RBFF begins to tap into growing Hispanic market

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In what is the most intense campaign to date to attract more diversity into the ranks of the nation’s boaters and anglers, the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation recently unveiled the Spanish language Internet portal “Vamos a Pescar” that targets the growing Latino market.

First announced nearly a year ago as part of RBFF’s five-year strategic plan, the new micro-website and campaign is the culmination of audience research and design efforts that recognize yesterday’s minorities have evolved into today’s major markets.

The numbers tell the story. Demographic shifts are reshaping America. None is more pronounced than the rapidly growing Hispanic population that now constitutes the largest minority group in 21 states and the largest ethnic group in Californian (39 percent) and New Mexico (47 percent), surpassing even the white population in those states of 38.8 percent and 39.8 percent respectively.

It’s also notable that the nation's 53 million Latinos make up 11.6 million U.S. households and, according to Bloomberg Businessweek, boast a growing buying power of nearly $1.5 trillion. Moreover, 69 percent of Hispanic high school graduates immediately go on to college, boosting their long-term earnings potential. And a growing number of Hispanics (1.2 million currently) hold advanced degrees.

As an industry, our desire is to promote the boating lifestyle to all, of course. Campaigns like our Discover Boating national outreach, along with efforts like RBFF’s “Take Me Fishing” campaign, aim to do that. But targeting is necessary to reach specific groups within the general market with messages that will resonate and, hopefully, result in increased participation.

For example, research revealed that 74 percent of Hispanics agree that diversity in ads is the best reflection of the real world and their ethnic group is often poorly represented in the messaging. To that end, “Vamos a Pescar” does the opposite. It recognizes that 74.3 percent of Hispanics ages 5 or older speak Spanish in their homes.

Don’t be misled by the fact that so many Latinos speak Spanish in the home. I know several Latino families and they are bilingual. It’s not that they don’t primarily speak English, but they teach their children Spanish because it’s part of their heritage, which is to them a foremost point of pride. They don’t want that to disappear. Accordingly, “Vamos a Pescar” is designed to be authentic and reflect cultural values and interests of Hispanics.

Want to know more? RBFF has scheduled a special preview webinar called “An Inside Look at RBFF’s Hispanic Campaign” at 2 p.m. on Thursday, April 24. RBFF president Frank Peterson will highlight the audience research and ad campaign components; the next steps for the campaign in 2014 and beyond; and discuss the marketing resources such as photos and public service announcements that will be available to stakeholders desiring to reach the Hispanic market.

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