English, Spanish or Bilingual? What language do Hispanics respond more to when it comes to make buying decisions and actually undertake purchasing transactions online? It’s a good question and many marketers would like to get a good answer.
For one, most Hispanics online are English-dominant. “English dominant Hispanics and bilingual Hispanics continue to be the majority of Hispanics online.” Adam Chandler, until recently Executive Director of U.S. Sales, Partnerships and Emerging markets at Yahoo!, tells Portada that he sees a lot of growth in advertising providing English messages with Hispanic Imagery.
“Marketers need to know with certainty that they are reaching Hispanics also when Hispanics read English content. This can be obtained through behavioral targeting: E.g. a user reads the Deportes channel in Yahoo! en espanol and then clicks on a Spanish-language ad, but that same user may go to Yahoo – Finance – and a Hispanic relevant ad will be served to her/him there – (e.g. Ad has an English headline and a text written in Spanish in the body).
Do even Spanish-dominants buy on English sites?
Omni Direct, a Direct Response Advertising Agency based in Miami, recently revealed research showed that although a product’s Hispanic target audience was most effectively reached through Spanish-language multimedia, the majority of internet sales for these products were being sold via the product’s English-language site rather than the Spanish-language site.
Determined to confirm this notion and simultaneously find the most effective means of reaching Spanish-speaking audiences while maintaining maximum purchasing results, Omni Direct decided to use two of its branded products, Ellezza™ and Xtreme Bra™, as test products. For a period of 18 months, the company ran only Spanish-language television ads for Ellezza, a beauty cream product, and Xtreme Bra, but maintained both products’ English- and Spanish-language search marketing ads and websites.
The findings were significant. “We knew online behavior for Hispanics was moving in that direction,” said Alex Agurcia, President and Founder of Omni Direct, adding, “But data-driven insights are crucial to DR marketers as they make real-time campaign investment decisions.”
Within those 18 months, the percentage of web orders relative to total orders (the rest coming from telemarketing) rose from approximately 10% to 25%. And in looking at web-data results over a period of two months, 80% of Xtreme Bra and 60% of Ellezza’s orders came through the companies’ English-language sites, despite the fact that no English-language television campaigns had been running.
To test the waters further, Omni Direct worked with one client to suspend its English-language campaign for one week to determine how many orders from its Spanish campaign were actually coming through its English site. Within that one week, the client concluded that 95% of internet orders generated by the Hispanic media campaign were placed through the English website.
“Before partnering with Omni Direct, our client had assumed that less than 10% of Hispanics ordered online based on the company’s previous experience with Hispanic campaigns,” said Denira Borrero, Vice President of Operations at Omni Direct. “But at the end of Omni Direct’s test, we confirmed that at least 26% of the company’s total Spanish orders were coming through the web and, of those orders, a significant majority were coming through their English site. Previously, they were only considering the Spanish-language site orders when evaluating the success of the campaign and understanding Hispanic online behavior. With this information at hand they are looking at the Hispanic potential in a new light.”
Both Alex and Denira agree, “What we have proven is that U.S. Hispanics are ordering online at a higher rate than most marketers assume; however, they are simply ordering through the English site. Marketers need to take this into account when considering the ROI of Hispanic DR media and web campaigns.”