Study: Hispanics Good Ad Target During Recession

One way for brand marketers to increase sales in a down economy might be by targeting Hispanics with Spanish-language media. According to a new study conducted by Experian Simmons for Univision Communications, Hispanics are less affected by the recession, tend to be more positive about it, shop more often and are more receptive to TV ads than the general population.

Presented Tuesday (June 2) by Experian Simmons and executives from Univision, the study analyzed weekly consumer data collected between Jan. 2008 and March 30, 2009, using the week of Sept. 29, 2008 as the start of the economic meltdown to gauge consumer attitudes and behavior before and during the recession.

“Hispanics remain an attractive target consumer in this economic climate, maybe even more so,” said Ceril Shagrin, executive vp of corporate research for Univision.

Compared to non-Hispanics, more Hispanics (34 percent) expect to be better off financially in the next 12 months versus 25 percent for non-Hispanics. More Hispanics than non-Hispanics believe the economy will improve in the next 12 months, 29 percent versus 21 percent, respectively.

Not only do Hispanics have a more positive attitude than non-Hispanics, they are less affected by some of the factors most affected by the economy. Only 45 percent of Hispanics have credit cards versus 71 percent of non-Hispanics. Fewer have loans, 34 percent versus 53 percent for non-Hispanics, and they are less burdened with potential debt.

“Hispanics are more likely to look out for special offers. In general, they use cash and are more careful with money,” said Tom Morrison, vp of Experian Marketing Services.

More Hispanics say they go shopping frequently compared to non-Hispanics—34 percent versus 29 percent—and Hispanics are more willing to pay for branded prescriptions than non-Hispanics, 31 percent versus 15 percent.

Advertising also carries a lot of weight with Hispanics, who tend to enjoy TV advertising and remember advertised products when shopping. Hispanics are 38 percent more likely to buy from an advertiser than non-HIspanics. “They see it as a source of information, not a nuisance,” Morrison said.

Univision said the data is paying off with advertisers. One casual dining space advertiser saw a sales lift of 23 percent by targeting Hispanics. “Everyone is looking to better leverage their dollars,” said David Lawenda, president of advertising sales and marketing for Univision. “In the past six months, we’ve had many marketers tell us that their Hispanic sales are outpacing their non-Hispanic sales.”