Interesting overview here from hacer.org of the evolution of Hispanic marketing, which remains a mystery for many business owners and managers. The article oversimplifies the generational segments referenced, but overall it is a great history of social and marketing progress. — Darren Ballegeer http://www.hacer.org/usa/?p=2927
We are currently speaking with several Bay Area businesses (a dental office, law firm, and a private school) that are looking to advertise in Spanish – our first step is to help them target their outreach to maximize results. About 90 percent of local businesses and organizations we have worked with in the last ten years have been in need of basic targeting, which is necessary to maximize consumer response. Defining your consumer targets is a relatively easy process and one that should be done before you invest in advertising or other outreach. The following questions will give you an idea of our process to make sure an ad or other marketing tool is targeted.
- What kind of customers do you want? Who are they and how are they defined by their needs, habits, language use, and spending power?
- What aspects and benefits of your product/service most appeal to the target segment?
- What do targets need to make a decision to do business with you or request info?
Basically, targeting is like match-making. Make sure you are communicating to the right people with the right messages — whether you do or not will provide another example of Why marketing is like dating
– Darren Ballegeer, Elena Miramar – Vision Hispana Newspaper
Technology cannot make up for a lack of marketing basics. A dentist office in Oakland, CA sent me a link to a new marketing video they are planning to run on local cable TV. Starring the dentist himself, the video looked pretty good…though like most local advertising, it failed to answer the most important question for the viewer- ‘Why should I choose this business over any other?’ It’s important to remember that whichever tool or channel you choose to market your business, the messaging content is the most important thing. It’s not the medium (channel) — it’s the message! – Darren Ballegeer
When I travel and meet business people in different countries, I see the same fundamental marketing challenges. I see that universal truths of human nature and business transcend borders, culture, language and industry. Here are the recommendations I make to business people in response to two marketing challenges I often hear:
1. “Consumers don’t want to take a chance on a product they don’t understand”. Recommendation – Since most consumers prefer to follow others rather than educate themselves, customer stories should lead your marketing communications. Address consumers’ questions and concerns through a positive customer story.
2. “I don’t want to spend more money on advertising or other promotion, but I need to get more customers”. Recommendation – Your paid outreach is not bringing a good return because it is not strategic. Clarify your market position, message your value proposition, identify buying decision factors, and share customer stories. — Darren Ballegeer
Assumptions are often costly, and we have heard many assumptions about Hispanic marketing and have seen many marketing tools and programs based on such assumptions. Here are some Hispanic marketing truths that we have recognized through our experience – truths meant to be a helpful response to the incorrect assumptions about the growing, complex, and lucrative Hispanic market.
1. The Hispanic consumer market is segmented into many different target markets by the usual demographic indicators AND by language and family status (from immigrant to 3rd, 4th, generation, etc.).
2. Communication in Spanish is mostly a preference, not a necessity. Never assume that communicating in Spanish means you are reaching only those people who lack English.
3. Most of the Hispanic market is also part of the general market. Most Hispanics are consuming and responding to marketing information in both languages, but communicating to Hispanics in Spanish is demonstrating that your business is speaking to them specifically.
4. Culturally-relevant marketing messages in English are increasingly being used in Spanish language media.
5. Marketing messages translated from English for the Hispanic market is a common and costly mistake. Getting real results from your Hispanic communications means doing some planning and messaging.
Understanding and respecting the preferences, habits, and emotional triggers of the top Hispanic market segments is necessary to realize sales and organizational goals. — Elena Miramar and Darren Ballegeer
Marketing tools that have an old-school theme can be cool and effective. Marketing that is truly old-school (outdated) provides lessons in how not to attract customers. I recently provided feedback on an ad from a national auto service chain that was a perfect example of outdated marketing that many retail businesses are still burning money with. Beyond a positioning and messaging strategy, here was my feedback to simply optimize an ad they were already committed to:
- Remove or revise the coupons. If there is no proven marketing strategy behind any promotional offer, don´t use it simply because the company and industry has been doing it forever.
- Add pricing info for the most commonly needed service or product. Regardless of how competitive your prices are, include some pricing info to help facilitate the target´s decision making.
- Add a customer endorsement, which is one of the oldest yet most effective and underutilized marketing tactics.
- Add the human element (with photos). Especially important in a service business.
Many good companies distribute ’low pressure’ sales communications in an attempt to engage prospects and move them along the sales cycle. Such content marketing, though, is too often led with a fluffy intro designed to prove to the prospect that the company is offering them some value (vs. just trying to sell). The value is often there, but the key is to put it upfront. Don’t be shy about the real topic or your expertise. Don’t hide relevant customer stories in an email or other tool. Whatever is important and interesting for the prospect is what you should lead with (info about your company or you does not qualify!). Then summarize the lesson or recommendation, ideally in a way that the prospect can action…and whether or not your product is part of that action. – Darren Ballegeer