Media Strategy Should Work Across Languages
Recent research published in Advertising Age‘s Annual Hispanic Fact Pact revealed an interesting fact about the media consumption habits of Hispanic adults ages 18 and older. Taking into account their consumption across all media, 75% of Hispanics consume media in both English and Spanish, with 11% only in Spanish and 14% only in English.
This varies significantly by media type, with TV representing the medium with the highest rate of consumption mostly in both languages, while newspapers and the Internet are primarily consumed in only English. (It’s important to note that the data on media usage presented in the Hispanic Fact Pack are not segmented demographically.) There are a few possible explanations for this trend.
First, it is possible that the lower median age of Hispanics overall makes them more likely to prefer more English-language media given the language usage patterns of younger Latinos. Another consideration is the possibility that there is a lack of relevant content in Spanish language. Depending on the medium and the target, it may be that consumers simply find they like certain content in English more than in Spanish.
Another even more radical possibility is that the majority of Hispanics, regardless of how long they have been in the U.S., or what language they prefer to speak, mostly identify with being generally bicultural. These factors, of course, don’t make them any less Hispanic. But it does make our jobs a little more complex.
The data on media consumption speak to how multicultural the Hispanic segment actually is and reaffirm something those close to the market should already know: Hispanics are not a homogenous group easily reached solely with Spanish-language advertising. And just because Hispanics are consuming English language media, it doesn’t mean that your brand’s messaging is resonating with them.
It’s a missed opportunity when a brand advertises in solely Spanish-language media in order to reach Hispanics and potentially neglects an important segment of its intended target audience that consumes media mostly in English.
In general, these data on Hispanic media consumption lead to several implications. One is not new — know your audience well and keep in mind that they don’t all behave the same way. And, perhaps a new thought to some, is to keep in mind what “other” potential large audiences are also being exposed to your message and determine how to capitalize on that audience.
In essence, as the Hispanic market continues to grow, it is imperative that agencies work together from a campaign’s onset to determine insights and develop a unified strategy that not only works across all platforms, but languages, too.