When it comes to multicultural marketing, brands are facing some of the biggest challenges they have ever experienced, as technology changes consumer behavior.

Developing brand affinity and maintaining loyalty, especially amongst Latino consumers, is becoming the holy grail of growth and success, as those once classified as minorities become majorities. In order to connect with the U.S.’s largest and fastest growing consumer group, brands must develop better marketing tactics.

Today, six in 10 Hispanic adults living in the U.S. speak English or are bilingual, Pew Research reports. Hispanics in the United States break down into three groups when it comes to their use of language: 36% are bilingual, 25% mainly use English and 38% mainly use Spanish. Because Latino consumers are bilingual, creating campaigns in both English and Spanish that speak to their values will help brands make the connections they seek.

“English is the language of business and entrepreneurship; do not market to Latinas/Latinos exclusively in Spanish,” says Nely Galan, founder of the Adelante Movement. “Brands are missing the boat, as the number one goal of this consumer group is to be empowered — to build themselves, their families and their communities.”

Using both languages will enable brands to establish better connections. Galan advises them to be careful to use a voice and values that are authentically portrayed.

“While many Latinos/Latinas love Sofia Vergara and Charo, most of us don’t look or sound like them,” she says. “They are unique talents not to be manufactured and cloned over and over to serve a vision of Latinos to non-Latinos.”

“By not taking language and cultural values into context, we will not marginalize Latinos,” Galan adds.

2. Make sure digital marketing tactics match values and behavior

Latinos will choose which brands to give their money to based on a brand’s ability to effectively communicate in ways that appeal to their lifestyles and cultural values — especially across digital channels. When it comes to in social media, mobile and e-commerce, Latinos lead in the adoption of new platforms or technology.

In a recent study, BIA/Kelsey found that Latinos outpace non-Hispanics in the use of social media.

Latinos outpace non-Hispanics in the use of social media. The survey also found that Hispanics over-index in using mobile devices for local shopping: 23.6% of Hispanic consumers say they use tablets and 48.5% of Hispanics report using any kind of mobile device.

When it comes to social media channels that Latinos regularly use, 73% of them use Facebook, 34% use Instagram, 25% use Twitter, 21% use Pinterest and 18% use LinkedIn. Just like any consumer group, Hispanic consumers don’t want to be sold to. When brands leverage social media to connect with Hispanic consumers, they should do so in engaging ways that play to cultural relevancy and heritage. Marketers need to ask themselves questions such as:

  1. How does will resonate with the family values of my audience?
  2. How will my audience feel like this a product/services/brand that will help them accomplish their goals?

Marketers must then go one step further and answer how those questions play out across video and mobile platforms. Then, take it another step further and develop a SEM strategy that leverages YouTube’s Hispanic audience targeting and capitalizes on the growth of Spanish language search.

A great example of this was Hispanicize’s partnership with Wells Fargo to develop a YouTube series on Hispanic journalists. They produced the sessions with Latino students from the Miami Media School.

“This ongoing series on media entrepreneurship resonates strongly for Hispanic journalists at a time when many of them are literally redefining their careers and even experimenting with new business models,” says Manny Ruiz, founder of the Hispanicize event and a former journalist turned media entrepreneur.

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