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Houston Marketers Attend AMA Workshop On Marketing to Hispanic and Asian Millennials

June 18, 2014

american marketing association - hispanic millennialsHouston– Modern marketing had its start and evolved with the advent of the mass generation of baby boomers. In today’s market, Don Draper would be challenged to produce his stellar performance with a predominantly millennial demographic. Recently, the Houston chapter of the American Marketing Association held a workshop and a panel discussion with marketing experts to address this pressing issue; How to market to Houston’s Hispanic and Asian Millennials.

Juan Tornoe, CMO of Cultural Strategies, a Hispanic marketing agency kicked off the program. Juan helped the mostly Generation X audience grasp the size of the millennial market. Nationally there are an estimated 17 million Hispanic millennials with 44 % foreign born. Houston’s total percentage of Hispanic millennials is 41%, with 40% being bilingual. While boomers were the I generation that wanted to do their own thing, Hispanic millennials are the we generation that lives at home. According to Juan’s research, 72% of  Hispanic millennials live at home. The takeaways from Juan were: compared to other millennials, Hispanic millennials are more optimistic and more entrepreneurial, they seek advice from family for important purchases, they are more involved in social and cultural causes and more willing to volunteer.

Next on the program was Jaime Virkus, Marketing Manager for McGuyer Homebuilders Inc (MHI). Jaime’s research delved into income and education showing that Asians per capita have the highest percentage in both categories. In education Asians index at 49% with a bachelors degree or higher compared to whites at 31% and Hispanics at 13%.  In income for the year 2010, the median income for Asians was 66K, whites 54K and Hispanics 33.3K. Urban millennial Asian homebuyers are looking for homes that are smaller and within walking distance to many shops. Developers with upscale multilevel town homes would do well to market to this demographic. Suburban Asian homebuyers are going to be traditional, but they will have a discriminating eye for layout and design. Builders who follow the art of placement, called Feng Shui, will get the lion’s share of home sales. Other takeaways were build your brand through persistent advertising in Asian media, network within the Asian communities, create B2B incentive programs, and have special cultural offerings in the sales office.

The presentation continued with Salomon Dayan, Digital Group Account Director with Lopez Negrete Communications. Dayan posed the question,”Is it worth advertising to Hispanic millennials who have crappy jobs and earn less than their parents and grandparents? Conventional wisdom says no, and it’s wrong. Even “The Draper” would have trouble wrapping his mind around this one. Hispanic Millennials have a lot of influence on the family’s major purchases. They can be advertised and promoted to, to create brand advocates. Language and messaging can be the deciding keys to success or failure. Hispanic millennials want authentic human talk not outdated clichés. The messaging needs to be aligned to language of the heart, the culture and passions, empowering and portrayed in an activist spirit. Dayan shared the case study of how Lopez Negrete incorporated all these elements and music into an award winning marketing campaign for the Doctor Pepper soft drink label.

The program concluded with a panel discussion with all three presenters. Those in attendance walked away with a greater awareness of the potential of tapping into Houston’s Hispanic and Asian millennial market.

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