Create a Connection Through Language with the Hispanic Community

Mario Carrasco
Mario Carrasco



carrascoIt’s no surprise that many companies desire to aggressively pursue the Hispanic market. There are currently 52 million Hispanics living in the U.S. today, and that number is expected to reach 132.8 million by 2050, which makes them the fastest growing demographic in the U.S. And with purchasing power expected to reach $1.5 trillion by 2015, it’s fair to say that Hispanics will drive consumption in the U.S. in the years ahead.

Although statistics from the Harvard Business Review state that the Hispanic advertising industry is now worth more than $5 billion, effectively outpacing all other sectors of advertising, many companies have yet to experience the market penetration they had hoped for and need to experience for significant growth for its brands in the future.

To meet this need as an agency, have you considered using Spanish-language media to not only help your clients connect with the Hispanic market but improve recall of its brands in the minds of the Hispanic consumer? Three years ago, a 2010 Nielson study stated that only 75 percent of the top 200 advertisers spent money on Spanish-language cable or broadcast, which accounted for about 8 percent of each of the company’s total advertising budget.

Although those numbers have changed in recent years, it’s still tempting for many agencies to try and target Hispanics through general marketing campaigns, but it just won’t work. Marketing to the Hispanic market is a complex effort given its diversity. It’s composed of consumers shaped by cultural nuances that are a product of their relationship to family, heritage, customs and even language. Simply translating English ads into Spanish may not be enough to make the impression needed to sustain growth.

Today, there’s been a shift. Companies have begun targeting English-dominant Hispanics — and for good reason. The latest census shows that U.S.-born Hispanics have surpassed immigrants as the fastest growing segment within the Hispanic community. But even here, what’s being overlooked is the importance of language to the Hispanic culture and its impact on consumer behavior. There’s still a very viral market for Spanish-dominant media. A recent report published by Kantar shows that general market English-language TV (including cable) decreased by an average of 1 percent, and Spanish-language TV grew 13.5 percent.

Adding Spanish-language media to your overall marketing campaign gives agencies an opportunity to connect with the greatest number of Hispanics. Another 2010 Nielson advertising effectiveness study noted that though recall does improve for general market ads translated from English and aired in Spanish, ads that originated in Spanish generated the highest levels of ad memorability among Hispanic audiences by far. Language is a connector. And to the Hispanic consumer, connection is everything.

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