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.

Are you telling your story in a culturally relevant way to Hispanics?

Are you telling your story in a culturally relevant way to Hispanics?

Recently, while talking with a colleague she expressed her frustration about how Spanish translations become the default tactic to address the Latino audience. Although I can understand the efficiency justification – time and budget -a one-size-fits all strategy is a risky proposition and can produce less than expected results. Attention is waning and is more difficult to secure than ever, and the questions the Latino audience are asking- is this for me, are you talking to me? Only translating general market messages and creative into Spanish might miss the mark to connect with your Latino audience.

Spanish is important , cultural relevany is more important

Spanish is important, but cultural relevancy is more important

Spanish-language is a unifying force and the minimum denominator to show relevancy. It is easy to see, like the top of the iceberg. However, what you don’t see that is deeply rooted in culture and closely interconnected to emotions, what is underneath the water has a strong influence on how Latinos perceive most aspects of their lives. Understanding how the Latino segment interpret and perceive the world, their beliefs, attitudes, values, and social norms regarding specific situations, can be the difference between connecting and engaging with the Hispanic audience or getting lost in translation. According to Felipe Korzenny, professor of Advertising and Integrated Marketing and Management Communication at Florida State University (FSU), “it is the subjectivity of the interpretation of cultural values that makes one portrayal relevant to one group and not to another”. Incorporating a cultural perspective and nuance adds intimacy to the communication strategy.

Incorporate cultural nuances into the message and creative to achieve higher memorability and likeability

According to a Nielsen Brand Effect study that analyzed ROI Spanish-language TV campaigns effectiveness compared to their English-language General Market TV ads, found that original Spanish content that is culturally tailored to the U.S. Hispanic market outperform ads that are simply translated into Spanish.

So how can you achieve stronger cultural relevancy? The following 3 questions can help you start the conversation:

  • Is there a universal consumer insight we can leverage or a different understanding that will be more relevant and effective?
  • What is the right motivational appeal to emotionally engage Hispanics?
  • What are the cultural elements and identification (seen and unseen) that needs to be incorporated?

Spanish language is a unifying factor and effective in reaching Latino audiences. However don’t diminish the importance of developing original content, creating a narrative storyline, and making it relatable with familiar and real world settings. Incorporating the cultural perspective should not be lost on any Latino segment. Knowing how a priority group feels about life, health, the future, love, death, children, career, art, sex, etc, and how to capture the unseen cultural subtleties, empowers you to evoke emotions and tell your story in a cultural relevant way.

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.

Social Context: Key to Latino Marketing

Marketing communication plans are crucial to reaching potential Latino consumers and a well-planned advertising/promotions campaign could result in positive ROI. However, marketing to Latinos should go beyond marketing communications. The marketing plan should look at all moments of truths, from products to services, to be designed, created or adapted for cultural relevancy and social context experience.

From a marketing perspective, it makes a big difference whether Latinos are new immigrants or more acculturated and whether they in live in more established areas such as Los Angeles or high-growing Latino markets such as Baltimore. Their marketing maturity, media consumption, and purchasing patterns differ considerably

Although Latinos in general share the same cultural values—community orientation, authority, religion, respect, and family— these values vary from country to country and within a county between rural and urban centers. These values are passed from generation to generation but are weakening as the younger Latino generations are integrated into mainstream America.

Furthermore, the social context and ethnic networks where Latino live influence the adaptation of new values, beliefs, attitudes, feelings, and needs regarding different products and services. External factors, such as geographic region, immigrant acceptance, and labor markets increase the reliance on personal networks and brand loyalty.

Latinos are a collective culture – a culture that likes to share and engage with immediate family, extended family, friends and business and brands. Each product or service experience builds credibility, trust and loyalty towards the company or brand. If the experience is positive, the brand or product becomes an integral part of their lives. On the other hand, if it is negative, it becomes a topic to share among family and friends.

Therefore, a company that takes into consideration all these different factors understanding the differences in values and beliefs between new immigrants and more acculturated Latinos, their social context, and engagement preferences provides a window of how to better develop communications, products and service experiences to reach this diverse community.