Don’t Ignore Opportunities

Culture in marketing strategies

Starting with the development of a New Consumer- the problem Hispanics face in the US is the connotations that come with misunderstood cultural concepts, which affect the psychology, and more importantly the way this market succeeds and interacts in society. For Latinos living in the US, foreign-born or not, the general market environment does not resonate with them. Brands need to apply this knowledge into their marketing strategies because there is a huge disconnect with this new consumer, and marketers can use this space to offer solutions.

Hispanics that are born in the US or that have been living here long enough, do not have an emotional connection with some brands. Because their heritage is tied to a country whose roots and culture might not be reflected in their everyday life, the same brands that are trying to connect with them are not making the most out of this New Consumer. The feeling of being from both here and there has been and will continue to change the way people relate to one another in the US. By utilizing culture in marketing strategies, marketers have the opportunity to bridge cultural values, which in turn position themselves in the minds of this New Consumer and profit from it.

Rather than just adapting to a new environment, Hispanics are shifting their mentality and understanding the American reasoning with their Latino outlook. Slowly they have been able to relate to their Hispanic culture with fluency in America. Brands and organizations that get to grasp the New Consumer‘s culture and apply it to their marketing strategies will have the advantage of establishing a connection with them before anyone else, creating a loyalty-centric precedent on the category.

Any brand or company looking to grow in changing-America has to keep the Hispanic consumer in mind. According to a 2012 Nielsen report on Latinos in the US, “Hispanics are the fastest growing ethnic segment expected to grow 167 percent from 2010 to 2050, compared to 42 percent for the total population.” The data being collected every year leads to the reaffirmation of how important this demographic is to campaign strategies and tactics. The report also puts into perspective how “Latinos are no longer just a sub-segment of the economy, but a prominent player in all aspects of American life.”

Have you taken a serious look at what the Hispanic consumer implications are to your brand? Having this powerhouse of economic influence active in your marketing strategies has gone from being an option to being a key requirement for any successful campaign.

Acknowledging the cultural shift headed by this new consumer before anyone else is vital in market share and competitive advantage. There is a turnover of people going on in America where more Hispanics are progressing in society, bringing their values and purchase power into every market. Society has grown to the point that marketers (anyone, really) can no longer rely on generalizations to determine or distinguish Hispanics because it fails to connect with them. Paying attention to the insights and observing, clearly separating the variety of cultures in the US when determining marketing strategies is key in accessing this growing demographic.

The brands that successfully access cultural insights and apply them to their marketing efforts are being the ones with the power to shift the general market as well. This is because minority markets such as New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, Dallas, and Houston are becoming more prominent in political, social, and economic discussions. By being at the center of substantial decisions that impact the country at its core, minority markets are being fundamental elements when growing a company’s bottom line. The leverage of culture truly makes or breaks a company in modern America. The new consumer is sweeping every US market, allowing established American businesses to re-position themselves to win the minds and hearts of this growing group of people.

The two Hispanic groups that marketers need to focus on are Latinos that have acculturated to the US (Foreign-born) and Latinos that have lived in the US all their lives (US born). It is essential for Marketers to understand the difference between these two. Just because a group of Hispanics speak English 80% of the time does not mean they do not identify as such.

When looking to create campaigns and content to market to Hispanics, marketers need to understand that this growing demographic is primarily composed of millennials. Just like the millennial demographic is vital to the general market, Hispanic millennials are the most powerful group within the Hispanic market.

According to the Hispanic Millennial Project (HMP)*, two out of three Hispanic millennials are born in the US, and out of those born in the US, 40% speak Spanish. This leaves a marketer with a demographic that is greatly affected by customs and socialization as well as language. Nonetheless, marketers need to look beyond language and get to understand what makes them tick through their cultural perceptions. Culture is the one thing that enables marketers to create greater engagement, further relevance and grow their business.

Have I done enough research to validate my marketing strategies with the Hispanic segment? Naturally, Hispanic millennials have come to understand that being a transcultural being is a positive factor that will be advantageous when navigating the society we are heading to. The HMP showed that Hispanic millennials are entrepreneurial at heart. They value independence, and are likely to be risk takers, and respond positively to messages that highlight these qualities. However, when marketing to Hispanics, this kind of significant insight is not being applied into strategies. There are agencies specialized in tapping into these messages in order to successful get the Hispanic market to positively respond to brands and their messages. Again, culture is being leveraged along with data analysis.

If your brand or company is now pursuing the Hispanic market, do you know if your current marketing strategies motivate and resonate with the Hispanic consumer? It is understandable why strategies and marketing plans fail to dig deeper into the Hispanic demographic, generalizing simplifies. Challenges remain in tying complex identities to category-specific attitudes and behaviors, not every marketer has the team or resources available to succeed. This is where multicultural agencies come into play. By hiring and working with agencies specializing in these multicultural groups, marketers and businesses alike can reach the full spectrum of Hispanic people living in the US.

Take our Dove campaign for example. We were set to deliver a campaign for the Hispanic woman to identify herself with when making the household decision of buying Dove products. By recalling Hispanic values and the challenges these women face in the US, FPO created a campaign focused on the Hispanic mother that has a different interpretation of beauty. Our campaign focused on using Dove as means to recharge for her to give back to her family. For the Hispanic woman, being there for her family makes her beautiful, in both her eyes and her family’s. By making use of these Hispanic truths, we were able to successfully reach and deliver lucrative results that otherwise would have been lost in the disconnect of the general market strategy.

Every brand is going to come across the Hispanic market at one point or another. The new consumer is an inevitable component in the American marketing and advertising field. It is also clear that marketers eager to tap into the Hispanic market are dealing with a challenge as unique and personalized as their strategies. Applying general market strategies limits the campaign initiatives when trying to uncover the insights that can lead to a new world of prospects. Hispanics are a multiracial community of individuals with unique nuances and needs. Rethinking the approach by collaborating with specialized teams will prove worthy of marketers’ time, and will be in it for the big rewards that come from selecting this growing demographic for every campaign and strategy going forward.

As award winning marketer, Rob Fields, said “the failure to acknowledge the importance of culture to brand- and business-building is the same as deciding that you are okay with being at a competitive disadvantage.”


*Conducted by Sensis and ThinkNow


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