Bravo Group’s Guilherme Ambros on Hispanic Marketing Strategy
It’s worth mentioning that [the] Internet is rapidly becoming one of the best channels for reaching Hispanics. Several years ago, the number of Hispanics with access at home was significantly lower than the national average, but this is changing fast and Internet penetration has been growing around 20 percent year-over-year (several times higher than non-Hispanics), which means they’re catching up fast. And I’m not including those accessing the Web/e-mail through cell phones—and it’s well known that U.S. Hispanics largely over-index in mobile usage and data services. This makes online direct channels an attractive way of reaching Hispanics.
But the biggest challenge is not how to reach Hispanics, but what you’ll say to them. To break the clutter, your message should be culturally relevant, and this goes beyond just using Spanish and a few photos of Latinos. Being culturally relevant means you understand the essence of Hispanics and can adapt your message and product/offer accordingly. For example, if you [are] developing an online newsletter with different recipes using your products, you should think which ingredients and types of food are relevant to Hispanics. Probably instead of recipes with blueberry and pumpkin, you’ll use strawberry and pineapple.
Also, don’t settle with just direct mail and e-mail. Search and display media using behavioral targeting are also attractive options.
TM: What are two tips for crafting offers for this market?
GA: Hispanics are normally price sensitive (but so is everybody these days, with gas at almost $5 [a gallon]!). Also, [a] credit offer is usually a good proposition, together with [a] warranty.
The need for cultural relevance also applies here; offers should be customized according to Hispanic culture.
TM: How can marketers find a balance between using English- and Spanish-language offers?
GA: Language preference is related to life stage and personal preferences. Recent Arrivals may feel more comfortable with Spanish, while second or third generations may use English at work or school and Spanish at home. But just because a person has a Latino name and lives in ZIP code with [a] high concentration of Hispanics, don’t assume you’ll be better off bombarding him/her with communications in Spanish.