Amid the pastures and farmlands of western Weber County, Enrique Corona booms out soccer scores, Latin American news and music to Hispanics in parts of four states from radio station KSVN-AM.
KSVN is one of several Spanish-language stations and newspapers in Utah that help ease the sense of new immigrant and forge a sense of community among longtime Hispanic residents.For Gene Guthrie, general manager of Salt Lake-based KZQQ-AM, it's pure consumerism.
"I am a businessman as well as a broadcaster," he said. "We do this because it fills a very definite niche."
There are 22,720 Hispanic households in the state, 19,115 of them concentrated in Utah, Salt Lake, Davis and Weber counties. And while 90 percent of the more than 86,500 Hispanic Utahns speak English, they prefer their entertainment and advertising in Spanish, Guthrie said.
The publishers of Spanish-language newspapers such as America Unida, Utah Hispanic and La Voz agree.
"By not reaching the population, a great disservice is being done to both the businessman and the customer," said William Garto, the new owner of America Unida.
Only 15 percent of Hispanic consumers are reached effectively by businesses using traditional English-language advertising, according to a 1988 Purdue University study on Hispanic marketing.
Modern Hispanic consumers in the United States are similar in their buying patterns to Anglo consumers of the 1950s, the study found. They tend to be more brand-loyal and more inclined to pass brand preferences from generation to generation.
They also are more likely to be influenced by advertising than their Anglo counterparts, the study found.
But Guthrie said many prospective advertisers believe Hispanic customers have no money or lack credit. Figures from the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce disprove that myth.
Nationally, Hispanics wield about $184 billion in annual purchasing power.