The Hispanic demographic in the U.S. is a market undergoing immense change. Driven by culture and technology, the shopping habits and behaviors of today’s U.S. Hispanics are considerably different than they were before. Yet, most brands trying to connect with this growing demographic continue to rely on channels and tactics that no longer deliver growth nor preference.
How can marketers tailor their brand message to successfully connect with U.S. Hispanics? How can they measure success? How can they respond to the new realities of how U.S. Hispanic consumers choose products and services now? Today more than ever, it all starts with a clear understanding of the market they are trying to reach.
We are proud to announce the launch of our Hispanic Facts for Marketers initiative. Through an ongoing series of articles, research, videos, and workshops, we’ll share the lessons we’ve learned as a digital agency working with numerous brands across various verticals towards a common goal: driving growth from the U.S. Hispanic market.
Hispanic Fact for Marketers #1: We are a “notably youthful group.”
That remark, made by the Pew Research Center, is driven primarily by the fact that our median age is 30. Since 1980, Hispanics have been one of the youngest racial or ethnic groups in the nation. In fact, as of 2018, 38% of U.S. Hispanics were Gen Z and younger (ages 0 to 21), and 25% were Millennials (ages 22 to 37). That means that about 63% of Hispanics in the United States are 37 years old or younger.
This is a crucial statistic for marketers. First of all, brands looking for sustainable long-term growth should take a serious look at the young U.S. Hispanic population for the opportunity to build long-lasting relationships with a growing demographic. We tend to be exceptionally loyal to the brands we like, and pass our brand preferences to our children.
Second, our younger demographic composition makes us a particularly good fit for industries like fashion, cosmetics, entertainment, technology, healthcare, auto, and financial services, to name a few.
Lastly, brands already marketing to U.S. Hispanics must ensure that their message, creative, and media spend allocation reflect the fact that their target audience is likely young, very social, and tech-savvy. Indeed, the best channels to connect with U.S. Hispanics today are those that rely on technology and innovation. Social media, experiential, and on-demand platforms have replaced traditional media as the best avenues to connect with us.
Hispanic Fact for Marketers #2: Technology drives our brand discovery and purchasing decisions.
As an agency, we often encounter brands that still place traditional media at the center of their U.S. Hispanic marketing efforts. They allocate their media spend exclusively to TV, print, and radio, only to find those channels no longer work the way they once did -- by far. Why? Because just as the rest of modern consumers in the U.S., the way in which we research and buy products and services has changed.
“Search engines and social media are leading venues for pre-purchase research. Digital is also where Hispanics encounter much of the advertising they see. About two-thirds are digital buyers,” reports eMarketer.
While traditional media still has its function from an advertising perspective, what is truly driving growth and revenue for marketers targeting U.S. Hispanics today is being delivered via digital channels.
Hispanic Fact for Marketers #3: Culture matters. A lot.
Culture is a key factor that heavily influences our buying decisions. The reason for that is simple: authenticity. “As U.S. Hispanics make digital gains and advances at a higher rate than the total market, they are increasingly demanding authentic, culturally relevant content and connections,” states a recent Nielsen study. The same study revealed that 73% of its participants “agree that their cultural/ethnic heritage is an important part of who they are.”
How can marketers make culture a key component of their U.S. Hispanic campaigns? “The use of Spanish language and cultural connections are critical to U.S. Hispanic identity and lifestyle,” continued the same Nielsen study. “Language remains one of the most important connections to culture and heritage.”
As brands ramp up their efforts to connect with U.S. Hispanics, an understanding of how we choose and buy products today is essential. Traditional media have been slow to adapt to the habits of the modern U.S. Hispanic consumer. As a result, digital channels are now generating the best returns for brands investing in U.S. Hispanic marketing.
Using the right channel, however, is just one of the components required for a successful marketing campaign. Campaigns reflective of the needs, values, and preferences of today’s U.S. Hispanics will be far more successful than generic, irrelevant brand messages that fail to connect with an audience looking for trustworthiness and authenticity.