With 59 million Hispanic consumers in the U.S. possessing purchasing power of $1.5 trillion annually, winning over this valuable segment is integral to the success of many consumer brands. Yet time and again, advertisers make the same glaring errors in their attempts to understand advertising performance among Hispanic consumers.
Isolating and diagnosing the effectiveness of your brand’s communications can be difficult even on familiar ground. With Hispanic consumers, even more variables are in play. These are the most common mistakes brands are making in measuring Hispanic campaigns — and how to avoid them.
1. Failing to understand the Hispanic consumer in 3D.
There is a multitude of attitudes, behaviors and belief systems within the Hispanic population. Adding to this complexity, individual consumers experience a mix of Hispanic moments (e.g., making tamales with family before the holidays) and acculturated moments (e.g., time at work). Each person has multiple influences on and facets to her personality. Deriving accurate insights requires more nuanced understanding.
2. Failing to survey a representative mix of acculturation levels.
Highly acculturated Hispanics are often easier to recruit in a survey
panel and tend to behave more like their non-Hispanic counterparts. If you don’t strive to include a good mix of acculturation levels, you’ll fail to capture nuances across the full
spectrum of Hispanics.
But don’t ignore the acculturated Hispanics. Even those who appear to behave similarly to their non-Hispanic cohorts exhibit subtle but significant differences. For example, a Hispanic Millennial male might defer to his father’s choice of beer when they’re together, out of respect. This type of deference would be unusual among non-Hispanic Millennial males.
3. Ignoring response biases.
It is well-documented that, culturally, Hispanics are more prone to give positive responses to questions
than are non-Hispanics. The less acculturated the person is, the more pronounced this tendency is.
To avoid erroneous conclusions, establish an appropriate comparative framework. Look at how positively Hispanic consumers rate one brand versus another, rather than how they rate a particular brand in comparison to its ratings among non-Hispanic consumers.
4. Over-reliance on explicit measurement protocols.
Longitudinal design surveys compare responses over time among the same individual consumers who have or have not seen the brand’s advertising. This approach lets analysts work around acquiescence biases and other culturally driven barriers to gaining accurate insights. Longitudinal surveys are vastly better for gauging persuasion and other marketing impacts.
5. Discounting the importance of general market advertising.
Most Hispanics live in a world of general market media and will see much of your GM campaign. While many will also see your Spanish language campaign, few will only see only that.
As well as seeing the GM campaign, they are likely to be persuaded by it. Typically, the Spanish language campaign amplifies the impact already occurring due to the GM campaign. Make sure the two work in harmony, and when measuring the impact of your campaign among Hispanics, include an assessment of the effects of the general market campaign on them, too.
6. Being inauthentic in your Hispanic
Positioning your brand to the Hispanic market consistently with how you represent the brand in your general market campaign is crucial.
This is where using stereotypes as a crutch can severely damage brands. Any time advertising plays off Hispanic stereotypes, you look just like all the other Spanish-language commercials from other brands. Which means a drain on brand equity and lack of impact.
Brands treating the Hispanic consumer with the attention and respect she deserves will win big. But you can’t triumph if you’re making these mistakes. Now that you know better, go forth and do better.