Communicating a message and persuading a group to take action is a difficult proposition in itself.Add to that a group with cultural and linguistic differences and you will miss the opportunity entirely.
This is one of the pitfalls that marketers face when translating marketing copy to the Hispanic market.
Many marketers still use the “one size fits all approach” when translating copy to the Hispanic group. This path of least resistance is a general practice because it keeps their strategy more organized and general across the board and their ideas easily accepted by management.
Yet this approach clearly does a disservice to them as marketers as well as the target audience they are trying to reach. It lends itself to generalizations and stereotypes that does not speak nor realistically represent the target market.
Marketers that continue to practice this strategy are missing great opportunities in tapping one of the markets with the most growth in the US: The Hispanic market.
Not only is this market growing but they are a young group with a growing disposable income, but also are tech savvy, highly involved in social media, and highly influenced by family and peers. All of the factors that contribute to a marketers dream;if only done properly.
The Hispanic market is a diverse group and although most are acculturated and bilingual, they take pride of their cultural differences and hence respond to ads that are cultural relevant to them.
On the other hand, overemphasizing on the cultural aspect of the group can lead to generalizations and stereotypes that would otherwise backfire in the ad or worse yet bring the opposite response to the ads call to action.
HERE ARE A FEW COMMON PITFALLS TO AVOID WHEN TARGETING THE HISPANIC MARKET*
- Hispanics are not a homogeneous group
- Lack of bicultural and bilingual staff
- Assuming that Hispanics are a lower-income bracket
- Translating copy into Spanish but sending the wrong message
- Misunderstanding and misusing connectors and symbols affiliated with each culture
- Translating a website into Spanish but lacking Spanish-speaking customer care representatives
- Fail to establish relationships with key community influencers and leaders
*As published in Top Ten Mistakes Companies Make Marketing to Hispanics
HOW TO AVOID THESE PITFALLS AND CREATE A MARKETING STRATEGY THAT WORKS
- Cultural relevancy – We cannot stress that enough yet this strategy is still not applied in a large number of cases and marketers fails over and over again. If you are targeting a specific Latino group, have someone well versed and well-rounded in the group’s culture that can pinpoint the needs and wants of this group.
- Partner with influencers and community leaders Establish a relationship with businesses that already have ties with Hispanic communities. This could help you ease the cultural barrier and bring your product or service to their attention. By partnering with these companies they can help your business increase exponentially both on and offline.
- Decreasing the language barrier Many companies believe that by translating a message from English to Spanish they are targeting them. Yet, they don’t fully embrace the customer or the customer relations aspect of the business. Although the majority of the Hispanics are fully bilingual, most buying decisions are influenced by family and peers and these members may still prefer to be catered in Spanish. Marketers have to be ready to service them fully as well.
- Fully embrace social media Hispanics are the most connected group and fully embrace social media and social marketing. They share and click of posts and said to use YouTube for their purchasing decisions. Per Pew Research Center 80% of Hispanic adults use social media. That’s higher than the 72% overall use by adults in the country. Clearly social advertising is the way to go with this group.