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5 Ways to Market to Hispanics

Posted by Joann Marks on Thursday, June 25th, 2015

hispanic-samplingIn 2002, the US Hispanic population officially became the largest minority in the United States. Buying power among the Hispanic population in the US is also increasing rapidly. NOW is the time to market to Hispanics. It is estimated that by 2017, Hispanic consumers will have attained $1.7 trillion in buying power. Although states like Florida, California, Texas, and New York have been known for their significant Hispanic markets, now states like Alabama, Iowa, Michigan, Mississippi, and Minnesota are experiencing rapid growth.

In addition, the number of Hispanic households with more than $100,000 in annual earnings is growing at more than twice the rate of the general population’s. The youth segment of the Hispanic market also represents a large opportunity for companies to increase sales and build new customers; the average age of the Hispanic population is 26 years (the average is 37 years for the general population). Don’t miss out on this vital consumer segment, here are 5 ways to target market the Hispanic population.

1. Market online
Hispanics spend 55% of their online time connected to Spanish language sites. By not making your website available in Spanish, you may be missing 20% of all internet users. Despite the fact that many Hispanics speak English fluently, at least half prefer to read content in their native language. Hispanics welcome e-mail promotions more times per month than non-Hispanics (11 times vs. 7.4 times). There are relatively few bilingual advertisers right now (so keyword bids are still low) and there are a growing number of Hispanics online. Getting on board NOW allows marketers to capture a high ROI now and build competitive advantage. Find out which sites are popular with Hispanics, which search engines they use, and how they spend their time online to reach this market effectively. For example, Google and Yahoo have Hispanic-targeted syndication partners including Terra, Univision, Telemundo and AOL Latino.

2. Use family oriented marketing
Hispanics are extremely family-oriented, so any marketing strategies with family values themes have strong appeal. Hispanics have strong and close bonds that often extend outside the immediate family to extended family and non-family members. Hispanic families are very likely to be three-generational, with grandparents an integral part of the unit. A relevant advertisement for Hispanics depicting a family would include grandparents in the home. Keep in mind that Hispanics commonly group their family earnings to purchase a car, home, etc. so don’t underestimate their purchasing potential.

3. Use Spanish
If you want to fully reach the Hispanic community, communicate in Spanish. Avoid computer-generated translations, you’ll risk looking ridiculous to native speakers. Don’t just assign translation work to the bilingual people in your company; not everyone who speaks Spanish makes a good translator. It’s preferable to work with professional translators. An ideal professional translator should use native speakers and know your industry. Before advertising ensure that you’re actually ready for your new Hispanic customers. Put some thought into how to handle communications when your customers contact you with a question in Spanish, by email or phone. If you don’t have enough bilingual representatives on hand you may frustrate your customers with long hold times or response periods. Spanish plays a critical role in customer service since Hispanic brand loyalty is built on relationships. Since many Hispanics use both Spanish and English in the household, using “Spanglish” in your advertising can be very relevant as well.

4. Don’t lump all Hispanics together
Native born Hispanics who have lived exclusively in the US and immigrants are very different in their consumer behavior. Those who speak English fluently tend to be familiar with mainstream American culture and have buying habits similar to non-Hispanics. Meanwhile, the immigrant population often has shopping habits that reflect its natural heritage. They are more likely to use Spanish-language media and would prefer to shop where employees speak Spanish. The foreign-born Hispanic market segment who have been in the US for 5 years or less often have limited English skills and may not have learned American systems yet. Your marketing campaigns for these two groups should be reflective of these differences. Don’t forget that most Hispanics prefer to identify themselves by their country of origin rather than referring to themselves as “Latino” or “Hispanic.” They have strong identification with their country of origin and should be treated accordingly. The U.S. Hispanic population is about 67% Mexican, 14.3% Central and South American, 8.6% Puerto Rican and 6.5% from elsewhere.

5. Recognize that Hispanics are group oriented
Marketers should know that Hispanics are group oriented. Soccer games, street fairs and festivals are very popular. Don’t rely solely on the Internet or television to reach the Hispanic consumer. Outdoor ads with simple messages generate the biggest reach and frequency numbers at low cost. Culturally Hispanics are more social. They have strong ties to friends and family and have a powerful drive to stay connected. Consequently, Hispanics are turning to the social web to consume and create their own content. Marketing in social media is a good idea to reach Hispanics. Looking to build brand awareness in the Hispanic community? Find out about our sampling program that markets specifically to Hispanics.

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