Four Reasons Why Your 2019 Marketing Budget Should Target Hispanics

December 1, 2018

By Danny Fritz- Forbes Council

The Hispanic community is one of the largest, most dynamic consumer bases in the U.S. marketing landscape right now.

According to Nielsen, in 2016, the nation’s 57 million Hispanics reached $1.4 trillion in buying power. That’s expected to grow to $1.8 trillion by 2021. Hispanics in the U.S. also have the highest population growth rate — the population is expected to double over the next 40 years.

And yet many companies still don’t carve out the resources and budget to address the Hispanic market. If anything, they’ll typically focus strictly on translation rather than adapting and transforming their campaigns for this market. But reaching this demographic is much more than simply speaking the language.

Hispanics also have subcultural differences dependent on their heritage and place of origin. This is not to suggest that brands should tailor their campaigns to Caribbean Hispanics or South American Hispanics, but rather they should be aware of existing cultural differences. From generation to first language to education, each subculture can have unique attributes depending on their location within the U.S.

Businesses need to develop messaging with their audience in mind. In the age of hyper-competition, being able to connect strongly with an underserved group can be a competitive advantage for brand sales and growth.

Here are four reasons why you should strongly consider targeting Hispanics:

This demographic tends to actively engage with brands online.

Companies strive to reach customers who actively engage with their brands. According to a Nielsen report, 92% of Hispanic households have access to the internet and agree that it’s a great outlet for gathering information and recommendations. The report also observes that “the need for connection to their community, culture and family, as well as to brands, trends, the news and the rest of the world, is a driving force behind Hispanics’ varied and over-indexing usage of the internet.”

According to Viant research, Hispanic shoppers are active within their communities online and turn to social to research, review and advocate for brands. Nearly 50% of survey participants report they have participated in an online discussion involving a brand or have used a brand’s hashtag, compared to 17% of non-Hispanic shoppers.

The Hispanic market might be dismissive if you only focus on changing the language, so develop a campaign with them in mind from the start. They can be great ambassadors for your brand once they recognize that their culture and values are being represented.

Including culturally relevant elements can drive engagement for an online campaign. If you speak to their cultural sensibilities such as food, family and traditions, you may be able to resonate with Hispanics online. Hispanics want brands to embrace their cultural relevance. They want the opportunity to sustain their cultural identity while also being immersed into mainstream American culture.

Shaping your campaign to be culturally relevant to the Hispanic audience can play a prominent role in customer acquisition and, in turn, foster invaluable brand loyalty.

They are early adopters of technology.

The Hispanic demographic is highly receptive to exploring new ideas and consuming all types of media. As early adopters of new technology, Hispanics are a great market to target for introducing new concepts. They were the first to adopt smartphones and are likely to watch movies and browse the web on their gaming console. Essentially, this tech-savvy group is the trendsetter in the digital media market.

Further, Hispanics spend more than 52 hours per week on their smartphone, using apps or the web up to eight hours more than non-Hispanics. With 80% of Hispanic adults accessing the internet through mobile devices, it’s important to consider aiming your digital-focused campaign toward them.

They’re community-focused.

The Hispanic market is community-focused and highly values word-of-mouth recommendations. For instance, a Hispanic consumer is much more likely to buy into a product if another family member already has a favorable opinion of it. This family-oriented mentality leads to strong community engagement.

Paired with their knowledge of technology, this market is constantly connected and able to actively share the content they consume online with their peers. They listen to the opinions of others in their community, whether it be in person or online, but the former is where they are exceptionally present. Their online presence allows them to easily see what their friends and colleagues are talking about.

These interactions also create chances for discussions and an opportunity to get feedback on your efforts. As mentioned, recognizing their culture and values will help foster conversations about the content you produce.

Consider what brings this demographic together. Shared entertainment experiences that are community-focused such as sporting events and music festivals are great starting points for finding ways to be relevant to this group. Creating partnerships with Hispanic influencers can also be effective, as this group wants to see people online who reflect their culture and values.

With an importance placed on community, also look to opportunities where you can be environmentally conscious and involved in social causes supported by the target community. This will show the value and personalized care your company places on them.

They have (buying) power in numbers.

The Hispanic population is the fastest-growing segment and accounts for almost half of the U.S. population’s growth. Hispanics also make up a large percentage of millennials, with 51% of the U.S. Hispanic population below the age of 30.

Hispanics are heavy media consumers, and Hispanic millennials are even more connected to media. They are a digital-first and socially progressive community that wants more choices. Providing content in Spanish is just the start of reaching them.

In the coming years, the Hispanic market will only continue to grow. These valuable consumers are loyal, receptive to new ideas and well-connected within the community. Being aware of existing cultural differences within this market is also necessary. Understanding Hispanic culture and values opens the door for key messaging opportunities to capitalize on this market.