canary in the coal mine Venezuala is in trouble

Asylum applications - canary in the coal mine

With pending elections throughout many countries in Latin America, the spotlight is on the numerous challenges facing the region, and specifically the Venezuela elections.  From organizations fighting “fake news” in Mexico elections to those that are a foregone conclusion such as Venezuela.  Elections have a ripple effect throughout all of the americas and one look no further than asylum applications and immigration numbers to see which countries are in the most trouble.  In a CNN article regarding Venezuelans fleeing the situation in Venezuela a couple of pictures tell the story.

Asylum applications 2017 comparing Venezuela, China and Mexico

Asylum Applications from Venezualans to US 2015-16

The key reason that individuals or families uproot and move to another country where there is still uncertainty is because they are almost certain that the current situation will not improve in the near term.  Whether civil war such as that of Colombia, to gangs such as Central America, to economic mismanagement a la Venezuela immigrants and asylum seekers are merely looking to improve their situation.

I was traveling in Venezuela shortly after the election of Hugo Chavez.  During my travels I met an executive from a global CPG company and very quickly it was evident that they saw the writing on the wall and were going to start moving many key assets out of the country.  Sure enough, the government started to implement policies that made it almost impossible for companies to do business in the country (most recently the government took over Kellogg’s facilities).  For a summary of the current situation in Venezuela this segment from Last Week Tonight with John Oliver has brief rundown prior to the Venezuela elections.

 

For the first time Venezuelan asylum seekers to the United States have outnumbered that of Mexico, Guatemala and El Salvador.  Just like a major influx in Colombian asylum seekers in the past (which has since calmed as the country has stabilized and prospered), one key statistic to signal where in the world major problems are brewing is asylum applications.

While the current government in Venezuela is sure to win the “election” on Sunday May 20, 2018, the more important questions is whether the people of the country will survive another six year term or if something changes.

 


Hispanic marketing - still relevant?

Is Hispanic marketing still relevant?  In all but the most remote places, latino influence in the United States is hard to miss, so of course it is.

Multicultural audiences continue to grow in size and importance and the Hispanic audience is one of the most important.  The U.S. Hispanic market has massive influence on the success businesses as well as on American culture.  Almost, if not all major cities in the U.S. have integrated latino food, music, culture, and even street signs into their metro area.    What is always being debated is how to reach this segment.  From a recent media post article there were some key points that highlighted some interesting items.

Language:  While to percentage of Hispanics that are proficient in English has risen swiftly, the percentage of Hispanics that stream entertainment in Spanish has also increased significantly (even greater among Hispanic millennials).  

Boy with Sombrero lazy Hispanic marketing.
Some hispanic marketing attempts are less than ideal.

Influence:  While the population growth is still strong, it has slowed somewhat, yet the integration of the segment into American culture is stronger than ever.  In business ownership the Hispanic community now comprises ownership of 12% of all U.S. business.

Many marketers take the approach of adding a stock photo of a latino looking person to an ad, check a box on whatever programmatic platform and call it a day.  While there are some that fully integrate a “total market” strategy” incorporating cultural relevance, language, etc with an overall cohesive strategy,  but that seems to fall more to Toyota, P&G, Coca Cola and other major advertisers.  

The U.S. Hispanic segment is one of the most important segments and represents major buying power and influence.  It is time for marketers to pay more than lip service to the importance of the group.  There are numerous factors in these decisions such as time, budget, and need.  However there are numerous options to reach this segment through focused media, and utilizing agencies that specialize in multicultural segments that are more effective and don’t necessarily require utilizing an entire advertising budget.

 

 

 


Mexico Elections: Facing challenges in 2018

In a year with multiple presidential elections happening through Latin America, the region and specifically the Mexico elections on July 1, 2018 face challenges. Just like the United States and the much publicized “fake news” phenomena, the issue is a global one and all countries are battling against disruptions in their systems whether from foreign governments, bots, or extremist rhetoric the battle is only beginning.

Slide from Latin America presentation by Le Black Room at Campaign Tech East 2018
Slide from Latin America presentation by Le Black Room at Campaign Tech East 2018

Returning from a political conference in Washington D.C. where “fake news” was a frequent discussion point, I came across America’s Quarterly (free at the American Airlines lounge) and there was an interesting breakdown of the key players in the Mexico election.  Corruption, crime and of course the economy will make the battle on July 1, 2018 an interesting one.  And while the debate may rage on which direction the country should go, and each person has their opinion on which candidate would be the best, the even bigger challenge is to make sure that there is accurate information for the voters to make an informed decisions during the Mexico elections of 2018.

Political advertising itself runs a broad spectrum and each campaign will defend itself as well as work to shine a negative light on the shortcomings of the other candidates.  Now with the proliferation of fake accounts, bots, unscrupulous campaigns now even have more resources to proliferate false information so the challenge is even harder for finding accurate information.  So, what is  or can be done?

  • Don’t just trust a headline or social media post.  The issues with social media are well documented
  • Traditional news sources (broadcast, print, and digital) have a code of journalistic ethics and years of experience.
  • Government voter pamphlets are a starting point for research on initiatives & candidates.
  • Fact checking organizations (again, worth reviewing process and who is supporting).  In the United States there are numerous, however in Latin America there are still some beyond the traditional media such as Verificado2018 / Verificado.MX (Mexico).

For the Mexico elections #Verificado2018 is supported by over 60 publications (from La Economista, Forbes, El Universal, Milenio, Televisa and more) and is non partisan.  While there is nothing that can replace reading and thinking about the information and sources, having these resources may help should you have questions about the information that you are seeing.

 

 


Is The U.S. Hispanic Market A Growth Market?

U.S. Hispanic Market

The Hispanic market has traditionally been defined by most marketers as the growing population of foreign-born immigrants in the U.S. who have emigrated from Spanish-speaking Latin American countries (mainly Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean).

While the market definition has generally expanded during the last 10-15 years to include native-born second- and third-generation Hispanics, the “core” Hispanic market has been characterized by the unacculturated and partially acculturated Latin American immigrants who have represented separate and distinct market opportunities for companies to reach and sell to. The defining characteristic of this market has been the growth and use of Spanish language media and advertising, predominantly consumed by this “core” Spanish-speaking immigrant consumer.

Over the last 30 years, the Hispanic market has exploded, growing from 14.8 million in 1980 to 55 million in 2014, according to Pew Research, but 55% of that growth was driven by immigration in the 1980s and ’90s that exceeded U.S. births. However, around 2004, immigration into the U.S. by Hispanics started a steady decline. In 2016, only 28% of the roughly 1 million annual immigrants into the U.S. were Hispanic. Starting in 2010, Asian immigration started to outpace Hispanic immigration.

COMMENTARY

Is The U.S. Hispanic Market A Growth Market?

The Hispanic market has traditionally been defined by most marketers as the growing population of foreign-born immigrants in the U.S. who have emigrated from Spanish-speaking Latin American countries (mainly Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean).

While the market definition has generally expanded during the last 10-15 years to include native-born second- and third-generation Hispanics, the “core” Hispanic market has been characterized by the unacculturated and partially acculturated Latin American immigrants who have represented separate and distinct market opportunities for companies to reach and sell to. The defining characteristic of this market has been the growth and use of Spanish language media and advertising, predominantly consumed by this “core” Spanish-speaking immigrant consumer.

Over the last 30 years, the Hispanic market has exploded, growing from 14.8 million in 1980 to 55 million in 2014, according to Pew Research, but 55% of that growth was driven by immigration in the 1980s and ’90s that exceeded U.S. births. However, around 2004, immigration into the U.S. by Hispanics started a steady decline. In 2016, only 28% of the roughly 1 million annual immigrants into the U.S. were Hispanic. Starting in 2010, Asian immigration started to outpace Hispanic immigration.

Source: Pew Hispanic

Looking ahead, the percentage of Hispanic immigration is forecast to decrease steadily to 26% and potentially drop down below 25% by 2020, Pew found. This could trend even farther downward considering the current political environment in the United States.

So, while new Hispanic immigration into the U.S. is still forecast to top 250,000 per year, another trend, reverse immigration, primarily among Mexicans returning from the U.S., is forecast to continue at levels of approximately 200,000 per year. The result is that net Hispanic immigration into the U.S. will be anemic at best, with growth rates of less than 0.4% per year or less than 80,000 per year. This is not a growth market.

While geopolitical and economic factors may change this trend, the next five years look bleak for “core” Hispanic market population growth in sharp contrast to the go-go ’80s and ’90s when the market grew rapidly.

Overall, the U.S. Hispanic population is forecast to grow, but that growth will come primarily from U.S. births. Which leads to a critical question: Is this U.S.-born Hispanic market a separate and distinct market from the foreign-born immigrant Hispanic market? This question goes to the heart of the future of Hispanic marketing. I would argue that this U.S.-born, acculturated Hispanic is separate and distinct and the strategies and tactics that worked for marketing to immigrant Hispanics the last 30 years will not work for native Hispanics.

The numbers paint a very clear picture: there are two Hispanic markets — one that is stagnant and aging and one that is growing and getting younger. As I’ve argued numerous times over the years, the old way of Hispanic marketing is becoming irrelevant. A new way forward is required to address this new vibrant market. A new Hispanic market requires a new approach to Hispanic marketing.


Workplace challenges for multicultural women

Throughout the world and especially in the United States there are times of the year that focus on the celebration of diversity.  The month of March is Women’s History month and not only focuses attention on the achievements, but also brings to the forefront current issues regarding gender inequalities in the workplace and beyond.

One of the more interesting areas related to gender involve the influence of multicultural women and workplace diversity.  Globally, the acceptance and influence of women in the workplace is for the most part increasing.  In the U.S. the impact of women from multicultural segments (Latina, Asian, African American and others) is steadily increasing.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the increasing percentage of multicultural women in the workplace between 2014-2024 will continually increase: Black women (+11.3%) , Asian women (+24.3%), and Hispanic women (+30.3%) while that of White women will stay similar (-2.1%).

Multicultural women gaining in the workplace

While the increase in diversity and opportunities expand there are of course well known issues such as wages and underrepresentation in leadership roles that are challenges for all women, this is even more pronounced with the multicultural segments.  For example: according to the National Women’s Law Center there is an even larger wage gap for women of color.   And as far as leadership positions are concerned women of color remain severely underrepresented as do women in general.  In the case of the low-wage workforce these groups are somewhat overrepresented making up almost half which also shows additional challenges.

Of course there are no short term solutions to the inequalities and challenges that exist, there is a benefit to paying attention to the contributions as well as the challenges that exist in the workplace and beyond.  Here are some other sources for additional information about Women’s History month as well as our Diversity calendar for 2018 to learn more about times where there will be additional focus (and advertising) centered around diverse groups.

 


2018 Diversity Calendar of Events

The United States is rich with diversity and if there was any question, just have a look at the diversity of our celebrations. From Martin Luther King day in January, Black History month in February, Asian-American and Pacific Islander Heritage month (May) to Hispanic Heritage month (September/October) to name just a few.

Have a look at the full break down from Diversity Best Practices and I’m sure you will find some that you weren’t even aware of (ex. Krishna Janmashtami…..will let you find that one in the list).

Here are some key ones that should be on the minds of  multicultural marketers.

January

January 15: Martin Luther King Day commemorates the birth of Martin Luther King, Jr., the recipient of the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize and an activist for non-violent social change until his assassination in 1968.

February
February is Black History Month in the United States and Canada.

February 9-25 Olympics PyeongChang:  OK, not an officially on diversity calendars, but is a celebration of diversity in athletics, athletes and cultures.

February 16: Lunar New Year, one of the most sacred of all traditional Chinese holidays, a time of family reunion and celebration. Lunar New Year is also celebrated at this time in Japan, Korea, Vietnam and Mongolia.

March
March is Women’s History Month.

May
May is Asian-American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month in the United States.

June
June is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month.

2018 World Cup June 14-July 15, 2018

July
2018 FIFA World Cup

September
From September 15th to October 15th is Hispanic Heritage Month. This month corresponds with Mexican Independence Day, which is celebrated on September 16, and recognizes the revolution in 1810 that ended Spanish dictatorship.

October
October 8: Indigenous Peoples / Columbus day.  Many cities in the U.S. have been stepping away from “Columbus day” in favor of “Indigenous People’s day.”  See some background here

November / December

Including the likes of Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas and New Years this period is key for marketers.  After all it seems that Toyotathon is almost a national holiday.

 

 

 


USA multicultural delegation for the Olympics in PyeongChang

The 2018 Olympic games in PyeongChang South Korea are an exhibition of diversity in sport.  Every four years the United States has an opportunity to show the world just how diverse we are.  While the likes of Chloe Kim (U.S. born Korean American gold medalist snowboarder) are making headlines, the 2018 U.S. Olympic team is one of the largest and most diverse ever.

Quick statistics on U.S. Olympic team diversity for the 2018 Olympic games in PyeongChang South Korea.

  • 242 athletes
  • 108 female (45%)
  • 10 African-Americans
  • 11 Asian-Americans
  • 3 Latinos (plus 1 for Puerto Rico and even a Mexico athlete who grew up in the U.S.)
  • 2 openly gay athletes
  • age range 17-39

In a challenging global environment where seemingly diversity is not always welcomed, this is an area where the United States does lead and hopefully will continue.  Regardless of the medal count the stories of the Olympic games and the challenges of the athletes are always a great story.

 

 


Congreso Portada LATAM 2017

PortadaLat 2017 Conference | Miami | June 7-8, 2017

Portada has been the leading source of expert analysis on the US multicultural and Latin American marketing and innovation spaces since 2003. For the 9th annual edition of PortadaLat our team is gathering a unique set of key decision  makers and thought leaders in one place to share insights, brainstorm solutions and debate the future of marketing technology, digital platforms, brand marketing and more.

More information: https://www.portada-online.com/events/portadalat/