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The Three C’s of Hispanic Marketing for Financial Institutions (Part III)

The point: Discover what makes the lives of Hispanics unique from non-Hispanics.

When you learn what motivates and excites them, you will learn how to appeal to them. That’s how you’ll reach Hispanics—by thinking how they think.

Culture

The idea of culture has already been addressed in this piece several times, due to the nature of the topic. A people group’s culture pervades every area of their life, making it the biggest factor marketers must consider. If you aren’t in the same frame of mind as your target audience, you will struggle finding ways to appeal to them.

Hispanic marketers need to think about questions like these:

  • What do Hispanics value?
  • What is their perspective on big areas of life that aren’t specific to race? Such as family, money, education, etc.?
  • What influences their decision-making?

When considering culture, there is one major warning for marketers to consider. Hispanics are not all the same. The term Hispanics is incredibly broad and covers multiple regions, countries, and races. And even within one specific Hispanic group, there will still be a mix of opinions and subcultures, just like any other people group would have.

A successful Hispanic marketer won’t assume mariachi bands and soccer will appeal to all Hispanics. In fact, even the cultural barriers mentioned earlier in this piece do not apply to all Hispanics.

So how can you market to Hispanics if they are such a diverse group?

Here’s two ideas: by focusing your attention locally and finding common denominators.

Local Marketing

An effective way to narrow down the endless stream of Hispanic marketing strategies is to identify your specific audience and determine their specific culture. Once you know which cultures are represented in your demographic, you will have a clearer vision of the route you need to take to reach them. This will require research, surveys, observation, and hopefully conversations with the Hispanics in that area. Rather than researching Hispanic culture in general, narrow your studies to the dominant Hispanic cultures represented in the region you are marketing to.

Of course, this approach only works for local marketing efforts. The following approach would be better suited for large-scale marketing.

Common Denominators

Where do you focus your attention when you are targeting a broad region that encompasses multiple cultures? There is an answer, but it will take some effort to find it.

Search for a cultural nuance, tradition, or value that everyone, or at least the majority, of your demographic shares. Maybe it’s a certain celebration, religion, or holiday. This approach will let you reach the largest audience possible in the most effective way. Find as many common denominators as you can, even if they aren’t all shared by everyone.

The more you find, the more options you have to explore.

Perhaps the most straightforward way to learn is to personally talk with Hispanics and ask for their input on cultural differences. They have the advantage of having lived in multiple cultures or having grown up in a home that embraced multiple ones. So they can easily identify differences you would have never known and can better explain the ones you know only a little about. After all, they are the people you are trying to reach out to, so why not hear their perspective firsthand?

Conclusion:

Hispanics are a diverse people group with complexities and nuances just like any other ethnicity. But marketing to them does not have to be complex, as long as you know the major guidelines for reaching them.

Communication: Treat them as their own market with unique needs.

Community: Tap into their community mindset.

Culture: Think how they think.

Ramon Nieves-Lugo

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