An Ad that connects with the U.S. Hispanic Consumer

by Claudia Havi Goffan

Hispanic Advertising is about connecting with the U.S. Hispanic Consumer and their real-life experiences and, sometimes, it is simpler than imagined. Learn how Oreo reached the Hispanic Consumer with this outstanding campaign.

In my everyday life, I pay attention to advertisements—I simply love them. No matter where they are—TV, magazines, newspapers and even billboards—I can’t get enough of them. The one exception is Internet ads. They have to be extraordinary to capture my attention as a marketer. Companies are just simply not investing enough creativity on them yet. As a Hispanic marketer and a Latino woman, my heart melts when I realize a company has made “the” total connection with the Hispanic consumer. A great example is this magazine ad that Nabisco produced for its Oreo brand.

It features a dad, a child, an Oreo cookie with the caption: “Dad learns to eat Oreos from me.”

This Oreo Print Ad speaks to the Hispanic market acculturation experience

This Oreo Print Ad speaks to the Hispanic market acculturation experience

Hispanic children, either born in the U.S. or abroad, are exposed to many experiences that their non- or semi-acculturated parents may never experience, unless it’s through them. So, how do you think a Hispanic dad will learn to eat an Oreo the American way?

That’s why this ad works. There are no stereotypes. There is only a human truth.

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Understanding Hispanic Market Segmentation – Part I

Let’s talk segmentation – Part I

by Claudia Goffan  CEO of Target Latino
Graphics by Jim Perez

Hispanic Market Segmentation:

The reasons behind the use of acculturation levels in Hispanic Marketing. Hispanic Market segments and projected size by Claudia Goffan, CEO of Target Latino.

Why levels of acculturation?

  • In the 1900’s European immigrants would force their children to forget about the customs of the “old world” and “just be” Americans – this was a process of assimilation
  • To acculturate means to incorporate or acquire a new culture without foregoing another one
  • Hispanics do not “assimilate”, they “acculturate”. They do not let go of customs and/or language

Facts about Hispanic Market Segmentation

Hispanic Market Segmentation

Hispanic Market Segmentation

The three segments by Acculturation Levels

  • Non-Acculturated: Persons that only navigate within the Latino culture. Most of them have recently immigrated to the U.S. and prefer to speak Spanish
  • Acculturated: Persons born in the U.S. of Hispanic descent. They prefer to speak English and can navigate into the Latino culture
  • Semi-Acculturated: People that can navigate in both cultures.

What factors get them from one segment to the next?

  • Fully-Acculturated: Hispanics are proud of their culture and parents will tend to teach their U.S.-born children the customs of their ancestors
  • Non-Acculturated: Hispanics born outside of the U.S. can only navigate from non-acculturation to semi-acculturation. The speed at which this will take place depends on these three major factors:
    –Socio economic status in country of origin

How fast will the market acculturate?

The speed at which this will take place depends on these three major factors:

  • Time: the longer they live in the US, the longer they are exposed to a new culture and are able to incorporate it into their everyday lives
  • Education: the higher their education level, the easier the understanding of another culture will be
  • Socio economic status in country of origin: the higher the socio economic status they enjoyed in their country of origin, the higher the likelihood that they have been exposed to other cultures, thus enabling a faster and smoother transition

Here are some examples of acculturation levels and speed:

  • My brother was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina -30 years old at the time-, highly educated -a lawyer-, seasoned international traveler and with 6 years of English studies from the London Cultural Institute under his belt. He was visiting me in Los Angeles.
    On the second day of his visit, I arrived home to find him holding a box of sugar and laughing so hard he was in tears. He kept on saying, “soy un sudaca (I am so third world).” I didn’t understand what he was talking about at first, so I waited for him to calm down. When he did, he explained to me that he had ripped the top of the box open in order to reach the sugar at which time he realized that there was a pouring spout on its side.As you can see, it took him just a few minutes to “acculturate”, that is, to learn to navigate in the American culture (at least a little bit).
  • A friend of mine took a little longer to acculturate. She is also very well educated -a dentist- and a world traveler, but is older than my brother and understands very little English. Apparently she had bought a brand of laundry detergent at the supermarket to wash a sweatshirt I had given her. After washing it, she remarked that the sweatshirt was of low quality, because it had faded so badly. I was puzzled, but soon forgot about it.When she returned back to her country, she left the “detergent” with me. I immediately noticed that it wasn’t detergent at all, it was “bleach.” She had mistaken a product type for a brand. No wonder the blue sweatshirt had faded.In order to acculturate she had to be told about her mistake. You can bet she never did that again.
  • Latino banks spend more than a year teaching its underserved Hispanic customers how to use the ATM machines. The reason is that most of their customers have never used one. The bank is acculturating them into American society.

Differentiating Characteristics between segments – Hispanic Market Segmentation

Hispanic Market Segment Characteristics

Hispanic Market Size

  • Population: 42.7 million as of July 1, 2005 or 14 percent of the nation’s total population. (This estimate does not include the 3.9 million residents of Puerto Rico.)
  • 102.6 million – The projected Hispanic population as of July 1, 2050 or 24 percent of the nation’s total population on that date.
    -Source: Census data
  • We need to be aware that in this market there is about a 40% to 50% undercount

Hispanic Market Size by Acculturation Levels Segment

Hispanic Market Segments Size

Hispanic Market Segments Size

By Havi Goffan, CEO of Target Latino

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Reaching Hispanic businesses

You may think Reaching Hispanic businesses is simple. Discover how to truly bond with these businesses so as to generate word-of-mouth and increased ROI.

by Claudia Havi Goffan

An amazing thing happened the other day. A colleague of mine and I decided to have lunch at a customer’s restaurant. On waiting to be seated, we noticed that the metal napkin holder on every table had a magnet of our bank. Let me correct myself, every napkin holder had two magnets, one on each side. We were honored by the endorsement and asked the owner why he did such a thing. He answered very candidly, “Because your bank was the first place in this country where they called me Señor.”

Reaching Hispanic businesses can be accomplished in many ways—purchasing lists—Hispanic Yellow Pages—etc. But to truly bond with these businesses so as to generate word-of-mouth is a completely different story. And here’s how you do it:

  • Make sure your product or service is in alignment with the market needs
  • Make sure your company can properly service this market
  • Show you care about the community
  • Build honest and trusting relationships
  • Make sure your message is one that your market will understand, relate to and engage

Maybe then and only then, you will be able to have the community endorse your company just like it did “our bank.”

Reaching Hispanic businesses

This quote seems very appropriate when I think of those times I would advise reaching hispanic businesses in the manner described above and some people would actually look at me in disbelief. Of course, until they saw the results.

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Finding the “right” Hispanic expertise for your company

Like one of my good teachers once said, “would you ask the janitor to develop your marketing strategy?” Well then, why would you ask your call center representative to create and translate your Spanish collateral materials?

How many times do managers find themselves in the position of having to hire an employee—be it for a call center, sales or marketing—and didn’t know how to go about it?

Here are some tips on how to hire the “right” Hispanic expertise

Finding the “right” Hispanic expertise for your company

Finding the “right” Hispanic expertise for your company

If you are looking for a call center representative, you need to find a person with a customer centric attitude and bilingual skills. Ah, but this is tougher than it sounds. The customer service skills are easily detectable, but how do you test the prospect’s bilingual skills in a language you do not know? My advice is to have them take a proficiency test at a local branch of a language instruction institute or a reputable foreign organization that tests Spanish language skills.

Maybe you are looking to fill a junior marketing position and you want to make sure you hire the best asset for your company. You will have to do a little research first. If the position requires a degree and your candidate’s diploma is from a foreign country, find out if the school is a reputable one for the year of graduation. You will find that many Latin American countries have better public universities than private ones. Only the brightest students are able to pass the public university tests and graduate. Some years (the economy and politics of that country have a lot to do with this) may see the best and most prepared candidates graduate. Some years might not be as good. Another nice fact to know is that most Latin American universities do not have electives or specialization in any specific area until graduation. You must look into their post-graduate studies for special skills.

To hire a senior executive position, I would strongly advice the use of an experienced recruiter that understands your expectations. Most companies believe that bringing one or two top Hispanic gurus will achieve the goal of acquiring the Hispanic market. In reality, you need to hire an executive that will also build you a good team. You must be ready and able to support his or her resources and staffing needs.

How do you find a reputable recruiter? Once again, a little research is needed. Check credentials—talk to other hiring managers—treat it as if it were a future “hire.” Make sure the recruiter specializes in “Hispanic” and works with the type of candidates you are looking for. Do not embark in a venture with a recruiter that specializes in call center staffing to find either your Director of Hispanic Marketing or a Hispanic member for your board.

If all this seems overwhelming, you may want to hire a consulting firm that can find you the right recruiter, the perfect candidates and can also assist you in developing your Hispanic marketing strategy.

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How do current immigration issues “really” affect the U.S. Hispanic market?

by Claudia Goffan

Hispanic Immigration Issues

Hispanic Immigration Issues

We are all very aware of the current immigration issues. New legislation is being passed nationwide that restricts the undocumented immigrant from renting an apartment, obtaining a driver’s license or getting a job. Areas with high concentration of non-acculturated Hispanics also suffer from frequent ICE (ex-INS) raids.

This is a harsh reality to face for all of those who aspire for the “American Dream,” but don’t have the proper documentation. This group of immigrants can be divided into three subgroups. The first subgroup will permanently return to their country of origin, because of the current state of affairs. The second subgroup will return home, but might venture back to the U.S. when the political and economical climates become more hospitable. The final subgroup will remain in the U.S., but migrate to more lenient states.

The people that are returning to their countries of origin are deciding to stay there due to improved and stabilized economies, lower cost of living and the comfort of having family and friends near by.

The immigrants that are choosing to stay in the U.S. are moving to more tolerant states, such as Oregon, Alabama, North Carolina and Texas. In these states they are able to obtain a driver’s license and rent an apartment with their home-country documentation.

What does this mean to marketers in the U.S.?

It is very clear that the affected portion of the Hispanic market is the underserved and non-acculturated—approximately 12 million people that do not show up on the Census data.

This is bad news for companies that have only targeted the aforementioned group because their revenues are highly tied to a thinning market.

What’s the good news? The Hispanic market is not only composed of the underserved or non-acculturated. The rest of the market accounts for over 14% of the total US population (Source: Census Data 2000). This is the market that you will have to cater to now and in the years to come.

What can U.S. companies do?

  • Re-evaluate their target market: Focus on the more established Latino population.
  • Evaluate the feasibility of successfully offering the same product or service to the fully and semi acculturated segments of the Hispanic market.
  • If this is not possible, see about expanding the product line and develop a product that would appeal to these market segments.

2013 Immigration Update

These immigration issues I have forecasted became a reality. Of course, the economy going downhill had a strong impact on undocumented Latinos leaving the country as well. It’s difficult to still believe in the “American Dream” when the possibilities are slim. We hope there will be a solution soon for the people that remain.

Meanwhile, those marketers that realized the Hispanic market is not only composed of non-acculturated Hispanics continue to profit from this ever growing trillion dollar market.

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