Marketers are Missing Out on Connecting with Rising English-Dominant Hispanics by Radha Subramanyam

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Cover image for  article: Marketers are Missing Out on Connecting with Rising English-Dominant Hispanics by Radha Subramanyam

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are over 50 million Hispanics living in the United States, making them the largest ethnic group in the country. Given that, it’s not surprising that Hispanics have had a huge impact on American culture; from pop culture to politics to cuisine, Hispanics have become key influencers and opinion-formers in the U.S. And, while these successful and popular Hispanics are passionate about their Hispanic roots, they increasingly use the English language to connect the two cultures.

In fact, more than half of all U.S. Hispanics (54%) actually prefer to communicate in English. English-dominant Hispanics are becoming the norm, not the exception, as is made clear by the large shift in the demographic profile of U.S. Hispanics moving toward English:

  • Foreign-Born Hispanics has declined to 51% in 2012 from 55% in 2006.
  • U.S.-Born Hispanics are on the rise, with close to 800k young U.S.-born Hispanics entering adulthood each year.
  • 59% of Hispanic adults speak English proficiently, up from 54% in 2006. (Pew Research)

As a result, younger U.S. Hispanics are even more likely to be English-dominant:

  • 63% of U.S. Hispanics who are 18-34 years old are English-dominant versus 50% of those over 50-years-old.

This shift towards English-dominant Hispanics has essentially created a new, growing and distinct consumer segment with demographics, values and media behaviors that cannot be ignored by marketers looking for a vast audience to whom they can sell their products. Marketers should use these opportunities to their greatest advantage, as English-dominant Hispanics tend to use more media (especially radio and TV) than even U.S.-born adults:

  • 93% of U.S. English-dominant Hispanics listened to broadcast radio in the past 5 days.
  • 94% of U.S. English-dominant Hispanics used TV in the past 7 days.
  • 84% of U.S. English-dominant Hispanics used the Internet in the last 30 days.
  • 44% of U.S. English-dominant Hispanics read newspapers in print edition in past 7 days.

Not only are U.S. Hispanics a large community they are increasingly using English as their primary language. As a result, English language pop culture is an important means to connect Hispanics to consumer brands. Research shows U.S. Hispanics are choosing English-dominant radio stations over primarily Spanish language stations to connect to their community and the personalities, news and music they love most. In fact, the top 10 radio stations for English-dominant Hispanics are English-speaking stations including Clear Channel’s KIIS FM in Los Angeles and KTU in New York.

This is where a world of opportunity arises for diligent forward-thinking marketers. Radio is a melting pot where English-dominant stations give away prizes like quinceanera makeovers and play songs from artists like Jennifer Lopez, Pitbull, Selena Gomez, Enrique Iglesias, Christina Aguilera, Shakira and pure Spanish artist Don Omar. Radio is uniquely positioned to meaningfully connect brands and drive results with English-dominant Hispanics. Marketers benefit from the unparalleled relationship radio has with the U.S. Hispanic population. The audience of English-dominant Hispanics is already connected – all you need to do is connect to them.

Radha Subramanyam is a seasoned media and entertainment executive with a significant track record as a leader in Media Research and Consumer Insights. She is one of the few individuals inRadha Subramanyam Media who has worked in TV, Digital, Radio and Social media. Her experience in these various media forms spans the Programming, Marketing and Advertising Sales aspects of the business. She is a visible speaker at events around the country and the world. Radha can be reached at Read all Clear Channel's MediaBizBloggers commentaries at Clear Channel.

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