What the shift in America's demographic shift means for marketers

September 1, 2010




As Hispanic Heritage Month approaches, media and marketing professionals are talking about what the 2010 Census could reveal, writes Chiqui Cartagena, senior vice president of multicultural marketing at Story Worldwide, in an AdAge.com article.

"These are profound times of change," says Jackie Hernandez, chief operating officer of Telemundo, the second-largest Spanish language TV network in the United States. "For companies to succeed now they need to understand how it’s all changing."

Twenty years ago, the 1990 Census identified African-Americans as the largest minority in America, representing 12 percent (29 million) of the total U.S. population, while Hispanics accounted for only 9 percent (22 million). But by the end of 2010, there will be 30 percent more Hispanics than African-Americans living in this country — a total of 50 million Hispanics and 38 million African American, according to projections. And, adding significance for marketers, studies show that 62 percent of Hispanics are under the age of 34.

In today’s economy, marketing to ethnic minorities may give companies a competitive advantage, says Isaac Mizrahi, co-author of a recently published paper on what the 2010 Census will reveal about the United States. Experimentation, control programs and pilots are the best options for marketers, he says.

Mizrahi and co-author Howard T. Konig say that any marketing plan targeting youths must take into account that many Hispanics live in multi-generational households in which different generations influence each other. — Greg Beaubien


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