Living and marketing in El Paso, a border town with a population that is more than 79% Hispanic, has allowed us to find and create opportunities for our clients to engage a greater share of the growing Hispanic market by keeping the connection between culture and message alive.
El Paso is #16 of America’s Top 20 Best Value Cities according to Trivago and has been ranked #1 in Lowest Crime Rate in U.S. Cities With Over 500,000 people, for four years in a row. In a mostly Hispanic community, we all have heard about “fake news,” but have you heard about “fake trends”?
Fake trends are a form of false information that marketers should be aware of since they can have a negative impact on business strategies, and we are witnessing one of them right now when it comes to Hispanic marketing.
The “fake trend” goes like this: With the new immigration reforms, the Hispanic population in the U.S. has been shifting from immigration-based to U.S.-born-based, shifting the need to reach out to this segment from a marketing standpoint, since Hispanics are now culturally assimilating into the broader general “total market” target. As a result, brands don’t see the need to create culturally driven and Spanish-language campaigns to connect with Hispanics any longer. One strategy, one message, one language fits all.
Real trends will get you real results
Back in October 2016, Facebook released the results of their Facebook IQ study. This study surveyed 500 Hispanics from different language usage backgrounds (English-dominant, bilingual, and Spanish-dominant), complemented by in-depth interviews.
The study had several conclusions, of which we have highlighted the following:
- 80% of U.S. Hispanics surveyed don’t feel they need to stop speaking Spanish to be part of American culture.
- 86% of survey respondents believe that speaking Spanish is a way to stay connected to their culture.
- Seeing ads in Spanish versus English significantly increases their interest in purchasing products.
- Most U.S. Hispanics prefer to consume and create online content in Spanish.
- 79% of Spanish-dominant, 82% of bilingual and 60% of English-dominant research participants surveyed think brands should advertise in both Spanish and English.
- The majority of U.S. Hispanics see brands that advertise in Spanish in a more positive light, and believe these businesses demonstrate they value the Hispanic community.
This marketing intelligence study also mentions that Hispanic consumers don’t want to be exposed to mere translations of messages from English to Spanish; they want to receive messages that reflect their culture.
Most experts on Hispanic marketing agree that the Spanish language alone is not enough to create an effective campaign, you also need to focus on the culture. To start marketing in El Paso, you need both, los dos.
Culture is the new universal language
Cultural intelligence must complement the translation of English copy into someone’s native language. Embracing cultural sensitivity has become critically important to the design of new business models, leadership development, and the relationships that brands earn with their consumers. It is not only ethical and the right thing to do; it’s a must to be domestically and globally competitive. Given today’s demographic shift in America, especially in border cities like El Paso, businesses can no longer afford to “guess and assume” demographics for their marketing strategies.
Hispanics are not a “one size fits all” customer base. In fact, Latinos are a highly diverse community and their growing population resides in markets that brands may not be paying attention to. This requires marketers to become ever more knowledgeable about their lifestyles, religious and political beliefs, cultural values and nuances — the everyday things that shape and define their mindsets. This doesn’t mean that brands must communicate in Spanish, it means much more than that: they must communicate in their culture.
The Hispanic consumer is looking to build loyalty with brands that properly represent their voices and authentic identity, and that empower their heritage by effectively embedding their cultural characteristics in how a brand speaks to them. Cultural relevancy is a two-way conversation. This means that marketing in El Paso must allow the Hispanic consumer to influence how businesses build their brand. By sustaining a dialogue, we’re stopping the stale monologues of the past in their tracks. When you invite Hispanics to engage with your business and into the conversation, they will adopt the brand with their own characteristics and personal value.
But don’t look at this as a challenge — it’s an opportunity. El Paso, Texas, is one of the most diverse communities on the border. El Paso is embracing its border city’s layered identities and building a new sense of community with festivals and more inclusive booking. See, for example, the Neon Desert Music Fest, a music festival that now embodies the energy and identity of this border city with local art, musicians, food, and much more filling its grounds. The festival also marked the grand reopening of San Jacinto Plaza, giving not just the event but the city itself a sense of revitalization.
Historically speaking, Hispanic marketing has been seen with skepticism given its limited measurement and little ROI analysis, but over the past few years, a series of studies have shed light onto what works and what doesn’t with this segment, so clients can make marketing allocation decisions based on facts, not myths.
What all this means for marketers and business owners
The common characteristics of advertising to the Hispanic community that significantly increase ROI are always a strong creative. Ads with higher ad, brand, and message memorability and likability always have a higher ROI. But our research suggests that in addition to sharing content in Spanish, if you’re looking to earn U.S. Hispanics’ business, you should consider the following strategies:
- Achieve fluency — If you can’t create original content in Spanish, invest in high-quality translations, include culturally recognizable elements in your content, and provide product information in both Spanish and English.
- Provide a safety net — U.S. Hispanics often avoid unfamiliar products for fear of making a mistake. Encourage them to experiment with your products by offering reassuring return policies and trial periods, and providing customer service in Spanish.
- Prioritize video — Video allows you to quickly communicate complex information to a broad audience. When creating video for a sound-off mobile environment, be sure to include Spanish-language dialogues and captions that enhance cultural nuance, narratives with storytelling, usage of culturally relevant humor, and relatability, featuring characters in familiar, real-world settings.
Are you interested in reaching out to the ever-growing Hispanic market in El Paso? Let us help you. Call us at (915) 585-1919 or fill out our contact form to schedule a free 2-hour session with our marketing experts and start moving your business in the right direction.