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Leading the Change 2019: Discovering the Art and Science of Growing with U.S. Hispanics

Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, that’s creative. – Charles Mingus, Jazz Pianist


It’s not often you hear a jazz musician cited during a marketing conference, but Mingus’ quote goes to the heart of why we were all gathered at The Altman Building in New York last week for Univision’s 8th annual Leading the Change marketing forum.

Marketing these days is complicated.  Today’s audience is smarter, bolder and more empowered than ever to choose the brands and products they want.  In such an environment, those organizations that do make the complicated simple will have a much greater chance of growing their businesses and connecting with new consumers, successfully.

Embracing creativity to drive innovation was a central theme of this year’s Leading the Change.  As our keynote speaker, best-selling author, Josh Linkner put it,By challenging the rules you might find a new path forward; don’t underestimate the risk of standing still.”  Challenging the rules doesn’t mean upending the status quo; it can also mean trying out creative ways to grow your business by connecting with a new, untapped audience.  While there were myriad takeaways from our incredible roster of speakers, we’ll focus on three key areas to help any marketer jumpstart, or lean into, their Hispanic marketing strategy in 2020 and beyond.


1. U.S. Hispanics are Truly America’s Growth Engine 

Univision’s CEO Vince Sadusky reminded us that, according to the latest American Community Survey managed by the Census Bureau, there are approximately 60 million Hispanics in the United States.  What is more remarkable is that while the growth rate for Hispanics from 2010-2018 was 18.6%, the growth rate for the non-Hispanic white population was essentially zero1. These numbers dramatically highlight why the U.S. Hispanic community is considered America’s growth engine and why it is difficult to ignore if you are looking to grow your business.

Nielsen’s Stacie de Armas, VP Strategic Initiatives and Consumer Engagement broke down the strength and sophistication of this market.  The U.S. Hispanic GDP is larger than that of India, Italy or Brazil, and by 2023 the buying power of this community will be $1.9 trillion2.  Most compelling was the data point de Armas cited on the most common, or mode, age among Hispanics – just 11 years old vs. 58 for non-Hispanics whites3. The relative youth of Hispanic audiences is a very important differentiator when considering their lifetime value as consumers.  The Hispanic collectivist culture also means that multigenerational Hispanic households are predisposed to sharing: 44% agree that people often come to them for advice before making a purchase, and 39% say they like to share their opinions and products online4.


2. Digital and Social are Cultural Enablers

Univision’s SVP of Digital Sales, Matt Kaplan joined Andrew Barge, Director of Content Business Development at Twitter and Joanne Coleman, VP Media for Constellation Brands to discuss the remarkable way we can connect to U.S. Hispanic consumers through social media.

Twitter reaches 71% of Hispanics in the U.S. and 2-in-3 Hispanics come to Twitter daily5.  And what is driving these interactions?  Politics, Soccer and Pop Culture.  This community is a fervent follower of the passions that provide crucial cultural currency in their everyday interactions.  For example, Twitter’s U.S. Spanish speaking audience is incredibly active among music fans.  From 2016-18, there was a +24% increase in tweets about Latin music, driven by a +25% increase in unique people tweeting6.

To prove how brands can capitalize on this engagement through premium content, Coleman shared how Constellation Brands activated a cross-platform sponsorship in every game of the recent Gold Cup soccer tournament across three of their brands – Corona, Modelo and Victoria—each with a different target and strategy.  Leveraging live highlights, the campaign generated 1.9 million tweets and over 54 million total video views with a 57% view-thru rate (43% higher than the industry average)7.


3. Connecting with Hispanics In-Culture Delivers Meaningful Business Results

How does one rationalize all these insights and turn them into a cohesive campaign?  Referencing her time at both Post Foods and Mondelēz, Jennifer Mennes, Director of North America Media for Mondelēz International showed us that brands must embrace a deeper understanding of identity and nuances of culture to truly connect with Hispanics.  At Post, she planned and activated a multi-platform campaign that immersed itself in Hispanic culture, propelling the cereal brand Honey Bunches of Oats from #4 to #1 in the category.  To further prove the point, she also shared a campaign currently running with Univision across several Mondelēz brands, which is leveraging in-culture content and talent to reach U.S Hispanics at scale.  The result? Hispanic households are now driving growth across all key Mondelēz categories.

These success stories also translate to other categories.  Ellen Capon, Senior Director, New Business & International Marketing and Patricia Burgos, Senior Marketing Manager, Audible, shared how they brought the platform to Hispanic audiences by collaborating with Univision’s Brand Labs.  With around 10,000 Spanish language titles available on the Audio Latino platform, Audible partnered with Univision to conduct custom research on Hispanics and the audiobook market and found that the Audible brand had both a gap in unaided awareness and consideration.  Additionally, Audible identified two psychographic segments: Proud Latina Moms and Hispanic Strivers.  Working with Audible, Univision created custom segments, vignettes and in-show integrations across reality shows and tentpoles targeting these two segments – with great business impact.

We Make it Simple: The Art & Science of Growing with U.S. Hispanics with Univision Brand Labs

The goal of Leading the Change is indeed to help make the complicated simple – but our mission is not just reserved for a one-day conference.  Our expert teams at Univision Brand Labs can make your journey with U.S. Hispanics easy to navigate. Visit our Brand Labs site to learn more about how you can tap into America’s growth engine.


1. U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division
2. The Multicultural Economy –  Selig Center for Economic Growth, Terry College of Business, The University of Georgia, June 2018
3. U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division
4. Market/Release: Hispanic DST Multi-Market 2019 Release 1 Total (Jan 2018 – May 2019) PULLED 10/26/19)
5. Comscore Media Metrix® Demographic Profile, Desktop 2+ and Mobile 18+, Hispanic All, January 2019, U.S.
6. Twitter analytics
7. Twitter analytics

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