Is There a Blind Spot in Your Marketing Strategy?

If you have not considered marketing to Latinos, you might be missing a growth opportunity. The Latino consumer market is the fastest growing segment in America with spending power to the tune of $1.7 trillion—the equivalent of capturing a share of the Canadian or Mexican economy.

Currently, Latinos account for 1 in 5 Americans and soon will constitute 1 in 3 of the U.S. population.  Moreover, more than half of the U.S. Hispanic population is under the age of 29. Additionally, 25% of Generation Z, (3 to-23 years old) the largest generation group in the U.S., is Hispanic.

Latinos are well-connected and a powerful social force. They communicate more frequently with family, friends, and colleagues than non-Hispanics. According to the Keller Fay Group, compared to other ethnic groups, Latinos talk 20 times more about brands, and are 5 times more likely to share shopping recommendations according to CivicScience.  This means outreach to Hispanics can boost your marketing investment. Specifically, an earned media multiplier effect—brand awareness and peer influence—can result in an increased ROI.

If you are developing a Latino marketing campaign, let’s take a look at three potential blind spots:

Engaging Latino

Strategy goes nowhere unless it starts with the customer. John Sculley in his book Moonshot, advises the reader to put the customer at the center of abusiness concept. This is especially relevant with a diverse audience. You wouldn’t market to customers in a different country the same way you would market to the typical U.S. consumer, would you?  The Latino community is no different.

Culture matters to tell authentic stories and to create remarkable experiences. We have to recognize that not everyone is the same. Customers look at content through their personal lens of values, knowledge, experiences, attitudes, and beliefs.

Designing relevant marketing, communications and experiences, means creating messages and moments that your audience can identify with and say, “They are speaking to me,” “This is for me,” or “I can see myself.”  In other words, strive for cultural affinity. Why? Because Latino consumers will pay more attention, trust the brand more, and will be more likely to take action.

This means looking at each segment of the Latino population and considering their living context, values, aspirations, needs, motivations, and challenges, to design programs that achieve cultural affinity and relevancy.  According to theNielsen TV Brand EffectSurvey, advertising and programs that have cultural affinity are more impactful, as general population advertising doesn’t always resonate with Hispanic audiences.

English vs.Spanish-Language.

Think differently. It is not about English or Spanish. It is about language plus culture, context, and content. Language depends on the Latino audience segment and their language of comfort.

The Nielsen study found that Spanish-language ads perform better than English-language ads among Hispanic adults in terms of ad type, brand, and message memorability. These ads perform more than twice as well in likability. However, this does not mean doing a literal translation from English to Spanish.

It is frequently believed that English is the default language for bilingual Hispanics. However, Univision found this is one of the largest misperceptions. Bilingual Latinos speak in the language that is most appropriate to what they’re doing. For example, when looking at online videos, 74% of third-generation bilingual Latinos consume videos in Spanish.

On the other hand, younger Latinos are more comfortable speaking and consuming content in English. However, younger Latinos are watching more Spanish-language videos on streaming platforms like Netflix and YouTube, and actively seeking out and enjoying content tailored to them as Latinos. According to eMarketer,73% of third-generation Hispanics said they consume online videos “that speak to their Hispanic/Latino heritage.”  Why? Because retaining their culture is very important to them.

Language matters but is just one part of the equation. This underscores the need for brands to connect with Hispanics in a culturally-relevant way. Just because Hispanics are consuming content in English, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t incorporate Spanish into marketing campaigns, or because Latinos prefer speaking in Spanish you should do a direct translation into Spanish.

Building Online with Offline Experiences.

Customer trust is based on consumers sharing their experiences with other consumers online and offline. Word-of-mouth is the leading influencer of consumer purchase decisions in the U.S.  Notably, TV, radio, print, digital media, and offline events have a strong role to play in influencing word-of-mouth purchasing decisions.

Latinos are very active on social media, sharing posts and comments on issues specific to their communities and culture. Online and offline experiences give them an opportunity to build a relationship with the brand and ammunition to talk about it. Over 68% of Hispanic brand mentions referenced some form of online or offline marketing, compared to 60% of non-Hispanics.

The Keller Fay Groupstudy found that Hispanics are not only more likely to engage in word-of-mouth than the general public, but also more likely to pass along the information they hear to others.  What’s better than learning about a product or service than from people you know and trust?

Remember, emotions drive people to action and people tend to conform to what others are doing.  So igniting an emotion and making content more observable makes it easier to talk, share, and take action when the content and experience is cultural relevant.

Should Hispanic be marketed as General Market?

Should Hispanic be marketed as General Market?

One of the key issues marketers are struggling with is the cultural tension between general and Hispanic marketing strategies to reach and engage Hispanic customers so they can grow, make profit and/or make a social impact. And with limited resources cultural marketing strategies might become an afterthought or the team would default to just translate the general market strategy for the Hispanic customer.

But, not all consumers are created equal. So, if two customer segments are different, why shortchange your growth potential by marketing Hispanic customers as general market?

Here are a few ideas on how you can diffuse cultural marketing tension:

Cultural Insight Drives Strategy and Strategy Drives Impact

Consumers are not isolated entities. Past experiences and social interaction dictates the outcomes of their behavior. Cultural insight will help you develop solutions and create an original narrative storyline that evokes emotions. Emotions that are relatable and familiar with your audience’s real-world experiences, which might be different from each customer segment you want to reach.

Developing relevant products and creating an emotional connection starts on the front end with understanding your customer’s pain points, the progress a customer is trying to make in a given situation, and knowing their emotional drivers to prove that you get them.

When Natural Valley wanted to reach the Hispanic market, they asked, “How do we tell the Natural Valley story to Latinos?” The answer in the general market was: hiking to the top of the mountain or kayaking on rapid waters. Adventure stories of how nature was conquered. However, when Casanova Pendrill, asked the question, they uncovered that to Latinos the parks served as their natural adventure and that all natural ingredients get you into the nature lifestyle.

Emotionally Connected Customers are More Valuable

Emotional drivers vary by customer segment and product category. Customers who form an emotional attachment to a brand are 52% more valuable than those who are just highly satisfied, according to a Harvard Business Review article by Scott Magids.

But, gathering demographic facts about a customer and implementing general market strategies or translations won’t capture what really motivates Hispanic customers to take action. Think of it this way: You can know a person’s age, height, and family size, but that won’t tell you why she bought a camera today. Maybe she needs to feel that she belong —a reason no amount of demographic data will reveal.

When Little Cesar’s Pizza wanted to reach Latinos in California’s Central Valley, we found out that eating pizza for first generation Latinos meant going to a seat down restaurant to celebrate with family and friends. The experience gave them a sense of accomplishment. It was not a utilitarian transaction to ease the day and cook a meal. Thus, Little Cesar’s Pizza needed to change the customer behavior and idea that eating at restaurant is the only way to celebrate special occasions.

Being Relevant Is About Helping Your Customers Tell Their Story With Your Brand

Helping your customers tell their story is about understanding how your brand enables your customer tell who they are. It requires exploring your consumers cultural and social context to learn how they feel and how to capture the unseen cultural subtleties. By understanding how they feel, think, say, and do about life, you will get a better understanding how your product or idea might fit into your customers lives, helping you become relevant.

When we worked on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Zika campaign in Puerto Rico, we learned that living with mosquitos is part of their daily life and that mosquito-born desease campaigns were nothing new to them. Thus, the new campaign was rapidly falling into depth ears. Like a new song played too many times, goes into a background noise. So we asked how does mosquito preventing measures fit into their daily life? And we uncovered that what we needed to do was not telling what to do instead reminding them that preventing measures are part of their daily routing to enjoy the things they like to do, such drinking coffee with friends, going to the beach, and watching movies.

Given the enormous opportunity to capture the Hispanic market and create value, companies should diffuse the cultural tension between marketing to Hispanic consumers as general market. It will be harder to make an emotional connection that inspire action if you don’t develop a Hispanic strategy based on cultural insight.

You can begin to lessen general versus Hispanic marketing strategy tension by developing a strategy with cultual insights, uncovering emotional drivers, and helping your customers tell their story with your brand.

Hispanic, Latino, Markerting,

3 Horrible Mistakes You’re Making with Latino Marketing

If your growth plans includes tapping into the Latino market, you’re probably taking into some consideration how to implement your plans for a positive ROI. These can range from using internal staff, translating English campaigns to Spanish or hiring a subject matter expert or an agency. All these are viable options to look at. Regardless of what option you choose to go with, three tactics that you should consider carefully are:

Audience:

The Latino market is growing and changing. Now you have different segments with different cultural values going from traditional to non-traditional with shades of grey in between. Treating everyone equally will not resonate and capture their attention.

What can you do? Segment your audience by cultural orientation and focus on aspirational values to engage and develop messages. Remember that one message does not fit all.

Mobile:

“Hispanic consumers see mobile technology as critical to support their mobile lifestyle”- Price Water Coopers

Latinos are mobile mavens and are using smartphones to engage with brands on a deeper level. They are more socially connected with friends and family according to the latest report from univison.com. They are actively seeking out deals and making purchases – all day long on their smartphones. Look at some of the numbers from Google, Univision and eMarketer research:

  • 81% of Hispanic mobile subscribers own a smartphone.
  • 80% more likely than their non-Hispanic counterparts to actually purchase the products they see advertised on their mobile devices.
  • 20% more likely to download and 18% more likely to video stream than non-Latinos.
  • 68% of the respondents who search at least monthly do so on their mobile devices to find the information they need.
  • 11+ hours each month watching digital video.
  • 39% more time watching video on their smartphones each month vs. total population.

What can you do? Think mobile first, then create content that is engaging, easy to consume, and helps your audience move towards their aspiration and intentions. Remember that Latino generations differ on the digital channel purpose and how they are used.

Influence:

Latinos want to hear from people like them.

Culturally, Latinos are well connected in their personal lives on and offline with influential networks of friends and family. The power of word of mouth is an influence driver to their purchase decision.

According to Keller Fay Group, Hispanics are talking about 20 more brands per week than non-Hispanics. Further, Univision reports that 79% of online Latinos have a presence on social media sites and they share 5 times more often than non-Hispanics via social media. What is more interesting is that 35% of the content they share is more likely to be clicked on by others.

What can you do? Develop a communication program that sparks conversations on and offline with content that is sharable. This can involve working with influencers to share your content or create user generated content that supports your brand, implementing a twitter chat, Google hangout or on the ground event.

Whatever option you choose to implent to grow with the Latino market, start with understanding your audience, thinking mobile first, and  answering the following questions- What do you want others to say about your brand? What are you doing to promote conversation around your brand?

 

 

 

 

Hispanic, Brand, word of mouth, marketing

Hispanic conversations are essential to brand preference

Word of mouth marketing drives 13% of consumer sales and amplifies the effect of paid media by 15% according to the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA). What is not a surprise is the fact that Hispanic consumers are leading in brand word of mouth (WOM) conversations.  Hispanics are social by nature and by culture. For Hispanics its about the “we” and not the “I”.  Connecting with friends and family is a way to keep up with brands and current events, according to a recent study by Latina Media Ventures.

Hispanics place a really high value on community. Connecting to stay in touch, to be in the know,  and to share stories is an extension of that value. Conversation sometime referred as “el chime” that takes place over the phone, via text, online, or in-person among family, friends and the rest of the social network.

Why is this important?

Hispanics turn to family and friends for information and make decisions as a group.  According to SMG Multicultural, 57% said family and friends are the primary source of information, while 60% are influenced by their partners and 50% from their children when making decisions.  This correlates with a WOMMA study of English- and Spanish-speaking Hispanics that found that Spanish-speaking Hispanics word of mouth is highly actionable. It is likely to contain a buy or try recommendation, be passed along or lead to purchase.

Every day in the U.S. Hispanics generate 483 million brand impression via WOM and 241.5 million come are from Hispanic millennials ages 18 to 34 according to Keller Fay Group. Looking at in another way,  21% of the 2.3 billion WOM impression each day are from Hispanic conversations.  According to WOMMA study,  Hispanics engage in 110 brand conversations per week vs. 72 for the total public – 53% more word of mouth than the total public. In addition, Spanish-speaking Hispanic consumers amplify advertising  more in brand conversations than the total public (40% vs 25%) . That is a significant opportunity if you consider the following:

  • Conversations increases marketing effectiveness up to 54%, and a 10% increase in conversations resulted in a sales lift of up to 1.5% according to marketing-analytics expert MarketShare.
  • Hispanics will constitute 119 million people or 28.6% of U.S. population by 2060 and will have $1.7 trillion buying power by 2017 according to Statista.
  • Spanish-dominant are talking about 30-40 more brands per week than non-Hispanics
  • Hispanic millennials are engaging in nearly 20% more WOM than their non-Hispanic millennial counterparts.

How do you ignite the conversation? 

Give them something to talk about: Find your brand purpose and tell your story. Latinos support brands that support community causes, helps them drive their aspirations, provide a great experience, and become part of their community. Marketers should ask:

  • How does my product/brand fits into my audience life?
  • How is it helping them accomplish their goals?

Think mobile: Hispanic consumers are not only the fastest-growing demographic in the U.S., they’re also trendsetters in digital, leading the growth in device ownership and online usage. According to Nielsen, nearly three out of four Hispanics (72%) already owned smartphones, 95% of Hispanic smartphone owners used social sites and apps, and make up a growing share of mobile shoppers accounting for one in eight U.S. consumers who use their smartphones and tablets to shop.

Engage offline:  Offline events give you a great opportunity to create an experience, get Latinos together, and ignite a conversation that can be amplify online. Think passion points – music, sports, food, movies and community.  According to WOMMA, offline worth of mouth had a more significant impact on buying outcomes than social media.

Next time your are thinking about capture the hearts and minds of the Latino consumer, ask what would I like them to say about me.

Does your marketing influence the Latino Consumer?

The other day, my wife was talking with my daughter after dinner about IBS – irritable bowel syndrome. My son in law was on his smart phone. I thought he was playing with his new toy. Nope, he was doing research and joined the conversation by sharing what he had found. A few minutes later, he said – I need to go to see the doctor. Robert had an Aha moment. The moment he said I need to do this. The moment he decided to take action.

For marketers, this is a key moment of truth. However, influencing the “aha” moment is more than communicating with the end consumer. We live in a more connected and complex world and we are facing some of the biggest challenges ever experienced in marketing to Hispanics, as demographics and technology changes consumer behavior.

2060 Hispanics will become 119 million of U.S. population

In 2014, Hispanics were 17.14% of the U.S. population totaling 55.4 million people that equaled 12.2 million Hispanic family households. It is estimated that by 2060 Hispanics will constitute 119 million people or 28.6% of U.S. population. Since 2000 the primary source of Hispanic growth has shifted from immigration to native births. Hispanic millennials (18-34) make up the second largest Hispanic cohort living in the U.S.

No one wakes up and says “I want to see an ad”, more likely they want to share a story. A story of something that they saw, read, heard, or talked about the day before.

In the past, the role of a media strategy was the selection of media channels to reach a specific target. It was fairly straightforward, we had a few channels to play with – TV, radio, print, outdoors, and online. Today we no longer rely on a few channels for communication.

Consumers are overwhelm and are filtering information. We live in a crowded, noisy, place. On average, people in the US receive 5,000 brand messages per day according to Razorfish. No wonder our attention span has fallen to 8 seconds in 2013 from 12 seconds in 2000 according to a Microsoft research. A goldfish has a greater attention span than you and I.

Thus, it is more relevant to think that marketing’s purpose is to be in front of influencers and to think of media channels as touch points. Touch points that helps you tell your story to your customers’ family and social network. Hispanics turn to family and friends for information. According to SMG Multicultural, 57% said family and friends are the primary source of information, while 60% are influenced by their partners and 50% from their children when making decisions. The good news is that Latinos are socially engaged on and offline and this offers a great opportunity to increase your touch points and influence the aha moment.

“Hispanic consumers perceive themselves as a more mobile segment, and view mobile technology as a critical support for this lifestyle”- pwc

Hispanics access media from every platform available and often lead non-Hispanics as early adopters of technology. According to Nielsen, overall media consumption is still rapidly growing. Much of this growth is led by the Hispanic population digital video viewing. Nearly half of Hispanics watches mobile video and spend more time than the overall population watching video on their smartphone every month. And we are not just talking about millennials. Older Hispanics have adopted mobile video, too: 20% of 60+ Hispanics watch streaming video on a weekly basis vs. 8% for non-Hispanics according to Latinum Network research.

Latinos are more likely to download apps 74% vs. 66% of non-Latinos. What is more interesting is that Spanish speaking Hispanics are driving up the social app usage. In fact, nearly 70% Spanish speaking users vs.51% for English speaking and 60% of bilingual Hispanics are driving social apps consumption, according to Hispanic internet users surveyed in December 2013 by Latinum Network.

According to Nielsen, television remains a key way for reaching the Hispanic community. Hispanics spend roughly the same amount of time as non-Hispanics watching TV, as 63% of Hispanics report being moderate/heavy TV viewers (defined as at least nine hours spent per week) compared to 61% of non-Hispanics. However, Hispanics are more likely to multitask on other devices while watching TV, over half engaged in various online activities than non-Hispanics. For example, 51% of Hispanics report being likely or very likely to browse the internet while watching TV, compared to 40% of non-Hispanics).

This growth toward a larger and more diverse Hispanic market and a more complex media industry requires a new approach to reach their desired consumers.

How can we strengthen our marketing strategy when traditional models are becoming impotent?

We focus on 3 pillars that remain constant. Cultural + Content + Context. One of the most important factors in reaching Hispanics is connecting culture to content to context.

Culture – One size doesn’t fit all. Hispanics are culturally diverse and live in a multigenerational community. One in four Hispanic families have at least three generations leaving in the same household. And while Hispanic millennials may want to strike out on their own, they are also more likely to still be living in their parents’ home. GenX, Boomers, millennial, and the upcoming Z generation have different cultural orientation. Such orientation that ranges from traditional to more liberal values giving marketers a gamma to play with.

Culture is additive, it’s not a zero sum game. I can be 100% and Latino and 100% American at the same time without giving up any part of my culture to become more American. Being Bi-lingual and Bi-cultural is a duality that is part of my reality everyday. I encourage you to not look at Hispanic culture as one overreaching guide. Instead look at the cultural orientation and focus on the cultural aspirational values for each Hispanic segment. For instance,

  • First generation Hispanics want a better future for their children
  • Latino millennials want to “stand out and be noticed. This group wants to become heroes, healers, and rescuers as well as small business owners
  • Latinas are the household CMO (chief medical officer) helping everyone be safe and healthy

Content – Create content that speaks to their aspirational values. Make it shareable.

For Latinos it’s not about me, it’s about we. Hispanics make large decisions in a more collective setting with members in the household or family who may be at different levels of language proficiency. That’s a great opportunity to increase your touch points by a factor of three.

Creating content that speaks to how Latinos can achieve their aspirations will help you be relevant, increase engagement, and ignite dialogue among family and friends.

Ask the following questions:

  • How does this content help my audience move towards his/her aspirations?
  • How are we making it sharable?

I can’t talk about content without touching on language preference – Spanish, English or Bilingual. Pew Research reports that six in ten Hispanic adults living in the U.S. speak English or are bilingual. According to the U.S. Census, 38.4 million Hispanics (5 and older) in the United States spoke Spanish at home in 2013, a 120 percent increase since 1990. However more than half (58%) of Spanish speakers spoke English very well.

Spanish, English or Bilingual does have to be an either or proposition. Depending on your target audience, chances are you will need both to communicate properly to reach the Hispanic community.

According to a 2014 Nielsen’s Neuroscience study, conducted on Effects of Language in Advertising, Language Matters for Emotional Connection, Resonance, and Memory appropriate use of Spanish and Spanglish enhances resonance and memory. English language messaging may not be the most effective, unless audio and visuals are balanced with language. And Spanish/Spanglish may offer the biggest benefit when communicating to bilingual audiences. Although it can be tempting to just translate English to Spanish-language, remember that audio and visual clues play a crucial role in evoking emotions, creating resonance, and ad recall.

Context– Context is personal and like culture, one size does not fit all.

In media strategy, context is answering the why and how each Hispanics segments uses different media channels. In other words, understanding how a channel fits in to your customers life. This is important, because as media continues to evolve and get more fragmented, consumer behavior with existing channels will change as well.

One way to find out is doing  the following exercise:

My (audience) use this (media channel) to ______  in this circumstance _______

For instance:

  • First generation Hispanic males will use an Apple Watch to check phone messages because he can’t hear his phone.
  • Hispanic millennials use Twitter chats and Facebook to advance a cause or share important community information
  • A Spanish speaking mom uses Facebook and WhatsApp to keep in touch with family and friends in their countries.

With a more diverse Hispanic market and evolving media landscape that is becoming more and more fragmented, focusing on cultural orientation, generation’s media context, and developing aspirational content your Hispanic marketing strategy can influence an aha! moment, so your customers as like my son in law can say- I need to do this.