Latinos, their mobiles, and Social Media

An interesting article @ Business Insider

Screen Shot 2018-11-02 at 6.07.51 AMUS Hispanics over-index non-Hispanic Whites in usage and engagement with social media. More than three-quarters (77%) of US Hispanics say they’ve used social sites in the past 30 days. That’s compared with 38% of non-Hispanic Whites who spend over an hour with social media daily.

The most popular platforms among US Hispanics revolve around communication (e.g. Facebook), images (e.g. Instagram), and video (e.g. YouTube). In the last 30 days, 66% of US Hispanics aged 18 and older have used Facebook (over-indexing non-Hispanic Whites by 5%).

US Hispanics are active participants on social platforms, rather than passive consumers. The demographic group shares content on social platforms five times more often than do non-Hispanic Whites.

Here are a few additional consumption insights:

  • Because the US Hispanic market is relatively young, its ROI will only improve over time.
  • Advertisers should look to mobile to reach the growing group. US Hispanics will have accounted for more than half of all population growth in the US between 2016 and 2020 — and up to 80% of all growth by 2040-45.

Brands should have their opinions on social issues

As part of our societies, Brands should have their opinions about social issues and they should stand by them.

Consumers develop relationships with their favorite, and not so very favorite, brands like they do with people. In fact, it is very common for expert marketers to “humanize” their brands, so consumers can engage with them in a more “natural” way. If Brands have these “human” attributes, I wonder if they should also have “human opinions”. I think they should, and they should stand by those opinions.

I found a very interesting article from Felix Ritcher, Data Journalist, about Brands and the things they should take a stand for. I want to share it with you.


Should Brands Take a Stand?


Felix Richter,

Oct 24, 2018 When Nike unveiled an ad campaign starring Colin Kaepernick, the face of the athlete protests against racial injustice in the United States, in September, it seemed like there were only two possible reactions. People either applauded Nike for taking a stand and backing Kaepernick who has yet to find a new team in the NFL after opting out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers in March 2017, or they lambasted Nike for supporting someone who, in their eyes, had disrespected the American flag and U.S. military personnel around the world by kneeling in protest during the national anthem. Some even went as far as burning their Nike merchandise, not without sharing videos of it on social media of course, and vowing never to buy a Nike product again.

While those reactions might seem extreme, it’s important to understand that many people consider brands an important way of expressing themselves and their core beliefs. So while some proudly wore their Nike gear in the wake of the Kaepernick affair, expressing their support of Kaepernick’s cause, i.e. the fight against racial inequality and oppression, others expressed the love for their country by criticizing what they felt was disrespectful of the people fighting for it.

According to a recent report published by Edelman, it is more important (and sensitive) than ever for brands to take a stand. Based on a survey of 8,000 consumers across eight markets, Edelman found that more and more people are what they define as belief-driven buyers, i.e. consumers whose buying behavior is influenced by their beliefs to a certain degree. Across all markets, 64 percent of the respondents were identified as belief-driven buyers in 2018, up from just 51 percent in 2017. Interestingly, the share of belief-driven buyers is highest in China at 78 percent, while it’s surprisingly low at 59 percent in the U.S.chartoftheday_15891_consumers_influenced_by_their_beliefs_n

Latinos listen to more music than the rest.

3 recommendations for Music Streamers in order to get more Latinos.


Music streamers should pay more attention to U.S, Hispanic’s taste in music since this segment of the population is one of the heaviest users of this technology as it is shown in several studies in the field. As an expert in radio content and an avid student of everything US Hispanic related, I want to share some recent and some not-very-recent data about the “Latino” usage of Music Streaming.

The most recent data comes from the blog post: Marketing Trends in a New Multicultural Society: Hispanic Millennials: Implications for Marketing  by Dr. Felipe Korzenny, Director Emeritus of the Center for Hispanic Marketing Communication at Florida State University and author of “Hispanic Marketing: Connecting with the new Latino Consumer”. Here the author makes clear, in a very pedagogical way, that not all Latinos are created equal. Even though they might have the same “US Hispanic” label and some marketers have mistakenly put them in the same market cluster, there are some big differences among them that actually turn them into a very heterogeneous population segment.


The second piece of not-so-very recent knowledge comes from a study by PricewaterhouseCoopers about Hispanics and Mobile technology published in 2014. Mi Movil: Hispanic consumers embrace mobile technology. Some of the key findings in this study show how Hispanics usage of mobile streaming technology for video and music surpass the one of Non-Hispanics by almost 20 % in some cases.

Adding those two pieces of knowledge to the fact that recent data from Pandora (The biggest music streamer in users quantity) tells that at least 25% of its users are Latinos, I have 3 recommendations for every Music Streamer if they want to have success by reaching Hispanics in the right way:

  1. Understand them: Not all latinos are the same. Some like tropical music, some like Mexican Music and some even like Rock and Roll.
  1. Don’t mixed them up: Not because the music is in Spanish means they are going to like it all. Some Hispanics don’t like Mexican Music and some even hate Tropical rhythms.
  1. Try English for newer generations: Some younger Hispanics prefer English as their entertainment language, and sometimes they can enjoy having two types of language in one same “playlist”.

Reaching Hispanics has become into a challenge and a key objective of every major Music Streaming Service. But not all Spanish language content will work and in order to develop a successful strategy, Streamers should really satisfy Latino’s changing music tastes.

Which one is better for reaching out to US Hispanic? Twitter vs. Facebook

There is no such a thing as a better platform. Each social platform has its own perks and their effectiveness  depend on the target you want to reach, the message you want to convey and the conversation you, as marketer, want to initiate. In fact, this difference in platforms is key in the understanding of the kind of content and messages sent through each platform. Marshall McLuhan once said “The medium is the message”; Originally thought for analog media, this great piece of learning can guide us in the way we produce content for each platform. Each social media   platform has its own characteristics, and these characteristics will define the nature of the content in each platform. Not all content is created equal for each platform.

U.S. Hispanics: The Digital Mobile Generation

Amazing stats from 66% of U.S. Hispanics say they pay attention to online ads—almost 20 percentage points more than the general online population.

If you want to reach out to US Hispanics Millennials try using their mobile phones. There are two major trends defining digital marketing as we know it: Convergence and mobility. The fact that mobile gadgets have turned into such powerful devices,  make marketers rethink the role of marketing and communication among and from consumers. Brands now need to stay more ubiquitous than ever within that mobile environment by being relevant with the right content designed for each platform. This OMNIPRESENT and RELEVANT content will make the user stay engaged with the brand experience. Only after the user or customer is engaged with the brand and its content, we, as marketing specialists, can think of the new frontier of Digital Marketing: Total customization of the Brand Experience.

If you want more info on how to connect with US Hispanics go to:

Is it cool to be Hispanic in the U.S.?

That’s the question I asked to some of my fellow students at the Marketing Communication Seminar at FSU.

And here some of the answers

Yes, it is so cool to be Hispanic. I cannot help but be very intrigued by the ability to see someone who is, as mentioned in a past post, coveted by marketing companies. Being viewed as an asset is always a good feeling. The Hispanic community is also based on so many good values, that it is difficult to not be impressed by how loyally they are practiced while still adopting cultural customs from being in the United States. Her and her family value things that are very important and can easily be lost in this age, such as trust, loyalty, family and other strong relationships.


I definitely think it has become more “cool” than it used to, to be Hispanic. Our society (in my opinion) has always been very judgmental of others, especially those that are the slightest bit different from us. Even ten years ago, our society was not as acceptable of other races and ethnicities as we are today. I still think we have a lot of progress to make, but it is a process that has to be taken one step at a time. I have also noticed that even though Hispanics are becoming more accustomed to our society and culture, they still find a way to make it known that they take pride in their culture. Hispanics have always been proud of their culture, even when Americans were not as accepting of different cultures. I think it says a lot about a culture who can adopt things about another culture, but find a way to stay true to themselves, and Hispanics definitely do that.


I’m Hispanic and I can tell you that it’s beyond cool. How would you feel if thousands of companies are trying to reach you by creating “recipes” based on how their specific products or services appeal only to your cultural needs? Pretty good, I can tell you that. We are like the popular kids in school that everybody wants to be involved with. Thousands of companies are willing to do almost anything just to grab our attention and make us take an interest in whatever they are trying to sell. The Hispanic Market is growing so big that these companies know that they need us in order to be successful or at least way more successful. We are the key to a very profitable business.


Internet for US Hispanic and the anxiety of abundance

When defining the Internet as the technology of liberation for US Hispanic (as explained by Felipe Korzenny  in his book Hispanic Marketing)   , it is important to see that such an artifact has two sides for the same coin. Removing the boundaries and the mediators in the communication process can be very liberating in granting unlimited access to all kinds of goods and services. But this liberated status comes with a price

Marshall McLuhan, one of the greatest Media and Technology philosophers of our time, said in an interview that “all media, from the phonetic alphabet to the computer, are extensions of a man (…) such an extension is an intensification of an organ, sense or function and whenever it takes place, the central nervous system appears to institute a self-protective numbing of the affected area, insulating and anesthetizing it from conscious awareness of what’s happening to it.” (Norden, E. p. 124)

The Internet can be very liberating but it can also put the mind under a lot of stress. This amount of liberty can produce levels of anxiety when providing the user with so many options and that is the price we must pay for having that freedom to choose. Having such an access to so many options can be very liberating but it also takes some responsibility.  The responsibility of actually choosing and being an active part of the whole process and the society. 



Korzenny, Felipe and Korzenny, Betty. Hispanic Marketing: Connecting with the new latino consumer. Elsevier publisher. Oxford . 2012


Norden, Eric. When the medium became the message. Playboy  magazine, October 2013



Internet and The Tower of Babel

As marketers we face some challenges when communicating with Hispanics via the web. One of them is the language of choice. It is a fact that second and third generations of US Hispanics feel comfortable with English as the language in which they receive their media content. In some cases, those generations of Hispanics have become so proficient in English that they prefer it to Spanish as the language for entertainment and technology, specially those Millenials US Hispanics who have embraced English as their first choice for communicating with friends. We could easy conclude that English is the on-line language for US Hispanic, but this early assumption could be a mistake and some numbers can prove that Spanish could be very powerful when talking to Hispanics online. In a recent Media forum (1), Eduardo Sunol, Senior Executive Producer for Telemundo Networks, revealed some online statistics about their campaign for the coverage of the presidential election in 2012. Decision 2012, a fully Spanish coverage of recent US presidential election, ranked #5 as trending topic nationwide.

But communicating in Spanish is not the same as translating from English. A mere translation from English to Spanish won’t make any connection with US Hispanic, specially with those who prefer Spanish as their media content language. It is necessary to develop the content in the original language with the cultural insights that will guarantee the connection with US Hispanic. This is even more important if we are, as marketers, developing brand content and advertising.

There is not such a thing as a golden rule for choosing an online language for US Hispanic, but knowing the audience might help a lot. For instance, talking to a third generation Latino Millenial might be easier in English than Spanish, but if the target is the older Hispanic man or woman then the choice could be a different one. Internet comes in all the languages of the world but if we don’t use it the right way, it might end up as The Tower of Babel where nobody understood what the other was speaking.


(1) Miami Media Mixer Forum. October 25th, 2013. Intercontinental Miami Hotel. 

Fusion network. Evolution???

This week (Octh, 28th) a new Cable Network was born. Fusion is the product of the joint venture between Univision and ABC. 


As Gabrielle Zuckerman said in a recent Miami Media Mixer Forum, Fusion is News for the Latino Millennials. They will develop content for the Hispanic audience that enjoys receiving media in English. Second and third generations of US Hispanic have become consumers of English language media content, and that is the reason why Fusion will give those US Hispanic Millennials the content they want in the language they now understand.


But language won’t be the only different thing for these Hispanics. Content itself will also be adapted to suit their taste. Lots of humor and satire will shape the news content in this new network.  From an only Hispanic hosted Morning Show to the awarded Mexican journalist Jorge Ramos, every single On-air talent will share something in common with the new audience: their Hispanic background.


Will they succeed? Only time will tell.  They do have the elements in order to be appealing to the Hispanic Millennials: Language, humor, Hispanic background but talking to this audience is not an easy task. If they feel they are being stereotyped, they could reject the content and the network. It is mandatory for the network to keep a balance between what is new and trendy and what is traditional for this specific audience. It is also important to avoid any Mexican bias so present in other Hispanic TV Networks. It is true that they count for the big majority of the Hispanic population in the US, but the other non-Mexican part of the Hispanic audience might feel unrepresented.


Fusion could be the evolution of Hispanic Media. But this evolution has to be organic, otherwise it might end up as a cultural failure. 

The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach

As a cultural dimension for US Hispanic, FOOD and EATING convey so many meanings and implications that they don’t fit only in the act of feeding the body with nutrients.  From the process of cooking to the serving and enjoying of a meal, Latin people take their food very seriously. A mother uses food and its preparation to show love to her kids, a family gathers around a table with a banquet to get together and share quality time and a lover will seduce the significant other by cooking something special. Food then becomes love and appreciation and that is the case in many extracts of literature. For instance, in Like Water for Chocolate, Tita de la Garza , the novel protagonist, was able to express her feelings of lust and desire  for Pedro when she cooked a special meal made out of quail in rose petal sauce flavored with Tita’s erotic thoughts of Pedro, “ It was as if a strange alchemical process had dissolved her entire being in the rose petal sauce, in the tender flesh of the quails, in the wine, in every one of the meal’s aromas” (Esquivel L. 41).  The food is the vehicle to express passionate love and desire and that is a cultural insight quite useful for marketers. There is an old proverb that says: The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, in other words, cooking food for a man will win his love and that is something Hispanic women know cause it has been taught from one generation to the next. 


Esquivel, Laura. Como Agua para Chocolate. Like Water for Chocolate.  Grijalbo Editorial. Caracas, Venezuela. 1994