Looking for New Ways to do Latino Marketing?
Six Questions to Ask Yourself
How to develop a Latino marketing strategy that is authentic, targeted and effective
Competition for US Latino attention is robust. Advertisers spent $9.4 billion last year to reach Latino consumers according to the Ad Age Latino Fact Pack 2019.
According to the US Census Bureau, there are 60 million Latinos living in the US, equivalent to 18.3% of the US population. Latinos spend more than $7.8 trillion in the US economy every year.
1 in 6 people in the US population is Latino
1 in 5 millennials is Latino
1 in 5 kindergarteners is Latino
1 in 4 babies born in the US is Latino
Due to these demographics, attention must be dedicated to developing effective marketing and communication strategies that target Latinos. And broad messaging and advertising, geared towards the general public, must not inadvertently alienate Latinos.
So, in addition to having a clear and compelling story for your message, product or service, it also needs to be crafted in a way that is authentic, informed, and recognizes the nuances of Latino culture, language, and traditions. It needs to speak to individuals and people in their community.
Ask yourself these six questions about media, geography, generations, culture, language, and timeline
1. Do you have the long game in mind?
Latinos account for almost half of US population growth, indicating strong growth of the Latino market in the near future. Latinos are twenty-one percent of the millennial generation, the largest generational cohort in the workforce today. And Latino millennials have significant influence over culture and spending habits.
So, as you think about your long game, look for ways to build trust and early engagement with your brand and organization with millennials. Engaging in a long-term strategy that understands different cultural heritages, education levels, geodemographics, and languages will grow you customers for life.
2. Are you using the right mix of English, Spanish, and bilingual messaging?
While there are Latinos that consume media only in English or only in Spanish, a growing proportion is bilingual.
- 28% of US Latinos speak only English
- 55% speak Spanish and speak English “very well” or “well”
- 17% speak Spanish and speak English “not well” or “not at all”
Language preferences and appropriate cultural references are often determined by the media utilized and content domain. While many bilingual people prefer to read news and product descriptions in English, socially they tend to have a higher preference for Spanish and a mix often called “Spanglish.” Selecting the right balance for your campaign is critically important.
Communicating at the appropriate educational level is also important. While many US born and educated Latinos are highly literate, there are segments of the foreign-born (first-generation) population who have low levels of literacy. These audiences require a simpler vocabulary and more imagery and audio.
Research will allow you to develop the right tone needed for your brand, public health service, intake questionnaires, and customer messaging.
3. Do you speak the culture?
Latino culture is not a monolith. Latinos include
- multigenerational families with grandparents and parents working multiple jobs
- bilingual millennials with children in daycare
- college-educated single urban dwellers
- first generation Americans
- bicultural Generation Z students in K-12 schools
Most Latinos (66%) are born in the US, and biculturalism is on the rise in second-generation and third-generation Latinos. This is shaping a new blended culture of Latino children with two Latino parents from different cultural heritages or having only one Latino parent.
While a large percentage of Latinos are of Mexican origin (62% in 2017), nearly two in five Latinos come from nineteen different national origins. With these differences in national culture, come various communication styles. Some cultures (like those from El Salvador, parts of Mexico, and Bolivia) tend to have a more passive approach to communication than cultures with more active fast-paced and assertive communication (like those from the Caribbean region).
Some of the stereotypes that cause cultural blunders stem from a lack of understanding of cultural differences which can make or break an effort, campaign, or brand. Music, symbolism, and spectator sport preferences may vary across national cultures, so paying close attention to how to add context to your message is important.
Additionally, frames of reference for many Latinos are not the same as those for other American groups. While some significant global events may have similar cross-cultural impact, others have shaped a different view of the world. This extends to the cultural references, and attitudes and beliefs on sources of credibility, authority, and trust. Conducting qualitative research can uncover ways for your brand to connect with cultural sensitivity and maximize results along the way.
A common and expensive mistake is to continue implementing an outdated marketing strategy like relying on a single Spanish language television advertisement focused on a Mexican-born consumer. This will resonate only among a very narrow (and shrinking) segment of today’s US Latino population. This outdated strategy does not recognize that demographics, language preference, media habits and attitudes are quickly changing among US Latinos, especially in how they use social media and engage with brands. Market research will help you understand changing social media demographics.
4. Do you know your audiences’ generational differences and their implications?
To add to the mix, many cultural lenses come together with generational differences. Many marketing strategies use generational cohorts but without market research, this may give you an incomplete picture. Households are sometimes multigenerational and sometimes include mixed national origins. While Latino families are larger on average and have a higher incidence of multiple generations living together, younger generations have high incidence of single householders.
The broad diversity of Latinos also means that there are vast differences in education and in income as it relates to each generation. Understanding the geodemographic profile of your target market offers you important insights to enhance your marketing effort and messaging.
5. Do you know the make-up of your market and how it is distributed geographically?
Latinos are unevenly distributed throughout the US. While it seems intuitive to know that places like Texas, New Mexico and California may have more people of Mexican origin than say, Florida, New York or Chicago, the differences run much deeper. To understand the needs of local markets, it is important to know the dominant characteristics of Latinos in every market. Marketing to Latinos goes beyond the intersection of language and culture.
One way to examine a multi-dimensional classification of the types of markets and communities is to use EurekaFacts Segmentos. Segmentos identifies homogenous segments and groups of Latino households across the country and uses additional parameters to characterize the distinct segments of the Latino population. Segmentos incorporates significant characteristics and offers a robust profile of various Hispanic populations according to their characteristics and the communities where they live, work and play. Segmentos is designed to help businesses and community organizations navigate the complexities of the Hispanic market.
6. Do you have a digital perspective for your Latino strategy?
Latinos are at the forefront in the use of mobile devices when shopping, accessing news, and the adoption of new technologies, because, on average, they are younger and more engaged in social media. According to ThinkNow, “US Latinos earning $75,000+ a year significantly over-index on key digital and social media measures when compared to non-Latino Whites. From the platforms they use to what they do when they get there, Latinos are ‘always on,’ depending heavily on their smartphones to keep them connected to family and friends, to research brands, and to make purchases.”
Latinos are actively engaged in media. At the same time that TV viewership on the largest Spanish television networks declined, the internet now rivals television as a source for news. Use of social media to access news among Latinos has increased.
On the other side of the spectrum, many older, foreign-born Latinos with lower education levels, use social media at lower rates. Radio and television are still dominant for this part of the population. To target messages to older Latinos on Facebook, Nativa recommends using Latino affinity, language, location, education employment, household, lifestyle, activities, pages, and other interests to reach these segments of the Latino audience. More broadly, many Latino cultures are more auditive and visual that text driven, so video streaming may be their preferred social media activity. Market research will give you the digital perspective to create your Latino social media strategy.
In sum, the astonishing growth of the Latino population presents an opportunity that is hard to ignore. Going forward, the number of Latinos and their share of the overall population is expected to grow significantly. This means that any market and communications strategy must consider the Latino population as an important audience.
So, whether focusing specifically on marketing to US Latinos, or ensuring that your communications is inclusive of Latinos, examining your strategy is increasingly paramount. Among the elements to examine, are your products’ general perceptions and whether your brand and firm enjoys trust, authority, and credibility for the long term. You also need to look at whether your offerings meet the needs and expectations of US Latinos. Finally, you need to test for the right fit: culture, language, characteristics of the consumer, targeting at the community level, and a differentiated media and digital strategy.
At EurekaFacts, we incorporate every methodology to bring you high quality insight. From analyzing social media to conducting qualitative studies, and from quantitative research to big data analysis, we serve forward-thinking companies and brands in seizing market opportunities. Let’s get the conversation started.
- Census Bureau, https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/US/RHI725218
- Bureau of Labor Statistics, Consumer Expenditures Survey 2017
- Annual Estimates of the Resident Population by Sex, Single Year of Age, Race, and Latino Origin for the United States: July 1, 2018. Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division, Release Date: June 2019, https://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?src=bkmk
- AdAge, “What Marketers Need to Know about Latino Consumers” https://adage.com/article/Latino-marketing/what-marketers-need-know-about-Latino-consumers/2189361
- Forbes, “Six Facts about the Latino Market that May Surprise You” https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesagencycouncil/2018/01/09/six-facts-about-the-Latino-market-that-may-surprise-you/#5372c3cd5f30
- Insights Association, “The Cost of an Outdated Strategy: A Case Study of US Latino Marketing” https://www.insightsassociation.org/article/cost-outdated-strategy-case-study-us-Latino-marketing
- True North, “Speaking the Culture: Marketing to Latino and Latino Audiences” https://www.truenorthcustom.com/blog/marketing-to-Latino-latino-audiences
- Think with Google, “Your next big opportunity: The U.S. Latino market” https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/consumer-insights/us-Latino-market-digital/
- Pew Research Center, “Latino and Black News Media Fact Sheet”
- Pew Research Center, “Among US Latinos, the internet now rivals television as a source for news” https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/01/11/among-u-s-latinos-the-internet-now-rivals-television-as-a-source-for-news/
- Think Now, “Social Media & Digital Usage in 2018”
- Nativa, “5 Ways to Advertise to Latinos on Facebook and Instagram”
- Price Waterhouse Cooper, “Always Connected: US-based Latino consumers dominate mobile, entertainment, and beyond” https://www.pwc.com/us/en/services/consulting/library/consumer-intelligence-series/Latinos.html
Need answers to to better reach the Latino market today?
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