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Joey Little

Joey Little Vice President of Social Strategy

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Your Hispanic Consumer: Part IV

Hispanic Consumers Are Serious About Shopping

Discover-Your-Hispanic-Market-1-600x600.As marketers and businesses reach out to Hispanic consumers, one thing is clear: the range of shopping behaviors and attitudes among this segment of the population varies greatly depending on several factors. Shoppers show preferences based on factors such as what is being purchased, why they are purchasing, where they are purchasing, and who they are shopping with. This range of behavior provides a challenging task for those who are marketing to this demographic, with the best course of action being simply to gain the greatest possible consumer insights in order to effectively market to an ever-growing and diverse segment of society.

The Hispanic demographic is shopping, and while they have typically been known for their brand loyalty, more acculturated individuals are tending toward a less brand-loyal approach when it comes to spending their money. Previous generations have opted for loyalty when it comes down to brand, however, younger generations are making companies work harder for their loyalty, showing they are more willing to try new products and brands to find the options they prefer. According to Nielsen Homescan research, this difference is based largely on acculturation, with language being a specific defining factor. In other words, as individuals become more acculturated and more in tune with their new environment, they show less inclination toward brand loyalty and are more comfortable trying new products and brands. This finding stands out for brand leaders because they will need to focus on forging relationships with Hispanic consumers earlier in the acculturation process if they are seeking the typical brand loyalty for which these consumers have been known.

Many companies are realizing they are behind the curve when it comes to marketing to Hispanic shoppers, and with good reason. With a population of over 56 million in the U.S. identifying as Hispanic and a spending power cruising toward a solid $2 trillion by 2020, businesses have been slow to recognize the need to include the Hispanic buying market in their game plans. Now, it’s time to play catch-up, and it’s a frenzied race to see which brands will successfully connect with the Hispanic audience, now the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population.

The importance of creating an inclusive marketing platform cannot be overstated. Companies are often overly eager to jump on the multicultural bandwagon, and by skipping some very important steps, they feel they can be faster to market with their ideas. This is often a mistake that is costly in the long run, resulting in marketing that misses the mark with their Hispanic audience, or worse, is downright offensive due to cultural differences or language nuances. Yes, it’s important to prepare your marketing plan and be culturally inclusive, but at the same time, make sure you’ve covered all your bases and don’t get in a hurry.

Here are a few things marketers and businesses should know about their Hispanic market and the way their Hispanic consumers are shopping:

  • Language choice is important. Although there are many Hispanic individuals in the U.S. who are highly acculturated and bilingual or English-dominant, many still feel a strong pull toward advertising with Spanish content, which can serve as a reminder of their family origin. Remember that not all of your advertising needs to be in Spanish, however, you should know your audience and plan thoughtfully created target-language content when appropriate. Whether in Spanish or English, content still has the power to reflect community, background, and culture, so aim for authenticity.
  • Hispanic shoppers are early adopters of mobile technology and are extremely digitally savvy. They lead the pack when it comes to engaging online, sharing, and being socially connected. For your brand, this means you should strategically plan marketing that meets them where they are shopping and researching—online. Plan content that is mobile-friendly and offer video to capture their attention. On the go, it’s estimated that at least 72% of Hispanics own at least one mobile device, with several owning and being adept at using more than one. When targeting this market, remember technology is helping the Hispanic population do more of what they already do best—stay connected with friends and family.
  • Hispanic shoppers, on the median, are younger than the rest of the population. 77% of Hispanics are under the age of 45, while only 57% of non-Hispanics are under age 45. The younger demographic continues to grow and use technology to their advantage for shopping and connecting, and businesses that focus on offering online social experiences while promoting their brands will be more successful with this audience.
  • Culturally relevant messages resonate with Hispanic shoppers. By gaining an understanding of the culture and the things that are important to your consumers, you will be able to deliver more meaningful messages that help connect your audience with your products. The richer the experience you are able to provide, the more your message will resonate—ultimately allowing you to capture even more market opportunities and reach a larger audience.
What Consumers Are Buying

Let’s debunk the myth that high-end brands should not bother with marketing to the Hispanic population. Not only are Hispanic households—families earning more than $75,000 annually—have more than doubled in the past 10 years, and along with that, spending power continues to increase. However, marketing within the upscale brand community is decreasing—probably due to the failure of businesses to recognize and accept the spending power that resides with the Hispanic community.

Here’s a quick look at some of the things the Hispanic community is excited about purchasing:

Smartphones—At least half of Hispanic consumers in the U.S. own one.

Airline Tickets—Staying connected remains at the top of their list of priorities.

Books, Clothing, & Accessories—At least 6% spent more than $2,500 online in a 6-month period.

Vehicles—In 2013, Hispanic shoppers represented 20% of new vehicle sales.

As marketers and businesspeople, it’s time to get in the game with the Hispanic consumer. Making up 18% of the U.S. population, this segment is purchasing from businesses that can prove their relevance, demonstrate cultural awareness, and connect in a meaningful way through authentic messaging and product offerings. By raising the bar and giving Hispanic shoppers the authenticity and variety they are seeking, your business will be a strong contender in the marketplace.

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