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Marketing and Communications For The Spanish-Speaking Community

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If you are a content creator, entrepreneur, or marketing communications manager of an organization or company, you have likely asked yourself how to create marketing and communications aimed at the Spanish-speaking community. Due to its significant growth in population density and purchasing power, more and more of us need to target this niche market accurately. The United States is positioned as the second largest Spanish-speaking country after Mexico, according to a Pew Research Center report.

“The fastest demographic growth among U.S. Latinos has occurred among those originating from Venezuela, the Dominican Republic, Honduras, and Guatemala.”
September 23, 2022

1. Recognize The Value Of Your Target Audience

It became clear that native Spanish speakers are a consistently increasing market. More and more companies and brands are dedicating a good amount of their time and resources to creating campaigns targeting this high-value community. What are some of the most common content mistakes from native English speakers marketing to native Spanish speakers? Well, there’s a lot of value in recognizing this audience’s origins; it’s not enough to know about our dense population of Spanish speakers. It’s essential to have accurate knowledge about their native countries, about what the dominating age groups are, and have an in-depth understanding of what terms they use to refer to themselves in the different communication channels and, more specifically, within the region of the United States where your brand or campaign runs.

2. Transcreation Of Messaging

In searching for in-depth understanding, you’ll find countries with origins that have significantly increased in recent years in different states within the United States. Because of this, it’s essential to understand the effectiveness of the location or to define a tone and style, whether localized or general. It goes beyond translating the text. Another common mistake in multicultural marketing is the linear translation of metaphors, jokes, anecdotes, abstract ideas, figurative speech, and tone. Not everything in Spanish means the same thing to everyone, so cultural awareness is critical to align well with your audience. This can mean the difference between a campaign that no one understands and one that becomes the beginning of clear communication with your target audience. There are also generational gaps within the Spanish-speaking community to consider.

3. Generational Gaps

Although there are known patterns within the different demographic groups, let’s focus on two that compose a large part of this population.

  • Traditionalists: If we reflect on their origins in this country, the land of the American dream, we notice that when we talk about Hispanics, we are talking about older contemporary adults who immigrated during a time when the information age was not as palpable. Consequently, their cultural and communication styles lead them to live with more traditional practices and languages. For example, traditionalists may choose radio over Spotify, consume more Spanish than English media, and their cultural values will define a large part of their lives and decisions. Marketing should focus on things like family, celebrations, and traditional gastronomy, with a localized language and even micro-messaging addressing everyday situations within their culture.
  • Millennials and Generation Z: Also called digital natives, they consume media in an information age. They also influence previous generations regarding using or buying through the Internet. Demographically speaking, this group is composed of Latino households whose second generation was born in the United States, which is why they are a mixture of Latin origins and customs but have adapted to the English language and American culture.

4. Target Language

So, we know what age group we want to speak to and their vision of the world, but the trick to multicultural marketing can be in the language. The question is, in what language will we speak to them?According to the previously mentioned Pew Research report and the experience that has guided us to this point, there is no rule. Still, we can make projections based on three types of Hispanic consumers in the Internet world.

  1. Hispanic Dominant: 23% of consumers in the world prefer Spanish over English. It’s the predominant language spoken at home. Most media is consumed in Spanish, their mother tongue. They were born abroad, their average age is 40, and they have lived in the United States for no more than ten years.
  2. Bicultural: 31% speak English and Spanish at home and consume most media in English. They are a mix of being born abroad, and in the U.S., with an average age of 34, and have lived in the United States for about 22 years. 
  3. American Dominant: 46% of consumers generally speak English at home, and most media is consumed in English. They were born in the U.S., have an average age of 37, and have lived there for at least 36 years. 

In contrast, the numbers are different outside of the internet world. Hispanic Dominants take the lead in forming 52% of those that consume traditional media, the Bicultural group is 19%, and the American Dominant group is 28%. With this caveat, we learn that many marketing campaigns for multicultural and specifically Spanish-speaking audiences should be determined with a reasonable and calculated approach.

5. The Spanish-Speaking World

To communicate with the Spanish-speaking community, we must understand that this involves more than just words and focus on aspects such as aesthetics, colors, speech structure, who we want to reach, and the tone. It could be said that Hispanic communication, specifically for Latinos, comes with a cultural load. Understanding how they view themselves and recognize each other as friends, family, and organizations is fundamental when structuring messaging.

Stories, food, and family in the Hispanic community, especially Latinos, are essential factors in how they view the world. If you want to reach their hearts, use marketing research and multicultural marketing specialists to continue to learn specifically about the community. By hiring the right team, do your best to avoid translation and message adaptation mistakes. This is a great way to show respect for your agency and potential consumers.   

Messaging and communications should be coherent and treated as a whole. If you are using Spanish ads, consider providing clients who prefer this language with first-class attention. For example, clicking on a Spanish ad that leads to only English content can have a negative effect. With any structured approach, the language that reaches your customers is essential. Dignify the consumer by offering more than one layer of information in Spanish. 

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