Would you like to know how to Engage the hispanic market? Read on!
According to the US Census Bureau, Hispanics account for 18.5% of the US population, a number that is expected to grow to 28% by 2050. This comes as no surprise if you consider that today 25.8% of all children aged 9 years or younger in this country are Hispanic. But larger numbers are not limited to population growth, they are also reflected in the Hispanic buying power that reached a healthy $1.9 trillion dollars in 2020 (an 87% increase vs 2010 levels!).
While still young and largely untapped, this market offers an exponential growth potential for any business that can successfully attract its consumers. Before you jump in and join all major US corporations who have been trying to capture a piece of that pie, make sure you implement these 6 Dos (and a couple DON’Ts) for engaging the Hispanic Market.
KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE
Are we talking Hispanics, Latinos or Latinx? The truth is there is still confusion about these terms and whether they can be used interchangeably or not. “Hispanic” refers to an individual whose origin can be found in a Spanish speaking country (a language driven classification that includes Spaniards) while “Latino” refers to individuals whose origin is linked to Latin American countries (a geography driven classification, not limited to Spanish speakers since it includes Portuguese speaking Brazilians for example). Latinx is the more recent gender-neutral classification for Latinos.
The definitions are clear, but the general use still blurs some of the lines, and in all truth, even Hispanics can’t seem to reach a consensus. Most identify as Hispanic, others prefer to be called Latinos and some identify with both classifications. When thinking about the Hispanic Market in the US, most likely you have the latter in mind: Hispanic Latinos.
ACKNOWLEDGE THE CULTURAL DIVERSITY WITHIN THE MARKET
Hispanics in the US identify with their country of origin, often using hyphenated identities such as Cuban-American or Mexican-American. They have a sense of belonging together because of the many cultural aspects they share, but they are also proud of country-specific values and traditions that set them apart.
Given the importance that they attach to their differences, it would be a mistake to look at this market as a homogenous crowd. A successful marketing strategy should acknowledge the cultural diversity within the Hispanic Market, avoiding at all cost the use of stereotypes and generalization, and instead encompassing the nuances that characterize this community. For example, if your target audience are Cuban-Americans in Florida, don’t use Mexican dialect, food or music in your campaign.
MIND THE (GENERATIONAL) GAP
If you thought that geographic differences were the only factor to consider, think again! The generational gap plays a crucial role in the degree of integration to the US and is extremely relevant when considering how to most effectively reach the Hispanic consumer.
When planning your online marketing strategy, keep in mind these three main tiers in the market:
- Hispanic-Dominant: 40+ year old adults born in Latin America who have lived in the US an average of 7 years or so. The predominant language at home is Spanish and they prefer to consume information in that language, therefore making campaigns in Spanish most effective to reach this segment.
- Bi-Cultural: Millennials or GenXers who were born in the US or have lived here for more than 20 years. Both English and Spanish are used at home but they prefer to consume information in English. Campaigns in English or Spanglish are most effective with this group.
- English-Dominant: born in the US, the language at home is English and they consume media in English; campaigns in English are most effective for this segment.
Offline, recognize that age plays a key role in Hispanic consumers’ behavior and preferences. If your target audience are Hispanic adults 40+ years old who have been in the US for more than a decade, traditional media outlets such as Television and Radio are effective, particularly in Spanish so you can reach even those consumers who don’t have a high proficiency in English. Millennials, as expected, are more difficult to find offline but you can increase your chances through English media channels.
SPANGLISH? YES! POR FAVOR
Wondering whether hiring a professional translator to produce a word for word Spanish version of your English campaign is the way to go? The answer is no. Go ahead and produce content that incorporates elements of the Latin culture and the use of Spanglish instead, particularly when addressing the bi-cultural or English-dominant segments of the market as Spanglish is a constant presence in their daily lives and it captures the essence of the Hispanic consumer in the US.
FOCUS ON THE CULTURE BEYOND THE LANGUAGE
With Hispanics, language will help open the door but what really gives you access into their homes -and their wallets- is a connection with their culture. This is true with all groups in this market, regardless of degree of integration or age, because the one common factor they all share is the attachment to their Latin heritage. So go a step beyond and make sure your marketing strategy and messaging incorporate not only the language but also other pillars of the Latin culture such as food, family, sports and holidays. Studies have shown that this approach is very effective at capturing market share and creating brand loyalty with Hispanic consumers.
MEET THEM WHERE THEY ARE
One of the golden rules in marketing is “meet your customers where they are” and when talking about Hispanics the place to find them is online. Hispanics are avid digital media consumers. They spend 10.5 hours per week online on their smartphones or about 1.5 hours more than the average individual. Digital media campaigns, and particularly mobile campaigns, are key to connecting with this market.
Another crucial aspect that your digital strategy should emphasize is the social media channels. Hispanics, particularly Millennial Hispanics, are more likely to interact with brands over social media than any other demographic, so make sure you capitalize on it. Hiring Latin influencers is also an excellent alternative to capture this market so consider it when designing your strategy and doing budget allocations.
Offline, California, Texas, Florida, New York and Arizona are the top 5 states where you can find this demographic, another key factor to consider when allocating your marketing resources.
As you can see, to successfully engage consumers in the Hispanic Market it’s important to constantly balance their common values and their stark differences. A “one size fits all” approach is rarely a good option but designing a strong mobile marketing strategy is, since they are avid digital media consumers on their smartphones. Ready to go for your piece of that pie? Let’s talk!