Sometimes winning consumers to a product means letting them try it before they buy it. Sometimes, a brand has to lead by a “sample”. Is this also the case in the Hispanic market?
Below are some insights and advice from two experts asked by Portada:

1. Hispanics value Samples more!

“The response levels from Hispanics when offered a sample is always higher. It is a very obvious after a sampling campaign that the Hispanic consumer appreciates this sampling or gift to them and they seem to have a stronger bound or unity to the product.” (Vince Andaloro, CEO Latin-Pak).

”We find Hispanics tend to get less samples via direct mail, as direct mail lists are often based on credit card usage data. Research from the American Bankers Association shows that among Hispanics, credit card use is lower than among Anglos due to distrust or unfamiliarity with credit systems. Also, among Hispanics, there is suspicion of completing questionnaires as they are concerned this might enable checking their immigration status” (Barry Gilbert, VP Marketing, PowerDirect Marketing).

2.  A Purchase Decision before Visiting the Store, Plus Recession Friendly!

“As a result of the recession, Hispanics, like the general population are using more samples and coupons, in order to save money and get more value from their shopping dollar. Also, recent data suggests that more purchase decisions are being made before shoppers visit a store. 83% of purchase decisions are now made at home and/or prior to a shopping visit, according to Information Resources Inc.’s October 2009 Times and Trends Report.” (Barry Gilbert, VP Marketing, PowerDirect Marketing). Additional data shows that in 2009 coupon redemption rates went up by 19%, according to data from

3. A new brand to consume in the Host Country

“For recent immigrants, a product sample might help to introduce a brand unknown to consumers prior to when they lived in their host country. Also, if the marketing collateral that accompanies the sample resonates with the Hispanic consumers (e.g. plays off their strong family values, desire to provide a good life for their family, speaks to their aspirations and lifestyle preferences and/or leverages their favorite media personalities/heros), sampling programs can be even more effective to stimulate trial.” (Barry Gilbert, VP Marketing, PowerDirect Marketing).

4. Be Aware of Cultural Differences!

”Be sensitive to their cultural differences and don’t try to just slap a translated version of English marketing materials into Spanish and assume a general market approach will work. Start with an understanding of their values, lifestyles, feelings, desires, interests, experiences and goals. Recognize that Hispanic is referring to a language and that different countries have different customs (e.g. Mexico versus Puerto Rico, etc.). While there may be some commonalities, if you want better targeting, you also need to examine the differences, just as you would with segments within the “general” market.” (Barry Gilbert, VP Marketing, PowerDirect Marketing).

5. Hispanic Marketing is Target Marketing

”Marketing to Hispanics unto itself is target marketing, when offering a sample to Hispanic households it adds to the targeting capabilities ,it increases the product awareness in the Hispanic households and leads to the additional product purchases from these households.” (Vince Andaloro, CEO Latin-Pak).

”While there are various ways to distribute samples, we feel our direct-to-door (“Front-door Marketing”) method is among the most cost-effective, and can be highly targeted to reach Hispanics at the block group level. “ (Barry Gilbert, VP Marketing, PowerDirect Marketing).

The Media used…

Generally sampling is done through door hangers and direct mail which provide the product right to the consumer. However, online and off-line advertising can work well as a teaser for the consumer to get free products: Last fall, the New York–area cable operator brought interactive banner ads to TV that let its nearly 3 million subscribers order product samples from companies, such as Benjamin Moore, with a click of their TV remotes. Another typical media to include samples are magazines, mostly for cosmetics and fragrance providers. Carlos Pelay, principal at Media Economics, a print and online ad-tracking firm, notes that he often sees scent-strips for fragrance ads in Hispanic magazines.


Portada Staff

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