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Hispanics: A Segment Marketers Can't Afford To Ignore

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(Posted on Mar 15, 2014 at 06:39AM by William Cosgrove)
The following article written by a Hispanic mom raising kids here in the US shares a perspective that is shared by a large segment of the US Hispanic population.

Having researched this subject over the past 8 years both here and  in South America I am glad to see that it is now being talked about more and more because the statistics are staggering. ( A Market Not to be Ignored)

The Hispanic segment of the US Population Represents the 13th largest economy in the world and are the youngest, fastest growing segment of the US population representing 60 % of overall population growth here in the US. ( America’s New Baby Boomers )

The tremendous Buying power of Hispanics is growing exponentially including a current per capita income closing in on the national average makes it important to finds ways to effectively penetrate this market now and into the future.

Hispanics: A Segment Marketers Can't Afford To Ingnore
Picture As a Hispanic woman raising kids in the United States, I'm especially attuned to the attitudes and challenges of moms like me. But in the past couple of years, I've noticed that a lot of big brands are tuning into our needs as well. The reason is simple: Between 2000 and 2010, the Hispanic population grew by 43% – that's four times the general rate of population growth.

And as the percentage of Hispanic households earning higher incomes also grows dramatically, marketers are beginning to realize that this is a segment they can't afford to ignore. Of course, marketing to Hispanic moms means more than hiring a Spanish translation service. We're culturally unique, with our own set of habits and preferences. Here are a few tips to help marketers understand us better.

We're not all alike

As a daughter of Spanish parents born in France, I've taken a unique journey to where I am today. Other Hispanic moms have their own stories to tell. Some moved here recently and speak little English; others were born here and live in bilingual homes. Marketers who understand these nuances will be better equipped to get their message across.

For our studies, we've found it useful to divide Hispanic moms into four distinct segments: completely acculturated (21%), high (40%), moderate (23%), and low (16%). It's important to know which of these segments will be most receptive to your message and understand their language preferences. For example, four in five completely acculturated Hispanics view themselves as American, while two-thirds of low-acculturated Hispanics view themselves as Latino immigrants. Overall, two-thirds of Hispanic moms prefer information in Spanish or Spanish and English together.

We're social

Moderate, high, and completely acculturated Hispanic moms are using the same social media as the general population, including Facebook (87%), parenting social media (50%), Instagram (36%), blogs (46%), and Pinterest (30%). Our research also shows that 47% of Hispanic moms use parenting social media for product and brand recommendations. So for marketers interested in these segments, it's definitely worth investing in bilingual social media efforts to deepen your engagement with this growing and receptive audience.

We're mobile

I love my smartphone, and our research confirms that Hispanic moms are heavy users of mobile technology: 82% own a smart phone, 72% own a laptop, and 51% own a tablet. According to a 2012 study, 48% of Hispanics access the Internet from smartphones, versus 38% of non-Hispanics. So if you want to reach Hispanic moms, optimize your site for mobile devices.

Our research also shows that two-thirds of Hispanic moms notice mobile ads, and that moderate and highly acculturated moms are most receptive to mobile ads in Spanish and English together. So be sure to integrate these two languages into your communications as seamlessly as possible.

We're looking for deals

Hispanic moms are receptive to messages from their favorite brands – especially if those messages can help them save money. Moderate, high, and completely acculturated moms tell us they're most interested in following brands on social media for coupons and discounts. They're more likely to click on an ad if it has a free sample (53%) or if it offers a coupon (57%). So be sure to include these incentives in your marketing mix, and follow up with more in-depth messages on parenting social media sites and Spanish-language blogs. 

Throughout my own journey – from a low-acculturated mom who didn't speak English to a fully integrated, multilingual professional – I've definitely noticed which brands "get" me and which brands aren't trying hard enough. As the buying power of Hispanic moms increases, more marketers are going to have to step up their game if they want to earn the lasting loyalty of this vast and influential group of consumers.

By Clarisse Cespedes
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