Research Unveils the True Characteristics of U.S. Hispanics

Over the past year, Publicis Groupe’s Starcom MediaVest Group and NBC’s Telemoundo have researched the Latino community in seven Hispanic markets in the U.S: Miami, New York, San Antonio, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles and Raleigh, N.C. According to this study, 12 distinctive Hispanic “identities” are present in the United States, which is useful knowledge for marketers when developing effective advertising for the Hispanic consumer.

The results of the study, called “Beyond Demographics Latino Identity Research Initiative,” go further than presenting the various demographics of this group, showing a greater understanding of their psychographics, such as their consumer habits and how they value brands as a whole. The unique identities fall into four subsets – “Global Latinos” who are fascinated by new cultures and experiences; “Traditionalists”, who are close-minded individuals living in a time warp; “Strivers”, who are driven by success and “Elites”, who are affluent and proud of their heritage. Although U.S Hispanics appear to be very diverse, the study confirmed four characteristics that U.S Hispanics share, which are the following:

1) The ability to adapt to new cultures, 2) a dogmatic approach to faith and their destiny, 3) an interest to revive their culture and 4) the desire to succeed. This research helps marketers have a more intimate understanding of the values, beliefs and interests of the Hispanic people.

“This study shows that the U.S. Latino experience extends well beyond the stereotypical immigrant story we see all too often as the representative face of the community” says Esther ‘E.T.’ Franklin, EVP/Director of Cultural Identities at SMG. “It reveals a spectrum of rich identities which are either invisible or overlooked by many marketers … as well as identities that are emerging and unexpected,” she adds.

This is the third study of its kind conducted by SMG’s Cultural Identities unit led by Franklin, the first study on the African-American Identities that was revealed at the ANA Multicultural Conference in 2007 and a second study on Asian Identities followed it.

Laura Desmond, Global CEO, Starcom MediaVest Group explained that “[The study] brings us a giant leap closer to understanding the U.S. Hispanic people—beyond traditional targeting definitions.” This newly discovered information is useful to general marketers and multicultural marketers in developing better marketing strategies for this unique and nuanced audience. A goal of many general marketers is to develop a strong connection between the brand and the consumer; specifying target markets by demographics and psychographics helps accomplish this. The more specific a target market is the more efficient an advertiser can relay its message. It will be interesting to see how marketers utilize this information in the future.

For more on the study, read Chiqui Cartagena’s AdAge piece here.


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