Hispanics: A Unique Target Market

Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, Colombians, Cubans, Peruvians and many more Hispanics share a unique culture and linguistic heritage that has become noticeable throughout the years in the United States (B. Korzenny 1). The fact that companies are now developing campaigns aimed directly at the Hispanic market, demonstrates that Hispanics represent a uniquely targetable community with a strong voice in the country. With over 50 million Hispanics living in the U.S. in 2010, companies continue to implement different types of strategies to successfully reach this unique market (F. Korzenny 1)

Many different aspects make Hispanics uniquely targetable. According to David Miller Gomez-Giron, associate marketing director of Procter & Gamble, the Hispanic market is almost like a developing country inside the United States. Gomez-Giron said “We are in a time where the importance of Hispanic consumers has turned the tables. Today Hispanics are often the design target, meaning that an initiative is designed to delight this consumer first” (Wong 1).

Helping Hispanics understand the value of purchasing a certain product or brand is a continuous challenge for many companies. Most Hispanics are familiar with the term “lo barato sale caro” or “you get what you pay for” in English. This does not imply that Hispanics will buy the most expensive product when shopping for apparel, groceries, etc. The key here is for marketers to make them understand that their particular brand or product is worth the money and delivers a superior value for them and their families and build that customer relationship (Wong 1).

As stated in the book Hispanic Marketing: Connecting with the New Latino Consumer, one aspect that plays a big role when targeting to Hispanics is geographic concentration (B. Korzenny 29) Most U.S. Hispanics are congregated in certain areas of the country such as Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Miami and Texas. California and Texas contain more than 50% of all U.S. Hispanics making it easier for marketers to create a location based strategy to successfully promote their product or service (F. Korzenny 29)

On the other hand, Hispanics are greatly influenced by the opinions of their family and peers. Marketers could really use this as an advantage by making Hispanic consumers satisfied with their purchase. As commonly used in the industry, one could say that “word-of-mouth” marketing can be applied when talking about big Hispanic families. When one family member becomes loyal to a specific brand or product, most of the time, he or she shares this experience with his or her family members and peers. Consequently, they become part of this message chain with their own relatives and friends.
U.S. Hispanic millennials are also a big part of this uniquely targetable market. They are often bicultural and bilingual, make up 21% of America’s millennial generation of 18-to-34-year-olds, and are one of the key audiences that marketers are paying attention to. According to Luis Miguel Messianu, president and chief creative officer of Alma DDB, these millennials are referred to as fusionistas. “They see themselves as 100% Latino and 100% American. They’re perfectly comfortable navigating both worlds. They have a sense of pride from back home even if they’re born in the U.S.” (Wentz 1).
When marketing to Hispanic millennials, marketers should consider having a consistent message regardless of the language or media they use, since this group is consistently exposed to both English and Spanish language media. Graciela Eleta, senior VP-brand solutions at Univision Communications stated that Hispanic millennials “Eat tamales and burgers, and watch football and futbol. It’s a la carte acculturation; they pick and choose which part of Latino culture they get to keep. It’s less about language fluency and more about cultural fluency” (Wentz 1).

Even though Eleta’s statement applies for Hispanic millennials, marketers need to be very careful when using this same strategy with the Hispanic community in general. The type of product or service and the kind of messaging portrayed in a campaign might not be equally applicable for the older generation of Hispanics in the household, whom most of the time, make the purchasing decisions for certain products. They can be more conservative and tied to their country’s roots and beliefs.

Finally, Hispanics are uniquely targetable since they share different perceptions and opinions about particular subjects. If marketers can incorporate the Hispanic “Persona” that is carried across native and foreign born Latinos in their message strategy, the Hispanic consumer is more likely to identify with the product, become brand loyal and create a relationship with the brand (Valde_s 48).

For example, The San Jose Group successfully implemented the importance of family and dreams to Hispanics in their 2008 campaign for American Family Insurance (B. Korzenny 30) With “Protegiendo tus sueños, tu familia, tu mundo,” the agency was able to incorporate the human element in a category where the messaging had been focusing exclusively on price. The insurance company differentiated itself from its competitors and targeted the Hispanic market with a deeper and more meaningful message (F. Korzenny 30).

The Hispanic market in the U.S. has become uniquely targetable over the past few years in many different aspects. Marketers should take into consideration the geographic concentration of Hispanics, how their beliefs come into play in the decision-making process, the importance of family and values and the new role of Hispanic millennials in their households and overall Hispanic community.

Alejandra Guacaneme / FSU Student

Works Cited

Korzenny, Felipe & Betty Ann Korzenny. Hispanic Marketing: Connecting with the New Latino Consumer. Second Edition (2012). New York, N.Y: Routledge, 2012. Print.
Valde_s, M I, and Steve Moya. Win! the Hispanic Market: Strategies for Business Growth. Ithaca, N.Y: Paramount Market Pub, 2012. Print.
Wentz, Laurel. “With An Ever-Growing Population Of ‘Fusionistas,’ Consistency Is Key.” Advertising Age 82.37 (2011): 28. Academic Search Complete. Web. 9 Sept. 2012.
Wong, Elaine. “Why Bounty Is A Hit With U.S. Hispanics.” Brandweek 50.30 (2009): 6. Academic Search Complete. Web. 9 Sept. 2012.

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