Construction magazine fills gap in Spanish-language market
BY ELLIE HENSLEY
Kevin Kilpatrick speaks little Spanish, so it might seem unusual that he founded a successful Spanish construction magazine. But he recognized a gap in the market, and seven years later, his Spanish construction magazine, Constru-Guia al dia, is the biggest construction trade magazine in the U.S., regardless of the language.
Back in 2007 marketing and advertising consultant Kevin Kilpatrick needed a Spanish-language trade publication to carry client advertisements – research showed nearly 30 percent of purchasers of a power tool were Hispanic. There were then 388 construction trade publications in English, but only one small Spanish one existed.
“We looked at the demographics and found that only is this base of Hispanics a very real part of our consumer base, but it’s going to grow,” Kilpatrick said. “So the entrepreneur light kicked on, and I said, ‘there might be a business opportunity here.’ ”
Opportunity is right: According to a 2012 Census report, the U.S. Hispanic population is projected to more than double from 53.3 million in 2012 to 128.8 million in 2060.
Kevin Kilpatrick says one key difference with Constru-Guia al dia is that the male Spanish-speaking Hispanic audience doesn’t self-identify, so a subscription model wouldn’t work. Instead, the virtually produced Spanish construction magazine is distributed in some 1,100 Home Depot stores and 200 convenience stores. Each issue of the magazine contains a Home Depot-related feature. Constru-Guia covers job site know-how, safety, introductions to new innovations and technology, and business management. The first issue of 2014 will have a circulation rate of more than 330,000, according to the Circulation Verification Council (CVC), which audits the publication. The average circulation rate of its competitors is 106,995.
CVC CEO Time Bingaman calls Constru-Guia “hard to quantify.”
“There are about 25 classifications we use, and it’s listed as ‘other,’ ” he said. “There’s really no other publication like it that we can classify to a large degree.”
>CONSTRU-GUIA BY THE NUMBERS
- The magazine is nationally distributed at 1,100 Home Depot stores and 200 convenience stores.
- 93% of readers report they have purchasing responsibility.
- With a 2013 circulation of approximately 320,000, Constru-Guia is the largest circulated construction magazine in the U.S. regardless of language.
>CONSTRUCTION WORKERS DEMOGRAPHICS
- According to the Department of Labor, as of March 2011, 26.1% Hispanic men ages 16 and above are employed in “natural resources, construction and maintenance occupations”
- 6% of drywall installers, ceiling tile installers and tapers are Hispanic
- 4% of roofers are Hispanic
- 41% of painters are Hispanic
- 55% of carpet, floor and tile installers and finishers are Hispanic
SOURCE: 2010 CURRENT POPULATION
SURVEY, U.S. CENSUS BUREAU