By Steve McClellan (MediaPost)
Carat USA, the Aegis Group media shop, has completed a detailed new study of the Hispanic consumer segment and concluded that marketers are spending dollars against the sector in highly inefficient ways, due to continued reliance on old assumptions and outdated methods of communicating with the Latino population.
The new data has led Carat to conclude that 90% of Hispanic media budgets are targeting only 20% of the Latino population — and are missing the opportunity to “drive significant business value among 80% of the Hispanic market.”
Among the major findings: a significant decrease in traditional word-of-mouth influence from friends and family. Just like the rest of the population, Hispanics have been empowered by the digital revolution and are highly engaged with digital and social content (such as online ratings, reviews, and blogs).
Digital information now influences the majority of Hispanic purchasing decisions, the agency research found. Previously, children had greater influence in purchases made by parents, and marketers have sought to tap into that persuasion factor. Today, however, 50% of U.S. Hispanic consumers say they no longer shop with their children, opening up a significant opportunity to market to individuals directly through social media channels, per the report.
Another key finding per the study: Impulse purchases and self-indulgence are rising as a mindset among U.S. Hispanics. Nearly 60% of the Latinos surveyed indicated they no longer wait for things to go on sale before purchasing them. And more than half of the respondents said they now make purchases to keep up with the latest fashions.
The green movement has not passed over Hispanic households; nearly 40% now make purchasing decisions based on whether they believe a product or service is environmentally friendly.
“Our research shows there is an immediate opportunity for marketers to maximize their media value and use their dollars more efficiently and effectively by embracing this tremendous cultural shift,” among Hispanics, the fastest growing population segment in the U.S., stated Doug Ray, president, Carat USA. “Advertisers can now tap into a more current set of passions and motivations, some of which are entirely different from those typically identified with Hispanic shoppers, even as recently as five years ago.”
The study also found there is less focus on acculturation by Hispanics and a growing shift toward “self-actualization.” Nearly 60% of Latinos prefer to “enjoy life” versus feeling a sense that they must place duty ahead of personal goals and fulfillment. Personal passions tend to be more indulged than in the past, when needs of the family were seen as the foremost driver of behavior, per the report.
The study concluded that marketers must embrace social media activities that are designed to be inclusive of Hispanic audiences via a “total market” approach. Given the burgeoning array of Hispanic video programming content, the study recommends increased investment in Spanish-language cable channels. Genres to consider include travel, adventure, celebrity gossip, sensationalist-type content, and dramatic situations.
The study was based on a survey of more than 2,000 Hispanic adults ages 18 and older. The majority of the surveying was done online, with about one-quarter of the respondents interviewed by phone.
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