Sounding Off: Daniela Brannon – “Hispanic Marketing: The Do’s and Dont’s”
If you are wondering whether you should be giving any thought to investing in marketing your product/service to the Hispanic population, the answer is: yes, yes you should. And here are a few reasons why:
It is no secret that people of Hispanic origin are the nation's largest ethnic or racial minority. At over 53 million, this group makes up 17 percent of the nations' total population.
In terms of spending power: 25 percent of Hispanic shoppers expect positive change in their employment, while 34 percent expect their household income to increase over the next year. Not only is this group's financial outlook optimistic, but they also have a budget of $425/ month for shopping and eating out, which is larger than the U.S. national average of $416.
Now let's talk about how individuals in this group choose to spend their money:
- They tend to be saving technique testers: they will try different spending strategies to find what saves them the most money. Last year, 45 percent switched to less expensive brands when they could; 44 percent bought larger, bulk packages; and 43 percent shopped more at supercenters/club stores. Moreover, they are more likely to shop around and travel farther to get good deals, and they are two times most likely to use mobile tools to find good deals than the total U.S. population.
- But for this group savings aren't the only deciding factor. In fact, 40 percent are more likely than the general U.S. population to say they will invest in higher-quality, non-grocery products that will last longer. In addition, they are usually willing to spend extra in what they deem "healthy" products - high quality, natural and organic ingredients.
- Hispanics are more social and mobile than any other ethnic group. In terms of social media, 72 percent use it in one form or other - that's 7.5 percent more than the total U.S. population. In addition, this group shares information via social media five times more often than other ethnic groups.
Had enough stats? Let's talk business then.
To begin the process it is imperative to understand one fundamental fact: a successful Hispanic marketing strategy can no longer consist of translating all your already-existing marketing materials to Spanish and buying some media space at your local Spanish-language TV or radio stations. Now more than ever Hispanic marketing should be approached with the preparedness and enthusiasm with which you approach your overall marketing campaigns. This means that you need to recognize Hispanics as an integral part of your total marketing plan from your foundational research all the way to tracking and measurement.
Initially, it is important to understand that "Hispanic" as a group is comprised by a broad and diverse set of individuals, so you will need to narrow your target audience down to a more specific group within this demographic according to what you're trying to market. Once your target audience has been established, research will be key to figuring out how to best reach this group.
Initially, it is important to understand that "Hispanic" as a group is comprised by a broad and diverse set of individuals
When thinking about what your marketing campaign should look like, consider that Hispanic marketing does not equal Spanish-language marketing. Don't assume that your message needs to be in Spanish; English or bilingual strategies can be effective when trying to reach acculturated individuals, for example. One aspect to consider when figuring out if your message should be delivered in English, Spanish or both is determining the best time of day for messaging; bicultural individuals may switch from Spanish to English depending on their daily activities. Again: do what works best to reach your target audience.
However, you should also keep this in mind: when a Hispanic individual speaks English this does not mean that their cultural sensitivities have disappeared. When you market to people, you should market to their lives, their values, and their culture, not just their language. Cultural relevance is the key to success.
In order to succeed, a brand's messaging should reflect the culture of the group they are trying to reach. The brand should consider their audience's acculturation levels, geographic location and country of origin, among other aspects.
In addition, when creating a Hispanic marketing campaign, consider the following advice:
Hispanics influence each other and highly value peer recommendation when choosing a brand or product. So seek influencers and market to them. Social media and word-of-mouth are powerful tools for this purpose.
Marketing to this group gives you an opportunity to tap into the unique experiences, challenges, perspectives and attitudes of its members. Take advantage of that and use this unique approach to build a campaign that will resonate with your audience.
Finally: be patient. Building relationships with a new audience does not usually happen overnight but it can definitely pay off in the long run.
© Daniela Gomez-Brannon, 2014