Hispanic Millennials are the single most important consumer group per capita in the U.S.
There, I said it. Here’s why.
Gen Y is seen as the Holy Grail for marketers: they have growing spending power, they’re the first digital generation, and they’re changing the landscape on how they allow brands to relate to them. But an even more focused group is giving us marketers a window into the future of how we should do our job. Hispanics are the most millennial of the Millennials. They account for 20% of Millennials, but are just the tip of the spear when it comes to 18-34 year olds. Right behind them is the bulk of the Hispanic baby boom, which will drive the majority of growth in this age group in the next 10 years.
In order to market to Hispanic Millennials (and any group, for that matter), we must take into account their habits. Here are a few things to consider when planning your marketing strategy:
Use of Mobile
The 17 million Hispanic Millennials over-index on mobile and digital behavior. They are more socially active, share more, read more shared content, are more likely to buy what they share online, and consume more content on mobile devices — including video. They connect more with ads that give a nod to their culture and are contextually relevant, of course, but are quick to dismiss attempts to overtly exploit that culture.
With Hispanic Millennials being more likely to do shopping via mobile, brands will do well to make sure that Android native apps and Android-optimized mobile websites are part of their strategy. This group is much more likely to own Android phones than other Gen Y groups.
Factors of Culture
While young Hispanics may have more in common with their non-Hispanic millennial peers than their older relatives, they still tend to identify with their roots: according to Pew Research, 41% self-identify mainly by the country of origin of their parents, versus 33% identifying as American. One of the cultural carry-overs is the propensity to save more and borrow less. Hispanic Millennials have less debt than their non-Hispanic counterparts, and tend to live in multi-generational families more, too. Part of this frugality is the propensity to not spend as much throughout the year, but to place more spending value on holidays like Mother’s Day and Christmas.
Use of Language
This group is different from non-Hispanic Millennials in other ways, too, posing interesting considerations for marketers. They are the first predominantly U.S.-born generation, and as such, have blended the Spanish-speaking and the English-speaking cultures. Relating to this group requires a more expansive approach for brands, in part because of this straddling of both worlds (which are slowly becoming one).
Many brands have been targeting young Hispanic adults in new ways. Univision is partnering with T-Mobile to create the Hispanic-centric Univision Mobile, which will have plans geared toward their mobile habits. Verizon has taken a renewed interest in this increasingly important market, and has a Hispanic-focused Facebook page and Twitter feed to complement its bilingual website in support of its FiOS products.
In addition, traditional Hispanic brands are starting to invest in more English-language content, as evidenced by Univision’s foray into online video channels like TheFlama.com and Fusion (the latter, in partnership with Disney). U.S.-based brands like McDonald’s are quick to align themselves with these initiatives.
McDonalds is also sponsoring Super Accurate Soccer History, keeping with the trend of short-form video that plays nice with mobile. In fact, Octagon has released a report showing that soccer is one of the best ways to reach this audience. Coca-Cola and AT&T have long known this, proven with sponsorships with FIFA and the World Cup and the Mexican futbol league, Liga MX. Soccer gives Gen Y-ers who are Hispanic the connection with their traditional culture, with research showing that this group is twice as likely as other Millennials to be fans of the sport.
The bottom line:pay close attention to Hispanic Millennials’ habits. As with any other group, it’s important to understand whom you’re marketing to. Use research as a window into how you should shape your future marketing strategy.