How to Reach Young Hispanics

If your dealership is trying to target Hispanic consumers, consider moving into an Anglo/Hispanic mix in your television advertising budget.

If your dealership is trying to target Hispanic consumers, consider moving into an Anglo/Hispanic mix in your television advertising budget.

According to Nielsen, Internet ad spending increased a relatively impressive 12.6%, while the major Spanish-language TV networks were up 15%. Univision and Telemundo receive more than 64% of all advertising dollars aimed at Hispanics.

But while Hispanics now account for nearly 14% of the U.S. population only 3.2% of total advertising is spent on Hispanic media.

It would seem that there is great disparity in these numbers, but there are clear reasons why.

The English language is gaining importance in marketing to Hispanics. The key to your success may be in using both English and Spanish television depending on your local target demographic.

Case in point: Nielsen Media states that at any given time, roughly 60% of Hispanics are watching English-language television, while the remainder watch Spanish-language programs.

Younger Hispanic-Americans have assimilated into American society and are comfortable moving between English and Spanish life and in television choices. So a commercial in English may effectively reach young Hispanics. Older and recent immigrant Hispanics often stay with Spanish-language television.

General Motors has become an active advertiser among English-language Hispanic media. In the past four or five years it has tailored campaigns to better connect with different demographic groups.

“Second- and third-generation Hispanics' use of language might be different than more recent immigrants, so we've had to accompany that shift by expanding our outreach,” says Felipe Herrera, GM's director of Hispanic marketing.

A smart balance is required for maximum return on investment.

You may require as little as 10%, or as much as 40% of a television ad budget to be allocated to Spanish-language television networks. To know the right ratio for your TV plan, first consider your local target market and then your best estimate on what market share of the Hispanic spending you could generate.

We've consulted clients in high Hispanic population markets such as Miami and Los Angeles. We've learned that, overall, Hispanic consumers have certain predictable values. Hispanics tend to be:

  • Family-centric. (They seek family and friends' opinions.)
  • Fashion driven.
  • Brand consciousness.
  • Loyal to retailers and brands.
  • Open to referrals.

Here are key points to consider for Anglo/Hispanic TV marketing:

  1. Develop a relevant marketing message. Crafting one based just on ethnicity misses the point. You first need a compelling retail offer and a product positioning statement — just as in Anglo marketing!

  2. Hispanics shop differently than Anglo consumers. Hispanics often make shopping a family event and shop in groups. Group opinion can overrule individual opinion.

  3. Advertising can influence Hispanics; 35% surveyed cited ads as a factor in certain product attraction. That compares with 8% of general market respondents.

  4. Brand names matter more to Hispanic consumers. One report says 58% of Hispanics believe it is risky to purchase a brand they are unfamiliar with.

  5. Marketing to Hispanics cannot be turned on and off. It takes time to win trust from this closely knit community. Be committed and consistent.

  6. Make sure your dealership is ready. Hire capable and fluent bilingual receptionists, sales and service people.

  7. Be “global.” Advertise on English-language TV to reach cross-over Hispanic-Americans and on Spanish-language TV to reach traditionalists. Doing both ensures reaching your entire target audience.

  8. Participate in the local Hispanic community. Your involvement in festivals, churches and civic organizations makes you more “real” to Hispanics.

Adam Armbruster is a partner in the consulting firm of Eckstein, Summers, Armbruster and Co. in Red Bank, NJ. He can be reached at [email protected] and 941-928-7192.

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