The rule of thumb in marketing is to ‘know your demographic’. However, many have fallen into the trap of misconceptions and often adapt an ‘off-the-shelf’ approach to their target market. It worked before, why change now? Or some will say ‘stop reinventing the wheel’. In this article, Hernan Tagliani gives away four marketing myths that will alienate Hispanic consumers.
Myth #1: Hispanics don’t react as quickly as general market consumers
It doesn’t matter how or when this assumption was formulated, it is a one-sided myth. Sounds like an excuse for not getting the most out of this market. The author said, “Some executives think, since they have been in the market for years, they have brand equity and consumers know their brand. But if someone doesn’t have a connection with you, they aren’t going to be eager to reach for your products.” We couldn’t agree more.
What we know about Hispanics is that they are one of the most loyal consumers once they ‘approve’ your brands or services. And because ‘word-of-honor’ is a big thing, they won’t risk their integrity if something (or someone) is not worthy. So let yourself be known to your Hispanic consumers, be persistent to get their attention, and then give them something to be loyal to. Whether this means reallocating your marketing resources to support your culturally-specific initiative or revisiting your current communication strategy.
Myth #2: Hispanics don’t have disposable income to buy certain products or services
Hispanic consumers’ buying power is constantly rising in the U.S. “According to Forbes Magazine, the Hispanic community has contributed significantly to the U.S. economic growth and will continue to do so. Hispanics in the U.S. have become one of the top ten economies in the world,” Tagliani added. To debunk this myth once and for all we need numbers: $2.7 trillion was the total economic output of the Hispanic consumers as of September 2019 – equating to the 7th largest GDP in the world if they were an independent country. So yes, they do have disposable income.
Myth #3: You can reach Hispanic consumers with a total market approach
Just because the majority of U.S. consumers go to the same supermarket doesn’t mean they visit the same isle. The Hispanic market should not be targeted just like the market at large. Yes, Hispanics speak English or are bilingual, but their culture, upbringing, and motivations differ. Some “catchy & funny phrases” in American English might sound offensive in the Hispanic culture. Therefore, take invaluable time to know them deeper, or else face the risk of alienating them.
Myth #4: Your competition isn’t marketing to Hispanics, so you don’t need to either
Whether you have the ‘elixir of life’ as a product or there’s no substitute to what you’re offering – your business still needs to explore new markets to survive. If the U.S. is your major feeder market and you don’t pay attention nor allocate a marketing budget for Hispanic consumers then you are missing a great deal of revenue opportunity.
“The fact that your competition is not reaching Hispanics is actually a great business opportunity. If you reallocate marketing dollars to this new, influential audience, it can help balance a loss of sales from the general market where competitors may outperform you,” Tagliani concluded.
Multicultural marketing initiatives require commitment and courage to prove old concepts wrong. Moreover, to build your brand and business credibility within the fast-growing Hispanic market, it means applying the opposites of the above misconceptions. Awareness of who you are is important, but without engagement that leads to purchase intent, you might need to revisit the drawing board.