Stay ahead of the curve, reach Latinos now

Hispanics, now the nation’s second-largest population group, will become the country’s largest ethnic group by 2044 and grow 57 percent by 2050, reports the Pew Hispanic Research Center. At present, one in six Americans (16.4 percent of the population) is Hispanic, representing a $1.3 trillion market. Many brands are already working to engage the Hispanic consumer. Those that have not yet begun to do so have less time to develop messaging that will resonate with this audience before it becomes the nation’s largest market.


Here are five tips for gaining a foothold with this fast-growing population:

1.       Incorporate Hispanic values into campaigns

Whether Latinos are Puerto Rican, Mexican or Argentinian, certain similarities distinguish them from other ethnicities, including strong family ties, overwhelming sociability and unified communities. When considering how to reach Hispanics, brands need to keep this culture in mind and create marketing plans with Hispanic resonance. Simply translating generic materials will yield only a lukewarm outcome. To get impactful results, brands should base their campaigns on cultural insights.

2.       Earn credibility by partnering with a trusted influencer or institution

Last month Macy’s launched a new clothing line with Thalia Sodi, a well-known Mexican singer and telenovela actress. By partnering with a Latin American household name, Macy’s gained leverage that is likely to translate into increased sales. Macy’s projects that 20 percent of the traffic in its stores will be Latino within a few years, up from the current 16 percent. When asked why this Latina audience is so important, Macy’s chief marketing officer, Martine Reardon, responded simply, “They over-index in buying apparel, food, jewelry, cosmetics and fragrances.” Since Hispanics are one of the country’s heaviest-spending target markets, communicating with them effectively can play a vital role in a successful marketing plan.

3.       Generate awareness at a local level and get results

Last year, Mosaico, Fineman PR’s multicultural division, developed a comprehensive media relations and community outreach campaign for the Mission Economic Development Agency, an organization that serves low- and moderate-income residents of San Francisco’s Mission District, a historically Latino area. The goal of the campaign was to generate awareness of MEDA’s economic security initiatives and boost participation in its programs. By implementing strategic media outreach and conducting an effective media ad-buy campaign, Mosaico saturated local media with MEDA’s initiatives. The result: leaders of the organization saw an increase in the community’s awareness of MEDA and growth in the number of participants at its events. Latinos are very community-focused, so by designing PR and advertising messaging that resonates with their needs, brands can establish themselves as the answers to what community members are seeking.


MEDA volunteers assist participants at one of the organization’s events

4.       Engage Digitally

The median age of American Hispanics is 28, compared to 32 for African Americans and 42 for Caucasians. Even more noteworthy is the median age of the American-born Hispanics – just 18 years. As of 2012, 78 percent of Latinos surveyed by the Pew Hispanic Research Center said they go online, and 68 percent reported they visit a social networking site. In an effort to engage with this audience, Kellogg’s launched, a website that offers recipes and lifestyle articles designed to reach and engage with the American Hispanic consumer. The site is a great example of how brands can create shareable, culturally relevant content that leads back to a branded website.

5.       Invest now and gain a competitive advantage in the future

By implementing marketing initiatives that target the Hispanic audience now, brands will be one step ahead of their competition in the future. As the audience continues to grow, marketers would be wise to reach out to it now and see what works before it becomes an even larger segment of the population. Companies that are currently reaching out to Hispanics should evaluate their campaigns to ensure that they are engaging with them in a culturally relevant, productive way.

For more information on how you can most effectively reach Hispanic consumers, please visit


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