The Forgotten Demographic

The Forgotten Demographic: Marketing to a Growing Hispanic Population in the United States

Demographics are, of course, an essential aspect of any sort of marketing analysis. Without an understanding of the things that make various groups tick, you miss out on the opportunity to connect with them. Your message comes off as generic and forced and the result is usually nothing like what you’d hoped for.

Age, geographic information, income, educational status and race are the demographic groups that most people expect to be faced with when these types of generic survey questions come up. And, a growing number are answering “Hispanic” when asked about their ancestry.

The statistics on the Hispanic demographic are staggering and, for those that have not been paying attention, they can be shocking. Currently comprising 16% of the population, they are expected to represent 30% of the population by 2050. They are considered to be among the earliest adopters of new technologies and their buying power as a population shows it: Just 5 years ago, US Hispanics put over a trillion dollars into the economy. That number will grow to $1.5 trillion by the end of this year.

Marla Skiko, Senior Vice President and Director of Digital Innovation at SMG Multicultural, in a post at thinkwithgoogle.com shared, “Many marketers may think they trail the so-called general market in adoption of new tech, when in fact they are far ahead and should be among the first prospects for markets seeking to grow their consumer base.”

So how do you start to consider marketing to this demographic? We offer the following tips and advice.

1. Understand the data. This one should be obvious. As a data-driven industry, marketing depends on knowing the specifics of the group you intend on targeting before beginning any sort of outreach. Due diligence is key and any attempt at breaking into a new market should be done with the most current information available at the time.

2. Understand any cultural differences that may exist. Go into the Hispanic community and witness the interactions first-hand that make it unique. Hispanic communities tend to be tight-knit and it may take some actual face to face communication to introduce your brand or product to the group. Doing so, rather than simply depending on print or radio advertising in known Hispanic media, will show sincerity and a willingness to invest the time and effort necessary to reach people.

3. Look to see how others have been successful. McDonald’s, AT&T, and Dish are cited as companies who have led successful Hispanic marketing campaigns. What was it about those campaigns that made them successful? What did they do that struck just the right cord with their market and allowed their efforts to flourish?

4. Make sure your translations are accurate. Take the translation of your advertising message seriously. Failure to do so is an instant reflection of a lack of sincerity and can lead to a social media backlash. Do not, under any circumstances, trust something this important to an online translator like Google Translate. This is your one and only opportunity to make a positive entrance into this new and exciting market. Don’t blow it simply because you couldn’t be bothered to invest a couple hundred dollars into a proper translator.

With the right preparation, a good amount of due diligence, and proper preparation, you can begin a concerted effort to market to a group that has been underserved and underestimated for a very long time.