Why Social Mosaic | ‘Shift Happens’ Fast

Great advertising should reach across all shapes and colors. True. But what if those shapes and colors were changing?

A few years ago, part of the reason I wanted to become a copywriter was because I began to see the influential trends of the Hispanic market. And I wanted to be part of the future. With the 2010 Census near completion, I believe some real changes are coming. But instead of speculations, I want to share some neat facts from Ad Age’s A Look at the Numbers Behind America’s Huge Demographic Shift: What the Census Will Likely Say — and What That Means for Marketers from author Chiqui Cartagena.

  • 62% of Hispanics are under the age of 34.

  • 33% of Hispanics will be under the age of 18.

  • In Texas, California, New Mexico, Hawaii and the District of Columbia, the white portion of the population is already a minority (representing less than 50%).

  • At the DMA level, there will be 19 markets where the minority is the majority. In 15 of them, the dominant minority is Hispanic; in two markets the dominant minority is Black, and in Hawaii, of course, it’s the Asian/Pacific Islander.

  • By 2020, minorities are expected to account for 40% of the country.
  • Hispanics will continue to be a driving force behind America’s changing face, not so much through immigration but rather by births, with 60% of the U.S. Hispanic market growth coming from the natural births.

    So, what does this mean to you? Mizrahi and Konig say it better than me. [Isaac Mizrahi and Howard T. Konig “recently published ‘yellow’ paper from AlmaDDB, ‘The New State of America: What the 2010 Census will reveal about the evolution of the United States of America.’:

    • Any marketing plan targeting youths must take into account Hispanics.
    • Marketing plans must take into account that Hispanics live in multi-generational households, therefore it is critical to understand how different generations influence each other.
    • The influence of the Hispanic market goes beyond the traditional states. Over 30 markets saw the Hispanic population increase by more than 100,000 persons in the past 10 years.
      U.S. born Hispanics will require marketing campaigns that take into account their unique cultural background. It is critical to develop marketing campaigns that go beyond language and place of birth.”

    So, why does this matter?

    I asked Mizrahi if he thought marketers were addressing the changing America and here’s what he had to say: “I think some marketers are doing it well while others are only now starting now to discuss it, which is a good starting point. But some of them are not doing it at all, which is why we wrote this paper. And in today’s economy, marketing to ethnic minorities may possibly be the competitive advantage they need to get ahead.”

    Mizrahi encourages brand marketers to not only recognize the demographic changes but to start taking advantage of them.

    “The most important thing is the internal discussion of what are the possible consequences of this demographic shift. We can’t look at the past. … We need to write the future. … So experimentation, control programs and pilots are the best options for marketers,” he adds. “Few people realize that Hispanics are influencing the general market more than vice-versa. They are trendsetting … and the debate that papers like this provokes … well, that’s the most interesting thing.”

    Understanding all of these factors will be too important to simply ignore. Something I have seen from too many brands and corporations, but it is a beautiful and exciting time to be in advertising. Especially since so many other minority groups are quickly adding their influence to the nation.

    I guess only time will tell. Until then, let’s enjoy the ride. And learn.

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