As the United States continues to grow more diverse, businesses must adapt their marketing strategies to connect with multicultural audiences authentically and meaningfully, which includes Hispanic marketing strategies.
Chiefly, reaching a diverse consumer base requires an understanding of cultural values, passions, and preferences. Consequently, mastering multicultural marketing is key for resonating with America’s multifaceted population.
According to Sarah Marske, owner of the Saramar Group, multicultural marketing means “connecting with consumers from a standpoint of understanding who they are, seeing those consumers, and connecting culturally and passionately.”
Brands that overlook diverse segments miss out on forging authentic relationships with a large portion of their potential customer base.
The Hispanic Market: A Key Opportunity
Sarah’s firm focuses specifically on helping brands form meaningful connections with Hispanic consumers. This is a massive, high-growth market that continues to be overlooked, she said. Hispanics currently make up about 19% of the total U.S. population, yet only 6% of advertising dollars are targeted toward this group.
Furthermore, nearly 80% of Hispanic consumers report that brands are not actively trying to reach them. Sarah notes that this is a “big missed opportunity.” By 2045, the Hispanic population is projected to reach over 100 million people.
When creating a multicultural marketing strategy, brands must be intentional about including outreach to Hispanic consumers from the outset. Multicultural marketing should not be an afterthought. As Sarah advises, “Don’t think about six months down the road how we’re going to start connecting with multicultural communities. If you’re looking at your marketing strategy, start from the beginning.”
Hispanic Marketing: Gaining Insights
Connecting authentically begins with understanding the consumer. Sarah emphasizes investing in data and insights about the values, passions, and preferences of audiences. The United States is a highly multidimensional community comprising different countries of origin, languages, generations, and cultural affiliations. Deep insights are key for developing relevant messaging and campaigns.
Brands should tap into research methods like focus groups, surveys, and interviews to uncover consumer insights. Sarah also highlights the importance of being immersed in the community to gain firsthand experience. From attending cultural events to volunteering locally, direct exposure informs marketing efforts.
Diversity in hiring also helps. Having Hispanic representation internally provides perspective on how to effectively engage this audience. Employee resource groups focused on Hispanic consumers can likewise offer insights to guide outreach.
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Choosing the right words
Language is intricately tied to culture. The same words can carry entirely different meanings and connotations across cultures. What might sound inspiring or motivating to some may come across as confusing or even offensive to others.
Using vague or ambiguous words can lead to misunderstandings, especially in diverse, multicultural settings. As Tara Hunt noted on “The Business Storytelling Show,” a word like “creative” is a perfect example. To one person, it may imply free-spirited artistic expression. To another, it could mean entrepreneurial innovation. And to someone else, creativity could signal impracticality or lack of focus.
When communicating across cultures, it is crucial to choose our words thoughtfully. The “right” words are those that convey our intended meaning clearly while resonating with the specific values and norms of our audience. This often requires going deeper than surface-level translations. We must consider the unique social and historical contexts that shape both linguistic and cultural meaning.
With care and consideration, language can unlock rich shared understanding rather than act as a barrier between cultures. Mindfulness regarding word choice is essential for nurturing effective communication, mutual respect, and creativity in our increasingly diverse, multicultural world.
Diversity in hiring
In discussing how companies can build more diverse teams, marketing consultant Michelle Ngome emphasizes the importance of embracing remote work to access talent, rather than limiting your pool to just those in your immediate geographic area.
She goes on to advise that “if you’re really serious, especially with marketing, I really think all marketers across the board can work from home, you have to expand that opportunity, expand that opportunity regarding that role, to hire remotely.” Her quote highlights that to demonstrate a true commitment to diversity, organizations must be willing to take proactive steps like remote hiring.
Michelle notes that people are demanding flexibility more than ever before. While some companies are struggling to adapt, many are embracing practices like hiring contractors, supplier diversity, and yes – remote talent acquisition.
Michelle stresses that if companies want to attract diversity, they need to meet candidates where they are. This means assessing whether their job postings, website, and social media presence showcase a commitment to inclusion. It also requires ensuring a transparent hiring process and job descriptions. She encourages employers to have the difficult conversations about where they are struggling and how they can improve.
Building truly diverse teams requires effort, self-reflection, and a willingness to expand boundaries. Michelle’s insights drive home that hiring inclusively will necessitate fundamental shifts in how many companies operate. But with openness to change, meaningful diversity is possible, even in unexpected places.
Reflecting Cultural Values in Marketing
Mastering multicultural marketing requires showing consumers that you understand them. Messaging and creative content should authentically reflect Hispanic cultural values. As Sarah explains, “It’s about creating that deeper emotional connection through connecting with the community’s values.”
Understanding that Hispanic culture tends to be community-oriented, family-centric, passionate about education and achievement, and proud of heritage enables building rapport through messaging. Bilingual content shows investment in reaching this audience. Visuals that depict Hispanic family life, traditions, and diversity connect by reflecting consumers’ realities.
An important part of making these cultural connections is recognizing the variety within the Hispanic community. Sarah emphasizes, “It’s a very multidimensional market with multiple cultures within the Hispanic market.” There cannot be a one-size-fits-all approach. Data and insights guide tailored outreach to different segments.
Bringing Consumers into the Creative Process
A key way brands can avoid missteps is by integrating the Hispanic community into the marketing development process. Sarah advises forming advisory boards with representatives from your target audience. Bringing in Hispanic moms, teens, or other consumer segments helps shape authentic messaging.
Likewise, testing concepts and creatives with focus groups helps assess resonance and refine approaches. Any Hispanic-focused marketing campaign should incorporate multiple touchpoints with real consumers for feedback during ideation and execution.
Brands just starting to focus on the Hispanic market can also turn to experts for guidance on cultural nuances and effectiveness testing. With an in-depth understanding of this community, they help steer clear of potential pitfalls.
Investing for the Long Term
Multicultural marketing requires commitment, starting with dedicating sufficient budget to do it right. Short-term campaigns will not effectively build relationships with Hispanic consumers. Sarah emphasizes that brands must prepare internally for the long term as well.
This includes assessing organizational cultural competency, addressing unconscious biases, and ensuring diverse staffing. With the expertise, insight, and infrastructure to connect authentically, brands can forge lasting bonds with the growing Hispanic population.
As Sarah sums up, “It’s insights driven. There’s an opportunity for brands not connecting with the Hispanic audience to do so.” The population trends and projections highlight the substantial growth opportunity. Now brands must invest the resources and cultural awareness needed to deliver relevant, meaningful outreach.
Mastering multicultural marketing requires an inside-out approach. With committed effort guided by consumer insights, Sarah says, brands can “create positive impact as well as brand love and affinity.” The potential for resonance is tremendous when marketing stems from a deep understanding of diverse audiences.
The time is now for brands to master multicultural marketing – including Hispanic marketing – and meaningfully engage America’s diverse populations. An authentic, insights-driven approach will allow companies to build relationships and growth for the future.