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What: Women are the earners and decision-makers within a great number of Hispanic households, and many factors influence what, how and when they decide to buy.
Why it matters: Brands should take a step back and look at the needs of Latino women in order to understand more effective ways to talk to them and thus build a valuable relationship with the Hispanic consumer.

In the previous posts we have shared about how to effectively target Hispanics women, we address a variety of issues. We found that acculturation is an important trait, which shapes Latinas’ points of view to a certain degree; related to this, we learned that Spanish plays an important role in Latinas’ media preferences, and finally we reported some of their spending and shopping behaviors. Finally, we now explore some of the best media to connect with Latinas. Together, these four articles will give you an overview of the consumption habits of Hispanic women.

To Connect, Invest in Social Media

While Spanish-dominant Latinos are less likely to be online (74%) than English-dominant Latinos (94%), studies show that brands that want to connect with Latinas in general must invest heavily in their social media and digital presences (Pew Hispanic, Internet Use Among Hispanics Report). Natalie Boden of BODEN PR clarified: “While both groups share the same priorities, (Spanish-dominant Latinas) differ in terms of media consumption.”

Boden elaborated that “Spanish-dominant Latinas keep closer ties to media, opinion leaders, and their favorite influencers from their country of origin. Facebook remains the most popular social channel for Spanish-dominant Latinas, allowing them to connect with family and friends daily. Adoption ofemerging platforms and technologies continues to grow among Spanish-dominant Latinas in the U.S.”

Latinos and Latinas alike are some of the most connected consumers in the United States. The POPSUGAR Insights 2015 Hypercultural Latina report found that 77% of Latinas use Facebook, 75% Youtube, and 54% Instagram. The sites that they are less likely to visit are Vine (11%), LinkedIn (11%) and Tumblr (17%), while Pinterest (46%), Twitter (34%), Snapchat (30%) and Google (25%) are somewhat popular. Older Latinas, more likely to skew Spanish-dominant, are not as connected to social media as younger Millennial Latinas, but 78% claim to use Facebook, while 71% use YouTube (see Table below).

 

… and Mobile

Over 9 in 10 adult Hispanics own either a smartphone or a tablet, according to the study Mobile App Diversity Across Total Hispanic Market by Entravision/ThinkNow Research. More than half of Latinas now get news and information on their mobile or smartphone, with 58% of Latinas saying they use a smartphone or mobile device to look at political news, compared to 37% of voters overall (Latinas and the 2016 Elections: Findings from a National Survey of Hispanic Women, Americanwomen.org). Those ties to the media and opinion leaders are reflected in the Spanish-language Hispanic’s tendency to trust news journalists to get their news over of word-of-mouth (IAB, Nielsen Latina Report, 2013).

The Latina Media Ventures Insights Total Audience Study (2015) found that 89% of their readers engage with computers regularly in an average day for pleasure, 75% sleep with their smartphones next to their beds, and 72% engage with smartphones regularly in an average day. A study by Nielsen found that “average Hispanic mobile user uses 658 minutes per month on their mobile plan, which is significantly more than the average of 510 minutes per month for all consumers.”

Another interesting aspect of Latinas’ connectivity is that they are the racial/ethnic group most likely to live in a cell phone-only household. However, the Hispanics with no landline tend to be U.S. born (46% are under 30, and 43% are U.S. born), meaning that Spanish-dominant Latinas are slightly less likely to fall into this category.

App-Usage Increasing

Hispanics use apps an average of 8 times per day with millennials using apps more than their older cohorts, and females using them more than males. Hispanics use apps around the clock with 6 pm to 9 pm being the peak period (57% usage), according to the report Mobile Diversity, Mobile App-Study across Total Hispanic Market, Pulpo Media, Entravision, ThinkNow Research. Among those, just about everyone uses/downloads mobile apps. More specifically, 87% of Hispanics in the study own a smartphone and 65% own a tablet, while 93% own one or the other, and nearly all download and use apps. Interestingly, low-acculturated Hispanics have the highest proportion of tablet users at 72%, a statistically significant result, while smartphone usage is uniformly high across all acculturation levels.

Overall, 61% of survey respondents have downloaded apps to share and use with other people, while 39% have downloaded an app for the sole usage of someone else. Of those who share apps across acculturation, 69% of low acculturated users share apps, more so than the medium and higher acculturated segments; and, 42% of medium acculturated Hispanics download apps for someone else.

While low acculturated users have a high propensity (58%) to download apps for a child, High Acculturated users are more likely (20%) than other acculturation levels to download for a parent. The most commonly used apps are in the categories of social networking, games, music, maps/navigation/search and weather. Millennials are more likely to use music (67%) and video/movies (52%) apps, while 35-64-year-olds prefer weather (61%), news (43%) and sports (30%) apps. Females are heavily represented in social networking (72%) and music (65%) apps, while males prefer music news (42%) and sports (38%). (Mobile Diversity, Mobile App-Study across Total Hispanic Market, Pulpo Media, Entravision, ThinkNow Research).

Television Still Matters

Television is (still) an important source of news and entertainment for Spanish-dominant Latinas. One quarter of Latinas get political news from television, and even though 91% of Latinas in general report that they spend half or more of their TV time in English, they report strong trust and favorability in news journalists generally and “Spanish-language outlets like Univision and reporters like Jorge Ramos” in particular, according to American Women’s research on Latinas and the 2016 elections. This outcome is also backed by the (IAB, Nielsen Latina Report, 2013), according to which 40% of Latinas said that they trust the media and journalists as sources of news more than anyone else, with family, friends and coworkers coming in second.

Media Penetration for Spanish-Dominant Latinas

Media% that spent any time over the last 7 days
Television94.4
Mobile Phone85.8
Radio78
Magazine48.5
PC at home45.2
Tablet43.6
Newspapers40.3
Streaming Media35.8
Game Console28.7
PC at Work26.7
E-Reader18.2

Source: Fall 2016 Simmons Connect Study, Portada

Notes: Female 18+, Spanish-dominant.

 

What: Portada looked at data about the language in which Latinas prefer to consume media and found an interesting relationship between acculturation and language preference.
Why it matters: Language preference is one of the key factors to take into account when marketing to multicultural audiences, but it needs to be tackled wisely in order to actually succeed.

As we have seen before, acculturation plays an important role in the way Latinas, bread-earners and decision-makers of the Hispanic household, see the world and interact with it. While more acculturated Latinas have a higher interest in art, less acculturated Latinas are more optimistic, but family is a priority for all of them. In general, more acculturation is negatively correlated with the use of Spanish, but it’s not as black and white as it might seem.

In the tables below, we can see the role of English and Spanish in speaking, and in the consumption of different media, such as TV, radio, online, and reading. Interestingly, “only Spanish” over-indexes substantially less for TV watching and radio listening compared to “online” and “reading”. Therefore, both Spanish-language print and digital media are particularly appropriate media vehicles to reach out to the Spanish-dominant Latina.

Even the overall Latina female population over-indexes in the “only Spanish” category, for both “online and “reading”, which is not the case for “listening radio” and “watching TV” (it actually under-indexes in the latter).
However, it is important to note that age is not necessarily a factor explaining language preference. As data from the Hispanic Millennial Project shows, Spanish-Language Media is key to reaching foreign-born Hispanic Millennials.

Hispanic Millennials, particularly those that are U.S. born, are most likely to indicate they consume media equally in English and Spanish (approximately 40%). Even among U.S.-born Hispanic Millennials, only 40% indicate they consume English media mostly or exclusively.

Language preferred when speaking

Hispanic Adults

18+

Female Hispanics

18+

Female Hispanics

18+ (Predominantly

Spanish)

Agree% of sampleIndexAgree% of sampleIndexAgree% of sampleVertical
Only English154819.410081220103363.317
Mostly English, but some Spanish227535.2100127335.410125212.535
Mostly Spanish, but some English152923.1100835229569938.3166
Only Spanish138017.610083019.210980144.2252
In some other language430.6100210.610420.235

Source: Simmons Research, Fall 2016 National Hispanic Consumer Study

Language preferred when reading

Hispanic Adults

18+

Female Hispanics

18+

Female Hispanics

18+ (Predominantly

Spanish)

Agree% of sampleIndexAgree% of sampleIndexAgree% of sampleIndex
Only English290139.4100153339.310017310.827
Mostly English, but some Spanish150225.110086225.61023411768
Mostly Spanish, but some English97913.910055613.39649325.6184
Only Spanish136617.510080518.710777143.8251
In some other language380.5100210.713130.2L47

Source: Simmons Research, Fall 2016 National Hispanic Consumer Study

Language preferred when online

Hispanic Adults

18+

Female Hispanics

18+

Female Hispanics

18+ (Predominantly

Spanish)

Agree% of sampleIndexAgree% of sampleIndexAgree% of sampleVertical
Only English33244510018044510030717.439
Mostly English, but some Spanish11532010063719.49731715.376
Mostly Spanish, but some English6918.71003939.310636318206
Only Spanish8841310052513.110150432.1247
In some other language330.7100171.014430.794

Source: Simmons Research, Fall 2016 National Hispanic Consumer Study

Language preferred when listening to radio

Hispanic Adults

18+

Female Hispanics

18+

Female Hispanics

18+ (Predominantly

Spanish)

Agree% of sampleIndexAgree% of sampleIndexAgree% of sampleVertical
Only English205927.5100102825.49216110.8%39
Mostly English, but some Spanish192929.9100109030.510227813.345
Mostly Spanish, but some English119118.110070020.411251129.5162
Only Spanish126516.810076116.910068536.6218
In some other language340.5100160.6114203

Source: Simmons Research, Fall 2016 National Hispanic Consumer Study

Language preferred when watching TV

Hispanic Adults

18+

Female Hispanics

18+

Female Hispanics

18+ (Predominantly

Spanish)

Agree% of sampleIndexAgree% of sampleIndexAgree% of sampleIndex
Spanish-language labeling on products helps me select what I want222330.6100128731.7103101152.4171
I remember more about or pay more attention to the products/services that are advertised in Spanish204826.7100119527.210294949.5185
Spanish-language advertising is important to me because it’s the best source of information for making purchasing decisions187226100106925.49886347181
When I hear a company advertise in Spanish, it makes me feel like they respect my heritage and want my business264034.8100154537106100153.1152
I am much more loyal towards companies that show appreciation for our culture by advertising in Spanish249132.610014533611094752.3160
It’s important to me that websites I visit are available in Spanish193526.5100113929.111082546.5176

Source: Simmons Research, Fall 2016 National Hispanic Consumer Study

As we have seen, the Spanish-preferred Latina clearly over-indexes in her positive reaction related to the use of Spanish-language in marketing, advertising and packaging messages. Interestingly, the overall Latina woman under-indexes in the response to “Spanish-language advertising is important to me as a source of information making purchasing decisions.” This means that the acculturated Latina woman clearly prefers English as the language for content to base purchase decisions on.

A 2012 Yahoo! study found that Spanish-dominant Latinas are far more likely than bilingual or English-dominant Latinas to value ads that portray their ethnicity positively (71% versus 51%) and make them feel proud of their ethnicities (76% versus 52%). Four in five first-generation Hispanics will talk about an ad that speaks positively about their ethnicity. Brands that invest in understanding what cultural passion points, traditions and rituals resonate with Spanish-dominant Latinas will see a return on their investment.

Likewise, BodenPRs, BODEN Latina Smart Purse™ found that celebrating Hispanic culture is important for Latinas: from the content she consumes to the brands she trusts and the products she buys, “In fact, 65% agree that it is important for brands to develop content specifically for Latinas, from the point of view of a Latina.” The BODEN Latina Smart Purse™ study found that Latinas are more likely to purchase from brands that invest in Latinas (77%) and their communities (87%).

What: Women are the earners and decision-makers within a great number of Hispanic households, and many factors influence what, how and when they decide to buy.
Why it matters: Brands should take a step back and look at the needs of Latino women in order to understand more effective ways to talk to them and thus build a valuable relationship with the Hispanic consumer.

U.S. Hispanics, a heavily family-driven demographic, account for about 18% of the total U.S. population. Within this community, women tend to be the ones with the most influence in what and how to buy for the household, which is why brands are aware that, when trying to sell to Hispanics, they largely need to understand how to address the ladies.

According to Liz Sanderson, SVP of strategy and insights at Univision, a 2016 study found that, in average, Hispanic women first become mothers at 24, two years younger than non-Hispanic women. “At this age, Latina moms are busy with careers and motherhood,” writes Sanderson, “which means they have a lot of needs. This is where brands can come in to provide solutions, simplify their lives, and become part of the fabric of their family and community.”

 

 

Hispanic Women: Bread-Winners and Decision-Makers

Latinas play an integral financial role in their households. According to 2016 information from the U.S. Bureau of Statistics, 40% of Latina mothers bring in at least 40% of their families’ income, and almost three million family households in the United States are headed by Latinas. The Spanish-dominant Latina controls a significant portion of Hispanics’ purchasing power because they are often in charge of deciding what their family spends money on.

40% of Latina mothers bring in at least 40% of their families’ income.

In one study, 86% of Latinas said that they are the primary decision makers in their households (Nielsen, Latina Report, 2013). This may explain why Latinas are also starting to spend money on products that they used to under-index compared to other demographics, like home and car purchases, and the use of financial services. However, recent research concludes that the Latina Millennial also substantially contributes to household finances and decision making.

Tell Me How Big Is Your Family, I’ll Tell You How You Shop

One of the most important factors that play a role in Latinas’ purchasing decisions is the size of their families, which tends to be bigger in the case of Spanish-dominant Latinas, who are more likely to be running multi-generational households than other demographics. The Nielsen Latina Power Shift report explains that some of the high levels of purchasing by Latinas are associated with the needs of their larger families or culturally-nuanced products, mainly in food categories, but not exclusively.

When families are big, so is the need for consuming CPG products more frequently, and naturally, brands in this category should try to target Spanish-dominant Latinas effectively. Research backed by the Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies (AHAA) determined that among CPG brands, the Hispanic segment was responsible for around a third of their revenue growth between 2006 and 2010. A decade later, brands should take a step back and be aware that all the CPG giants are forced to adapt to new times, and advertising for Hispanic demographics needs to be smarter; the language difference isn’t enough anymore, you need to find out what really speaks to these women.

First, Think About Convenience

Between work, family and community (and, you know, having a life), Latinas are busy. This could explain why Hispanics are significantly more likely than non-Hispanics to express interest in online shopping to avoid trips to a physical store (Hispanic Online Market report, Captura, 2015.) Amazon has predicted that Hispanics will be increasing purchases of grocery products online by more than 40%.

Studies also show that Spanish-dominant Latinos are slightly more resistant to online shopping than bilingual or English-dominant Latinos. Spanish-dominant Latinos also make fewer trips to the grocery store than the general Hispanic population. Latinas are also more likely to go to the grocery store without a list, although her purchases are less likely to be driven by habit than with non-Hispanics (Hispanic Online Market report, Captura, 2015.) Moreover, Hispanics over-index in researching products and services online (32.1% compared to 24.3% for non-Hispanic whites.)

A Good Deal Beats Everything?

Latinas like a good deal precisely because they are often stretching resources to provide their families with the best possible lifestyle. According to Oye! Intelligence, female Hispanics are more active on social media than male Hispanics about discounts and promotions. Also, Latinas tend to share their experiences and make recommendations to their followers.

68% of Hispanic women agree that if a product is made by a company they trust, they will buy it, even if it’s slightly more expensive than another brand.

Then, it is perhaps because of the great number of discounts on the biggest shopping days of the year that Hispanic women expressed higher positive sentiment about Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Cyber Monday generated mostly English-language discussion (74%), suggesting that brands are more likely to reach acculturated Latinas than Spanish-dominant Latinas on this day. Black Friday seems to enjoy higher awareness among Spanish-dominant Latinas, with 58% of conversations occurring in the Spanish language.

Therefore, as explains Univision’s Liz Sanderson, “Because Latinas also like to tell others about the products and brands they love, they are highly influential.” However, the part about a good deal beating everything might not be altogether true: “According to a 2017 Nielsen study, 68% of Hispanic women agree that if a product is made by a company they trust, they will buy it, even if it’s slightly more expensive than another brand.” Which is great news for your brand, because you are already earning the trust of Hispanic women, aren’t you?

What Are Latinas’ Key Consumption Habits and Expenditure Categories?

Item (Expenditures in US$) All consumer Units Hispanic
Income before taxes

 

$69,627$54,746

(not Hispanic US$71,855)

Age50.543.9
Avg. Number in consumer Unit

Children under 18

Adults 65 and older

Earners

Vehicles

2.5

0.6

0.4

0.6

1.9

3.1

1.0

0.2

1.0

1.7

Average Annual Expenditures$55,978$47,663
(Below: only Hispanic over indexing categories)
Food at home (g)4,0154,182
Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs (g)8961,080
Fruits and Vegetables (g)769857
Telephone Services (g)1,3421,386
Apparel and Services (g)1,8462,035
Footwear354452
Gasoline and motor oil2,0902,208
Vehicle and Insurance1,0791,237

Source: Consumer Expenditure Survey, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, August, 2016

What: Research shows that Hispanic women have different attitudes and interests according to acculturation level.
Why it matters: Relationships between brands and consumers are highly dependant on the consumer’s attitudes and passion-points, and in the case of Hispanics, acculturation plays an important role.

As we have previously seen, Latinas have increasingly become bread-winners and decision makers in their household. It is worth taking into account certain characteristics of Latinas, as marketers can learn a lot about how to approach them depending on how they see life. Research shows that acculturation level (the extent to which they have adopted American customs and the English language) influences Latinas’ attitudes and life perspectives a great deal, which is why brands should take that into account when addressing Hispanics, and Latino women in particular.

Less Acculturated Latinas Are More Optimistic

Everyone agrees that life is not easy, but we don’t all take it the same way. According to research by Greenberg Quinland Rosberg Research, 83% of Latinas say that their personal or family’s financial system is doing “very” or “fairly” well. Less acculturated or Spanish-dominant Hispanics were particularly optimistic about their financial situation: 48% said that their household situation had improved compared to the previous year (2016) compared to 28% of more acculturated Latinos. The table below reflects this positive outlook of less acculturated Hispanic women.

Agrees with the below statementHispanic adults 18+Female Hispanics 18+Female Hispanics 18+ (Predominantly Spanish)
Agree% of sampleIndexAgree% of sampleIndexAgree% of sampleVertical %
I’m very happy with my life as it is4,75968.9%1002,63768.3%991,27970.3%102
I like to enjoy life and do not worry about the future3,37949.0%1001,85149.9%10289953.0%108
I am an optimist4,09456.6%1002,33058.3%1031,19763.3%112

Source: Simmons Research, Fall 2016 National Hispanic Consumer Study

Family is Crucial to Latinas Independently From Acculturation Level

Latinas are strongly family-oriented. They are frequent consumers of family-related publications, and they over-index vs. the general U.S. population when it comes to websites that focus on motherhood and family. They were also found to over-index in visits to websites for big retailers like Macy’s, JCPenney, Wal-Mart, and Target. The table below shows that a great majority of female Hispanics think family is of utmost importance.

Agrees with the below statementHispanic adults 18+Female Hispanics 18+Female Hispanics 18+ (Predominantly Spanish)
Agree% of sampleIndexAgree% of sampleIndexAgree% of sampleVertical %
I enjoy spending time with my family5,77381.4%1003,29285.0%1041,52584.1%103
Family life is the most important thing to me5,37073.5%1003,08578.8%1071,44979.2%108

Source: Simmons Research, Fall 2016 National Hispanic Consumer Study

Higher Acculturation Levels Bring More Interest in Arts

Generally speaking, interest in news, arts, and even music is positively correlated to the acculturation level of the Latina woman. The more acculturated they are, the more Latinas are interested in international events, as well as in knowing more about other cultures. Meanwhile, less acculturated Latinas say they want to understand about nature.

Agrees with the below statementHispanic adults 18+Female Hispanics 18+Female Hispanics 18+ (Predominantly Spanish)
Agree% of sampleIndexAgree% of sampleIndexAgree% of sampleVertical %
I consider myself interested in arts2,54836.3%1001,51738.6%10660032.3%89
I am interested in international events2,59538.9%1001,39536.8%9560633.5%86
I am interested in other cultures3,74851.9%1002,19055.4%10794548.5%93
Music is an important part of my life4,27959.8%1002,47964.2%1071,12963.5%106
It is important to continue learning new things throughout your life5,55975.9%1003,17279.9%1051,46177.6%102
I like to understand about nature4,54862.3%1002,59765.0%1041,25570.4%113
It is important to be well-informed about things5,24172.0%1002,95474.4%1031,34573.2%102
If I feel strongly about an issue, I would participate in a civil protest1,86326.2%1001,07526.8%10246222.8%87

Source: Simmons Research, Fall 2016 National Hispanic Consumer Study