As the Hispanic population grows, it will quickly outweigh America’s majority population. Companies, agencies, brands and executives are starting to notice this trend and looking to tap into a once underserved market. In their attempts to engage this burgeoning population, most companies are failing at doing their research and actually, actually, engaging with their target Hispanic market to learn what it is they want, and want to see. Companies are moving full-speed ahead and implementing what they know with Spanish-language marketing initiatives and implement what they know to be true about the Hispanic market without substantial research. It seems that these communication barriers are putting up walls instead of breaking them down (i.e. converting into sales).
Here’s what our Hispanic Marketing expert Mari Escamilla has to say:
English language, bilingual, and bicultural does not mean comparing a minority to a majority. In a Rolling Stones first bilingual issue, articles were in English and Spanish but why assume that their new set of readers want to even read articles in Spanish?
The new generation of Hispanics, who are mainly the children of immigrant parents, though bicultural are not always bilingual. Sometimes they prefer all English, and other times, all Spanish. How will companies ever know if they don’t do their research? A great way is to utilize social media and even the old school form of questioning with a clip board and paper can get you answers that will solidify your campaign.
Stray from Convention
Disregard the conventional and introduce a new norm with a new icon. Are you looking to endorse your product, service or company with a “Spanish-star”? As beautiful as she is, not everyone wants to see Shakira, a singer known among both American and Hispanic communities. Find someone who really speaks to the Hispanic community that not everyone may know. Beautypackaging.com reports on knowing your demographic:
“Brand marketers have struggled for years trying to determine the similarities and differences within the Latino community, and the best way to reach out to them. While many Hispanics share certain cultural characteristics and habits, there are also numerous and complex differences among various groups. And each segment must be addressed in a truly authentic manner to be effective.”
Escamilla also commends those brands looking to connect with the growing US Hispanic demographic but questions they manner in which they do so. “In the best interest of both the brand and consumer, such new territory cannot be taken lightly. It’s best to do both your research and build a trusting team that doesn’t claim to understand the target demographic, but actually does. Knowing nuances as well as relevant cultural aspects like common slang, sentiment and pop culture are important to successfully reaching any target demographic.”