Localizing at Home: Making Campaigns for the Hispanic Market in the US
This is a paper presented by Josefina Barrancos, a recent graduate of both the Global Digital Marketing and Localization Certification (GDMLC) program. This paper presents the work being produced by students of The Localization Institute’s Global Digital Marketing and Localization program. The contents of this paper are presented to create discussion in the global marketing industry on this topic; the contents of this paper are not to be considered an adopted standard of any kind. This does not represent the official position of the Brand2Global Conference, The Localization Institute, or the author’s organization.
According to Claritas market analysis’ “The 2020 Hispanic Market Report”, Hispanics are one of the largest segments of the American population, accounting for 56% of the growth over the past two decades, which added 5,170,926 people during that period. The growth trend will continue and is estimated to reach 62% of the population growth through 2025.
Furthermore, Hispanics are “digital-savvy consumers” who adapt quickly to interacting through various online platforms as passionately as they do face-to-face. Also, research shows that Hispanics are shopping more via social media.
“Hispanics are 41% more likely to connect with
brands through social media and they are using it
for more than entertainment.” – The 2020 Hispanic Market Report
As 2020 was a difficult year for businesses and consumers alike, business owners should plan strategically for the upcoming year by targeting their services and products to Hispanic consumers.
So how do you gain Hispanic customers?
Remember the Golden Rule: Treat Others How THEY Want to Be Treated
In order to reach this important audience, it is important to get to know them; who are they, what are their likes, values, morals, traditions, roots and so on. Cultural differences impact customer experience, and customers who have a better experience at the store, shop more.
Do not stereotype
As a Hispanic myself, who for the last 18 years has been translating national advertising campaigns- including those for websites and social media, I am well aware that this group of people comes from many different Latin countries.
As localizing and translating brands, we need to take into consideration their diversity as well as their similarities. Cultural awareness is useful when you choose colors for your website or brand, or when your product comes in various colors. However, even though Mexicans are the largest group in the US, don’t narrow your vision to just them!
For example, it is not the best option to use the colors red and green just because of the colors of the Mexican flag, or the association with Mexican tradition. Also be aware of the language: not every Spanish word means the same in every Hispanic country. Research before using a word that may offend someone.
Remember, Hispanics are from many different countries of origin.
Some additional suggestions: do not label your Hispanic customers with stereotypes or clichés, and hire a diverse team. You may wish to consider conducting focus groups and surveys, and find a way to talk to your Hispanic customers without losing anyone who might feel left out or offended by your brand because of a choice of colors, language or music.
Join their voices
Find out what are their concerns, their aspirations, and needs. There is a campaign by the the laundry detergent brand, Tide, that addresses some of the labels that Hispanics are often given.
In the campaign, Tide printed T-shirts with stereotypes about different Hispanics groups. The last word of each phrase was printed with Ketchup. The group then was able to wash the T-shirts with Tide, and the word in Ketchup washed away completely. Finally, they write in its place another word that empowers them to replace the stereotype.
“Los Mexicanos somos todos beaners” (We Mexicans are beaners), and “Los Mexicanos somos todos machistas” (We Mexicans are machos) are some of the phrases shown by Tide’s commercial, with the last word in ketchup.
After they removed the derogatory word in Ketchup with Tide, they wrote positive words in their place: “Hard workers”, and “decent”.
Whether you’re just starting to engage with the Hispanic market or think your brand should be more localized, this is a good time to include the Hispanic audience into your marketing strategy. By increasing your business’s Hispanic clientele, you can lead your company to a successful 2021.
I’m glad I chose to get my certification through the course Global Digital Marketing & Localization with Professor Singh. The content for the dual certification was relevant, updated and covered important strategies for planning a successful localization campaign. Dr. Singh also invited interesting guests from the field who spoke about their own strategies and ideas to ensure you reach each unique audience in a positive way. Thank you so much.
Kulach, Karolina. “How Cultural Differences Impact Customer Experience.” CMSWire.com, CMSWire.com, 19 Sept. 2018, www.cmswire.com/customer-experience/how-cultural-differences-impact-customer-experience/.
Raisa Acloque, Media Relations Specialist. “Hola and Hello: When Translation Isn’t Enough to Reach the U.S. Hispanic Market.” Business Wire Blog, 2 Nov. 2020, blog.businesswire.com/hola-and-hello-when-translation-isnt-enough-to-reach-the-u.s.-hispanic-market.
Wentz, Laurel. “P&G Brand and La Raza Take on Hispanic Stereotypes.” Ad Age, 15 Oct. 2015, adage.com/creativity/work/washawaylabels/43787.
“Custom Targeting and Audience Segments.” Claritas LLC, 16 July 2020, claritas.com/
Hispanic Market Report – 2020 https://claritas.com/resources/2020-hispanic-market-report/
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