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The Secret to Reaching the Latino Market

by Chanin Ballance  |  
May 25, 2010
  |  3,441 views

Despite the current economic climate, businesses are spending to reach the US Latino market. In fact, more than $5 billion was aimed at that market in 2008, according to TNS Market Intelligence.

And according to the Selig Center for Economic Growth at the University of Georgia's Terry College of Business, the share of buying power that Latinos control will grow to 10%, or $1.4 trillion, of the US total by 2013. That puts Hispanics ahead of all other minority groups, including African Americans.

Accordingly, Hispanics are an important audience for businesses to continue to reach. However, from a language standpoint, doing so is not as simple as you may think.

Ensure Authenticity: Translation vs. Transcreation

Language is used to describe how we experience and see the world. It's about the spoken word and how we interpret what's being said or read. Latinos have a very experiential culture. They are driven by emotion and direct experience. They are not driven by data.


To successfully reach the Hispanic audience, marketers should understand that what works with the general market can't simply be transferred to the Latino market. Instead, messages must be culturally adapted to capture the thought, meaning, and feeling, not just the words.


"If you translate information without adapting your message, you're branding your appeal in a way that is not attractive or effective," says Diego Basabe, business development manager at viaLanguage, which focuses on limited-English population translations and transcreation services.

"Marketers who culturally adapt or transcreate see their investment returned immensely.


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Chanin Ballance is CEO of Veelo, an award-winning cloud-based marketing and sales performance platform. Chanin is a frequent speaker on the topics of learning and retention, brain science, mobile engagement, and sales enablement solutions.

LinkedIn: Chanin Ballance

Twitter: @chaninballance

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  • by Lauren Wed May 26, 2010 via web

    Great case study that gives concrete examples of how an organization is reaching the Latino community. Very helpful!

  • by Andres Heuberger Wed May 26, 2010 via web

    Good case studies!

    We find that another "secret" to reaching Hispanics online is good (often original) content. There is a relative lack of quality online content for Latinos, and there are some real pitfalls associated with creating this content. And publishers should be aware that Latinos will make it a sport to hunt down typos and translation errors in online content :-)

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