Hispanic Marketing Predictions for 2017


Hispanic Marketing Predictions for 2017

By Jose Villa

It’s December, so let’s take a stab at some predictions for 2017. I put together the following list for all those who work in or around Hispanic marketing. Some of these predictions probably won’t surprise you. Some will.  And some – if they come to fruition – will be game changers. Check back in December 2017 to see how I did.


Some predictions are easy, because some things never change. Or at least are very slow to change. That is definitely the case in Hispanic marketing.

  • More Hispanic ad agency growth and consolidation – Expect to see more growth at the top and consolidation overall. The top seven agencies will continue to grow and consolidate the spending of the largest 50 Hispanic ad spenders. We will see fewer second tier and regional Hispanic agencies, further reducing the overall number.
  • More Hispanic content marketing startups – Total Market strategies and the changing characteristics and media behavior of younger Hispanics will result in a new crop of Hispanic content marketing start-ups. Companies like MiTu are showing what is possible in this space. Look for more innovators like them to pop up in 2017.
  • The scuttling of more mainstream agency Hispanic efforts – Every year, one or two large general market agencies start a Hispanic practice. Just as inevitably, these practices are shut down within 12 to 18 months. Expect to see a few of these practices quietly shuttered in 2017.


  • Increased immigration – Net Immigration into the U.S. from Mexico and Central America has been on the decline since the onset of the great recession in 2008. The assumption is the Trump administration with its promises to build a southern wall and increase deportations will further depress Hispanic immigration into the U.S. I expect the opposite. The fear of Trump building a wall and undertaking mass deportations is real. However, I think Trump’s election will generate a spike in immigration to the U.S. from Latin America before these anticipated policies go into effect, particularly among those who have been thinking about it.
  • Decreased Hispanic ad spending – Measured major (TV, radio, print, OOH) Hispanic ad spending decreased in 2015 compared to 2014. 2016 will likely see a bounce back, but I don’t expect major Hispanic ad spending to increase in 2017. World Cup qualifying won’t do enough to counter what I see as a more systemic trend away from Spanish TV spending by major brands embracing Total Market strategies. However, “major” ad spending figures will continue not to include Hispanic digital ad spending, which I think is significantly under-reported and will continue to grow in 2017.

Game Changers

These predictions could go either way. But what makes them interesting is that if they end up happening, they will be highly disruptive for Hispanic marketing in 2017.

  • New generation of client side multicultural marketers – In the general market, we’ve seen a new generation of CMOs and marketing directors embrace digital and content marketers in rapid ways, driving the accelerated growth in digital ad spending the last eight years. If a new generation of multicultural marketing directors, conceivably some of them Millennials themselves, take over the reins of Hispanic marketing efforts by major brands, the Hispanic media-agency complex should prepare for major changes.
  • Shift to Hispanic Gen Z – I have been very vocal about the next generation of consumers just starting to come of age. In 2017, a large chunk of Hispanic Gen Z will be over 18. I can’t overestimate how Hispanic Gen Z is different from all their Hispanic generational cohorts. If brands finally start paying attention to (and marketing to) Hispanic Gen Z, we will start to see Hispanic marketing change very quickly.


An edited version of this post originally ran on MediaPost Engage:Hispanic on December 22, 2016.