Winning With The Hispanic Consumer Today

By Joy Joseph

Spending by Hispanic shoppers has increased 207 percent since 2000, and by 2015, the U.S. Hispanic market will be worth $1.5 trillion. During our recent #IRIWebinar, “Winning with the Hispanic Consumer Today,” Latinum Network Vice President Andy Hasselwander and I discussed on what it takes to engage, measure and market to the 53 million Hispanic consumers in the United States.

By taking a closer look into Hispanic consumers’ path to purchase, marketing and media channels, population growth, purchasing power, category trends, geographic penetration, acculturation and shifts, webinar viewers left with the knowledge to grow their Hispanic portfolio.

Differences between the Hispanic consumer mindset and the mainstream American consumer mindset

More than half of Hispanics prefer a brick-and-mortar experience. These shoppers predominantly choose venue locations with the best values (dollar store, Walmart, Target, neighborhood Hispanic store) and products to accommodate larger family sizes while still connecting to their cultural needs.  And advertisements, family and friends heavily influence their purchasing decisions.

Hispanics are also willing to shop online, with online price comparisons higher in 2014 than a year earlier. However, Hispanics under-index for online shopping relative to non-Hispanics (35 percent vs. 49 percent).

While it is important to recognize and understand these cultural differences, IRI and Latinum Network advocate for a Total Market Strategy (TMS), in which Hispanics and other multicultural shopper groups are seen as part of the total market pie. A TMS methodology enables a more holistic market focus by facilitating integration of planning and agency activities. It also ensures that brand values are represented consistently across segments, regardless of the messaging mode, language and platform.

How to align brands and messaging to better suit the needs and motivations of the Hispanic consumer

Nearly half of Hispanics believe advertising today depicts an inaccurate portrayal of the Hispanic community.  Although ads that are in Spanish language are important to Hispanics, they would like to see ads that dig deeper and truly connect with them on a cultural level, as well as reflect their identity and heritage accurately.
Whether the advertisements are in English or Spanish, Hispanics expect advertisements to be entertaining, and are more likely to pay attention to outdoor advertising and in-program product placement than the general market.

Best practices in metrics and measurement to track performance of Hispanic marketing efforts

Lack of appropriate decision support systems has created a vicious cycle of under-investment, resulting in the fate of Hispanic strategy resting with the “gut feeling” of a few stakeholders. Breaking out of this vicious cycle requires a comprehensive insights regiment founded on robust data and rigorous analytics.

  • Insights allow you to create, target, and track Hispanic consumers in order to learn the best ways to reach Hispanic consumers at the household and store levels.
  • Activate consumers by optimizing marketing execution offline, online, and in store
  • Measure marketing impact on sales and brand perception
  • Innovate through specialized product improvements and launches

Making changes to reach a more diverse consumer is not something that happens overnight. It takes recognizing cultural influence, researching target demographics, customization, and shifting internal company mentalities from the C-suite down to focus on multicultural opportunities as a business imperative – and not as a cultural or political agenda item to check off a list.

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