Blume advises marketers to take notice of lists of those consumers who have raised their hand to say that they prefer to respond to Spanish-language mailings.
"We have discovered that very few Hispanic consumers—less than 5 percent—will respond to both languages," he says. "If you are mailing a bilingual piece, then you can use both types, but the Spanish-speaking list will most often do better than the surname [lists]."
Fund-raisers, in particular, have done well in the Hispanic market. "Catholic fund-raisers do particularly well with this market because the majority of Hispanics are Catholic," shares Blume, who lists Catholic charities and religious fund-raisers as having rented files managed by 21st Century Marketing. "Super important is religious fund raising, because Hispanics tend to be very family oriented."
The Generational Divide
The age of your target group and its cultural background will dictate the communication methods you employ to reach that particular Hispanic segment.
For example, generation Ñ—Hispanic teens ages 15 to 19 who are mostly bilingual and bicultural—move swiftly between American and Hispanic cultures. This makes them the most acculturated Hispanic American market segment, and the most likely to respond to traditional American marketing mediums.
According to a recent study of Hispanic Americans ages 14 to 24 conducted by market research firm Cultural Access Group, 57 percent prefer to communicate in English. Only 28 percent indicated a Spanish language preference and 14 percent are comfortable communicating in either language.
"The longer consumers have lived in a new country's milieu, the greater the chance they will adopt behaviors, values and expectations from that new country," says Valdés.
Conversely, the older sect of Hispanic Americans are much more cautious, and need to be educated about a company's products and services before they make a purchasing decision, says Collins.
"It's a hand-holding process," she says. "[Older Hispanic Americans] generally are cautious about financial, insurance and credit card offers. They feel like having a loan is a last resort. They don't realize the necessity of having a nest egg."