Listening to Bieler, it occurred to me that selling to Hispanics is the same kind of challenge as selling to any large group. It's cultural literacy.
Patrick Reynolds at the U.S. Postal Service says: "There are more Hispanics in the United States than people living in Canada. The Hispanic market is divided into numerous segments, and each segment migrated to the United States for different reasons—some political and some economic. These are the factors to focus on.
"The Hispanic population will adapt to and adopt a product … make it their own … but first the product needs to provide relevant benefits for them," he says.
We can't treat Juan Gonzales the same way we'd treat Brad Anderson, if we want to become Juan Gonzales' best friend, a company he trusts and wants to do business with.
I remember that we had the same challenges when I worked in Canada. A big chunk of the country's population speaks French. Many marketers approached them with the same creative they sent to English-speaking Canadians, basically translations or adaptations. It worked OK, but when we started developing our creative in French, thinking in French, we started getting much better results.
The same thing can happen here. All we have to do is be like Nike, and "Just do it."
Let me know what you think. And I'd love to hear about how you're doing with marketing in Spanish.
Lois K. Geller is president of Mason & Geller Direct Marketing, a full-service direct response agency in NYC. She is the author of "RESPONSE! The Complete Guide to Profitable Direct Marketing." She can be reached at loisgeller@ masongeller.com.