By Connect360 Multimedia
The U.S. Hispanic population continues to be one of the most powerful marketing segments in the country, both in terms of population size and purchasing power. According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s population estimates, as of 2013, there are roughly 54 million Hispanics living in the United States, making people of Hispanic origin the nation’s largest ethnic or race minority. By 2060, the Census Bureau is projecting that the U.S. Hispanic population will rise to 128.8 million, or 31 percent of the nation’s population. Marketing research indicates that, this year, the U.S. Hispanic market’s purchasing power is expected to rise to $1.5 trillion, representing an increase of 50 percent from 2010.
Based on this growth, it is not surprising that many organizations are interested in targeting Hispanics as part of their marketing campaigns. However, it is a common misconception is that all one needs to do to turn a marketing campaign into a Hispanic campaign is to translate it into Spanish. It is vital that organizations recognize that an effective Hispanic marketing campaign involves much more than just translation. A major factor in obtaining a strong return on your investment, as well as significant website traffic for any Spanish-language campaign, is to develop a culturally-oriented, “blended media” approach.
It is also important to understand that the online Hispanic community is extensive and growing. They are heavy mobile users, deeply engaged and socially influential. For these reasons, it is necessary to understand and identify the web as a tool in marketing your Hispanic campaign. This will better enable you to deliver the results you are hoping for when you are in the initial planning and development stages of your campaign.
Here are a few key considerations and steps that will help create the path for a successful Hispanic marketing campaign:
Determine your target audience.
Are you targeting a younger or older demographic? With the emergence of new media outlets aimed at younger, English-language dominant Hispanics (e.g. Univision’s Fusion Network) and the myriad of online and social media channels being used by Hispanic teens and young adults, this creates great opportunities to target this segment of the population via English-language or bilingual campaigns. For older populations or Spanish-dominant Hispanics, providing information in Spanish remains important.
Also, are you looking to reach specific Hispanic ethnic groups (e.g. Mexican, Cuban, Puerto Rican), or target certain areas of the country? The answers to these types of questions will help determine the geographic and demographic targeting strategies and nuances that will work best for your specific audience.
Language is key, but so is culture.
Based on our work with Hispanic media outlets, they indicate that they are typically underserved when it comes to Spanish-language content and PSA information. However, they can easily tell when information has simply been “translated”, versus created specifically for Hispanics, which can impact usage.
This is particularly true when it comes to public service announcements, online content and paid advertising. Campaigns that feature Hispanic talent and those that incorporate culturally-oriented themes will have a far better chance of resonating with Hispanic media outlets and audiences. Additionally, if your campaign spokesperson is not a native Spanish speaker, it’s important that he or she can communicate accurately and effectively, so Spanish-speaking audiences will understand your messages and help ensure credibility for your organization.
Think beyond traditional.
In years past, a Hispanic marketing campaign typically consisted of spokesperson interviews or media tours for Spanish-language news media. Marketers and nonprofits are now branching out towards Hispanic-oriented public service announcements, multimedia news releases, Spanish-language online campaigns, blogger relations and social media promotions. These tactics are highly effective tools for reaching Hispanic audiences while offering longer-term coverage and a very strong return on investment.
Know the online landscape.
Online marketing for most organizations used to entail placing banners on numerous websites hoping to generate website traffic, and perhaps sending out blast e-mails to a list of blogs in the hopes that one or two might post about a specific cause. Today, Internet marketing has become so technically advanced that tactics such as search intent marketing, behavioral and site retargeting, Look-A-Like modeling, along with precise demographic and geographic profiling, allow your organization to target individuals as they are engaged online within their personal web funnel. This creates a powerful one-to-one marketing message with the exact viewers you are looking to reach.
It is also important to recognize the many online platforms that are available to promote your message. Internet radio services, such as Pandora and Spotify, have the potential to reach millions in the Hispanic community. Demographic targeting posts on Facebook and Twitter, when employed in tandem with one-to-one blogger engagement, can create a viral marketing campaign that enhances your organization’s overall message awareness across the web. The technology is there; it is a matter of recognizing the opportunities that this new technology creates and taking advantage of them.
Are you prepared for Hispanic callers or website visitors?
Having back-end information available in Spanish can help ensure that your campaign will generate the customers or donors you are looking for. If your website does not feature information in Spanish, a separate site is not always necessary. Many organizations have incorporated Spanish-language sections on their websites which are usually titled “En Español” featuring backgrounders, mission statements and other key information. If your 800 number is not equipped with Spanish-speaking staffers, consider partnering with a specialized call center that can handle inquiries effectively and professionally.
You are not alone.
If you are interested in these tactics but don’t have the proper internal staff or resources for executing a Hispanic campaign, you don’t have to do this alone. Working with experienced multicultural professionals who can offer the right counsel for your specific needs, and help you navigate through the nuances of a Hispanic campaign can save a lot of time and work (and ultimately yield far better results). For example, campaign materials are best translated by professionals rather than by a staff member who may know some Spanish. Pitching Hispanic media outlets should be done by bilingual publicists who have the expertise and relationships for engaging with different type of Spanish-language outlets.
Connecting the Dots…
The Hispanic market is not only growing, but it also has its own unique set of ethnic groups, cultural needs, preferences and media choices. This underscores the importance of making sure that marketers understand how to best reach the different segments of this diverse population. Once they are effectively engaged, Hispanics tend to be passionate and loyal about the causes and products they stand behind. These characteristics are among the hallmarks of the Hispanic culture, making it well worth the effort to take the path towards a successful Hispanic marketing campaign.
For more information:
To learn how Connect360 Multimedia, a Capitol Communicator sponsor, can help you plan your upcoming Hispanic marketing campaign; or for more information about this article, please contact Ivette Achong, vice president; or Chris Cavello, partner and senior vice president, at 212-624-9180.