Just in the past decade alone, the Hispanic population in the United States grew by 15.2 million. A closer examination of this segment of the population reveals a high use of technological devices for texting, e-mail, but most importantly, shopping. When researchers tracked mobile shopping behavior, the results were unexpected. In comparing Hispanic mobile shoppers to the rest of the population, they found that Hispanic consumers were 70% more likely to utilize mobile devices for shopping than non-Hispanic buyers. In addition, a study from Acosta Sales & Marketing revealed that Hispanic consumers were more probable than non-Hispanic consumers to own a smartphone, text, stream music and video, and use mobile apps in general. Finally, over eight million Hispanic consumers “tweet” on a regular basis and Facebook has over 13 million Hispanic subscribers. What does this mean for your business?
To begin with, you have demand and plenty of it. These trends present you with a golden opportunity to increase branding, create brand loyalty, and boost sales. However, one size does not fit all. As with any other market segment, you need to research and become aware of different groups within the “Hispanic population” and what appeals to them. There are many nuances from group to group. Colombian and Argentines, for instance, are as different as oil and water and a generalized outreach campaign might not be your best choice. You should also be aware that older Hispanics are very active with social media and mobile apps. Keep an eye on the use of language. Chevy learnt this lesson quite painfully when they launched the Chevy Nova in Mexico and Latin America. The expression “No va” literally translates into “no go.” If you are considering purchasing a car, the Chevy Nova is definitely a “no go.” Don’t be the next famous targeted marketing strategy disaster. The bad publicity is like the mark of Cain. In fact, jokes about Chevy still abound in Spanish-speaking groups.
Hispanic content Web sites like Tuenti (younger consumers) and Sonico (consumers in Latin America) are a good place to start if you wish to expand to these markets. In the case of Hispanics living in the United States, one of the first organizations you should familiarize yourself with is the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC). You might also want to set up a meeting with your local Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and attend events related to Hispanic consumers. From these sources, you can then gain insight into the type of products or services that are in demand for Hispanic-owned businesses as well as a list of potential consumers or partners. Most crucial, is for you to get a taste of ways of reaching this population. LinkedIn and Facebook have Hispanic-centered groups that can give you an idea of how your products or services can be better targeted to this emerging market of mobile shoppers.
Knowing your target audience cannot be emphasized enough. Trends and statistics on segments of the population open a door for you, but you still need to walk through it. Ensure your marketing strategy, whether through your Web site, advertising, or social media, doesn’t end up being a “no go.”