Electronic Retailer - February 2012 - (Page 44)
BY MARCELINO MIYARES JR.
For Hispanic Vote, the Campaign is On
You don’t need to pick sides in the 2012 elections to be interested in the process and the outcome. In fact, for the Hispanic community this is likely a defining election in terms of power, key market strategies and momentum. Ignore the Hispanic electorate in 2012 at your peril, from national offices to key local races. A national election can come down to one state’s electoral votes. A state election can come down to one county, and the power shift in Congress can come down to just a handful of districts. Any one of these scenarios can be affected by Hispanics in several swing and highly contested states. Believe what you will, it is simple math. Any marketer who has observed the evolution of marketing to Hispanic audiences, especially through TV and radio, already knows this as fact. What remains to be seen is whether politicians pay this audience its due respect, or if they continue to pay it only lip service. My marketing experience and available data shows lip service won’t cut it anymore in politics than it does in business. The lip service politician will say that these markets and this audience do not produce enough registered voters to be a real political factor. Critical mass in politics is a matter of perception, and perception is starting to shape a new reality. More than 6.6 million Latinos voted in last year’s election – a record for a midterm – says data by the Pew Hispanic Center. Latinos represented a larger share of the electorate in 2010 than in any previous midterm election, representing 6.9 percent of all voters, up from 5.8 percent in 2006. It is true that a significant share of voting age Latinos are non-citizens – 22.4 percent vs. just 1.4 percent, 4 percent and 24 percent of whites, blacks and Asians, respectively. But factor this out and you still have 21.3 million eligible voters. This represents about 12 percent of all eligible voters in the U.S. But do they vote? In 2008, 63.6 percent turned out to vote. And the research and polling organization Latino Decisions estimates that Hispanics will likely represent as much as 9.5 percent of registered voters in the 2012 general elections. Let’s look at this from a geo-political perspective. If I asked you to identify some of the key states for the upcoming national election at either the presidential or congressional levels, you would probably list California, New York, Florida, Illinois and Texas, among others. These are not only the states in which Hispanics have the highest populations, but they also have the highest local TV market shares. Latinos comprise 33 percent of LA’s TV households. New York checks in at 17 percent. There is no doubt that any TV spots in these markets, which serve as an example of the growth being seen in almost a dozen states and major markets, will reach Hispanics whether a campaign intends to or not. The question then becomes, “Does a candidate, campaign or issue want to be ubiquitous with its messaging vis-à-vis Latinos or remain conspicuously absent. Rapid population growth has helped fuel Latinos’ increasing electoral participation. According to the Census Bureau, 50.5 million Hispanics were counted by the 2010 Census, up from 35.3 million in 2000. Over the same decade, the number of Latino eligible voters – adults who are U.S. citizens – also increased, from 13.2 million in 2000 to 21.3 million in 2010. Who says that voting represents the only political influence wielded by a community? Economic power and labor participation are two other key indicators of participation. Automotive, retail, soft drink, beer and packaged advertisers have targeted this market for years. But now even Wall Street is taking notice at the Hispanic community’s impact beyond the financial. According to the Huffington Post on Oct. 9, 2011, recognizing the power that Latinos represent in the global marketplace as a vibrant market of 50.5 million strong with a $1 trillion in buying power growing at an impressive 347 percent rate in the last decade, a group of banking, Wall Street and other major corporate professionals recently discussed the need for action. “We’re here tonight to talk about America’s future ... the country needs a diverse pipeline of leaders to move our country forward,” said Michael Cavanagh, JPMorgan Investment Bank CEO of Treasury & Securities. “Latinos are the key to reaching these goals.” I could give you Census data here. But let’s look a little deeper. Minority spending power spiked over the last 10 years, according to the University of Georgia Terry College of Business. The percentage gains in buying power during the past decade have varied considerably by race and ethnicity: 108 percent for Hispanics, 98 percent for Asians, 69 percent for Native Americans and 60 percent for African-Americans. The study projects that minority markets will continue to grow much faster than the majority market, and sooner or later this will translate to tens of thousands of $5-$25 contributions. Now let’s talk issues – the two key vote drivers are unemployment and immigration. Although discretionary spending and a seat at the financial table are available now for a large percentage of Hispanics, they want more. According to the Pew Research Project, the spread of poverty across the
electronicRETAILER | February 2012
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Electronic Retailer - February 2012
Calendar of Events - Upcoming Industry Events February through May
Your Association, Your Bottom Line
Industry Reports - Connect, Collaborate and Discover with MyERA
FTC Forum - Where the FTC Says Facebook Went Wrong
eMarketer Research - Who is the U.S. Hispanic Market?
IMS Retail Rankings - The Top 25 Shows and Spots
Jordan Whitney’s Top Categories - The Top 5 Shows and Spots and the Top 3 Categories
Lockard & Wechsler’s Clearance & Price Index - Index for 30, 60 and 120 Seconds
Ask the Expert - Who Says Kids’ Products Don’t Sell on DRTV?
From the Executive’s Desk - Create the Complete Package
Bienvenido a Miami!
Interactive TV: Just a Click Away
What Your Consumer Says About You Matters
Guest Viewpoint - For Hispanic Vote, the Campaign is On
Guest Viewpoint - Own Your Own Online Media
DRTV - Supporting Retail: Is This the Answer?
Fulfillment - Are You Delivering a Great Customer Experience?
Teleservices - Stop Losing Thousands of Leads
Advertiser Spotlight - Highlighting This Month’s Advertisers
Bulletin Board - DG and Discovery Launch Digital Distribution System
Rick Petry - MINI Me
Electronic Retailer - February 2012