By Lina Carrillo Tracey
Fact: There are more Hispanics in the USA than Canadians in Canada! Recent studies show (yes, even in New England) that the Hispanic market will dictate the level of success of many advertisers’ businesses in the near future. So, if you think that it’s too early in the game or that Hispanics are important only if your market is Florida or California—think again. You better pay attention to this cultural segment to even stay in the game in the very near future.
We are happy to announce that Sean Tracey Associates is launching a marketing team of brand strategists, creatives, directors, producers, and writers—all highly experienced in reaching and engaging the Hispanic market—that can help you connect to this emerging audience. Our 2009 approach is to help our clients reach the Hispanic audience by designing unique, successful, and exciting marketing campaigns focused on the multi-cultural richness of our present market. Although we now have offices in Miami and Caracas, you don’t have to turn to an agency in Florida, LA, or South America any more. Sean Tracey Associates offers the full services of a Hispanic advertising agency, right here in New England.
Especially since economic news and projections about the general market are so dire and grim, marketers need to understand demographic changes and use of new technologies that will help them communicate with the a new group coming into the market place…Latinos. The Latino market offers untapped opportunities, because they represent the single largest minority in the USA. But, you have to know how to engage them and market to them, specifically.
Many companies still employ a “one size fits all” campaign. That may have served well in past decades but, as the general market becomes more fragmented, understanding how to sell your products and services to the emerging minorities becomes a business necessity—and it’s not just “translating” your English language ads into Spanish.
In the past few years, big companies like Toyota, McDonalds, Wal-mart, California Milk Processor Board, Sierra Mist, Heineken, Southwest Airlines, etc. have been leading the marketing domain with Hispanic-focused campaigns, custom-created and produced for this cultural group.
Hospitals and other health care providers, as well as non-profit organizations, are aware of the benefits from a targeted effort to reach the Hispanic Market. Last year, here in New England, Children’s Hospital Boston launched a major campaign directed only to the Hispanic population. In New York, even the traditional Boys Scouts of America are now targeting Hispanic youth. Now, several major national jewelry brands are actively targeting Hispanic women. Jewels are a Latina’s best friend, and she buys a disproportionate share of “bling” per capita.
Banks in Massachusetts have begun to feel the need to bring their message to the Hispanic community. Last month a bank in Nebraska made news by designing its marketing plan with Hispanics as the center of their campaign. Imagine this in a state with a Hispanic population of only 0.3 percent! That is in comparison with Rhode Island or Massachusetts, where the Hispanic populations are 11 and 8 percent, respectively. In terms of return on investment, these banks realized that targeting the Hispanic market is more profitable than a general market campaign. Why? The advertising stands out.
Even more interesting is that it doesn’t matter whether ads are presented in Spanish or English; either way, advertising efforts directed to this particular minority stand out because all other campaigns out there are done with non-Hispanic whites in mind. If it’s in Spanish—even better! All viewers pay more attention because they are not used to seeing or hearing the advertiser’s message in Spanish. However, contrary to popular opinion, the way to communicate with Hispanics is not solely in Spanish or via Spanish TV, radio, print, or media. Advertisers can speak with Latinos in English, since 60% of the Hispanics in America are U.S. born. They’re quickly becoming an important part of our consumer base, who still hold on to their Hispanic identity and cultural heritage very strongly, but may not choose to speak their native language.
Be aware, though, that not everyone is an expert at communicating with Latinos. When clients are watching their dollars to make sure money is well spent, caution is the operative word. Effective Hispanic-centric advertising is much more than translating your message from English to Spanish, it is about aligning your campaign to the aspirations and values of Hispanics. You have to understand the culture.
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