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 Marketing that is truly old-school (outdated) provides lessons in how not to attract customers. I recently provided feedback on an ad from a national auto service chain that was a perfect example of outdated marketing that many retail businesses are still burning money with.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.