Atlanta seldom comes to mind when most marketers think about the future of Hispanic marketing or the dynamic Hispanic millennial segment. It’s usually far down the list in discussions of the growing Hispanic population. However, it shouldn’t be.

The Fastest Hispanic Population Growth in the U.S. Is Happening in Emerging Markets Like Atlanta.

Atlanta is at the epicenter of a trend I have been writing about for some time — the emergence of new non-traditional Hispanic markets. Atlanta is where Hispanics — particularly more recent immigrants — are increasingly immigrating outside the traditional Hispanic immigrant gateways of Los Angeles, New York, Miami and Chicago. From 2000 to 2013, Atlanta’s Hispanic population has increased by 127%, topping 750,000. It is expected to continue its rapid growth through 2020. The recent changes in U.S. immigration policy will likely put positive pressure on net immigration into the U.S. from Mexico and Central America, and will likely push Hispanic population growth projections for Atlanta up in the next five years, resulting in a Hispanic population that could top 1 million.

The Hispanic Millennial Population Is Growing Fastest in Markets Like Atlanta

Atlanta is representative of other Southeastern markets that will see the fastest growth of Hispanic Millennials. While Hispanic Millennials represent the majority of the millennial population in traditional Hispanic “Mega Markets” like Los Angeles and Miami, the fastest growth will be in markets like Atlanta. In fact, the population of Hispanic Millennials in Atlanta is forecast to increase by 24% between 2013 and 2018.

Atlanta Is the Model of the New Bifurcated Hispanic Market

Growth of the Hispanic population in Atlanta is being driven by Hispanic immigrants who are younger and largely Spanish speaking (Spanish-dominant and -preferring Hispanics make up 39% of Atlanta’s Hispanic population). Most of these Spanish-speaking Hispanic immigrants are Millennials. This is a different Hispanic demographic makeup than in mega-markets like New York and Dallas, whose growth is coming from U.S.-born Hispanic Millennials. Markets like Atlanta are emblematic of new “minority” immigrant-driven Hispanic population centers, where a multicultural, or ethnic-specific approach to Hispanic marketing will prove to be most effective (vs. the Total Market or cross-cultural models now being debated).

Atlanta Is an Ideal Market for New and Laggard Hispanic Marketers

Most marketers (particularly those in the electronics, pharma, health insurance, and financial services industries) are stilldesperately behind when it comes to investing in Hispanic marketing. For these laggards, investing in targeted Hispanic-specific marketing programs is the best bet to drive incremental revenue from underserved Hispanic consumers. These types of targeted marketing efforts to specific, clearly defined ethnic groups will be most effective in emerging Hispanic markets like Atlanta and Charlotte, N.C., where growth is being driven by foreign-born Hispanic Millennials. In these markets, the “separate and distinct” Hispanic market opportunity will be well suited to targeted ethnic-specific initiatives (i.e. the “multicultural” model), where Spanish language is key.


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