Discover Your Market: Your Hispanic Consumer Part II
Marketing to Various Acculturation Levels
Everyone knows they need to market to Hispanic consumers, and if you don’t know, here’s a little secret: You need to market to Hispanic consumers!
Here’s quick run-down of why:
- There are over 56 MILLION people in the U.S. today who identify as Hispanic, and this diverse group of people holds in their hands $1.5 TRILLION in purchasing power. (No business should be willing to turn its back on marketing to approximately 18% of the population.)
- In 2020, the U.S. Census estimates the Hispanic population will be around 94 million people.
Acculturation refers to the process by which an individual or group of people adapts to or borrows traits from another culture.For marketers targeting the Hispanic population, acculturation is a way of segmenting according to factors such as language, income level, and even purchasing behaviors. Before creating content for an audience, businesses should study their target market and determine the level(s) of acculturation present in the groups that will receive their messages in order to allow them to present the most effective marketing campaign possible.
Levels of acculturation can be defined in various ways, so for the sake of keeping the definitions straightforward, three levels of acculturation are outlined:
- Highly Acculturated
- Partially Acculturated
Simply by reading the above-listed levels of acculturation, readers are probably able to begin identifying traits that might place individuals in one level or another. In order to successfully market to the Hispanic population in any given area, it is necessary to understand, among many other things, the level of acculturation of the audience being targeted. Once you have done that, you’ll be able to more effectively speak to a particular group, keeping their level of acculturation in mind.
The Acculturated Hispanic Consumer
This consumer is English-dominant and was either born in the U.S. or has been living in the U.S. for at least 10 years. Marketers will note that highly acculturated consumers will enjoy doing business mostly in English and will prefer to receive their communication and marketing materials in English. They likely don’t participate in many Hispanic traditions, and their behavior in the marketplace is similar to that of the general market. Approximately 11% of Hispanic adults fall into this category.
The Partially Acculturated Hispanic Consumer
Meet your bilingual consumer. This consumer was either born in the U.S. or has lived in this country for several years and is comfortable with either Spanish or English. Marketers will note this consumer will not specifically lean toward products that are distinctly Hispanic. This shopper remains dedicated to keeping traditions alive and remains loyal to his or her native country’s history and customs.
The Unacculturated Consumer
This consumer is Spanish-dominant and typically foreign-born, preferring to only speak Spanish when conducting business. He or she uses mostly Spanish at home and will seek out products that are familiar and that have been used in the native country. New U.S. cultures and traditions are acquired more slowly, as this consumer surrounds himself or herself with Spanish-speaking friends and family and retains a high level of Hispanic traditions and customs.
Acculturation is merely one level of segmentation, however it can be quite helpful to marketers and businesses who are working to connect and extend their reach within the Hispanic community. By knowing more about your audience, you will be able to connect on a more personal and meaningful level to deliver content that is relevant in the language and style your consumers desire. Knowing the level of acculturation, for example, will keep professionals from making the mistake of blasting English-only content to a Spanish-dominant audience. Remember never to treat an entire population segment as a whole, but instead, analyze it and decide what the best approach would be for that particular audience when it comes to disseminating your company’s message. In some cases, just a little bit of homework can save an entire marketing campaign!
Aside from defining acculturation levels, if marketers are unsure of how to approach their Hispanic market, they should focus on other unifying factors that appeal to the Hispanic audience in general, such as family, food, entertainment, and music. As covered in the previous article, Cultural Relevancy and Your Market, there are many things that define a culture—language can be an anchor and a common theme, but many other things go into the mix when creating a true connection.
You will be able to market to your Hispanic audience with confidence after you’ve done your research so that you can create the best and most meaningful cultural connection possible. So get out there and speak loudly and clearly for 56 million people to hear. Just make sure you know your audience and say it in just the right way.