Commentary

The Real Meaning Of Hispanic Marketing

The Hispanic population has nearly tripled in size since 1990 and has been the largest “minority group” since 2000. It represents more than half of the nation’s growth in both population and consumer spending. This will continue to increase over time. With this momentum, marketers are finally starting to realize the value of these high-growth consumers. They’re using geo-location and purchasing data, among other sources, to find out who their consumers are and what they buy. They claim that they’re trying to reach Hispanics in a genuine way, but their messages are often lost. So how can they utilize all of the resources available to them to reach Hispanics in a direct and genuine way?

Paint an Accurate Picture of Your Hispanic Consumer

The crucial first step to targeting Hispanics is asking the right questions about your Hispanic consumers and then gathering all of the information that you can about them. What are their cultural backgrounds by country of origin and region? This question will help you to determine the types of products that they are more likely to purchase. What is their level of acculturation? Asking this will clarify their connection to American culture versus their native cultures. If they are more acculturated, then they are more likely to pay attention to English advertisements. If their level of acculturation is lower, then targeting them with advertising messages in Spanish might be a better fit. 

Where do they live? This question is absolutely essential to reaching Hispanics directly. Do they live close to one of your retail locations? What other stores are around them? Do they live in predominantly Hispanic communities? Not only will these questions help you to paint a fuller picture of your Hispanic consumer, but they will also help you to decide which kind of marketing tactics and messages are the best fit for your consumer when considering options like direct mail, digital marketing, signage, social media marketing, etc. In addition, you must ask, what are their income and education levels? This will signal where they shop, what types of products they are interested in and what they are willing to spend. It will help you decide which Hispanic shoppers are your target customers.

Target Hispanics Where They Are

Once you’ve answered all of the questions to develop your Hispanic buyer persona, it’s time to consider which marketing tactics are most effectively going to reach your consumer. Historically, a popular school of thought was to reach Hispanics was via traditional means of marketing; however, recent research has shown that Hispanics are much more digitally driven than marketers once thought. In fact, 66% of U.S. Hispanics say that they pay attention to online advertisements —nearly 20 percentage points greater than the general population. Much of the digital movement is being driven by millennial (Gen Y) and Gen Z Hispanics who are growing up in today’s digital world. That said, many brands still struggle with placing content that is relevant and engaging. So how can brands ensure that they are reaching Hispanics through the right medium with the right content?

Targeting platforms that help brands optimize their online marketing capabilities are the key to modern Hispanic marketing success. We have determined the Hispanic consumer’s IP address based on their physical address, which is then overlaid with demographic, cultural and behavioral data for precise digital ad targeting. This works because offline data such as customer databases, modeled data, registered voter lists and direct mail data can be incorporated. All of this results in more successful and accurate digital campaigns that reach each Hispanic consumer on the right digital medium. 

So what does Hispanic marketing really mean? It means collecting all of the data available on your Hispanic consumer targets in order to paint the fullest picture of their interests, preferences and cultural backgrounds. It does not mean making assumptions based on stereotypes or past, irrelevant data. Hispanics are a very complex consumer group and brands must appreciate these complexities to best reach them. It also means authenticity, empathy and respect. It means inviting them to do business with you, to consume your brands because they are good for them and because you’re willing to embrace these consumers in a way their culture requires in order to feel they are wanted by your stores and brands.

It also means taking the data that you have and applying it to your marketing tactics. It means realizing that the majority of your growth will come from Hispanic consumers in the foreseeable future and that budgets should follow accordingly. While this may take more time, it is worth it when you start building long-term relationships with consumers whose lifetime value is growing consistently. The days of overarching mail and simplified media campaigns are over – Hispanics live in a digital, multi-channel world. To reach them and get a piece of the action, you need to take a tactful and targeted approach – your C-suite and boardroom will appreciate it.

1 comment about "The Real Meaning Of Hispanic Marketing".
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  1. Mario Carrasco from ThinkNow Research, September 20, 2016 at 6:40 p.m.

    Clint - I'd like to also add that we have a wealth of data available at no cost on our website at www.thinknowresearch.com. It touches on many of the points, Cesar, brings up in his article and is a good place to start for SMBs.

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