From 2000 to 2010, the U.S. Hispanic population surged 43%, far surpassing U.S. Census estimates. With a growth rate more than four times that of the entire country, and an expected 2015 purchasing power well in excess of $1.25 trillion, the U.S. Hispanic population is a key market segment for retailers and consumer packaged goods companies seeking to expand their domestic customer base. The most successful companies will be those that can effectively engage these consumers and develop enduring brand loyalty.
In conducting research on effective mobile marketing strategies, we recognized an opportunity for marketers to focus on the Hispanic population. Studies on smartphone ownership in the United States help provide direction to companies seeking to enhance their marketing efforts with Hispanics. Based on findings from the Pew Research Center, only 45% of Hispanics have a home broadband connection and, as a group, are more likely to get online via their mobile phones in place of a home broadband connection. This higher rate of smartphone adoption presents a strong opportunity for retailers and CPG companies to implement mobile marketing strategies to more effectively reach this population.
WHERE TO START
Study best practices: The first step is to explore the experiences of both peer companies and those in other industries, such as cable TV, which have been successful in promoting services to the U.S. Hispanic population. This broader market perspective is an important input to the formulation of an effective mobile marketing strategy because it allows a company to benefit from the experiences of others by highlighting best practices and warning of potential pitfalls.
Develop relevant content. Consider partnerships: Once a company has established a deeper understanding of what has and has not been effective in engaging Hispanic consumers, it can focus on developing content to support its mobile marketing strategy. To be relevant and interesting, a company must offer content that connects to the unique culture, background and interests of Hispanics. Retailers should consider partnering with CPG companies on joint promotion or merchandising efforts. Many manufacturers have successfully launched Hispanic-targeted marketing campaigns that could be leveraged in-aisle. For example, in early 2012 Clorox launched a Hispanic social media campaign to encourage germ prevention; retailers could provide QR codes in the cleaning supply aisle that link directly to Clorox’s online mobile content.
Integrate Hispanic-focused content with current marketing efforts: Maintaining parallel advertising efforts for each targeted consumer population may not be realistic or cost-effective, so companies must find ways to integrate their Hispanic-focused content into existing and planned branding activities without creating confusion for other consumers. P&G’s Head & Shoulders brand, for example, has had success in incorporating Hispanic-focused content into its other branding activities such as its “Hats Off Movement” campaign, which featured both Spanish and English content.
Make content accessible: Language, often a common denominator in this diverse population, is an important consideration in driving accessibility. An effective approach to Hispanic marketing must go beyond a simple Spanish language shelf-talker in the ethnic foods aisle at the grocery store. Efforts must include regularly updated Spanish-language versions of a company’s mobile content, as well as Spanish-language content related to the item being promoted or marketed. Images are likely to be more effective than text and can serve to overcome the language barrier when inclusion of Spanish text is not feasible.
Moira Koch is a VP at Maia Strategy Group, where she leads consumer packaged goods engagements with an emphasis on retail insights. Prior to joining Maia Strategy Group, she was responsible for developing and launching Bluebeards Original, a premium line of Men’s beard care products sold in retail stores nationwide. Her latest whitepaper “How Mobile Technology is Changing the Retail Environment” is available here.