US, and not just in the top 15 DMAs.
My running buddy is one of thousands of unique Hispanic millennials. We as an industry focused on the Hispanic consumer have the best knowledge of how to connect to these consumers.
Marketers must understand this. If not, we all lose — even the brand and the total-market shop trying to accomplish something it may be ill-equipped to oversee.