Commentary

Is Marketing To U.S. Hispanics A Sound Strategy Or Just A Fad?

Many companies have made significant investments in marketing to the U.S. Hispanic population, and for good reason. These customers are connected, active online, and influencing the economy at a rapid clip. 

But should companies market to them as a separate, distinct population, or should they consider them part of the core U.S. population? And should that marketing be in Spanish or English?

A look into some of the data behind the powerful U.S. Hispanic market can provide us with some answers.

Is Spanish Language Marketing Still Needed?

If you ask marketers whether they are tailoring their marketing to U.S. Hispanic audiences, you will find varied answers. 

Some are still creating content in Spanish expressly to reach U.S. Hispanics, while others cite increased adoption of English as a preferred language and reason to stop doing so.

According to Pew Research, a record 35 million Hispanics ages five and older say they are English-proficient, up from 19 million in 2000. Among this group, 14 million Hispanics speak only English at home in 2015, up from 7 million in 2000.

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But, a close look at digital media consumption shows that the percentage of Hispanics who stream content in Spanish has actually increased. In 2017, 47% of Hispanics ages 35-64 reported streaming Spanish-language content, up from 41% in 2015. The increase was even greater among Hispanic millennials, with 65% streaming Spanish-language content in 2017, up from 46% in 2015, a whopping 19-point leap.

Whether or not English language usage is on the rise in Hispanic homes, it is clear that Spanish language content still has a prominent place in their media—and that it is still a viable investment for smart companies to make.

What About Buying Power?

Companies should also consider that not only are Hispanics growing in number, the outlook on their economic growth is very positive.

Second-generation Hispanics tend to have significantly higher incomes than first-generation Hispanics, along with better jobs and better education. They’re also a strong population of business owners, with 12% of all U.S. companies being Hispanic-owned, and almost 1 in 10 U.S. Hispanics being business owners. 

In addition, upward mobility among Hispanics is substantially higher than for other minorities. Their median household income is up 6.1% – the largest rate of increase among all ethnic groups.

By these numbers alone, the U.S. Hispanic market has proven its substantial buying power, influence over the economy and capacity to drive growth and sales for businesses across the country.

A Demographic Poised for Prosperity

Though the growth of the Hispanic population in the United States has slowed somewhat, and they are being integrated into American culture more than ever before, this market remains large and an important audience for businesses to consider. 

U.S. Hispanics represent consumers, decision makers, business owners and influencers. It’s critical for businesses to tailor content and marketing materials to their cultural and language preferences to resonate and stay relevant with this audience. 

Authenticity isn’t a trend. Personalization isn’t a fad. 

Serving a diverse population — including U.S. Hispanics — never goes out of style. A strong commitment to international audiences and populations is a business strategy that always pays rich dividends, both today and tomorrow.

4 comments about "Is Marketing To U.S. Hispanics A Sound Strategy Or Just A Fad?".
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  1. Jonathan Hutter from Northern Light Health, May 4, 2018 at 1:28 p.m.

    All excellent points. If you think targeted Hispanic marketing is a fad, you're going to do it wrong or miss the boat. So don't try.

    I think though that brands shouldn't think about serving a diverse population, but instead serve several unique populations. In this case, segmentation that sees uniqueness and tailors would be most effective.

  2. Frank Romero from The Grocer Exchange, LLC, May 4, 2018 at 1:54 p.m.

    Dear Craig:

    It may make sense for us to speak.

    As your scheudle permits, please reach me directly at 781-821-4113 or via my mobile number 617-312-3723.

    I look forward to hearing from you.

    Respectfully,

    Frank Edward Romero

    Chief Marketing & Revenue Generation Officer
    The Grocer Exchange, LLC
    F.Romero@GrocerExchange.com
    781-821-2345-Canton, MA Office
    617-312-3723-Mobile
    Skype: Entropy1953

  3. R. M. from self, May 4, 2018 at 2:02 p.m.

    Re: ""Is Marketing To U.S. Hispanics A Sound Strategy Or Just A Fad?"."

    The corollary question is:
    Is Marketing To human beings A Sound Strategy Or Just A Fad?".

    Article is actually about language mix in marketing, vs marketing to Hispanics.
    And why, in 2018, is anyone still marketing "TO" anyone? The consumer is the driver of everything... the word "To" needs to be replaced with a mindset of "For" and "With"


  4. Marcelo Salup from Iffective LLC, May 4, 2018 at 2:37 p.m.

    This is a seriously disjointed --I would even venture to say, dumb-- approach.

    1. Should brands market to Hispanics? If Hispanics are a significant part of their consumers and/or a significant growth opportunity, of course they should. If Klingons or Romulans are an important part of their consumers, they should also target Klingons and Romulans.

    Brands should target to where their sales are and will be. What you are is inmaterial.

    2. The issue of language:



    • It makes all the sense in the world to market to someone in the language that has the highest probably of persuading that person. If it is in Spanish... then it should be in Spanish. If it is in Outer Mongolian, then use Outer Mongolian

    • Just because someone is proficient in English doesn't really mean that the person will be best persuaded in English. It could very well be that the person is proficient in English, uses it daily, but still "think" in Spanish. Or in Urdu. So... obviously, market in the way that persuades that person.



    3. The issue of ROI - that's another complete "duh". Track the ROI, of course. But, mainly, learn how to prioritize. At Colgate, the first lesson learned was simple: there were (in Mexico at the time) 36 brands that merit advertising; there was money to do a good job on 25 or 26. So, prioritize: the brands that would either show the best ROI or the best growth, got the gravy. The rest? See you later alligator. When it comes to prioritzing, one needs to be heartless.

    4. Macro/micro messaging: you can certainly use big footprint media (such as TV or radio) to reach a broad group with the most universal of your brand's selling proposition; then use micro targeting to build on that universal appeal by adding a more relevant layer.

    You don't know how to do that? Go back to school. It should be natural conduct with you today.

    Two things that work in every instance:



    1. Get real consumer insights... not politically correct, not boss-pleasing, not trendy, faddish, knee-jerking: get real ones. Talk to real people, study real people. No blinders, no rose-colored glasses.

    2. Roll up your sleeves and work; lay down two dozen approaches, do the numbers, analyze the ROI... after a certain pay grade that is what is expected of you.

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