South Florida has experienced tremendous growth over the last two decades, and now totals 6.1 million residents. In fact, the Miami/Fort Lauderdale/West Palm Beach metro area is among the top 10 fastest growing markets in the country by sheer numbers since the 2000 Census. This growth has been fueled largely by Hispanics, and now totaling 2.8 million, Hispanics account for 45% of the local market. However, there are vast differences within the market, of which marketers need to be aware.

Miami-Dade County, which was heavily Hispanic, and largely Cuban back in 2000, continues to be with 68% of total population Hispanic, and of that, 51% Cuban. Miami-Dade actually had the largest Hispanic growth in volume growing 592,000, or 46%, since 2000, but this growth did not change the composition of the county as significantly as Hispanic growth did in Broward and Palm Beach counties.

In 2000, Hispanics accounted for 17% of Broward County’s total population. With 111% Hispanic growth since 2000, Hispanics now represent 30% of the county’s total population. Similar trends occurred in Palm Beach County, though at a slightly smaller scale. The 132% Hispanic growth in that area has changed the composition from 12% to 22% Hispanic. An important difference though is that unlike Miami-Dade, the Hispanic communities in these two counties are comprised largely of South & Central Americans.

To a marketer, understanding the nuances of the Hispanic community is critical to effectively target this demographic group and gain brand loyalty. A brand that wants to target the Mexicans would have a different campaign than one that is targeting Cubans. Language and media preferences vary by age and acculturation with the younger, domestic born and acculturated Hispanics choosing English language media while older, foreign born and less assimilated prefer Spanish media. Overall, 69% of South Florida Hispanics are Spanish- language dominant in the home, and advertising should reflect that. Even those that do prefer English language media, tend to associate more with brands that promote themselves in Spanish.  Culture is so important to the Hispanic community that a mainstream advertising campaign simply translated into Spanish would likely not be the best approach. Advertising campaigns should be created as Spanish-language original with strong creative and messaging that speaks specifically to the Hispanic market. Strong messaging would include storytelling, and the use of culturally-relevant humor. The creative should feature Hispanics in real-world settings.

As with most advertising campaigns, getting your message out should be a multi-platform approach as people are using different types of media throughout the day. According to Scarborough Research, one in three South Florida Hispanics read a newspaper over the course of a week, and they spend an average of 23 hours a week watching their favorite TV shows. Digital should definitely be a consideration in your media plan as local Hispanics are 20% more likely than the general market to shop online for products. To better understand how digital is used among Hispanic consumers, the Culture Marketing Council conducted a study in 2018. Their key findings:

  • 75% of Hispanics 18-49 visit culturally oriented sites or cultural content on mainstream sites. Spanish remains important across all segments, and even 3rd generation incorporate time in Spanish as part of their in-culture digital activities
  • Among Hispanics 18 – 49, 53% of their time online is spent in culture content in one week
  • Ads on a Spanish language site have more power across the ages meaning they pay more attention to them, trust the brand more and are more likely to buy from them
  • Branded content stands out in its shareability and influence for purchase
  • Streaming video on demand viewership is rising dramatically

Cultural marketing is a big opportunity for brands to connect with South Florida Hispanics gain their loyalty as consumers.