Commentary

What the Industry Still Needs to Learn About Hispanic Marketing

Across the board, ad agencies and clients are trying to build more diverse and inclusive teams. Traditional agencies have started to pull talent from multicultural shops, hire from entirely different industries and implement programs that foster diversity within their own walls.

This infusion of Latinx talent is not just for the sake of representation. These employees' knowledge and expertise can help build stronger brands and expand the range of work that agencies offer clients and reach an expanding and critical segment of consumers (56.6 million in the U.S.).

But there’s still room for improvement. Brands and agencies have more tools, but they are still not using them to their full potential. Here are ways to help identify whether you might be missing the mark with the largest ethnic minority in our country.

Understand the ROI.  Marketers get stuck in the, “Is it worth doing more?” conversation. In other words, should we invest more time on already lean budgets for different markets?

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The answer will come from the research: Do the homework to understand the potential ROI of the Latinx consumer before saying yes, or no. The audience discovery phase should include research and business analytics that look at the potential of multicultural audiences independently. For example, do not assume that the consumer journey or consumption patterns of one ethnic group is the same as another.

I’ve come across plenty of categories where Latinx consumers demonstrate different consumption habits that are significantly higher and over-index in the category, and therefore should demand a greater investment.

Don’t skip steps. When you commit to winning with Latinx consumers, don’t shortchange the process. If you want to actively engage them, don’t expect your creative to do all the heavy lifting. Integrate specific goals and actionable insights into the brand’s communication and creative strategies, just as you do with other advertising efforts.

Too many times we claim to want to speak to Latinx consumers, but we address it all at the creative stage, or even worse, during production. At that point, you’ve already failed your consumer. Once you’ve identified the consumer journey of your Latinx audience, make sure the strategy resonates with them and not just the creative. Having creative work that’s simply translated or “understood” by Latinx is lazy marketing.

One media universe. We always talk about the effectiveness of the creative against the Latinx consumer, but how and where we intentionally deliver the work is just as important. Media teams need to understand the complete media universe, including multicultural media channels and platforms.

If markets with large Latinx populations like Los Angeles, New York, Houston and Miami are important to the health of a brand, the Latinx audience should be a major consideration factor to ensure the efficiency of your efforts and budget. While many Latinx consumers are reached via English language media, do not underestimate the influence of Spanish language content to deliver larger audiences more efficiently.

Agencies and brands still have a long way to go beyond recruitment and creative thinking. Start with the data about your Latinx consumers and weave those insights throughout the entire process. After all, they want to see themselves reflected in a way that’s authentic and culturally relevant way, just like everyone else.

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