Armando AzarlozaPresident AxisOnly a few years ago, I spent a great deal of time talking to people about the newrealities in the U.S. consumer market. Some of it was based on my own perceptionand thinking about what was happening in the U.S. Hispanic market. Then there weretwo major Spanish-language television networks, a handful of local radio stations, justa few dailies and a limited number of online sites catering to Hispanic consumers.Many marketers weren’t yet convinced of the opportunity. We heard such things as“we can reach Hispanics through general market media” and my favorite “Hispanicsaren’t spending.” That was 1999. Today, with the 2010 Census out, marketers havebeen forced to rethink their strategy toward the new realities shaping the U.S.consumer market.What’s driving this long-awaited shift? The sheer numbers, of course. Multiculturalgroups are not only the fastest growing segment of the market, but they are quickly
creating a multiculturally-inuenced general market.
The size of the U.S. Hispanic market alone grew by nearly 50% since 2000 to morethan 50 million people, or nearly 16% of the total population. The Census data
also reects how minorities continue growing, now comprising 35% of the total
U.S. population. The new estimates reveal a country of larger and younger minorities, with Hispanicshaving the greatest growth rate due to their higher birth rates. Hispanics representedmore than half of the total growth in the U.S. population since the last Census and thelarger portion of this increase, two-thirds, was to births, not immigration, which hasactually fallen off to some degree in recent years.For the moment, non-Hispanic whites number approximately 200 million, but are14% less than their percentage in 2000, when the country’s white non-Hispanicpopulation was calculated to be 195 million. This signals a major transformation.One that we have not seen since the post-World War II Baby Boom. The country is taking on an ever more diverse character and even more so when one
takes into account that Americans are dening themselves more and more as belonging
to different cultural groups.
The question we need to ask is... will this transformation nally end our fascination with
thinking about the total market in segments? Only when we honestly look at the newrealities of the market, will we truly grasp the vast marketing and business opportunitiesthat exist.