Marketing to Hispanic Audiences, Part I - What Retail RDNs Should Know
Hispanic customers are certainly a group worth courting. Currently at 57 million strong (18% of the total U.S. population), Nielsen data predicts another 62 million to be added by 2060. As of 2015, this segment controlled $1.3 trillion in annual buying power and Mintel forecasts spending power to increase to $1.7 trillion by 2019. Another consideration is that meal time and food are extremely important cultural factors, so supermarkets must understand the needs of these Americans as they stock grocery shelves and create meaningful programs.
Maribel Alchin RDN MBA LDN, a former retail dietitian with Meijer, was raised in Mexico for 8 years and her family continues to follow many cultural food traditions. She has helped retailers “get it right” when it comes to attracting and retaining Hispanic customers. She provides these valuable insights that retailers should know about marketing to Hispanic customers:
- Know your Hispanic customer’s country of origin. There are more than 20 Hispanic countries in North, Central and South America and Spain, each with individual cultures, customs and cuisines. While Mexicans are the predominant U.S. Hispanic group, learning the local demographic in your market along with cultural foods, holidays and traditions will help determine product assortment and drive marketing strategies to meet needs. Authenticity to regional flavors is extremely important when hoping to reach Hispanics, especially Millennials who represent almost 30% of the US Hispanic market.
- Understand that Hispanic cultural background is important to personal identity. Food, family and traditions resonate with Hispanics. Including Spanish language and cultural nuances can be part of an effective marketing campaign. If you are unsure about what products are of importance to your Hispanic shoppers then ask! A big mistake is often missing specialty cuts of meat and key Hispanic brands and products. Including culturally relevant elements on your website and in ads can make them more appealing and help drive engagement and action.
- Remember Hispanic consumers are highly bilingual. Eighty Seven percent of Hispanic consumers, including both Spanish and English dominant speakers, say they appreciate businesses that communicate with them in Spanish, according to Kantar Futures via Univision Communications. Include both English and Spanish terms during the path to purchase journey on the retailer website. Consider developing ad campaigns in English and Spanish, even if they direct to an English landing page.
- Hispanics are a very digitally savvy group. Eighty percent of Hispanic internet users are connected to some form of social media and 40% of US Hispanics use Spanish and English equally on social media. Also, 48% of Facebook friends of US Hispanics are family members and word of mouth is very important.
- Hispanic shoppers are experiential and enjoy grocery shopping. Hispanic shopper’s purchases are impacted by in-store merchandising and promotional tactics, including product displays. For example, properly merchandising products together for key traditional holiday foods can greatly increase sales.