Not all of the offerings are in Spanish, either. Media companies have taken note of research showing that a sizeable portion of the U.S. Hispanic market -- 40 percent of Hispanic adults, according to Nielsen -- prefers English.
In January, Fox announced the launch of MundoFox, a Spanish-language network scheduled to hit airwaves this year in markets across the nation, including Las Vegas. Fox says it has secured affiliates in enough cities to cover 40 percent of all Hispanic households. The company's foray into the Hispanic market started in 2010 when it launched Fox News Latino, an English-language website.
ABC and Univision are teaming up on a 24-hour English-language network targeting Hispanics, and National Geographic, ESPN, Discovery and Fox Sports all have Spanish-language cousins.
"There are a number of companies coming in at the same time," said Giovanni Rodriguez, a social technology and marketing expert who covers the Latino media market for Deloitte Consulting. "The market has actually been looking at this for a while. Fox woke up the marketplace with Fox News Latino in 2010, and it took a while for the other companies to respond."
"If you look at the general market, it's very much saturated," Gentleman said. "It's difficult for brands to get noticed. Businesses have the opportunity to take their budgets and get a better return on investment by targeting a new demographic. I think that's why you see developments like MundoFox and Univision partnering with ABC. ESPN has done a great job with its ESPN Deportes brand."
The pitfalls of persuasion
Going after Hispanic consumers offers the potential for growth, but also for public stumbles.
When the American Dairy Association tried to bring its "Got Milk?" campaign to a Hispanic audience, it faltered. Instead of "Got Milk?", the association plastered billboards with a phrase that translated as, "Are you lactating?"
Several other companies -- Coors, Perdue Chicken, Pepsi -- have made similar mistakes.
To prevent such foibles, marketing experts say it is best to craft separate campaigns for Hispanic markets rather than translate English-language campaigns. Hispanics generally respond better to marketing that's geared specifically toward them.
Campaigns should feel "authentic, not slapped together," Gentleman said.
It's also important for companies to remember that Hispanics are not a monolithic population with singular traditions, cultures and norms.
"There is no single Hispanic market," Rodriguez said. "It's an incredibly diverse population. It includes people like me. I grew up in the Bronx, but have an incredible attachment to the homeland of my parents, Puerto Rico. I just got back from Puerto Rico and have gone before, but my Spanish is terrible."
But even despite potential pitfalls, marketing to Hispanics is an undeniably smart move, as the population records higher brand loyalty and a greater use of social media. Nielsen found that U.S. Hispanics spent 68 percent more time watching video online and 20 percent more time watching video on mobile phones than non-Hispanic whites.
"Latinos right now are the No. 1 group as a percentage of the whole when it comes to social media usage," Rodriguez said. "They're overrepresented on Facebook and Twitter and other social networks. They use mobile phones and love technology more than the general population. So, large companies that can reach customers on multiple channels are in a pretty good position."
Hispanics also have been shown to exhibit strong brand loyalty, especially in categories such as health, beauty and baby products.
Companies that make the effort to reach out to the Hispanic audience and craft thoughtful campaigns for them, can snag faithful, tech-savvy customers.
"You have to do your research," Barrientos said. "Because once you get them, they are in and they will bring their family, cousins, everybody. Latinos can be very loyal consumers, especially if you stand up in the community. More corporations are coming to cultural events and conventions to show they want to be part of the community, and that kind of marketing is providing excellent results."
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