September 15 to October 15 is National Hispanic American Heritage Month. We celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month to recognize the achievements and contributions of generations of Hispanic Americans that have influenced and enriched our nation and society.
This year’s theme is “Unidos: Inclusivity for a Stronger Nation.” Ms. Ily Soares, who submitted the winning theme to the National Council of Hispanic Employment Program Managers (NCHEPM), stated,
“Hispanics in the United States are diverse and bring a rich combination of language, culture, educational backgrounds, and experience.”
As of January 2023, there will be almost 66.5 million Hispanics in the U.S. – almost 20 percent of the population. The Hispanic population will exceed 74 million in 2028, at almost 22 percent of the population.
According to the Pew Research Center, 60 million individuals from multiple countries, including Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America, South America, and even Spain, make up the U.S. Hispanic population.
All of which have settled in different pockets countrywide.
However, marketing strategies often overlook the diversity within the Hispanic community. That’s a mistake. In marketing terms, “Hispanic” has become the catch-all category for this incredibly stratified and diverse demographic.
For example, according to Vox, you must first understand the difference between Latinos and Hispanics. Hispanic identity refers to the language or “people of Spanish-speaking origins.” However, Latinx identity refers to people whose origins are geographically Latin American.
Although the two categories overlap, Brazil and Spain are good examples. Brazilians are Latino because Brazil is in Latin America, but Brazilians are referred to as Hispanic because they speak Portuguese. Latinx defines people with a history of Spanish colonization but not necessarily if they speak Spanish or not.
You can imagine that traditions, religion, and cultural norms may vary by the abovementioned distinction. Prepare for that.
Simply translating your current marketing materials into Spanish is not enough.
A business attempting to engage Hispanics must first understand its audience. How do you do that? You’re not going to be surprised when we say to research. Primary research shows that Hispanics are leading the “cord-cutting charge” and consuming digital content on mobile devices from HD streaming video, social media, podcasts and more. Hispanics are still underbanked and under-insured, even though they represent some of the best growth & lifetime value opportunities in the market.
But, you must go deeper — if only to verify that your messaging is on point. Here are a few tips to get you started. We are confident you can fill in the rest by the end.
Tailor your efforts.
Think diverse–over and over again. Like members of a family group, the makeup of the Hispanic population can look different depending on the metropolitan area. For example, Hispanics of Mexican descent comprise more than two-in-three Hispanics in the Los Angeles and Houston metro areas, but Salvadorans are the largest group in Washington, D.C.
The cultures and traditions of Mexican heritage will be very different from those with backgrounds in Central America. Take time to research your sales region to understand the customer base you are serving. Also, invest in online demographic resources.
Be prepared to serve Spanish-speaking or multilingual customers.
If you are specifically targeting the Spanish-speaking consumer, make sure language barriers do not limit their experience at any point of their customer journey.
If you decide to produce an advertisement in Spanish, ensure you have the proper representation, perhaps through your employees, to reinforce your promotional efforts. The disruption in the customer journey could lead to disappointment for potential customers and a failure for your business. Don’t put your reputation on the line in this way when there is a logical solution.
Authenticity is key.
Stay away from gimmicky marketing. You don’t want your marketing efforts to be stereotypical or condescending. Develop a marketing strategy that is authentic to your brand and strives to create a genuine connection with your Hispanic consumer.
Keeping your consumer journey in mind will make for a seamless connection. Understanding who comprises your Hispanic consumer base when creating your marketing strategy is vital. It could mean the difference between doing and connecting.