This article was published in the Orlando Business Journal
Technology has fundamentally changed the consumer experience and the marketing rulebook.
According to the Nielsen report, 60 percent of U.S. Hispanics were born or grew on the Internet era vs. 40 percent of non-Hispanics. U.S. Hispanics over-index by 9 percent for smartphone ownership and 99 percent of their households have a wireless phone service. We are in front of savvy, smart consumers who do their homework before engaging with your brand. They search on the Internet to check your online reviews. They pay close attention to your community involvement and whether or not you stay connected with the latest market trends and with your customers. I had the pleasure of exchanging ideas and market views with Isabel Rafferty Zavala, CEO of Mobvious America, a global media company with strong presence and experience in mobile marketing. The firm concentrates on reaching the U.S. Hispanic audiences by using the latest mobile advertising technology.
Zavala shared with me that many brands and media companies still are lacking in reaching the U.S. Hispanic market via mobile devices. She noted, “The most common tactic used is to target the mobile devices that have Spanish set as the selected language, but this only takes into account the first generation of Hispanic audiences. Bilingual Hispanics also tend to set the language preference in their phones.”
Another misconception that Isabel shared is that even though some companies might claim that device language settings are still a good method since they see Latinos accessing English apps, “the reality is that many apps
auto translate to Spanish when the settings are in Spanish language or they are using gaming apps where language is not crucial for their use,” Zavala continued. “So it is not a good method to reach bilingual audiences.”
There are, however, many effective ways you can reach this economically influential market. But it means letting go of the old, outdated methods and stepping out of your comfort zone.
Here are four successful ways to assure market share growth and success with your brand:
1. Build a solid foundation: 62 percent of U.S. Hispanics see their mobile device as a source of entertainment. Mobile is the primary source of content consumption within all U.S. Hispanic age groups. Make sure to have a bilingual mobile-friendly site or microsite with culturally relevant content about your company and brand that truly resonates with them. The use of Spanish language and a strong cultural connection are key to their identity and lifestyle. Language still remains one of the most important connections to their heritage and culture. Over 25 percent of Hispanics live in a multigenerational household.
2. Be authentic: Many times executives say they already reach Hispanics with their general market efforts or they are targeting by interest rather than ethnicity. According to Nielsen, sociologists believe technology has contributed to the demand for more authentic cultural connectivity. Since U.S. Hispanics now are shaping the growth of America and make digital gain and advances at a higher rate than the total market, they are increasing the demand for culturally relevant content and authentic connections. If you understand their culture, learn how they interact with brands and consume media, it will be the difference between a make or break outcome for your company.
3. Do not procrastinate: Many companies tend to lose their vision after a while. They keep doing the same cookie-cutter approach for years, playing it safe in the market, copying what their competitors are doing, yet expecting different results. The only way to grow is to break the market standards, innovate and be a leader in your industry. Show the rest how things are done. Surround yourself with Hispanic market experts or agencies that can guide you and help you be successful in the Hispanic market arena.
4. Apply media mix: There is a new tendency in the market that executives want to allocate 100 percent of their budget to digital advertising because it is the new trend. I always recommend not to put all your eggs in one basket. Offline has to support online and vice-versa.According to Nielsen, radio is the highest reach among U.S. Hispanics ages 18 and older. Second is DVR/time-shifter TV and apps. Internet and smartphones ranks third. Get to know your audience and you will know where to reach them.
Hispanics have a median age of 27 compared to 42 for non-Hispanics. If we combine this with a longer life expectancy, that means they will have almost 55 years of effective buying power. This is one of the main reasons why they will represent one of the most immediate growth opportunities for your brand. In some cases, they could represent your entire growth opportunity if you really want to be up to date with the latest trend of what is going on in America now —and what is coming next.