June 15, 2019

By Omni Direct

Representing almost one-fifth of the country’s population — and growing 70-percent faster than the general population — the U.S. Hispanic market is expected to reach $2 trillion in consumer spending by 2024. Many direct-to-consumer marketers know that targeting this demographic can be extremely lucrative and may well be the key to exponential growth during the next five years.

For some, reaching this market effectively has proven elusive — especially if prior efforts have been relegated to translations (rather than creating customized content) with limited budgets, resources, and a low tolerance for testing.

Fortunately, abundant research shows investing in a solid strategy and acquiring the right knowledge team for this audience can be the most cost-effective approach to locking in growth.

Here are four considerations that can shape your success with this market — in 2019 and beyond:

1. Earn their dollars and loyalty: embrace the culture, embrace the language. More than ever, the U.S. Hispanic consumer will reward brands that develop original content and messages that are created specifically for them. From foreign-born to third-generation, U.S. Latinos are proud of their culture and will give their attention and dollars to brands that acknowledge and embrace their cultural identity within an authentic American backdrop. Spanish-language content and creative messaging developed around strong cultural cues — such as the importance of (extended) family, large social networks, music, food, and shared expressions — generate higher sales, engagement, and loyalty with this audience. In fact, a 2017 Nielsen study that tracked Spanish TV ROI showed that customized creative can produce up to four times the ROI of campaigns that use English copy translated to Spanish.

Whether online or offline, budget for original production and an experienced Hispanic producer or content provider should be considered as a key success factor.

2. Hispanics buy, share and engage more on social media platforms.Hispanics across age groups purchase more online, share more ad content, are more likely to click on shared content, and welcome more advertising content on social media than their non-Hispanic counterparts. According to the 2018 AdAge Hispanic Fact Pack, they are more likely to use Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat than their non-Hispanic counterparts.

Hispanics also tend to be optimistic on social media and love sharing ad content with their social networks rather than using social media to give negative feedback to a brand. With this in mind, brands should leverage this “influencer” role and develop compelling, shareable content — not just hard sells — on a consistent basis. Creating a personality behind your brand will not only inspire further engagement but will cause a “word of mouth” effect, leading to increased and trackable sales across their entire networks.

3. Invest in their high-demand or high-potential categories. High-consumption categories for Hispanics include health-and-beauty, clothing, houseware appliances, family entertainment, insurance and financial services, and telecom. Many industry market reports are published and available with index data — or you can ask your media agency to provide you with the information. Alternatively, there are many more categories in which Hispanics are underserved. Those can represent tremendous potential for first movers who want to lock in a dominant market position for years to come. For instance, recent successes in the financial services, insurance, and home improvement (DIY) categories — where the general market was oversaturated — show tremendous untapped demand when investing in culturally-resonating, in-language Hispanic media campaigns.

4. Offline media drives online response activity (and vice-versa).Fueled by the proliferation of streaming video, as well as over-indexed mobile device behavior by the Hispanic population, a complementary digital content with offline media strategy has become an imperative. The 2017 Nielsen study mentioned earlier noted that campaigns with highest ROI from Spanish TV also had “higher spend on their digital activities targeted at Spanish-speaking consumers. Similarly, [they] found that brands that dedicated spending of at least 25 percent of their TV spend on digital ads achieved a 20-percent higher ROI than those that spent [less on digital ads].”

Digital efforts should include in-language search terms and social media content, as Hispanics are more likely to turn to social media for additional product information after viewing an ad. Including influencer marketing and social media ad spend is also recommended. Lastly, partnering with specialized Hispanic media agencies with nuanced knowledge of this market will minimize the common blind spots for entry.