October 01, 2011

By: Steven Rousseau, Vice President of Automotive

For the first time ever, J.D. Power and Associates featured a panel focused on Hispanic consumers at the recent JD Power Automotive Internet Roundtable conference.

Moderated by Univision’s Chiqui Cartagena, the panelists consisted of Dave Rodriguez, Multicultural manager at Ford, Isabella Sanchez, vice president of Media Integration at Zubi Advertising, Bill Peffer, director of Marketing at Nissan, Danielle Austin at managing partner at Team Ignition and Charlie Echeverry, executive vice president of Interactive Media Sales at Univision.

Speaking to the importance of the Hispanic consumer, Cartagena shared the Census data that shows 100 percent of all Adults 18-49 growth from 2010 to 2020 will come from the Hispanic population. To further show auto marketers that the Hispanic consumer matters, it was revealed that in 2011, according to data from Polk, Hispanic auto buyers will account for 27 percent of the growth in new-vehicle sales.

Rodriguez stated, “Hispanics have shown much resiliency in the face of today’s economy. Hispanics have returned to buying automobiles quicker than the general market.”

When wooing the Hispanic auto consumer, marketers should be aware of the significant cultural differences between non-Hispanics and Hispanics during the auto purchasing process. Whereas non-Hispanics view the automobile purchasing process simply as a transaction and a hassle, Hispanics view the process as an event. Hispanics see buying a car as a proud celebration that should be shared with the family.

Hispanics also use influential sources much more than non-Hispanics. When intending to buy a new vehicle, 28 percent of Hispanics turn to Spanish-language TV ads versus zero percent of the general population. Thirty four percent of Hispanics also visit manufacturer websites versus 15 percent of non-Hispanics. Forty three percent of Hispanics (against 25 percent of non-Hispanics) used a mobile device to access the Internet among those planning to purchase a vehicle within six months.

Within the panel, Rodriguez and Sanchez revealed their one-of-a-kind multiplatform national consumer promotion for the launch of the 2012 Ford Focus, the “Te Da Más” (It Gives You More) campaign. Ford enlisted three Univision on-air personalities to encourage viewers to participate in the sweepstakes.

“The three-screen aspect of this campaign was reflective of how Hispanics like to consume media,” said Sanchez. “We wanted a campaign that delivered a broad reach with the maximum amount of hand raisers.”

The campaign did just that: registrations exceeded the goal expectation by 37 percent and the average time spent on the site was six percent higher than the industry average. There was also a 33 percent increase of traffic to the Ford Focus site and a 40 percent increase in requests for Ford Focus brochures. Most importantly, there was an eight percent increase of sales volume year over year.

Austen of Team Ignition, Nissan’s agency, showcased the brand new Versa campaign where the team shot original Spanish-language creative. It was not translated like in their past campaigns, she revealed. Hispanic consumers wanted a reflection of themselves in Nissan’s ads – after all the Nissan Versa is the No. 1 vehicle amongst Hispanics in the small car segment.

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