4 tips for courting the expanding Latino market

This surging group of consumers and business owners is a significant force in the U.S. economy. Here are several key strategies for marketers and brand managers to pursue.

Marketing with nuance to any key demographic can be challenging.

Beyond the general advice that most companies take for granted when serving U.S. Latinos (such as being culturally relevant), there are four key strategies that can help companies achieve their marketing goals:

  • Shifting to digital and social media channels to reach active Latino audiences
  • Marketing to the variances in Latino geography, from urban areas to more rural populations
  • Shifting to advertising and marketing channels that appeal to educated, younger Latino populations
  • Marketing to the fast-growth, Latino-owned business market as well as household consumers

Let’s take a closer look at each.

Digital and social media

Latinos are more likely than the general market to research products online before and while they shop. They look for online reviews and compare prices when shopping for products that range from apparel and food to electronics, toys and tickets.

This group also likes to share their shopping experiences, writing reviews through their mobile phones more often than non-Latinos. They consume mobile online video more than non-Latinos, too.

This group is also more active on social media platforms, constantly comparing brands and prices, and being vocal about the brands and products they love (or dislike), it is critical that marketers learn how to target them effectively.

Urban versus rural

Recently, the fastest growth in the U.S. Latino market has come in parts of the country that have relatively small numbers of Latinos, according to Pew Research. Compared with the large Latino populations in South Florida or California, these groups can be easily overlooked.

Pew statistics show that more than half of U.S. Latinos live in just 15 metro areas. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim topped the list with 6 million Latinos, most of whom are U.S.-born.

Companies marketing to Latino demographics need a keen balance of messaging that appeals to both urban populations and more suburban and rural ones, and which demonstrates their understanding and due diligence on the geographic diversity of this audience.

A more educated population

Research from Pew also shows that a growing share of U.S. Latinos have a college education. Nearly 40 percent of Latinos age 25 or older had some college credit in 2015, a 10 percent increase from the start of the millennium. That number gets even higher among U.S.-born Latinos, as more than 50 percent said they have gone to college.

Latinos are now the largest minority group on college campuses, with more than 2 million students ages 18–24 making up 16.5 percent of all college enrollments.

With this in mind, marketers should examine the media channels and publications they rely on to reach Latino populations and ensure that they’re placing advertising and marketing content in media outlets that appeal to highly educated populations as well as mainstream channels.

Latino-owned businesses

Second-generation Latinos do better than their parents educationally and in terms of household income, according to a report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. They also make gains in terms of occupational status.

The 2012 Census showed that 12 percent of all U.S. companies are Latino-owned businesses. That’s 3.3 million. If we include companies owned by two or more U.S. Latinos, along with family-owned businesses, about one in 10 U.S. Latinos is a business owner.

In addition, the growth rate in the number of Latino businesses has consistently been two to three times higher than the national average for the past 15 years, according to a recent study by the Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative.

So although many marketers know they ought to be marketing to Latino households, they might be missing out on the massive opportunity to be marketing to Latino businesses as well.

A dynamic demographic

The U.S. Latino market is a powerful force in the economy, one that can represent massive opportunity for companies looking to grow and authentically serve a diverse audience.

By focusing on a few key strategies for reaching these buyers, marketers can ensure their organizations are reaching U.S. Latino consumers in the right channels, at the right time, and with the messaging that resonates most.

Craig Witt is an executive vice president at MotionPoint. A version of this post first appeared on MediaPost.


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