Myths About Affluent Hispanic Households

There's Money to Be Made if You Clue Into Reality

By Published on .

Joe Castro
Joe Castro
Throughout history, great opportunities for growth have presented themselves during times when reality was contrary to popular belief. The Earth was flat until 1492, when Columbus sailed the ocean blue leaving behind old fears and misconceptions, discovering the Americas and laying the groundwork for global trade. Around the same time, Copernicus and Galileo were both in hot water for proposing that the Earth and the planets revolved around the sun and not the other way around.

Since then we've landed on the moon, have rovers scurrying around Martian soil, and send satellites up into orbit almost on a daily basis, and at a cost of up to $200 million a shot! And how many times do you think Da Vinci, upon presenting his drawings of flying machines, was told that "man was not meant to fly"? Had he lived until 1903, when the Wright brothers successfully took to the air, he probably would have imagined airlines flying more than 18 million flights with more than 1 billion travelers a year, and may have even conceived of the frequent flier program.

When it comes to Hispanics in the U.S., many companies today still believe that we are relatively poor and have little credit, and that the few of us that have acquired wealth are very acculturated. This is the barrier preventing all types of companies from capitalizing on one of the most exciting trends impacting the Hispanic segment, wealth creation. It's a reality contrary to popular belief.

If you know where to look, and are open to what you may find, the Census reveals that the $100,000-plus household-income segment grew from 7% to 17% of the Hispanic population from 2002 through 2009; that's rapidly growing penetration in a rapidly growing pie! During the past decade, the Hispanic $110,000-plus households grew 221% compared to 87% for total U.S. $100,000-plus households. This has increased the penetration of Hispanic households among the total $100,000-plus households in the U.S. from 3.7% to 6.5% during that time.

I can see how anyone could think that people with that kind of money living in the U.S. are probably pretty sophisticated and well reached by total-market initiatives (meaning one-size-fits-all general-market initiatives). Hold on to your seat. There are approximately 5 million Hispanic adults in the $100,000-plus segment, and half of them are estrangeros (foreign born), the majority of which Simmons indicates speak only/mostly Spanish in their homes, and consume way more Spanish-language media than their U.S. born hermanos (brothers). Actually, in terms of their media and language use, they are a lot closer to the least acculturated segment than to the most acculturated segment of Latinos in this country.

While they are being reached by the combination of Spanish and English media, is your message in either engaging them?

If you consider that the answer may also be a reality contrary to popular belief, you are ahead of the pack. Felicidades! Let's go make some money from this unique opportunity.

Joe Castro is exec VP-integrated marketing at Zubi Advertising Services, Coral Gables, Fla.
Most Popular
In this article: