It’s no secret. Hispanics are driving U.S. population growth. Initial 2010 Census results already prove it, showing that Hispanics account for approximately 54 percent of total population growth from 2000-2010. With eight more states waiting to report Census figures this spring, this percentage is expected to rise even more.
How does this affect your marketing efforts? Well, regardless of segment or category, Hispanics already make up at least 20 percent of your clients’ consumer base, and that will likely increase through 2020. So the questions are: What are you doing to include Hispanics in your clients’ marketing plans? And, how do you know if you’re doing it right? No need to over think it. Just follow these three principles, and you’ll succeed with Hispanics:
Think Hispanic during every planning stage
Total market planning isn’t about shifting budgets. It’s about doing more with what you’ve got. It’s about looking for growth and delivering brand results by identifying and marketing to all your potential consumers. “We made Hispanic marketing a business imperative at General Mills,” says Mark Addicks, the company’s CMO. “If you take a true look at the marketplace, what you find is that you have to address U.S. Hispanics,” he adds.
After quantifying the Hispanic opportunity, Addicks and his team realized they were leaving hundreds of millions of dollars on the table by not addressing the Hispanic market properly in their marketing efforts. Make sure this isn’t happening to you. As you define your strategy and success metrics; as you conceive new products and design new packaging; as you develop new creative and media plans; you must constantly ask yourself and your teams: “What about Hispanic?”
You can also use Spanish-language media as a reach optimizer, with its large,unduplicated audiences. The bottom line is that in order to truly maximize your media budgets, you have to include Spanish-language media in your media mix for your brands to reach all your American consumers.
Reach them “in culture”
Brands must lead with insights and connect with consumers emotionally. How do you accomplish that in this multicultural nation? By speaking to them in their language and their culture. Nielsen ad effectiveness research shows that, through communicating in-language and within a culturally relevant environment, ads realized significantly higher recall and likeability.
Creating in-language, in-culture communications should not be difficult if the Hispanic audience is considered from the planning stage. Many brands have successfully managed the creative process to produce English and Spanish spots simultaneously, generating cost-efficiencies. Marketers that have reaped the benefits of this approach include McDonald’s, Verizon, and State Farm.
Finally, don’t make the common mistake of thinking that acculturation automatically means English proficiency. Acculturation is about culture but language is just one expression of Hispanic culture. One can be completely fluent in English and still “lean Latino” in values, traditions, and key consumer behaviors like food and entertainment choices.
Just remember this: Hispanics seek media options that keep them connected to their home and culture. It is a choice. And the fact that Univision is now a Big 5 network competing every night of the week with ABC, NBC, FOX and CBS shows that the choice is a very real and powerful one.