Understanding Differences In Hispanic Culture: Tips For Effective Campaigns
The power of the audience is undeniable, yet marketers often do not have a proper grasp on the tendencies of this market and the impact they should have on strategy. Just as campaigns must be tailored much differently to reach the 18-to 34-year-old segment of the total U.S. population as opposed to the 35-to 49-year-old group, marketers must similarly customize their efforts to reach the unique segments that lie within the Hispanic market.
One of the most important things to consider when marketing to Hispanics is the wide variety of lifestyle preferences and cultural differences that exist within the demographic. Let's take a very high-level look at the different age groups within the Hispanic market and some of their characteristics as compared to the same age groups across the U.S. According to a recent 2008 Vertis Customer Focus: Opiniones study:
- In general, younger Hispanics (age 18-34) are a more relaxed group, travel frequently, are generally single or living with a significant other, are part of a family with three or fewer generations in the U.S., usually rent a home or apartment, and mainly come from Mexico
- The middle-aged group (35-49) is more interested in family activities, conducts more frequent shopping trips, is typically married, owns a home, belongs to a family with more than three generations in the U.S, and hails primarily from Puerto Rico or Spain
- Older Hispanics (age 50 and over) are most likely to watch TV and rent movies, participate in exercise and sports activities more often than their non-Hispanic counterparts, are parts of families with more than four generations in the U.S., and name Spain, Cuba and/or El Salvador as their primary country of origin
As you can see, the differences that present themselves due only to age present numerous opportunities (and challenges) for marketers attempting to "reach the Hispanic audience." Now let's take a deeper dive into some other characteristics of the group; according to the Opiniones study:
- Hispanics rent home entertainment and participate in family activities more often than non-Hispanics. 41% responded they frequently rent movies or music compared to 33% of non-Hispanics; 32% said they enjoy family or social activities commonly, compared with only 24% of the U.S. population
- The Hispanic audience is much more likely to be building a family. Twenty-seven percent indicated they are (or will soon be) having children, compared with 18% of non-Hispanics; this surge is most evident in the 35-49 age group, where the gap extends to 46% and 29%, respectively
- Only 61% of total Hispanics claim Mexico as their country of origin; of the remaining 39% of respondents, the countries most cited were Puerto Rico (11%), Spain (10%) and Cuba (4%)
- Also, 60% of total Hispanics speak Spanish as their primary language; 36% speak English as their first language and 4% speak English and Spanish equally; the younger Hispanic generation is more likely to speak English, with 46% selecting it as their first language
In examining this data, it is clear the unique categories of the Hispanic audience value different things, enjoy specific activities, and offer brands unique opportunities. One of the biggest mistakes marketers make when planning and implementing campaigns is NOT understanding these differences, and approaching Hispanic marketing with a "one-size-fits-all" approach. Some simple rules when tailoring efforts to reach the many strata of this audience include:
Reaching Young Hispanics
Make a connection - As with the majority of people this age, social connections are important to young Hispanics. Media usage statistics indicate this group always stays "connected," which means that marketers should leverage the Internet and email in campaigns.
Reaching Middle-Aged Hispanics
Here, marketers should "put it in writing." Hispanics age 35-49 are strong readers of advertising, including billboards, direct mail, ROP, catalogs and inserts. Further, considering this group's high rate of homeownership, large family size and proclivity towards the English language, home-delivered advertising is sure to generate attention.
Reaching Older Hispanics
Energize and entertain - with active minds and bodies, this is not your average 50-and-over target. Demographically, this audience is made up of many adults in their 50s and fewer people age 60 and over; therefore, marketers would be wise to appeal to the vitality of this group when developing campaigns. The media that best captures this group's attention includes TV, advertising inserts, magazines and ROP.
Marketers are increasingly faced with a diverse demographic landscape, yet few understand the power of the Hispanic market and the differences that exist within each segment of the group. Developing a deeper understanding of how each subset of this audience is unique and leveraging specific techniques to reach them will give marketers a better chance at success when targeting these consumers.