Playing the field of Hispanic marketing

This summer we all experienced the joy, tears, frustration and madness of the World Cup. The World Cup provided an excellent playing field (pun intended) for brands who didn’t have an established or active part in marketing to the Hispanic population. As a member of the Listerine social media team for the World Cup, I was able to actively participate in our interactions with this often-forgotten demographic with real-time engagement.

For this year’s World Cup, it was estimated that around 3.6 billion people would watch matches –  about 50% of the world’s population. Another fun fact: The teams that had the biggest follower base were Mexico, Brazil and Colombia. Last time we checked, those weren’t English speaking countries. That’s right, the Spanish crowd began cheering loud and proud, and their voices were heard even before the World Cup begun.

Brands that took the time to not only understand their own demographic, but that of the World Cup, began developing ads and digital takeovers targeting the Hispanic community. They created not only TV advertisements, but taking it to social – where the action was real-time – to amplify their messaging. Hyundai, for example, developed the same TV commercial in English and Spanish. They simply altered the language and some props, kept the same actors, and voilà.

It’s usually the case that messaging is created just in Spanish for the Hispanic market, but DISH experimented with a new tactic. DISH launched a campaign – accompanied by strategic website take overs – targeting both English and Spanish markets served in one ad.

Hispanic1 Hispanic2

Now, Listerine also took on the social space and gave it a swift kick in the … mouth. Johnson & Johnson launched the company’s first Twitter page, alongside the World Cup. So what did Listerine, a brand of mouthwash, have to say to “fútbol” fans in the Hispanic market? Take a look:

Hispanic3  Hispanic5 Hispanic6

Listerine (@ListerineGlobal) jumped in and strategically began speaking to the Spanish market. For a brand new, global Twitter page, the reach was impressive. Let’s check out some stats that positioned the brand high on the awesome scale:

–        Listerine received a total of 68 million Facebook impressions

–        It was also listed third of the brands with the most Twitter mentions during the finals, surpassing other brands such as Coca-Cola, McDonald’s and Visa.

Listerine wanted to chat, en Español. Results? Reaching a point of dominating the Latin market during the World Cup matches. *Drops mic and walks away*

Although all content thrived during the campaign, Spanish language content performed exceptionally well due to organic engagements. Content was targeted at key Latin markets, and it spoke to a specific Latin audience with each match. Spanish content resonated on an emotional level with the diverse audiences and prompted them to interact. The Hispanic community was listening, particularly during a highly passionate event like the World Cup.

One important takeaway worth mentioning: Research your audience, then tailor and localize per country if a general language will not suffice.

Throughout the matches, the key tactic was speaking in Spanish in a personalized way that would resonate the most with our audience. The way we shared the joy over a Mexican victory was very different than how we addressed an amazing goal for Argentina. This demonstrated our understanding that the emotional link to a language and its culture is directly associated with the impact content has on readers and the actions taken on such content thereafter.

Although a general shift of American brands delving into the Latin market isn’t a new marketing approach, it’s not one that has been fully incorporated or explored to reach its maximum potential. And, even though feedback for Listerine was notable, it also reaffirmed the fact that much needs to be done to seize and infiltrate this market. So, a question remains.

Why Target the Hispanic Market?

With around 53 million Hispanics in the U.S. and a buying power of $1.2 trillion, it’s only logical to want to tap into this dynamic and powerful audience. Even without the World Cup in action, these numbers will only continue to grow. It’s projected that by 2060, the Hispanic community in the U.S. will account for about 30% of the population. It is imperative for brands to incorporate Hispanic marketing in their plans if they want to see continued success.

As you might expect, the U.S. Hispanic population is one of the most rapid growing consumer segments that could represent – and does in some industries – 40-50% of their market categories.

And, what about Hispanics on social media? Here are some facts:

  • A study by comScore shows that 127 million Latin Americans visited a social networking site.
  • Noteworthy to mention, South America is the most socially engaged global region, with active users that are closely following the conversation.
  • Another study by Pew Research uncovers that 68% of Latino Internet users use social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Something clearly evident during the World Cup.

Latin Americans had plenty to say. They have plenty to say. This doesn’t just hold true during a major worldwide event that took place in South America. Latin Americans on social media are worth your attention. Their presence is strong, it’s consistent and marketers shouldn’t ignore it.

From my personal experience as a Hispanic and experience provided to me through Listerine and the World Cup, I can say American brands need to do more to elevate their messaging to the Hispanic market. Envisioning a future for a brand without accounting for the Hispanic segment, is similar to showing up to a house warming empty handed. Sure, your presence is nice, but you won’t have much to offer. Making Hispanic marketing a pivotal aspect of your marketing initiative is what is going to account for your company’s success.


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