Leading Marketers Share Insights on How to Tap Into the Growing Purchase Power of Multicultural Americans

October 15, 2020 — by Guillermo Abud    

To celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, MediaMath hosted the Hispanic Voices in Adtech Panel last week. I had the honor of moderating the panel with three of the industry’s leaders in multicultural marketing. The panel served as more than a celebration during this month—it’s an opportunity to inspire and educate our industry on the expanding population and growing power of multicultural Americans.

Wendy Codd, Multicultural Lead at Ford Motor Co. said, “Given the growth of the Hispanic audience and how important it is to market to them, they should be included as part of your overall business objectives. As we move into 2021, they are important to market to, there are so many ways to reach them programmatically, there is certainly scale there. And reaching them at the right moment with the right message is really essential.”

To put the importance of Hispanics into context, here are some fast facts about the Hispanic population in the U.S.:

  1. In 2016, U.S. Hispanic buying power was larger than the gross domestic product of Mexico.
  2. The U.S. Hispanic population is projected to account for 65% of the growth of the overall U.S. population between now and 2060.
  3. By 2050, the U.S. could have more Spanish speakers than any other country.

In recent years, brands spent only 4.2% of U.S. ad spend on Hispanic consumers while the Hispanic population in the U.S. is over 16%. Our panelists helped contextualized the steps brands can take to better reach multicultural audiences and Hispanics in particular.

Ronald Méndez, Managing Partner and Multicultural Lead at MediaCom, described best practices on how to approach and strategize around reaching Hispanics, “As an industry, we are great at understanding the similarities that thread all audiences together. But what really helps brands differentiate themselves is when they understand the nuances that exist amongst each audience, and that’s where a lot of them connect in a meaningful and culturally relevant way. Don’t overcomplicate it but make sure you’re asking enough questions to truly understand what the opportunity is and how to engage with the audience.”

When I asked her about education and what opportunities we have there, Carla Dobbs, Strategic Marketing Consultant and Advisor at NovoMercatus LLC, said, “I think it starts at the C-suite for each company and them understanding where the opportunity lies.” She then went on to give an example of how understanding the audience is crucial for messaging. “For Walmart, it was more about in-language and the emotional connection understanding the drivers [of Hispanics] like safety and education. Those are also important to the non-Hispanic, but the depth, where in many cases immigrants risk their lives to come to the U.S. for safety and education, is much deeper than a non-Hispanic that has been here their entire life and has not gone through those trials and tribulations.”

Overall, my takeaways for marketers are:

  • See that the opportunity is there. The Hispanic audience should be an important part of your marketing objectives.
  • Speaking of objectives, know your KPIs. Know what you are measuring, and test and learn. Keep in mind that you are testing what messaging is working for multicultural audiences and not testing if multicultural audiences work. They do.
  • When it comes to language, don’t dismiss the need to reach Hispanics in their native language. Take a holistic approach and use a neutral Spanish tone, as there are differences in the language and culture across regions.
  • Hispanics CAN and SHOULD be reached programmatically. The data is there.

2020 has positioned marketers to adapt their strategies to reach consumers across cultures in relevant and respectful ways. To hear more on this dialogue with industry leaders as you plan for 2021, watch the recoding of Hispanic Voices in Ad Tech Panel here.