By Pacino Mancillas, Partner & VP of Strategic Partnerships, AC&M Group
Every year around this time, brands begin to bombard Hispanic consumers with special promotions, ad campaigns and cameo appearances in the community. Many brands take advantage of Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 to October 15) to engage with the U.S. Hispanic community and celebrate Hispanic heritage and culture. But are they perceived as authentic?
Yes, celebrating our success and contributions to this wonderful country is important, and I applaud all of the companies that leverage community events and craft campaigns to engage with Hispanics during this special time period. But, if the Hispanic community is such an important consumer (and I can give you trillion$ of reasons to care), shouldn’t brands be connecting with us year-round? Hispanic marketing outreach shouldn’t be limited to 30 days. Hispanic outreach should be incorporated into a brand’s ongoing marketing efforts.
Here are 4 tips to help brands connect with Hispanic audiences beyond Hispanic Heritage month and create long-lasting authentic customer relationships:
1. Partner with Local Organizations & Events: Yes, many events and celebrations take place during Hispanic Heritage month, but they also take place throughout the year. Support your local organizations and events, i.e. attend a luncheon, sponsor a scholarship program, or provide supplies for a back-to-school drive or community event.
2. Know Your Audience: You can’t lump all Hispanics into one bucket. Many are bicultural, bilingual and live in a complex duality with family heritage and American traditions. Create initiatives and campaigns that can speak to specific market segments. Find their passion points. For example, buying Spanish-language radio can help you reach abuelita, but a Snapchat filter may help you reach “Bi-llenials” (Hispanic Millenials).
3. Be Inclusive: As we shift to a minority-majority nation, all marketing efforts should be inclusive of minorities. You don’t need a specific campaign to engage with Hispanics – as you develop “general market” campaigns, you should be inclusive of Hispanics in your efforts. Ensure that the images that you create are reflective of people of different races, ethnicities and culture.
4. Be Consistent: In order for your brand to truly connect with this important consumer segment (and positively impact your bottom line), you need to be consistent in your outreach. Remember that your goal is to develop a long-lasting relationship with us and that means that we want you to engage with us often. Connecting with us in a meaningful way throughout the year will help Hispanic consumers truly embrace your brand.
Hispanic consumers account for more than 57 million in the U.S. with a buying power of $1.4 trillion. Hispanics are brand loyal, highly tech-savvy, bicultural, bilingual and super consumers. Brands need to make engaging with the Hispanic community a year-round commitment. At the end of the day, Hispanic consumers interact with brands that speak to them authentically.