One of the key issues marketers are struggling with is the cultural tension between general and Hispanic marketing strategies to reach and engage Hispanic customers so they can grow, make profit and/or make a social impact. And with limited resources cultural marketing strategies might become an afterthought or the team would default to just translate the general market strategy for the Hispanic customer.
But, not all consumers are created equal. So, if two customer segments are different, why shortchange your growth potential by marketing Hispanic customers as general market?
Here are a few ideas on how you can diffuse cultural marketing tension:
Cultural Insight Drives Strategy and Strategy Drives Impact
Consumers are not isolated entities. Past experiences and social interaction dictates the outcomes of their behavior. Cultural insight will help you develop solutions and create an original narrative storyline that evokes emotions. Emotions that are relatable and familiar with your audience’s real-world experiences, which might be different from each customer segment you want to reach.
Developing relevant products and creating an emotional connection starts on the front end with understanding your customer's pain points, the progress a customer is trying to make in a given situation, and knowing their emotional drivers to prove that you get them.
When Natural Valley wanted to reach the Hispanic market, they asked, “How do we tell the Natural Valley story to Latinos?” The answer in the general market was: hiking to the top of the mountain or kayaking on rapid waters. Adventure stories of how nature was conquered. However, when Casanova Pendrill, asked the question, they uncovered that to Latinos the parks served as their natural adventure and that all natural ingredients get you into the nature lifestyle.
Emotionally Connected Customers are More Valuable
Emotional drivers vary by customer segment and product category. Customers who form an emotional attachment to a brand are 52% more valuable than those who are just highly satisfied, according to a Harvard Business Review article by Scott Magids.
But, gathering demographic facts about a customer and implementing general market strategies or translations won’t capture what really motivates Hispanic customers to take action. Think of it this way: You can know a person’s age, height, and family size, but that won’t tell you why she bought a camera today. Maybe she needs to feel that she belong —a reason no amount of demographic data will reveal.
When Little Cesar’s Pizza wanted to reach Latinos in California’s Central Valley, we found out that eating pizza for first generation Latinos meant going to a seat down restaurant to celebrate with family and friends. The experience gave them a sense of accomplishment. It was not a utilitarian transaction to ease the day and cook a meal. Thus, Little Cesar’s Pizza needed to change the customer behavior and idea that eating at restaurant is the only way to celebrate special occasions.
Being Relevant Is About Helping Your Customers Tell Their Story With Your Brand
Helping your customers tell their story is about understanding how your brand enables your customer tell who they are. It requires exploring your consumers cultural and social context to learn how they feel and how to capture the unseen cultural subtleties. By understanding how they feel, think, say, and do about life, you will get a better understanding how your product or idea might fit into your customers lives, helping you become relevant.
When we worked on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Zika campaign in Puerto Rico, we learned that living with mosquitos is part of their daily life and that mosquito-born desease campaigns were nothing new to them. Thus, the new campaign was rapidly falling into depth ears. Like a new song played too many times, goes into a background noise. So we asked how does mosquito preventing measures fit into their daily life? And we uncovered that what we needed to do was not telling what to do instead reminding them that preventing measures are part of their daily routing to enjoy the things they like to do, such drinking coffee with friends, going to the beach, and watching movies.
Given the enormous opportunity to capture the Hispanic market and create value, companies should diffuse the cultural tension between marketing to Hispanic consumers as general market. It will be harder to make an emotional connection that inspire action if you don’t develop a Hispanic strategy based on cultural insight.
You can begin to lessen general versus Hispanic marketing strategy tension by developing a strategy with cultual insights, uncovering emotional drivers, and helping your customers tell their story with your brand.