|HISPANIC HERITAGE MONTH: Capturing Hispanics Hearts, Minds and Wallets
By Liz Castells-Heard, CEO & Chief Strategy Officer and Liliana Ramirez, Sr. Director of Strategy & Insights, INFUSION by Castells
Hispanic Heritage Month (HHM) celebrates Hispanic Americans’ rich diversity, histories, impact, and contributions to the economy, pop culture, shaping trends and all aspects of America today and its rich past. Initiated in 1968 as a week-long event by President L. B. Johnson, HHM was extended to a month-long celebration in 1988 by Ronald Reagan. The Hispanic community, 63M strong with $2.5T buying power, is varied in cultural origin representing over 25 countries across Latin America, the Caribbean and Mexico, the largest group by far. Those differences are reflected in varied traditions, content preferences, food style, and even sports or music, but Hispanics are united in their core values, work ethic, codes, optimism, resilience, Familismo and collectivity – and their love of America, which is higher than any other group, befitting the spirit of Hispanic Heritage Month.
Hispanics retain a strong connection to their roots and not only embrace their cultural duality and its fringe benefits of double the choices, content, foods or passions, but are galvanized by it. The lion’s share are under age 45 in their prime earning years, and they are more empowered, educated and higher income than ever. It is time for brands to harness Hispanics’ power.
The Bicultural and Bilingual Bridge
This bicultural, bilingual nature is one of U.S. Hispanics’ remarkable features, regardless of origin. While 34% skew lower acculturated, biculturalism is increasingly the norm at 50%, with a major decrease in the higher acculturated to 16%, having reconnected with their culture via technology and no longer having to “fit in” to succeed in America. Beyond ‘the best of both worlds’, culturally-grounded Hispanics seamlessly blend their American ways and “code-switch” depending on the situation or context. While acculturation and language are not perfectly linear, 80% speak Spanish even more than two decades ago, and 65% are fully bilingual, underscoring their adaptability. And 63% of Hispanic TV viewing or streaming goes to English-language content, so companies need to recognize that Spanish alone is NOT a Hispanic marketing strategy.
The Hispanic Marketing Blueprint
Effective marketing is about making a genuine, in-culture connection which requires a consumer-centric approach and relevant customer experience across the Marketing Ps. Understanding the critical insights that guide Hispanics’ category behavior, brand preferences, affinities and purchase decisions. Culture grounds Hispanics’ Identity and that cultural lens shapes their lives, affects their consumption behavior, media choices, and how they view and process everything. They prioritize trust in brands, are more influenced by celebrities and family and friend WOM. They are avid social media users, Mobile-first and the highest streamers. Our focus at INFUSION by Castells is on creating ROI-Powered Ideas®. That means Return on Investment and Relationship Opportunities through Insights to build brand relationships for the long haul. That’s the big win.
Beyond Representation, It’s About Being Understood
For marketing efforts to generate sustainable brand relationships, it starts with consumers feeling understood and reciprocated. Meaningful effective work has to be within their content, context, experiences, and what matters to them and their community. That means relevant storylines, benefits they care about, and authentic, multi-dimensional portrayals that empower them, echo their experiences, and fuel their spirits. In particular, culturally-relevant social engagement efforts and passion-point experiences resonate highly.
For example, we just launched a Hispanic Heritage Campaign for our client Charter Communications showcasing how Spectrum One enables the ultimate connectivity and streaming experience to connect to what Hispanics love most, in this case their passion to music. After several successful collaborations with Ozuna including livestream concerts, we teamed up with renowned Mexican pop-rock trio Reik for an integrated campaign through October. It launched with a brand thematic original song that informs, entertains and pays tribute to the Hispanic culture. The 360° campaign will have multi-layered social, media and fan activations, especially in LA – a natural fit being the #1 market where Hispanics are over half the population and 73% Mexican.
The Need for Customization
The make-up of different U.S. markets plays a role in the overall market’s cultural orientation that requires nuanced market approaches. In Hispanic-majority markets like LA or Miami and most of Texas, the best results are driven with an overall transcultural approach led by Hispanic insights but with cross-cultural context plus unique Hispanic-centric efforts. If your overall approach skews mainstream, then assure to do unique Hispanic-centric efforts in both Spanish and English.
This business requires knowing the complexities and nuances of diverse consumers at a macro and micro level. Multicultural experts like INFUSION by Castells are the missing link to fill the gap of that much needed cultural depth of knowledge to complement Clients’ broader agency teams. Knowledge-based strategies weigh all the diverse consumers’ factors and identify the differences that matter to drive a segment’s affinity and sales, or find cross-cultural appeal.
The Hispanic segment is not monolithic, but a people of infusion, whose depth of origins, histories, experiences, creativity and narratives underscore America’s rich diversity. Hispanics merit being honored and invested in for Hispanic Heritage Month and beyond. When it’s done right, you capture their hearts, minds and wallets.