How to Market to Hispanic Consumers
Did you know that 20% of the U.S. population is Hispanic, and they are the largest minority in the country? Additionally, were you aware that the purchasing power of this population was $1.7 trillion last year? The Hispanic demographic is predominantly comprised of immigrants seeking a better life with more opportunities. Hispanics are also known to be incredibly product loyal. For example, people in this demographic purchase more Pepsi products than non-Hispanics and are doing so at a higher rate per capita.
In 2021, Pepsi even launched a $50 million platform to support Hispanic-owned businesses over the next five years. This means that to market to Hispanic consumers successfully; you need to show them how much you value them and that your marketing efforts to them are genuine rather than an afterthought.
With the demographic continuing to grow, business owners realize the importance of tailored marketing strategies. This Hispanic Heritage Month, learn about ways to market to Hispanic consumers and develop strategies you can use year-round to reach this audience.
5 Strategies to Market to Hispanic Consumers
Tailor Efforts Based on Regions
The Hispanic community comprises millions of people from different countries, from Mexico to Spain and the Caribbean. The cultures and traditions, and even dialects of people in these countries vary, so it’s essential to ensure you understand your target audience and their region. You can tailor your efforts by researching the specific dialect and any colloquial language and also analyze successful campaigns in the region and see what has worked. Do ads solely in Spanish perform better, see success when they are bilingual, or even use Spanglish? Understanding the region will make your consumers feel heard, seen, and valued. If you are trying to advertise in Spain, solely Spanish will be your best bet, but if you are advertising in Latin America, the proclivity to English increases.
For example, I am half Cuban and half Puerto Rican and grew up in Miami, Florida, so I am no stranger to Spanglish ads. The ads that I grew up watching used Spanish in a way that most dialects could understand and used English for the words/phrases that vary depending on the Spanish-speaking region. The usage of Spanglish allowed the ads to make us, as Hispanic consumers, feel valued and spoken to but also allowed them to create content that had widespread appeal rather than working for only one particular dialect.
Continue Using Traditional Marketing Strategies
While it’s crucial to understand the region and language and value the culture (which we’ll get into later), don’t get so swept up that you forget to use traditional marketing strategies. When crafting campaigns to market to Hispanic consumers, treat it like any other campaign and be sure to understand your audience’s psychographics, demographics, and what marketing platform works best. For example, Hispanics access the Internet more from mobile devices than desktops and laptops, so when developing your strategy, be sure to make sure everything is mobile-friendly.
Utilize Hispanic Influencers
Social media isn’t going anywhere, and with the rise of influencers, brands can now target the Hispanic demographic by utilizing Hispanic talent. Whether you are making a commercial for TV, creating TikToks and Reels, or writing a blog on your website, make sure it is genuine, authentic, and utilizes people who identify as Hispanic. Using Hispanics to reach other Hispanics will help spread the word of your company and create authenticity for your brand. For example, many brands have reached out to Lele Pons, a Venezuelan influencer who moved to Miami in 1996. She has over 17.7 million YouTube subscribers and 4.6 billion total views, and was one of the most watched Instagram stars in 2017. She has worked with brands like CoverGirl, allowing young and influential Hispanics to believe that is achievable for them as well. The usage of Lele Pons, as well as other Hispanic influencers, shows the consumers they are not forgotten and, due to the pride this community has for its culture, will most likely have them supporting you for lifting members of their community up.
Going off of that, bringing authenticity to your marketing strategies is essential. Since the Hispanic demographic has already proven to be incredibly loyal, when developing strategies to market to them, don’t focus on generating sales but instead building a lasting partnership. Whether you are marketing your small business or working for a chain or big corporation, remaining authentic and connecting with the community at hand can prove incredibly valuable.
Value Hispanic Culture
The Hispanic community is known for being very proud of their culture and where they come from. Therefore, if you incorporate Hispanic culture into your marketing genuinely and authentically, you’ll be more likely to see success. This does not just mean using Spanish (which is essential, and you should be ready to serve Spanish-speaking customers if you are marketing to Hispanic consumers) but also adding in the flags of the countries you are targeting, traditional music or dress, and even showing the food of the country. The more you can tie in your brand with Hispanic culture and portray a genuine effort; the more successful your marketing efforts will be.
It is crucial when highlighting the culture that you are aware of the region and the cultural diversity that comes along with it. For example, growing up in Miami and from a Hispanic background, our biggest holiday is Christmas Eve, or as we call it, Nochebuena. This meal features traditional Hispanic food, such as lechón (pork), moro de habichuelas (rice and beans), maduros (plantains), and more. While the food varies depending on the culture, the dinner tradition remains the same. The name means “good night,” and is oftentimes more important than Christmas to this demographic. Brands in Miami took notice of this by conducting market research and working with Hispanic marketers, and around Christmas time, the ads I saw growing up were not always people opening gifts or celebrating on Christmas, but instead gathering around a table for this traditional meal. The ads showed us that our traditions were valued, and they were taking notice, making us more inclined to want to use their products or shop at their stores.
Consider Generational Gaps
While many of those who identify as Hispanic immigrated to the U.S., many were also born here, so when crafting campaigns, determine which generation you want to target since cultural integration can vary.
Traditionalists typically comprise older immigrants, but some younger people fit into this category. Traditionalists usually don’t speak fluent English and resonate more with marketing strategies on Spanish-speaking TV, radio stations, and websites. Additionally, this group places a lot of value on traditional cultural values and traditions highlighted, from the food to holidays.
This demographic is more extensive than traditionalists, with nearly 6 in 10 U.S. Hispanics fitting in this group. Millennials are more often born in the U.S. into Hispanic families. These individuals are younger, fluent in English, and have adopted many U.S. customs. However, this group values and appreciates marketing strategies that emphasize culture.
Consider Cultural Gaps
Beyond the two demographics mentioned above, marketers also tend to divide Hispanic consumers into three groups. Keep reading to learn more.
- Predominantly speaks Spanish and consumes their media in Spanish
- Makes up about 23% of Hispanic consumers
- Mean age of 40
- Lived in the U.S. for an average of seven years
- Speaks both English and Spanish at home but consumes most of their media in English
- Makes up about 31% of Hispanic consumers
- Combination of U.S. and foreign-born
- Mean age of 34
- Lived in the U.S. for an average of 22 years
- Predominantly speaks English at home and consumes their media in English
- Makes up about 46% of Hispanic consumers
- U.S. born
- Mean age of 37
- Lived in the U.S. for an average of 36 years
Understanding these generational gaps and connecting them with the research you’ve already done on the region and culture is imperative to creating a marketing campaign that will bring you success and cultivate a relationship with the Hispanic community.
Things to Avoid When Marketing to Hispanic Consumers
Now that you know some of the ways to market to Hispanic consumers, here are mistakes to avoid making:
- Using Google translate
- Creating a Spanish landing page but having no purchase products or pages in Spanish
- Advertising in Spanish but expecting to do business in English
- Translating your English campaigns into Spanish without taking culture, region, or dialect into consideration
While marketing to Hispanic consumers may seem daunting due to all the nuances, the demographic has been known to be very forgiving and appreciates the efforts both brands and individuals are making to make the Hispanic population feel valued. Like with all marketing, developing a strategy for Hispanic consumers will be a learning curve, but don’t let that discourage you.
Get Started with Online Optimism
If you want to get started marketing to Hispanic consumers but aren’t sure where to start, contact Online Optimism today! Many of our Optimists are fluent in Spanish and have a heritage in different Spanish-speaking countries, including Guatemala, Nicaragua, Mexico, Cuba, and Puerto Rico.
Additionally, two of our Optimists spoke at NOEW on the importance of marketing and communicating with the Spanish-speaking community locally and nationally. And listen to our latest episode of our podcast, Online Offscript, where we go into more detail on marketing to the Hispanic consumer and the growing importance of this demographic in the U.S.