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Economic Pulse: BIA’s Monthly Quick Take for June 2023

by | Jun 26, 2023 | BIA, Blog, Economic Pulse

Recently I attended Radio Ink’s Hispanic Radio Conference in Miami. It was a phenomenal and inspiring gathering to talk about Hispanic consumers and how to reach, entertain and motivate them. I walked away from the conference reminded how powerful and impactful the Hispanic community is in the overall US economy and excited for the opportunities this under-advertised segment of the population represents for brands and SMBs. 

First and foremost, looking at the latest 2020 Census numbers, we can see that the Hispanic population is on the rise in the US and has grown 23% since the 2010 census – that’s 5x faster than non-Hispanics. Today, Hispanics represent 18.7% of the US population and by 2060 the Hispanic population is expected to be 27.5% of the US – 111 million people.  Yet only 6% of advertising dollars are targeted to Hispanic consumers. 

Interestingly, digging deeper in the 2020 Census, it’s important to note there are 18.8 million Hispanic children in the US which is 25.7% of all children in the US. This is a much higher proportion than any other age bracket indicating the Hispanic population in the US skews very young. This is a huge opportunity for advertisers looking to reach children (or their parents).  Knowing that one in four kids in the US is Hispanic, brands cannot ignore this population.

Additionally, Hispanic consumers are loyal.  Once they find a brand they like, 80% of Hispanic consumers plan to stay with it.  That’s very good news for brands such as Walmart, Netflix, McDonald’s and Nike, which all rank higher with Hispanic consumers compared to the total US population. Furthermore, the Hispanic community is currently “under-influenced”

But winning the hearts and wallets of Hispanic consumers isn’t quite as easy as it sounds.  One issue that arises for marketers when trying to reach the Hispanic community is authenticity.  In the past, we have seen brands try to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month and fail.  Often the problem is that these brands are trying to speak to all Hispanics with the same messaging at the same time which is at best ineffective and oftentimes offensive due to the diversity within the Hispanic community. 

Looking again at the most recent census, 59.5% of Hispanics are of Mexican origin with Puerto Rican being the second largest group at 9.3%.  There is a long tail of countries/regions that make up the umbrella “Hispanic” community in the United States.

For me, this screams opportunity.  To help brands and advertisers of all sizes, BIA has recently published an exclusive resource: Hispanic Radio Stations Directory.

BIA’s directory provides a data-driven view valuable for advertisers and other groups interested in learning more about the Hispanic audio landscape. (You can learn more about the directory and download it here.)  These 2,000+ stations across the US have built trust over their many years serving the Hispanic communities within the US.  Brands that want to reach Hispanic consumers can use these stations to have organic and authentic conversations. 

And, even more importantly, the Hispanic voter will be sought after now more than ever in this upcoming election.  Overall, BIA is forecasting about $12 Billion will be spent on Political advertising in 2024.  Traditionally, BIA estimates about 3-4%, of that is spent specifically trying to reach Hispanic voters.  In 2022 there were 34.5 million Hispanics eligible to vote yet Hispanics were less likely to vote than the general population. 

When asked why they don’t vote, many Hispanics say because Candidates don’t talk to them and Candidates say they don’t seek the Hispanic vote because Hispanics don’t vote.  This is a vicious cycle that needs to stop. 

Not only do the sheer number of Hispanics and their collective potential influence demand this segment of the population not be ignored, the changes in elections in the US will soon make it nearly impossible to get elected without courting Hispanic voters. Remember how young the Hispanic community is? Those kids will be of voting age before we blink and, at that time, one in four new voters will be Hispanic. Candidates would do well to court these young voters and help them to understand the importance of local and state elections in their lives and subsequent rulings on key issues in the country right now such as immigration, gun control, the economy and abortion.   

Finally, there is concern about Spanish language mis- and dis-information.  As such, it’s incumbent upon media outlets that serve the Hispanic community to actively work to educate and inform voters. 

Hispanic voices are growing louder and louder every day.  How much longer can brands get away with ignoring them?