As businesses ramp up their marketing aimed at Hispanic consumers to the tune of $3.09 billion nationally, small specialty ad agencies are taking root.
Phoenix now ranks as the No. 9 Hispanic market in the United States based on population, so the past two years have seen the opening of at least five Hispanic-oriented agencies: Alternatives/ Alternativos, Molina/Lopez, Raices Unidas, Del Sol Hispanic Advertising and IQ Espanol.
‘‘We’re seeing so much demand for Hispanic marketing services,’’ said Lisa Urias, a co-founder of Alternatives/ Alternativos, which focuses on Hispanic and other multicultural marketing.
Companies are pitching everything from detergent, cosmetics and diapers to cars and homes to Hispanics.
The appeal is strong growth in population, estimated to make up 13.5 percent of the U.S. total, and growing purchasing power.
Nationally, advertisers spent an estimated $3.09 billion on Hispanic marketing, according to market research company HispanTelligence. That’s expected to grow to $3.65 billion by 2007.
Some researchers, such as Earl de Berge, believe the numbers are even higher because statistics pick up primarily Spanish-language advertising budgets.
‘‘There is growing recognition . . . that the Hispanic market is not synonymous with Spanish speaking,’’ said de Berge of the Phoenixbased Behavior Research Center.
Figures on advertising dollars spent on the Hispanic market in the Phoenix area weren’t available, but Spanish-language marketing is estimated at $80 million to $100 million, said Ricardo Torres, chief executive officer of Phoenix-based Latino Perspectives Magazine, which was formed last year to target English-speaking Hispanics.
Some companies are looking at the acculturated Hispanic, who prefers advertising in English. Others target the immigrant wanting to interact in Spanish.
The Selig Center for Economic Growth at the University of Georgia, which studies multicultural buying power, projects Hispanics will make up 16 percent of the U.S. population in 2009.
The center predicts Hispanic purchasing power nationally will hit $923 billion in 2009, up from $686 billion in 2004.
That amounts to about 9 percent of estimated U.S. buying power in 2009, up from 8 percent in 2004.
In Arizona, the Hispanic population is nearing 30 percent of the state’s total, and buying power is now estimated at $20.9 billion, or 14.4 percent of the state’s total, according to Selig.