During the past 30 years "Generation Ñ" hasn't gone unnoticed by the American society, nor by the American media; however, lately it is getting a lot of buzz in the industry.
|Latinos are the nation's biggest and youngest minority group|
|Latinos make up about 18% of all youths in the U.S. ages 16 to 25|
Generation Ñ + Online Communities = The New General Market
Poll: Young Hispanics embrace American life, but keep roots
Hispanic Youth Treads a Difficult Path
Hispanic Market Hits Tipping Point
Hispanic Millenials Causing Big Trouble for Hispanic Ad Agencies
Beyond Demographics: The Online World Of Young Hispanics
This is very exciting news for those of us who are strong believers and supporters of Crosscultural Marketing. Ogilvy is the most recent advertising agency to embrace the Crosscultural Model within the last several months, which is helping to pioneer the paradigm shift that will transform the U.S. advertising industry.
Contrary to what the detractors of the model might say, we are not talking about Anglo marketers experimenting with multicultural audiences. Rather, all these shops (Draftfcb, Richards/Lerma, Crispin Porter, 22squared, etc) have recruited truly multicultural experts with years of solid experience in ethnic markets to manage the multicultural business of their clients.
It seems like it is just a matter of time for the entire U.S. advertising landscape to evolve into a multicultural industry, which would be a true reflection of today's U.S. society. And to be fair, the evolution should include Hispanic agencies managing the Anglo business of their clients as well. I'm personally hoping to see that happen soon.
Stay tuned because this process has just begun, and like many of you, I can't wait to see which advertising agency will be next.
It may seem as if the same song is being sung by a number of different choirs. The opportunity to reach powerful segments is here today. But how about we not "dip our toes in the water" and make a true commitment to these segments? Let's be honest, we as marketers have known about this opportunity for a while.
This is the time for brands to set the direction that will impact them for the next 20 years. What should brands do? Allocate most of its resources to today’s pure “general market” consumer or to put them into the multicultural Gen Y consumer to win over the market segment that's going to continue increasing dramatically? I believe the best approach is the latter.
The fact is that those marketers brave and insightful enough to see and proactively engage the new consumer will be far ahead of their competition. Engaging this younger more multi-cultural segment in a relevant and authentic manner will lead to ROI now and down the road.
The marketers are naming their models: Total Market Approach, as we call it in Richards/Lerma, Crossculturalism as Ken Muench, one of the savviest US Hispanic planners - in my opinion - calls it, or Transcultutal marketing, as I like to call it; but it all boils down to the General Market work influencing the Hispanic work, and the Hispanic work influencing the General Market work in a way that makes brands stronger.
When I came across Levi's Fitting Experience Platform I was not sure if I was more fascinated by the product they had created, or by the brilliant social media approach. Levi's Digital Fitting Experience is, without a doubt, one of the most significant global digital campaigns to date, executed by the brand that invented jeans for women nearly 75 years ago, and that is today using digital as the backbone of a global product launch.
Levi's Experience provides women with engaging content and personalized tools to demystify the process of finding perfect-fitting jeans, based on their shape, not size. Women are able to identify their Levi’s CURVE ID fit by completing an interactive quiz and following a simple step-by-step measurement process.
According to research conducted by the brand, 54% of women try on at least 10 pairs of jeans before finding "the one", yet when the jeans don’t fit, women blame themselves. Was Levi's really listening to the internal dialogue women have with themselves when trying on jeans? According to Mary Alderete, Levi’s vice president of global women's marketing, they indeed were. By interpreting the numerous insights of study participants, Levi's was able to create a new system that added to the traditional dimensions of jeans – length and width – by adding a third dimension; shape. "From now on, it is shape that counts, not size".
Levi's strategy - A perfect fit for the Hispanic market
Whether or not Levi's decides to translate its digital platform into Spanish, the product and the message are naturally relevant to the Hispanic woman. Fashion is fashion, but when it comes to shopping for jeans, Latinas look for what fits their body type, which tends to be different not only from the Anglo woman's body type, but from other Latinas as well.
Women from Central America often have more Aztec blood mixed with European, so they tent to be shorter than those from South America who often have greater European mix. Central American and Mexican women, often look for petite versions of clothes to fit their smaller frame.
The body shape of Latinas from South America often resembles that of women from Spain, not very curvy, but not as tall as the Anglo woman either. Many Latinas that come from the Caribbean, (Cubans, Dominicans and Puerto Ricans) often have a mix of African blood so their body types tend to be more curvy and resemble more those of African-American women. These women are looking for clothes that accentuate curves and are not designed for the less curvy South American woman.
Finally a jeans manufacturer that can please all Latinas and Anglo women with one product
In order to develop its CURVE ID line, Levi's conducted extensive research that showed that 80% of women around the world fall into three distinct body shapes, so one size could never fit all. Their goal was to engage women online with their interactive, custom fit experience that matches them with their perfect Levi’s® CURVE ID fit whether they are a Slight Curve, Demi Curve or Bold Curve. Or should we say whether she is Anglo, Mexican, Argentinean, Puerto Rican or Colombian?
However we want to put it, this may forever change the way women shop for jeans.
eMarketer estimates there are nearly 30 million Hispanic internet users in the US this year. Hispanics are underrepresented online, with less than 60% accessing the internet at least monthly, compared with 76% of non-Hispanic whites and 63.8% of blacks. And according to June 2010 data from the Associated Press and Univision, online Hispanics spend more time with English-language content on the web than with Spanish-language sites and information.
Hispanics were also significantly more likely to report spending no time using the Spanish-language internet, at 53%, vs. just 32% who said they spent no time on English-language sites.
This research falls in line with earlier studies, such as one published in 2009 by Ipsos that found 59% of Hispanic men and 51% of Hispanic women preferred English on the internet. Even 10% of respondents whose primary language was Spanish would rather go online in English, according to that study.
But attitudinal research shows that marketers must still reach out to Hispanics in Spanish. Experian Simmons found in December 2009 that more than two in five Hispanics felt Spanish-language advertising is a sign that companies respect their heritage, and nearly as many said they were more loyal toward companies that show such respect. Spanish-language ads were unsurprisingly more important to Spanish-dominant consumers than to fluent English speakers, but solid percentages of all Hispanics care when marketers make the effort to connect with them through their own language and culture.
That also means Spanish-language marketing content should not appear second best. Unfortunately, however, that is increasingly the case.
As eMarketer senior analyst Lisa Phillips wrote in May, “many of the Spanish-version sites are lagging behind their English counterparts. According to AOL’s Hispanic Cyberstudy, one-quarter of Hispanic Internet users say they could not do all the same things on a Spanish-language site that they could do on the corresponding English-language site.”
During the months of June, September and November, Hispanic shoppers’ primary shopping goals show a significant change in rank with their priority being more on “concern for family satisfaction” and “one-stop shopping” and less on “saving money.” These months also coincide with significant shopping events: summer, back-to-school, and holiday shopping. This data suggests that while general shoppers may hunt for the best back-to-school deals, summer savings or holiday sales, Hispanic shoppers seek approval from their kids and family members over purchasing the cheapest item.
With the exception of the three major stocking-up events mentioned, saving money and convenience are usually the top shopping goals for Hispanic shoppers. They are traditionally more value-driven and less likely to use in-store tools than the general market. When it comes to shopping aids, Hispanics appear less responsive to in-store messaging than non-Hispanics with neither messaging at-shelf, nor in-store TV being cited as tools that help make a purchasing decision.
“Although many retailers and brands develop communication aimed at both the general and Hispanic markets, our research indicates that it’s not necessarily reaching the Hispanic shopper,” said Martin Ferro, Senior Planner for Velocidad, an integrated Hispanic promotional, retail and shopper marketing capability of The Integer Group. “Brands must be deep-rooted in the more meaningful insights that distinguish Hispanic communication from general market communication, especially during key shopping events.”
Hispanic shoppers are also more likely than the general public to switch brands. A contributing factor is the acceptance by family members of private-label brands in the household. Significantly more Hispanic shoppers perceive less difference in product quality of private and brand name products than general market shoppers. Surprisingly this is even more pronounced at higher income levels ($75,000+).
Although there is an increase in private label purchases, many Hispanic shoppers that haven’t been as affected by the economy as others are sticking with familiar brands despite having to occasionally buy them less often.
“Of those Hispanic shoppers who reported no change in their shopping behavior this year, 67 percent said they stick with their brand of choice, even if another brand is cheaper,” said Randy Wahl, Executive Vice President, M/A/R/C Research.
Data for The Checkout comes from a national survey conducted by Integer and M/A/R/C where consumers are asked about their shopping attitudes, shopping behaviors, and economic outlook. Topics range from criteria shoppers use to select retailers, to which in-store stimulus is most likely to drive purchase, to factors that might lead shoppers to leave an aisle empty-handed. The Checkout is available for download at Integer’s blog www.ShopperCulture.com or M/A/R/C’s web sitewww.MARCresearch.com/thecheckout.
Passion is what fuels the best of what we do. It’s that tireless drive to do something that we feel matters that will bring us forward in so many ways. Whitney is passionate about helping parents understand (and feel more comfortable with) learning disabilities. Jon is passionate about connecting with communities to provide spiritual guidance and observations from simple life. Gary Vaynerchuk is passionate about wine in ways that startle first time observers of his show. A key to your success in life is to find and enhance this same passion.
Passion is Rarely aligned With What’s Popular
A bunch of years back, I talked to Ingrid Lucia and the Flying Neutrinos. They’re calling themselves a jazz band, but they do New Orleans style swing jazz. When Swing hit really hard in the US, they rode the wave, but they’d been doing swing for years before folks came out to see them. Now that the wave passed, they’re still doing what they’re passionate about, and it still sounds great.
If you’re in the current wave, ride it, and that’s cool. But don’t seek out something to do based on the wave. My best advice in this regard is that sometimes that which you’re passionate about can be made to align with what’s
currently interesting to the world. But don’t fake it. It just won’t last, and your own brand will suffer along the way.
Passion is hard to Fake
Authenticity matters. Most people can sense authenticity without a lot of effort. They can also sense when you’ve one astray from what truly matters to you. So be true to your passion. And here’s a thought on that: if you suddenly are very much NOT passionate about something, think about moving on to that which does have your passion and attention. I’ve certainly changed what matters to me over the years. I was very into fitness and nutrition in 2004. you can go back on my blog archives and see me talking about the right mix of carbs and protein, when to hydrate, etc. Back in 1997, I wrote passionately about writing fiction. Don’t fake passion.Move on.
Something to think about here: it’s okay to move on from what you were passionate about, even if that’s what defined your entire brand. you can seek a sideways move that shows a tangent back to your passion, or you can start over again. It seems daunting, but it will pay off in the end.
Passion includes Mistakes and Failures
Never worry about doing something wrong, going afoul, pissing people off. Don’t SEEK to do it, but don’t be afraid of it. How can you create passionately ifou’re worried about going outside the lines. Make mistakes all over the place. Don’t TRy to hurt people’s feelings, and most especially, admit when you’re wrong, apologize, try to be friends again, and keep going. I seem especially skilled in pissing friends off. My friend, Christopher S. Penn has said many times over the last year, “We have to take Brogan everywhere twice. The second time is to apologize.” He’s right.
But with people, you try really hard to rebuild where you step on toes, piss people off, etc. With business, if your passions hurt something, try to recover and see where it all goes.
Life doesn’t have a do-over button, and you learn really quickly who gets mired in the past and who’s focused on making the experience of the present and future better. Focus on those who understand the latter. History is there to learn from, but not to obsess over. Make mistakes. Apologize. Repeat. And grow from your passion.
Passion Means helping others see it
I guess you can be wildly passionate without sharing, but what’s the fun in that? I tell people when I speak at events that I want their guidance and input because if I wanted to just talk
“Be yourself all the way to the core. And trust that what’s unique and inherent in you is what people will want and why they’ve sought you
with myself, I can do that any day of the week. Passion is best expressed when it’s shared with others.
Want to see someone really passionate? Talk to Michael Smolens about dotSUB, his translation project/ software. Michael brings you into his frame of reference, whether or not you were even talking about language. Talk to Jeff Pulver for more than 10 minutes and see if you don’t land on any one of Jeff’s 3,891,774 passion land mines. The man is FUELED by passion.
Share your passion liberally
Be the C.C. Chapman of your own passions! This man makes shows and shows and shows and blogs and more shows about what drives him, what turns him on, what matters. Emulate C.C. and you won’t be too far off.
Passion RequiRes WoRk and thought
There’s a really important point to consider: just talking about things all the time isn’t exactly the same thing. you’ve gotta get in there. you’ve got to try things, experiment, do new things, work with others, HELP others, and share your thoughts and ideas then. Suggest new things, and then see if you can try them out.
Passion isn’t a “Me too” game
There’s only one Bill Belichick, coach of the New England Patriots. Believe me, I’ve heard this man during three different
Superbowl victory conversations talk about what his team could’ve done differently to make the game even better. He says it with love of his team, and with a drive to hold them responsible for what they’re doing out there. Bill believes that his duty to his team is to keep them focused on playing the best game they can place. you rarelyy see him smile. And yet, you know he’s passionate in ways humans rarely exhibit.
Be yourself all the way to the core. And trust that what’s unique and inherent in you is what people will want and why they’ve sought you out in the first place. Finding your own unique notes is tricky, and takes a little bit of work, but once you get those notes, play them loud and proud.
I’m a really big fan of cover songs. (And if you like them, subscribe to Coverville. Why do I love cover songs? Because it’s amazing when artists play someone else’s song in their style. I love it. Don’t be a cover band because you’re not original. Play covers because they show off your uniqueness against someone else’s original style.
engage People With your Passions
How do you reach out to people and talk about your passions? How does your business or vocation allow you to express your passions? Have your passions ever given you a job? What are the ways you’re building your brand around your passion?
Bt Christopher Brogan
In terms of spending, Rockville, Md.-based Packaged Facts reports that the Latino community's buying power is expected to reach $1.3 trillion in 2013, up from $984 billion in 2008 (a cumulative growth rate of 31%). According to a November Adweek article, Hispanics have about $863 billion in discretionary annual income, more than any other minority group in the U.S.
In short, for many well-established brands and retailers, the Hispanic market represents a potentially huge growth opportunity.
The Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies (AHAA) reported that the top 500 advertisers allocated 5.4% of ad dollars "during last year's recession to reach and connect with Hispanic consumers, up from 5.1% in 2008." But as brand managers realize the need to allocate more money to attract Latino consumers, expect to see more arm wrestling for marketing dollars, says Michael Olguin, president of New York-based Formulatin (a national Hispanic public relations agency).
"There will be a greater play for Hispanic marketers who really understand that space," he says.
The key word being "understand." Rolling out true Hispanic shopper marketing programs requires more than using Spanish copy on a header card. It's knowing the Hispanic shoppers' purchase behaviors, origins and passions.
Characteristics of the Hispanic Shopper
"Marketers know that Hispanic shoppers represent a huge and growing customer base, and that this group is critical to the future success of their brands," says Donald Longo, editorial director for Stagnito Media Food Group, New York (producers of the Hispanic Retail 360 Summit). "The difficulty with reaching them effectively stems from the many different types of Hispanics -- it's not a homogenous group." Those individuals who trace their origin or descent to Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba, El Salvador and other Central and South America countries all fall under the Hispanic label, and within the demographic there are varying degrees of acculturation.
Less-acculturated shoppers tend to retain more of their habits from their home country, essentially living a lifestyle in the States as they would back home, Olguin says. They tend to choose stores that offer products from their home country and appreciate bilingual signage and Spanish-speaking employees, adds Mark Bacon, U.S brand director for Casa Herradura Tequilas (a division of Brown-Forman), Louisville, Ky.
"For those who rely on Spanish as their primary language, it sends a message that those shoppers are welcome," says Gisela Girard, AHAA chair and president and COO of Creative Civilization, a San Antonio-based agency. "For more acculturated Hispanics, the use of bilingual messaging is still an important way to create a sense of engagement and respect. Even though the Hispanic consumer in this case may not be fluent, or even Spanish-capable, they still feel acknowledged and important."
"The Hispanic shopper today is much more savvy and sophisticated than before," adds John Echeveste, principal at VPE Public Relations, a firm dedicated to the Hispanic market with clients like McDonald's and Nestlé in South Pasadena, Calif. "We know that they shop more often, make larger purchases and over-index in many key categories, especially baby products. We also know that moms are the primary decision-makers in the household, but that kids are strong influencers."
"Hispanic shoppers are looking for value, whether it be a cost value or entertainment value in terms of their in-store experience," adds Liz Arreaga, partner of Austin, Texas-based agency Mercury Mambo. "As seen in our own shopper study among Spanish-speaking shoppers, shoppers are paying more attention to promotions. Both retailers and Hispanic shoppers alike told us that discounts, BOGOs and store events were appealing. Shoppers are using store circulars as shopping guides and actively searching for promotions and deals, rather than passively purchasing the same brands."
And breaking the notion that they don't use coupons, Kim Finnerty, vice president, consumer/shopper insights at PanaVista, a Hispanic marketing promotions agency in Dallas, says that in its most recent 'NVista Hispanic Shopper Tracker, 45% of Latinos said they are using more coupons due to the economy.
Other characteristics that industry experts say define this segment include: They consider shopping to be a family outing; they are disciplined shoppers who plan their shopping trips and are more likely to stick to a budget; word of mouth is important; they tend to prepare more meals at home; they are influenced by celebrities for purchases; less-acculturated Hispanics may still prefer independent retailers, while the more acculturated are more likely to visit chains; and radio, Spanish-language TV (especially novellas) and the Internet are good ways to reach them.
In-store, they claim to be more heavily influenced by all types of merchandising than general market shoppers, says Finnerty, citing the 'NVista Shopper Tracker. "In-store sampling is cited by 57% as significantly influencing purchase," she explains, compared to 52% of the general market. "Hispanic shoppers are also drawn to shelf coupons and special displays (both 47%)," Finnerty adds.
CPG companies and retailers are employing a number of methods to learn how they can penetrate this segment. More than 20 major brands such as Clorox, Kraft Foods, McDonald's, Nestlé and Subway have joined the Latinum Network, a business network devoted exclusively to helping corporations tap into the Hispanic market. The organization provides peer-to-peer collaboration, strategic analytics and research.
"One of the challenges of the Hispanic shopper marketing experience," adds Noemi Ricalo, president of PanaVista, "is the lack of sales data to support program expansion. Nielsen panel data is not always available and typically under-represents Hispanic results." She cites regional chain Jewel-Osco as one retailer with a comprehensive Hispanic marketing program: "They not only partner with their manufacturers, but more importantly, provide metrics at the end of the promotional period."
Dallas-based 7-Eleven, a member of the Latinum Network, created a senior director of Hispanic marketing position about 18 months ago to better understand this consumer. The senior director, Irene Sibaja, says the retailer uses its major market study -- conducted every two to three years -- for a sense of what percentage of customers are Hispanic, what they tend to buy and how much they spend. Proprietary research also elicits insights.
"Last year we conducted focus groups among Hispanic male shoppers, and parts of our current strategy are based on what we learned," says Sibaja. Industry and CPG studies are also used, although she notes that they'd like to see more studies that differentiate Spanish-language-dominant from non-Spanish-dominant consumers.
At White Plains, N.Y.-based Tecate, vice president of marketing Felix Palau says they employ several approaches to analyze and test campaigns with Latinos. These include demographic analysis, psychographic research and direct market information.
Multicultural shopping studies across categories and channels have been done at The Clorox Co., Oakland, Calif. And more recently, the company has embarked on deeper path-to-purchase studies for its key categories, says Jennifer Reiner, multicultural team lead -- specialty.
To attract this coveted target, some retailers have opened "Hispanic" stores. Last year, Walmart opened two Supermercado de Walmarts -- one in Houston and one in Phoenix -- and a Mas Club discount warehouse club in Houston. Walmart declined to be interviewed, but a June 2009 company press release says the Phoenix Supermercado de Walmart "features a new layout and product assortment designed to make it more relevant to local Hispanic customers." The 39,000-square-foot store carries fresh tropical fruits and vegetables; fresh corn tortillas; meats such as milanesa; and an in-store cocina serving such items as tacos and tortas.
Yet, PanaVista's Ricalo finds these large-scale type formats to be knockoffs of the Hispanic supermarket chain, Pro's Ranch Markets, that she says "set the standard for 'authentic' formats." Ricalo says retailers would succeed by enhancing their variety offering to suit their neighborhoods. "Providing what your shoppers need," she explains, "is more important than trying to convey a sense of Hispanic authenticity that doesn't quite meet real standards."
Providing what the neighborhood needs is the goal of the recently opened HIT Mobile in Cudahy, Calif. In partnership with T-Mobile and the first of the company's T-Mobile Premium Retailer Latino program, it features a wide variety of wireless products and services. Mauro Martinez Jr., HIT Mobile's president and CEO, says wireless can be pretty confusing and there's a need for customers to feel comfortable. He says that the list of the top 10 handsets in the general market and top 10 in the Hispanic market are radically different.
While HIT Mobile has the same look and feel of a T-Mobile store, all materials and signage are bilingual, as are all employees. "I have spent years working in the Latino community. I fully understand and appreciate its shopping habits, buying patterns and much more," says Martinez, himself a second-generation Hispanic. "That includes hiring from the area, building a team reflective of the community and giving back to ensure success for everyone."
As one of T-Mobile's "playground" stores, it allows for lots of interactivity and includes a children's play area. Two more stores, also in Southern California, are currently under construction. Martinez says key to the stores' success is training employees on each generation. "A first-generation Latino speaks in Spanish, wants International plans and all literature in Spanish," he explains, "while a third generation might be labeled Hispanic but is more similar to the general market. Yet they feel comfortable in the store because of their upbringing and the cultural connection."
Formulatin's Olguin, a third-generation Mexican American, says it's about finding a cultural connection. "For Hispanics, the four passion points are family, music, food and fashion/beauty. When building a community or marketing platform, utilize one or more of the passion points."
To tap into the importance of family, Greenwich, Conn.-based Nestlé Waters' Nestlé Pure Life brand launched its "Better habits for a better life" campaign in June that encourages Latina moms to get their families to drink more water. The campaign uses Hispanic TV host Cristina Saralegui as its spokesperson -- "Oprah for the Hispanic community," says Carolina Rodriguez, marketing manager, Nestlé Pure Life. National TV, regional radio, in-store promotions, grassroots events and sweepstakes are all part of the effort.
A variety of targeted approaches as well as inclusion in broader campaigns is the key to success for The Coca-Cola Co., says Diane Wallace, vice president, shopper marketing. "Our efforts are a combination of 'depth' and 'breadth.' The depth programs allow us to connect with Hispanics' specific needs and passions; the breadth programs leverage universal communication and properties that are relevant to all consumers," she explains. "An example of this approach is the recent FIFA World Cup campaign, where we used the 'Join The Global Celebration' message across the market, but at the same time we added depth to this message among Mexican Hispanics with an association to the Mexican National Team." The Powerade campaign included TV, radio, print, out of home, digital and P-O-S materials.
Sponsorships and events are another way brands are making a Latin connection. Chicago's MillerCoors' Coors Light brand sponsored the National Puerto Rican Day Parade in Manhattan this past June. The brand made a $75,000 donation to the parade foundation and Diversity Foundation Scholarship Funds. Its "Emborícuate" campaign invited all to share in the pride of being Puerto Rican and included visuals in supermarkets, bodegas and bars.
Last fall, Clorox teamed up with the South Central Family Health Center in Los Angeles to offer a free flu clinic. "Pon el Virus de la Gripe Fuera de Acción" (Take the Flu Virus Out of Action) was part of the brand's national campaign and featured Dr. Aliza Lifshitz, internist at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and editor of vidaysalud.com, a health website. In addition to being the keynote speaker, she answered participants' questions and provided advice.
"The Hispanic culture is rooted in the family and community," says Clorox's Reiner. "It's 'we' vs. 'I,' so finding a way to connect at the local level with consumers is an area that we're beginning to place more focus."
The biggest mistake that a company can make is to view the U.S. Hispanic market as homogeneous. Acculturation levels, language preferences and country of origin make for unique sub-groups within the segment.
The Hispanic market’s current size, formation of larger households, heavy concentration in the top, youngest, trend-setting markets in the U.S., accompanied by their speedy wealth creation and high consumerism are at odds with the neglect of investment across most advertising and marketing categories. It is imperative for U.S. marketers to reanalyze and immediately adopt new strategies in the way in which they have historically allocated corporate marketing resources.
Hispanics – One Market or Más?
“Latino” or “Hispanic”, as a description, refers to an origin or ethnicity, not a race. There is no one monolithic “Hispanic market.” What, if anything, unifies Hispanics? For the most part, the language. Spanish stands as a symbol of difference for U.S. Hispanics; wherever they’re from and regardless of their history, Spanish is a key to their individual and collective pasts.
Country of Origin
The single most important segmentation factor among U.S. Hispanics may be their country of origin. The U.S. Hispanic market is comprised of subcultures from over 20 countries in Central and South America, the Caribbean and Spain, with the majority (63%) of Mexican heritage. The culture, beliefs, opinions and consumer behavior patterns of U.S. Hispanics are not identical, as a result of the influence of differences in their native countries’ geography, indigenous ancestry and colonial origins.
Acculturation vs. Assimilation
U.S. Latinos tend to “adopt and adapt” to customs and habits in the U.S. without shedding traditions and value systems. Along that line, marketers, and those trying to tap into the Hispanic segment, cannot simply transfer directly to the U.S. Latino market the conceptualizations or marketing strategies that work with more traditional, general market consumers. Latinos are assimilating to prevalent U.S. culture, but they are not, and probably never will be, fully assimilated. Instead, theirs is a path of acculturation. It is a process of integration of native and traditional immigrant cultural values with dominant cultural ones.
Language is one of the most obvious examples of this phenomenon. Spanish is likely to remain the language of preference among U.S. Latinos. In fact, Univision is now the #5 network in the United States, behind ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox.
When asked about advertising effectiveness, 38% of Hispanics surveyed found English language ads less effective than Spanish ads in terms of recall and 70% less effective than Spanish ads in terms of persuasion. Many younger and acculturated Latinos mix languages into a form of “Spanglish,” in which they speak English peppered with Spanish words. But when it comes to selling, 56% of Latino adults respond best to advertising when it is presented in Spanish.
Communication Channels for U.S. Hispanics
Research shows that while Hispanics consume every type of media, they do seem to have a special attraction to television and radio. Nevertheless, the air-time used to identify a product or service at an in-depth level is typically too brief and too incomplete to be effective, thus the “sale” will not be closed. However, the combination of direct mail, broadcast and print makes it possible for the Hispanic consumer to obtain additional information and “close the sale” — with each medium contributing to the total communication story.
- The visual confirmations provided in television advertising are extremely important, especially so for Spanish-dominant Hispanics.
- 49% of U.S. Hispanics who watch television during prime-time hours, watch Spanish language programming.
- 40% of Spanish-dominant Hispanics regularly watch English-language programming.
- 30% of English-dominant Hispanics regularly watch Spanish programming.
- Radio is a proven, effective medium in targeting Hispanics.
- The most unique aspect of Spanish-language radio stations is the time spent listening.
- The Hispanic population often listens to the radio all day.
- The entire family may listen to one station and tune in, on average, 26 – 30 hours per week. This ranks more than 13% above the general population.
-Minority newspapers are an inseparable part of the local minority community. They deliver what no mass medium can — news that is specifically geared to the needs and concerns of individual minority communities.
-Newspaper readership skews to Adult 34-54 age group with an average HHI of $40k+
- Events create excitement, reinforce image, and allow you to hand-deliver your marketing message face-to-face with your target audience. However, many company’s efforts at selling themselves to Hispanics are limited to sponsoring the occasional Cinco de Mayo celebration — these half-hearted efforts will not effectively capture the attention of Hispanic consumers.
Direct Response Marketing
- The process of acculturation influences the Hispanic consumer’s perception of direct marketing. While most consumers in the general market dismiss direct marketing materials as junk mail, Latinos — particularly recent immigrants — welcome it as a means of becoming a more informed consumer.
- Overall, Hispanic households are 3.5 times more likely to respond to a direct mail solicitation than a non-Hispanic household;
- 72% say they always read their mail, including direct marketing;
- 60% of the direct mail sent to homes is in English;
- 52% of the respondents speak only Spanish in their homes.
Translation vs. Transcreation
Marketers cannot simply transfer directly to the U.S. Hispanic market the conceptualizations or marketing strategies that work with the general market. Many factors — historical, contextual, cultural, demographic, financial — place Hispanic consumers in a different category. Brand awareness and usage levels are often dramatically unlike general market patterns and different product attributes are deemed important by Hispanic consumers.
Direct translations and usage of general market strategies tend to miss the emotional and culturally relevant elements. Some results will be there, but not with the sales volume, strength and recall that a truly culturally-attuned marketing and advertising effort can attain.
Make no mistake, the integration of generations and diverse countries of origin within the U.S. Hispanic market has created a complex culture that requires experience and research to understand. What is needed for a successful Hispanic promotional campaign is a sensitivity to what is important to Hispanics – and senior corporate executives willing to initiate a reversal of underinvestment in the Hispanic market by creating new allocation levels in their business and marketing plans for reaching Hispanic consumers. The opportunity is growing. The time is now.
Inspiration: Advertising & Marketing Review
By Kety Esquivel
"I am finally back from SXSW interactive. Those of us who went had a phenomenal time and we are looking forward to bringing many more friends with us next year! I will be doing a few blog posts reflecting on my experience on SXSW in the coming days but in the interim wanted to leave you with a few pictures from our first ever Latinos in Tech Meet Up at SXSW this year. Enjoy! And thank you to Zunostudios for sharing your exceptional photographic talents with us! (Pictures courtesy of Zunostudios.)"
Austin, TX–A South by Southwest music conference music panel met to explore how the entertainment industry can expand its audience by engaging Hispanics, the youngest, fastest-growing segment of the U.S. population, organizers have announced.
The music panel, “Reaching America’s Fastest Growing Market,” was held March 19 at 5 p.m. at the Austin Convention Center.
To effectively position a product or service in the Hispanic market, is mandatory that the message is clear and free of stereotypes, myths, preconceptions, and ambivalence. In other words, the message must be perceived by the target audience as if it was designed by them.
The portrayal of a Hispanic riding a burro or wearing a sombrero, is an example of poor cultural sensitivity and lack of factual information. The burros, the sombreros, and the mariachis may well communicate Mexico to a non-Hispanic audience, but not to a Mexican or to a Hispanic.
Even worse, anyone of Mexican descent will perceive this image as an indirect insult.
Hispanics, like most people, dislike been labeled. When a consumer perceives he's being stereotyped, his immediate response is that the message was not created or executed by someone like him. At that moment, the golden rule of successful advertising communication (the message must be perceived to have come "from someone like me"), would be broken.
In a matter of seconds the viewers' attention is diverted to the core message to the stereotyped image presented in the ad. As the viewer become trapped in a tangle of communication nuances, he is certain not only to miss the core message but also to walk away from the product and the sponsor.
Commonly, the symbols that are used in stereotypical messages, (images, music, slang, etc), are not the ones the people been stereotyped would use to define themselves.
You would think that in the multicultural society we all live, featuring a Mexican riding a burro, and wearing a sombrero to portrait a Hipanic person, is a communication mishap that today's adverting industry is mature enough not to make. Unfortunately, that is not the case and those mistakes are still made by some of the best-known agencies.
I witnessed it myself no long ago when a well-known advertising network was given the asigment of shooting a Hispanic TV spot. In the set, (a Hispanic little girl's room), all the toys were made of papier-mâché. Burros and other colorfull animals made of "paste", (like the ones you find in a souvenir store in Acapulco), were carefully displayed all over the little girl's room when the Mexican Client arrived to the set. Hispanics should be happy they didn't get to witness such lack of cultural sensitivity from the brand. On the other hand the Mexican Client, as you can imagine, was not so happy with the agency.
A report out today by researchers at Trinity College in Hartford, Conn., finds Latino religious identification increasingly diverse and more "Americanized."
The analysis, based on data from the 2008 American Religious Identification Survey, compares responses to phone surveys in 1990 and 2008 conducted in English and Spanish. The 2008 sample included 3,169 people who identified themselves as Latinos.
"What you see is growing diversity — away from Catholicism and splitting between those who join evangelical or Protestant groups or no religion," says report co-author Barry Kosmin, a sociologist and director of the Institute for the Study of Secularism in Society and Culture at Trinity College. Among findings:
•From 1990 to 2008, the Catholic Church in the USA added an estimated 11 million adults, including 9 million Latinos. In 1990, Latinos made up 20% of the total Catholic population, but by 2008, it rose to 32%.
•Those who claimed "no religion" rose from fewer than 1 million (6% of U.S. Latinos) in 1990 to nearly 4 million (12% of Latinos) in 2008.
"As Latinos or any other ethnic group assimilates to American culture, they pick up the values of the broader American culture and are somewhat less likely to identify with the religious identification, or any other identification, that marked their parents or grandparents," says Mary Gautier, a senior researcher at the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University.
The new data send a clear message, says Allan Figueroa Deck, a Catholic priest and executive director of the Secretariat of Cultural Diversity in the Church, a program of the U.S Conference of Catholic Bishops.
"The biggest challenge the Catholic Church faces is the movement of Latino people not to other religions but rather to a secular way of life in which religion is no longer very important," he says. "We really need to ask ourselves why that is and what response the church can develop for this challenge."
|RELIGION AND LATINOS|
The complexities of the term "Hispanic" extend to the issue of language. Researchers have tried to figure out whether it is better to create ads in English or in Spanish, or whether to mix languages in the same ad, mimicking Spanglish.
"Over the last decade, my colleagues and I have studied the bilingual segment of the Hispanic population in the U.S. and how those individuals process language in marketing communications. We have approached the topic from a cognitive perspective. That means that we have looked at how a bilingual consumer's mind operates when it comes to processing information coded in words.
Over the years, we have worked in multiple projects, each investigating different aspects of language processing by bilinguals. One of the lessons to be learned is that, when we target Hispanic bilinguals who can speak both Spanish and English but whose most proficient language is Spanish, and we want to create memorable ads, it is fine to do so in English. However, we should carefully craft our ads so they have visuals that clearly support the text. In a later study, we found that those findings had to be somewhat qualified: in some cases, consumers are so highly motivated to process the information in the ad that even when the ad is in their least proficient language (L2) and it does not have a high degree of agreement picture-text, they will remember it as much as when the ad is in their most proficient language (L1). In other words, if Hispanic bilinguals who are most proficient in Spanish want a product badly enough, they will remember ads in English as much as ads in Spanish, regardless of what the ads' pictures look like.
In another set of studies, we looked at the role of Spanglish in advertising. Spanglish is the popular term for mixing Spanish and English in speech or text. This doesn't happen only with those two languages, though. Chinese and English can be mixed in "Chinglish", or, as frequently happens in Singapore, Malay, Chinese, and English can be mixed in "Singlish." The generic linguistic term for mixing languages is code-switching. There are different ways to code-switch. One could start in English, switch completely at some point in the conversation and continue in Spanish, or just switch one word or short phrase to Spanish, or insert common Spanish idioms into English speech. The resulting text or speech is fluid and sometimes incomprehensible for the non-bilingual, but always interesting.
Advertisers targeting bilingual Hispanics have been using code-switching for some time. Latina magazine masterfully uses both languages in its articles. The ads included in the magazine often reflect this hybrid state of existence.
In conclusion, there is a lot to think about when designing campaigns to target bilingual Hispanics. One of them is language. A successful campaign should take into consideration how bilingual consumers process language and craft its creative strategy around it.
That marketers are speaking in English to acculturated Latinos is not breaking news. These are some of the brands that, since the past decade, have been challenging the traditional ways set forth decades ago by the first U.S. Hispanic advertising agencies to communicate with the Hispanic consumer.
Marketing to U.S. Hispanics is not a simple task. In fact, it's it is a very complex one filled with lots of challenges. The U.S. Hispanic market is not one homogeneous group, but 19 sub-groups with different backgrounds, beliefs, and behaviors that share a common language.
Although all Hispanics living in the U.S. are clustered under one umbrella called "the U.S. Hispanic Market", the truth is that Hispanics are a richly diverse group representing 17 Latin American countries plus Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. The integration of diverse countries or origin within the U.S. Hispanic market, the broad array of cultural traits within it, the different levels of acculturation, and the nuances that are unique to each sub-group has created a complex audience.
To successfully communicate with the U.S. Hispanic audience one needs not only a deep understanding of the Hispanic culture, relevant experience, and deep research, but also marketers that posses the sensitivity to know what is truly important to Hispanics.