The importance of focusing on the Hispanic demographic for your marketing efforts | MILITARY | TEEN | COLLEGE | MULTICULTURAL

It’s no secret that brands tend to, by and large, ignore the Hispanic demographic as a potential market for their products. The Hispanic Marketing Council has found that a scant 6% of the marketing industry’s investment is focused on the Hispanic demographic. This is largely a mistake—the Hispanic community is one of the fastest growing populations in the United States and is becoming steadily more affluent and ready to spend with companies that align with their community. 

Why you should focus on the Hispanic market

The Hispanic market in the U.S. is large, growing and has a lot of purchasing power that will only increase. There are currently 62 million Hispanic consumers in the U.S. at present, with the number looking to grow to encompass 30% of the population by 2050. This audience also has major purchasing power, to the current tune of $1.7 trillion in total buying power—according to the Hispanic Marketing Council, this figure is slated to expand rapidly to $2.6 trillion by 2025. With only 6% of industry investment being focused toward Hispanic consumers, there is plenty of opportunity for an enterprising marketer to carve out a large chunk of the demographic for themselves with clever advertising and authentic messaging.

In short, there is a massively underrepresented audience that marketing professionals have been ignoring at their own peril. The time to get started on a targeted Hispanic marketing strategy is now. The market is big, it is growing, and other brands have not been targeting it—potentially leading to far better outcomes than using advertising spend for demographics that are already inundated with targeted advertising. 

Tips for engaging with the Hispanic community

One thing that brands should be wary about when engaging with the Hispanic market is that your advertisements need to make an actual connection with them. Consumers, in general, can tell when an organization isn’t being genuine in their attempts to reach out and it can cause your marketing to fall flat—potentially even damaging your brand. The best practice you can have for your advertisements is to involve the Hispanic community in your advertising creation process and avoid stereotyping and clichés. Cultural literacy is the key here—and involving Hispanic professionals in your decision-making process will not only help you avoid gaffes—it will help you genuinely engage with your target audience from a place of shared knowledge. 

By creating ads that are relevant to the community, you will engage them more. Refuel’s Hispanic Explorer Series has shown that 61% of Hispanic customers pay more attention to ads that are relevant to them. When targeting these consumers, it’s also important to remember to hyper-segment them by age and subsection of Hispanic identity. The country of origin for 62% of the U.S. Hispanic population is from Mexico, with Puerto Rico and Cuba coming in second and third respectively at 9.6% and 3.9%. On top of that, different generations take in different media. The older generations tend to consume mostly Spanish-only media, whereas younger consumers tend to consume mostly English-speaking media. At the end of the day, it’s important to recognize that the Hispanic experience in America differs for everyone based on country of origin and age. Being cognizant of that will help ensure that your messaging lands.

Suggested Hispanic Marketing Strategies

When looking to engage your Hispanic audience, there are a few tactics and strategies that you should consider to ensure your message comes across well. Most importantly, you want to make sure that you remain agile and flexible, as well as ensure that you’re hitting the right targets in the right places. Some things to consider include:

  • Targeted advertising is essential: Hispanic consumers are far more likely to visit local grocery stores (up to 30% more likely) and twice as likely visit local convenience stores than the general public. This presents an opportunity for physical advertising in those spaces to get your message across.
  • Support similar causes: The landscape of customer relations is shifting. People want brands to be aligned with causes that they’re interested in and are likely to stop buying if they aren’t meeting their standards. Our research shows that around 63% of Hispanic consumers care about racial equality, while 52.7% care about mental health. Aligning your brand with one of these causes can help the authenticity of your message. 
  • Culture matters more than language: This isn’t to say that Spanish language advertisements won’t work—they can help, but Hispanic consumers pay attention to marketing in English just as much. What’s more important is that you reflect Hispanic culture authentically. People like to feel seen and appreciated, and it shows in their buying habits—56% of Hispanic consumers say they are more likely to pay attention to marketing that reflects their culture. 
  • In-community marketing is more effective: Since 2017, the Hispanic community has put more trust in print media while starting to have less regard for social media and traditional web marketing. Publishing in Hispanic community magazines and physical spaces is your best bet for getting the engagement that you’re looking for.

If you’re looking to boost your share of the Hispanic market, Refuel can help you engage and connect with the community. As a leading media + marketing agency, we’ve specialized in reaching out to multicultural communities across the United States. With in-house research that is considered a definitive reference to multicultural markets and partnerships with over 1,000 publications, we can ensure that you get the market penetration that you need and the ability to capitalize on the fantastic opportunity that Hispanic marketing presents. Reach out to us today to learn more about how we can assist you.

Christina O'Toole

Christina is a data-driven, full stack marketer with over 20 years success leading marketing in technology, higher ed and publishing industries. Christina has developed hundreds of marketing campaigns and built all facets of programs including lifecycle journeys, creative direction and lead generation. She now heads corporate marketing at Refuel Agency and its higher education marketing division, Thinking Cap.