How to Reach the Hispanic Market.

How to Reach the Hispanic Market.

Posted on June 1, 2012 by Teresa Cuervo / 0 Comment


When you are trying to reach one of the fastest growing groups in the US and one with a growing purchasing power that will near 1.5 trillion by 2015, the Hispanic population cannot be blanketed together but rather targeted and catered to as a “group within a group”.

By this I mean understanding, each group’s individual customs, cultural differences, values and yes, even in the commonality of language there are differences in meaning to the same word.  Case in point is the  translation of the word ‘popcorn’ in Spanish; the reference changes from country to country.  Like this there are many other countless examples such as “guaga” in Chile (child) is not the same for a Cuban which means  a bus. Habichuelas in Puerto Rico are  red beans and to a Cuban habichuelas are string  beans. Try selling that plate in a Cuban restaurant!.  Or visiting a friend and telling me what beautiful “pantallas” you have. To me I was using lampshades as earrings… Like these there are many and countless examples. Yo need to zero in on who is your target and go with their cultural references.

In a Nielsen study on Hispanic consumer behavior, The Hispanic Market Imperative , the growing Hispanic population although acculturating to the American lifestyle, is not assimilating to it. Because of family and peers they still find it important to maintain their link  to their culture and heritage. The study further says that because of this need to keep their cultural identity,  Hispanics tend to respond to ads that are not only culturally relevant but also speak their language and target their needs.

Brands that cater to that need  specifically will gain their loyalty and business. For example  McDonald’s and Pepsi are two of the brands that have embraced this.   Both companies have gotten the two most important facets in the Hispanic market, family and culture coupled it with their own brand strategy  and both brands do this perfectly; McDonald’s by representing Latino culture on their website and Pepsi by engaging the family  using social media and apps which is also a factor for Latinos.


Another marketing strategy to reach the Hispanic market is geolocation.  Geolocation essentially means that that marketers use the built in GPS of your device to track the location. Marketers use this with the use of phone apps that the consumer has to agree and approve.

Used for marketing purposes it can lead to a having a leg up in your competition because having your promotions pop up in their phone’s screen can be of substantial benefit to the marketers.

Furthermore, give that Latinos are very mobile friendly and to search online prior to sales and promotions,  they may see this as a convenience much like their phones that marketers already send out pre-sale specials directly targeted at them.

This is also a good way to place bilingual ads in mobile advertising. Marketers also use this strategy to reach customers within the store which is also a habit that Latinos have as well, they search online in store to see where the sales are. For this reason, marketers are taking note and although the following example is in news media the idea is the same they target their audience and cater directly through ads.


Social Media

No news by now that through geolocation, videos, and use of extensive social media , particularly Facebook,     which happens to be the Latino social network of choice,  and heavy internet use, this is the primary form of maintaining and keeping in touch with Hispanic millennials.

Per Pew Hispanic Research, they are highly influenced by online ads to visit a store and purchase. Although they do fewer trips to the store, they are more likely to shop more on each trip.  We have already note their preference bilingual advertising and information,  so they still prefer their content in Spanish, particularly web content and read English only sites if they have no other choice.

Should there be a tab” En Español “they are more likely to click on that tab than continue with the English version.  Furthermore, for Spanish consumers a Spanish domain would help them remember you more that would an English domain name. Couple that with the idea that they the most active in social sites and internet, that they are highly influenced by mobile ads and that although they make less shopping trips, they buy more each time they go, a  young  group with growing  purchasing power, this is a group that are the marketer’s dream. This information is also listed in the link above.


In conclusion, you may say why all this research when all I do is translations well because there is still many, many companies that struggle with this market and apply the ‘one size fits all approach to reaching them and that is a no-no for them. Also, I have encountered disastrous  and embarrassing commercial blunders that have missed the mark completely with  this market by that I  mean in ligustic terms and mistranslations. But that is subject of another post.

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