By Pete Lerma, CEO & Co-Founder LERMA
At a moment when brands are reflecting on their relationships with multicultural consumers, it’s a great time to talk about something that’s been happening in multicultural marketing for the last decade or so: it’s time to quit defunding your multicultural marketing. What we’ve seen in the Hispanic market, specifically, is that brands have moved to reduce spending under the guise of the Total Market Approach. Granted, we’re all being asked to do more with less. And budget cuts are a part of our reality. But I’m here to show you how to grow your market share and spend your ad dollars more effectively by committing to the Hispanic market.
Most marketers will acknowledge that future growth for their brands is dependent on winning with Hispanics. However, what most of us in this industry have seen is that marketers have also convinced themselves that their general market efforts are adequate for connecting to Hispanic audiences. As a result, only 6% of U.S. ad spending is dedicated to the Hispanic market.
And the truth is that, historically, a Total Market Approach might not have hurt the brand, but it certainly isn’t yielding as much as a multiculturally committed approach would. And with brands and cultural sensitivity being in the spotlight, consumers expect brands to make a genuine effort and not take their patronage for granted. And those efforts can make a real difference to your bottom line.
78% of Hispanics don’t see brands trying to connect with them through advertising. And in the midst of an American racial awakening, 75% of those consumers are willing to choose brands that make an effort over brands that don’t. In other words, in whatever category you’re in, if most advertisers are essentially ignoring these customers with a “Total Market Approach” – it’s the brand that raises its hand and says to this customer base, “I see you, and I value you,” that’s going to win their loyalty. This isn’t hard. It just takes a genuine commitment.
So, what does a genuine commitment look like? At best, it means leading with multicultural marketing. At a minimum, quit defunding it. For years, Marc Pritchard, Chief Brand Officer at Procter & Gamble, has been saying, “If you’re not doing multicultural marketing, you are not doing marketing.” The way I think about that is: make the underrepresented consumer the hero in your brand storytelling and quit worrying about offending your general market. This is simply a reflection of the world we live in and is not alienating. In fact, multicultural consumers are likely to see your brand as having done something really interesting and endearing.
As you genuinely commit to the Hispanic market, consider that targeted, relevant advertising is going to resonate more with this audience, resulting in a greater return on your investment. In fact, IPG Media Lab found that a majority of general market ads fall short with Hispanic audiences. Additionally, they found that any dollar spent in Hispanic marketing, in-language and in-culture, will be 61% more relevant and effective than a generalist approach. And a separate study by the ANA found that a culturally targeted approach also yielded 3 times greater purchase intent. Those are pretty compelling findings. If you take away one thing from this article, it should be this: a truly targeted Hispanic effort will generate 61% more effectiveness and 3 times greater purchase intent.
But, what does it mean to be truly targeted and relevant? Well, for starters, Hispanics want to see people like them in advertising – and that means way more than skin color or the language used in work. They want their cultural background to be recognized and celebrated. Simply put, Hispanics have a stronger emotional response to content created exclusively for them. Their trust for a brand that cares, and commits, is 27% higher than brands that reach them with general market content.
And yes, language still matters. In fact, brands that feature cultural insights in Spanish form deeper consumer-brand connections. They enjoy significant value creation that drives brand affinity and 266% lift in purchase intent compared to general market efforts. So, if you are not allocating most of your marketing budget for growth in the Hispanic market, you will not maximize your marketing investment.
It’s just that simple. Hispanics are a growing market that most brands aren’t genuinely engaging with. So, when you make a real effort, your messaging will connect at a deeper level, and the market will reward you with their loyalty and money. The Hispanic market is watching and waiting for brands to reach out.
So, do it because it’s a no-brainer investment. It will pay off. We see it with our clients every day. But, more importantly, do it because it’s the right thing to do.
Hispanic Star is honored to partner with Advertising Week feature Hispanic voices during Hispanic Heritage Month and beyond.
 The Association of National Advertisers (ANA), Cultural Insights Impact Measure (CIIM), 2019