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Three Reasons (and Tips) for Reaching Out to the Hispanic Community

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In the business world, companies aren't just content reaching a percentage of consumers; companies want to catch them all. But there’s one consumer subset that seems tricky to capture completely: Latinos.

The Latino community in the United States, comprised of over 52 million individuals, is a venerable melting pot of sub-cultures and as a result, the "one size fits all" business strategy attempted by many has failed to tap into this fragmented community of people who are more digitally connected and more prosperous than ever.

To support this point, consider the fact that 62% of Latinos watch more digital video than “non-Hispanics” while the community's business owners are set to break their revenue records to end 2013 with a collective $468B. You begin to see the correlation between digital media consumption and prosperity.

And yet, despite this knowledge, some businesses are failing to accurately target this community—especially outside of National Hispanic Month. Many businesses celebrate a month of Hispanic culture every year, some organically, as a means of building relationships with this community, and others do so opportunistically as a means of selling to this consumer. If your business falls into the latter category, it's time to take a look at how you can improve your marketing efforts outside of the celebratory month and create a year-round strategy.

And with the help of the strategy staff at Omelet, a creative agency in Los Angeles, we're offering three ways to transcend the culture clash and reach the booming Hispanic market throughout the entire year.


1. Incorporate a Hispanic point of view into decision-making

The Hispanic community in the United States is comprised of Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, Cubans, and a bevy of other cultures and their reactions to Hispanic-targeted media vary greatly. That's why it has become ever important to integrate a Hispanic decision-maker when marketing to those communities&8212;to guarantee an understanding of the nuances and to ensure the authenticity of the efforts.

We've seen this tactic work successfully over the past few years with the birth of Hispanic-American media networks including Huffington Post's LatinoVoices, Fox News Latino, and NBC's NBCLatino—all English-language sites targeting this community. NBCLatino's Executive Editor Chris Peña put it well when he said that the goal "is to tell and reflect the Hispanic-American story with authentic voices."

2. Focus on authenticity

A smart marketing strategy isn't solely defined by whether you're actively reaching out to Latinos but also by how you're engaging with them. That's why an authentic voice is required to reach an audience that's so diverse in culture, origin, ethnicity, and even language. Start by thinking of Latinos as people, not consumers, and by identifying what they buy into, not just what they buy. And from there, it's a matter of creating a strategy that gives Latinos an active voice in telling your brand narrative: one that makes them feel like they're influencing your marketing more than it's influencing them. By empowering Latinos to invite others to share in the richness of their origin stories, we can remind them that they're about as American as it gets.

3. Celebrate Hispanic culture year-round

Whether it's Sherwin-Williams's #ColorLatino social media campaign promoting Jardin, Pueblo, Jacaranda, and other colors inspired by Hispanic culture, or Macy's announcing that Dora the Explorer is one of their 2013 Icons of Style, major brands are seizing the opportunity to hop on the National Hispanic Month bandwagon.

But the true sign of a brand's commitment to this audience can be found in how it celebrates Hispanic culture during the eleven other months of the year. Like any other designated time to celebrate a culture or ethnicity, there's no shortage of brands that will appropriate cultural cues to capitalize on relevancy.

Start your marketing campaign on a path that will transcend those habits by starting with a plan that's both astute and respectful. Help it evolve from there into a year-long campaign that identifies with simpler, universal human truths to effectively unite the complex and segmented Hispanic community.


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Cristina Pedroza is Omelet’s Senior Business and Brand Analyst, recently helped publish Wake Up Quarterly, a quarterly magazine exploring the US Latino consumer and ways brands can reach them through their initiatives. Cristina was born and raised in Colombia and previously worked for Unilever and Diageo in Latin America.

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