These days, marketing to a single general population fails to speak to the ever-growing segment of multicultural consumers. Marketers worry that building a standalone multicultural or Hispanic program is too niche or will be underfunded. But they — and the brand — can’t afford to overlook these groups.
Ethnic populations are increasing in numbers and consumer influence. Hispanics are the largest, comprising 17% (60 million) of the U.S. population and generating a massive $1.4 trillion in consumer spending. That’s a huge opportunity for any national brand.
Marketing to Hispanics is critical for national and global brands that want to remain relevant and capture consumer spend. Here are solutions to the four most common multicultural marketing pitfalls.
Pitfall No. 1: One Size Fits All
Marketers often develop generic Hispanic ads for media teams to reach as many potential Hispanic consumers as possible. Here’s why that approach doesn’t work:
- Hispanic communities are complex and diverse. This means a campaign may be relevant to a Hispanic consumer who lives in California but irrelevant to one who lives in Florida.
- Age matters. Acculturation continues to grow, as 64% of Hispanics consider themselves American. Yet 75% of Hispanics speak Spanish at home.
Solution: Conduct a Hispanic segmentation analysis at the local or regional level to best determine device and channel deployment.
Pitfall No. 2: Spanish Language Solves Everything
Spanish language campaigns are important, but so is cultural recognition. This means creating relevant content for the Hispanic market that embraces its heritage yet remains relevant to the business objective. Here are two tips:
- Marketing campaigns should consider imagery, content, and tone to connect to Hispanics. Often these are minor tweaks if using mass creative.
- Spanish is always a plus in campaigns, but it is not a requirement. Some brands find success using tasteful bilingual headlines.
Solution: Coordinate with creative teams to ensure relevancy, especially at local or regional levels.
Pitfall No. 3: Too Niche, Too Expensive
Many brands don’t believe in the market potential, so they shy away from fully investing in staff to launch a formalized Hispanic program. Hispanic campaigns are often outsourced to Hispanic brand agencies, which then require separate media budgets. Here’s why this doesn’t work:
- Hispanic marketing was considered a “niche market” — last century. In general, there’s too much emphasis on top-of-the-funnel brand awareness campaigns and lack of emphasis on lower-level local tactics.
- Separate goals with separate budgets equates to wasted impressions and inefficient targeting. About 61% of total market ads fell short on Hispanics for purchase intent or favorability.
Solution: Incremental Hispanic investment that’s integrated with general marketing objectives to deliver culturally relevant ads will lead to greater efficiency, targeting, and return on investment (ROI).
Pitfall No. 4: Relying Only on Spanish-Language Assets to Drive Traffic
Hispanic consumers often experience a disjointed customer language experience both online and offline. For many campaigns, we find the following to be true:
- Hispanic consumers who respond to Spanish ads online often experience brands following up in English.
- Hispanic consumers trust brands that offer in-language sales support both online and offline.
Solution: Work with online and operational stakeholders to ensure both online and offline sales support and customer experience matches prospect marketing engagement.
Brands should look to invest in developing relevant local multicultural marketing campaigns that are integrated with the total market strategy. Brands that market specifically to the Hispanic community and recognize the complexity of the culture will build relationships that lead to long-term trust and affinity.