Stanford Study: Latino Startups Are Growing In Numbers But Are 'Underbanked'

Latino Startups

An annual Stanford study — known as the State of Latino Entrepreneurship — arrived this year with its usual mix of good news and bad news for Latino entrepreneurs and their supporters.

The good news: the growth rate of Latino businesses in the US continues to outpace that of other groups.

The bad news: as in previous years, the Stanford study reported that a disproportionate few of those Latino businesses are growing beyond the $1 million annual revenue mark, the Stanford threshold for a “scaled business.”

The delta — the difference — between what Latino-owned businesses (LOBs) earn and what other businesses earn is now a whopping $1.47 trillion opportunity gap. Closing that gap — a potential boon to the overall American economy — is the mission of the Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative (SLEI), a collaboration between Stanford University and the Latino Business Action Network (LBAN).

There’s nothing new in these two opposing storylines; I’ve been writing about them for several years. But this year’s report has a data point that I believe is newsworthy because it helps to explain the delta. Despite rapid growth — especially among women and millennials — Latino entrepreneurs are less likely to seek support from banks and other mainstream financial institutions than their non-Latino peers.

This is a problem … and maybe an opportunity.

Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative (SLEI)

Annual gathering at Stanford (2018)

Funds to launch a business

As a Latino business owner myself,  and as an advisor to several Latino-led startups, I have been compelled — forced, in fact — to think about bank loans at various stages in the evolution of a business.

Typically, for Latinos, a business is launched with personal savings and/or loans from friends and family. What’s the impact on LOBs? The Stanford study found that “Latinos bear more personal financial risk in starting their businesses,” noting that “among employer firms, only 12 percent of Latino firms secure bank loans, compared to 18.4 percent for white, 15.3 percent for Asian, and 14.2 percent for black-owned firms.” At the start of a business, a line of credit — however small — can help ease the pain in a number of areas, including cash flow, which can accelerate a firm’s ability to stabilize and compete. Not only are Latino entrepreneurs assuming more personal risk than others, they may also be taking on more business risk by maturing too slowly.

Funds to grow a business

But it doesn’t end there. The study found that LOBs that are established have a preference for borrowing “hard money” — loans that are secured by real estate — rather than bank loans based on good credit. As the Stanford study noted, hard money can be expensive, with interest ranging “from 12 to 18 percent. In contrast, interest rates for the average bank loan range from 4 to 13 percent.” But Latinos are also less likely to seek other types of “external funding” for growth — lines of credit, seed funding, VC money — which could impact the viability of their firms. “The low levels of funding across all funding types for Latino entrepreneurs, and especially those from institutional sources, is a real concern as we know that leveraging external sources of funding is key to sustained growth among businesses,” said Marlene Orozco, a research analyst for SLEI and co-author of the report.

Fintech addresses a cultural challenge

Which brings me to another good news/bad news scenario in this year’s report.

Latina-owned businesses — yes, women-led businesses — are growing at a fast pace; there’s been more than 87 percent growth between 2007 and 2012. Having advised several Latina-led companies in the past few years, I was not surprised to see the numbers, but I was elated nevertheless.

But here’s the bad news, according to the report: “access to capital, a major facilitator of business growth, presents a challenge for Latina business owners, many of whom perceive themselves as ‘not qualified’ to receive funding from financial institutions compared to men, even when holding firm size constant.”

Orozco sees this as a cultural challenge, not just for financial institutions (which have been slow to embrace the new Latina marketplace) but for the many people who are in a position to advise and influence Latinas over the course of their lives.

“The fact that Latinas feel they are not qualified to access funding is indicative of how we socialize girls and women to feel they must be extra-prepared only to begin to think they have a shot. We see a similar gender gap and self-doubt among young women who are less likely to think they will be qualified to run for office, even once they are established in their careers and exhibit the necessary qualifications. The stories from SLEI entrepreneurs and their experiences with banks are laden with stress and anxiety. It is those who show persistence and resilience amidst the onslaught of ‘no’s’ that are having success.”

To me, this gets to the ‘why’ of the matter: i.e., why Latino entrepreneurs might be “The Great Underbanked.”

I say “under” because it’s not that they are not banking. It’s more that they may not be banking enough — getting better loans, getting better mentoring, managing their money more intelligently. And I say “great” because getting more LOBs to bank would be good not just for Latinos, but for all Americans (more markets, more jobs, more innovation — changing the way things get done for everyone). But there’s a cultural gap separating banks and LOBs  — whether they are led by women or men — and it’s not going to be easy to close.

Fortunately, where there’s an interesting business challenge, there are people willing take it on. On a recent business trip to Puerto Rico, I got the opportunity to mix with a number of people who are innovating in the banking industry. One thing that struck me: there is a new generation of fintech leaders — including Latinas — focused on breaking down the social barriers that may have inhibited entrepreneurs from embracing and trusting financial institutions. As it turns out, the Stanford group is hopeful about fintech as a cultural change agent. “‘[F]intech has the potential to redirect Latino firms and their banking needs, especially if complex or lengthy requirements are an issue in accessing funds.”

I agree. And the opportunity for SLEI and LBAN – which jointly produce a twice-annual program held at the Stanford Graduate School of Business with the mission of helping Latino businesses to scale – is experiencing a big interest in fintech.

“Fintech is attracting some of the most tech-savvy and socially savvy minds in business today,” said Mark Madrid, LBAN CEO. “And it just so happens that many of these minds are Latino/Latina.  Overall, a driving force of this massive economic opportunity gap is the capital deserts immobilizing our Latinx entrepreneurs. We are solution drivers and are actively bridging the chasm between banking products and our scaled Latinx entrepreneurs and disrupting with alternative investing engines like fintech.”

Hooray for fintech, and it’s Latinx innovators. I will be following you.

Related Post:


How universities are recruiting new students with Immersive Marketing

If you manage an University that offers outstanding facilities, world class teaching, or a vibrant community, showcase your establishment and capture the essence of what it is like to visit in person, well, immersive technologies will fit in this challenge.

One of the main benefits of providing virtual tours is that it provides an accessible way for foreign students to view your university and its facilities from abroad. Due to financial and time constraints it is often not possible for international students to visit a campus in person from abroad before making their selection decision, in fact the majority choose a university without ever having visited in person.

By providing the opportunity for them to experience everything your university has to offer virtually you will stand out from competing institutions who provide far less immersive and engaging digital content on what university life will involve.

Furthermore, it also offers these students the opportunity to share the university tour experience with key influencers of their selection process such as parents, family and friends, all whom may play an important role in their ultimate decision.


How 360-degree video ad looks like:

This is real example posted by the Seattle Pacific University’s channel on YouTube.


Nice, isn’t it?

Well, it’s cool but it’s could be better. Evaluate the following reasons:

  1. Embed a video from Youtube in a website (let’s said a blog about students) only will increase the traffic of your YouTube Channel. Why? Because every time when a user click on the video, they will go directly to your Youtube channel. However, you need these users go to your website, where you can attract them to apply to your programs.
  2. YouTube will only give you the information about how many times the video was played. Nothing else. This is not enough because the most useful KPI that you need to measure the sucess of a campaign, it is the number of clicks that the users did. An less, the only concern that you have is the awareness of your brand.
  3. If somebody embed your video, well, it’s hard to know where this video is hosted. From the brand safety perspective, this is really important. What happen if your video is running in an inappropriate website?
  4. If you set a campaign on Youtube, you only will be capable to show “banners” over any of the millions of videos watched by the users. Of course, it’s possible to define a targeting criteria, however, this conditions are not that good on this platform and eventually, you can see your banner over a video about puppies, ghosts, car accidents, jokes, among many other type of content that it could affects negatively your brand.
  5. Certainly it is possible to set a campaign of video pre-roll in Youtube. BUT, this platform has not developed yet the ability to show 360-degree videos as a pre-rolls ads.
  6. All the previous comments applies for Facebook too.


What is a suitable solution?

Run your 360-degree video ads in a network specialized on immersive marketing. Why?

  1. If you really worried about brand safety, you should choose a closed video network. That’s means that the network runs the ads on a certain number of websites where it’s possible to control and supervise the quality of the content.
  2. Additionally, you should choose a network capable to show your banners over your 360-degree videos. This is probably the most important key, because users can “click” on a banner and you will know exactly how many of them are reaching your website. We are talking about to measure “effectiveness” and why is this important? Because at the end of the day, this is the only way to know the campaign’s ROI.
  3. Ask about “exclusiveness”. This will guarantee that your ads will only appears in your own branded content videos, not in other videos made for automotive, travel, etc. Your branded video, your banner.

The following video is a PROTOTYPE showing how an immersive marketing campaign really works.


Interested? Write:

U.S. Hispanics and mobile growth

According to Roberto Orci “Hispanics of every segment are growing at a faster rate than the general market… you would rightly conclude that Hispanics are a big part of the mobile market today and tomorrow.’’ Mobile devices are ubiquitous, particularly with Hispanics. Companies that do not have a well-defined Hispanic mobile strategy are destined to lose out on the most brand-cognizant and more importantly ‘’connected’’ U.S. demographic.

As more Hispanics embrace mobile technologies, they will also spur demand for innovative content, new media, and advertising to meet their diverse set tastes and preferences. The metric for success to a Hispanic mobile advertising campaign ‘’done right’’ will not be measured by followers and likes, but by brands that monitor the meaningful pulse of their culture and technology adoption. It’s clear that Hispanics will play a key role in defining the convergence of our digital and offline worlds.

Top 3 Major findings among Hispanics according to Zpryme research

  1. When it comes to mobile device brand loyalty, only a small percentage (12.3%) said they would not change mobile device brands for any reason.
  2. Although 27.4% said they currently used an Android smartphone, 31.3% said their next smartphone purchase would be an iPhone. Only 9.6% said their next smartphone purchase would be an Android.
  3. Six out of ten (63.4%) spent at least three hours per day on the internet, while four out of ten (41.0%) spent at least three hours per day on their mobile phone.

The breakdown of the above findings

  1. Device Used to Connect to the Internet

For the type of internet connection, the sample reported: laptop most often (70.7%), followed by desktop PC (59.1%), smartphone (41.3%), and tablet (18.7%).

  1. Smartphone Type

When asked what type of smartphone they have, respondents said Android (27.4%), Apple (20.9%), and Blackberry (7.4%).

  1. Next Mobile Phone to Purchase

A last question asked what type of cell phone their next one would be. The Apple iPhone was the most popular choice by far at 31.3%, indicating their next phone would be an iPhone.

  1. Mobile Device Ownership

The types of mobile devices Hispanics currently own were: laptop (69.7%), smartphone (51.5%), iPod (41.8%), tablet (18.8%), netbook (14.1%), and e-reader (11.1%). Another 11.1% of the sample said they didn’t own a mobile device.

  1. Mobile Device Likely to Purchase

Over the next 6 months, 24.1% Hispanics indicated they were most likely to purchase smartphones, 21.1% for laptops, 18.1% for tablets, 17.3% for iPods, 11.6% for E-reader and 10.6% will purchase Netbook.

  1. Time Spent on Mobile Phone

Four of ten (41.0%) spent at least three hours per day on their phone. 28.9% spent less than one hour on their phones, 30.1% spent 1-2 hours of phone using their phones, 25.3% spent 3-5 hours , 8.4% spent 6-8 hours and 7.3% spent over 8 hours on their phones on a daily basis.

So therefore from the information above one could deduce that Hispanic people will be hitting iphone market very soon but network provider should not expect the majority of them to be always online.


PD: Considerate to read our article about how to get a mobile service for free.

360 video advertising

For the very first time, same brands are doing 360 video advertising. This is a nice format where the user can watch the video in all directions. Users can enjoy this kind of content from desktop or mobile devices, because the video player is responsive.

Here there’s an example:

5 Ways To Reach Hispanics During Hispanic Heritage Month

by  , Columnist, October 2, 2017

With Hispanic Heritage Month in full swing, which runs from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 and coincides with the Independence Days of Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras, here are five places brands should consider in order to connect with the Hispanic community and build brand loyalty.

1. Supporting Mexico and Puerto Rico Relief Efforts

With the recent hurricane that swept through Puerto Rico and earthquakes that have devastated Mexico, brands can reinforce their commitment to Hispanic audiences by helping those affected by the recent natural disasters. Brands that show commitment to helping these devastated areas and offering support to those in need will build confidence, trust and brand loyalty with Hispanic audiences.

2. eSports

ESports are an ever-growing platform for brands to reach Gen Z and Millennial Hispanic audiences. The average eSports fan is racially diverse with Latinos making up 23% of all players and/or spectators across all game genres, according to PwC. Platforms such as Twitch allows brands to directly connect with Hispanic gamers in an endemic environment. As eSports prize pools and sponsorships increase, on-premise event activations will become more prevalent. Additionally, brands can look to directly sponsor eSports and work with eSports influencers to build brand awareness and affinity.

3. All Things Cardi B

Cardi B’s rap career has been meteoric. From Instagram and reality TV fame to intelligently re-releasing a Latin Trap Remix in Spanish of her smash hit “Bodak Yellow,” she is quickly becoming an Afro-Latina hero. Hispanics have rallied around her success to be actualized in order to become a win for us all. If Cardi B’s upcoming shoe collection with Steve Madden is any prediction, a slew of brands, particularly in fashion, will line up to work with this outspoken, authentic girl next door that we love.

4. Latinas – A Social & Economic Force

Hispanic women are quickly becoming an economic and social powerhouse in the U.S., with rising rates of entrepreneurship and educational attainment as per a recent study commissioned by Nielsen. Brands who understand how to online and offline social networks to connect with Latinas in meaningful ways will see increased engagement and ROI.

5. Latino Films & Film Festivals

While Latinos are avid moviegoers and fuel close to 25% of all tickets sold last year, they are hugely underserved and rarely see themselves on the big screen. During Hispanic Heritage Month several Latino film festivals will take place in New York, Boston, Seattle and San Francisco. In addition, Q3/Q4 multi-genre Latino film releases such as Dolores, Chavela, Coco, Shape of Water and Ferdinand will offer relevant stories and complex characters for our audience to support. Brands should look to festival sponsorships, in-theater advertising, digital and OOH targeting around festivals and theaters to reach this large and engaged audience.



The Rise of latino food culture in the U.S.

Last week was National Taco Day and the Internet went crazy with expressing their love for tacos. Restaurants, fast-food chains, and shops jumped on taco deals, including non-exclusively Latino restaurants such as Red Robin, which created a new burger-taco mashup. There was a rise on social media of people posting photos and comments about tacos. What does this say about America? It shows how much not only Hispanics, but Anglo’s, also appreciate and enjoy Latino food.

The popularity of Latino food has expanded beyond simply tacos, but to pupusas, empanadas, chimichurris and other Latino favorites. This includes not only Mexican food, but Central and South America and the Caribbean. Latino food has become a demand from not only Hispanic customers, but Anglo’s as well.

The millennial generation is very accepting and comfortable with different cultures. According to Nielsen, Multicultural Millennials’ buying habits are inspiring successful, popular cultural trends, and they’re having a profound impact on the group’s peers, parents and children.

For National Hispanic Heritage month, people of all ethnicities and ages joined the various festivities held around America in September in celebration of the Latino culture. With popular holidays, such as Cinco de Mayo, which is celebrated by both Hispanic and non-Hispanics alike in the U.S., it’s no surprise that the purchasing of Hispanic products is everywhere.

For example, beverage-maker Califia Farms has a line of Aguas Frescas that are Watermelon Ginger Lime, Strawberry Basil and Kiwi Cactus Lemonade flavored. The packaging graphics are inspired by Mexican mural art and Día de los Muertos designs, showing a Hispanic product that is not only targeting Hispanics, but pushing Latin flavors to all consumers.


Latino food is now considered the third most popular food in the U.S. after American and Italian, with 15% of main meal items featured on menus being Mexican-inspired. CHD Expert, the Chicago-based foodservice database and analytics firm, reported on the Mexican Restaurant Industry Landscape that Mexican food is heavily consumed by Americans and is among the top three menu items in the USA.

In an article in Specialty Food Magazine, Mynetta Cockerell of Marty’s Fine Food & Wine, Inc., said that Hispanics in Dallas-Fort Worth are “no longer in the minority,” with their tastes and cooking styles influencing many Texans.

According to the Census Bureau’s latest estimates, the Hispanic population reached a record of 58.6 million in 2017. As the second-largest racial or ethnic group in the U.S., Hispanics play a significant role in the nation and therefore in the nation’s popular trends, as National Taco Day and Cinco de Mayo have shown. With so much Latin American influence and culture, it’s hard not to see how eating habits have impacted the U.S.

Bilingual Social Media Coordinator of Abasto Magazine. She is a recent graduate with a Bachelors of Science in Journalism, as well as a freelance writer and photographer.

Latina Shoppers: The Transforming Agent Of The HBC World

As Female Hispanic age cohorts continue to grow and currently represent 18 % of the total 2016 U.S. female population, according to U.S. Census Bureau figures, so do their share of wallet and extraordinary influence on the Health and Beauty Care (HBC) market. Nielsen’s recently published report Latinas 2.0 details that in 2016, the total indexing averages among Latina consumers of HBC product lines surpasses the indexing of White Non- Hispanic shoppers in specific product lines including Cosmetics, Women’s Fragrances, Grooming Aids, Ethnic Beauty aids among others. However, beyond the quantitative data, what other criteria are driving HBC categories by the Latina shopper? Let’s look at five of these:

1. Lifestyle benchmarks supersede traditional acculturation variables: The marketing of HBC lines is increasingly becoming dependent on the correct granular recollection and interpretation of consumer insights based on lifestyles vs. the standard use of acculturation variables. My point here is that the traditional quad matrix of preferred language, media usage, cultural affinity to the country of origin and years residing in the U.S. begin to lose relevance as Latina consumers increasingly shape their HBC purchasing on everyday experiences and the influencing of peers or celebrity endorsements. This is not to say that the aforementioned acculturation variables are not useful, but they do lose relevancy as U.S. born consumers expand their dominance and influence in these extremely dynamic product segments.

2. Category demand is driving consistency in traditional media advertising expenditures:  Does it come as a surprise to see that over the past four years, three of the Top 10 brand advertisers in Spanish language media are HBC corporations? Based on the figures reported in the Ad Age’s 2017 Hispanic Fact Pack booklet, the combined investment of P&G, Genomma Lab International, and L’Oreal was valued at $799 million. This clearly correlates to the enormous appetite Latina shoppers have for these product lines. Keep in mind this only considers measured media, so it would be interesting to quantify other media expenditures which may not be measured.

3. In-store merchandising and personal selling are necessary to successfully connect with Latina HBC shoppers: Seeing is believing. For retailers and brands alike, it’s important to illuminate retail space with shades of yellow, orange, and red evoking optimism, warmth, cheerfulness, and audacity always liked by Latino shoppers. Also valid are the shades of green, blue and black which communicate serenity and elegance. This kaleidoscope of colors is of utmost importance for the contemporary Latina shopper who knows how to bridge different color patterns. HBC brands also depend on generating compelling product usage experiences among Latina shoppers if they expect to make significant brand loyalty inroads. This explains why bilingual beauty consultants are essential touchpoints that can make a difference in a retailer’s sales.

4. The advent of Latina-influenced HBC digital content: Behavioral segmentation is rapidly changing how brands communicate to Latina consumers. The recollection of values and lifestyle nuggets create a vast reservoir of creative ingredients that become the storylines that these women narrate every day. It also expands their size and influence in the digital arena, especially in mobile usage. To further support the assertion of content generation, the 2015 edition of the Siempre Mujer Hispanic Beauty research document found that more than 70% of all Latinas rank YouTube as their preferred source of information when assessing the purchase of beauty products. When everything is said and done, it exponentially escalates the use of creative materials incubated in a digital environment.

5. P.R. and influencer marketing, vital components in Latina HBC marketing: These communication disciplines are supremely strategic in the marketing process of HBC lines to Latina consumers. Their aspirational and trendsetting purchasing habits are embedded traits of the HBC purchasing process. A key benchmark highlighted in the Siempre Mujer Hispanic Beauty study reveals that more than 70% of all Latina HBC shoppers obtain information from Social Media channels leading to their eventual product purchases in these categories. Likewise, a full 55% of them gravitate to the bilingual context that bloggers provide in social media further magnifying the importance of the Latina Millennial shopper according to the same source.

The HBC categories represent some of the biggest opportunities to successfully franchise Latina shoppers, and given its relentless pace, it promises to be filled with excitement and challenges for those marketers and retailers targeting multicultural female consumers in the years to come.

10 Best Practices for Marketing to Hispanic Consumers

When you’re working with companies internationally, there’s an expectation that you will make an effort to understand the language and cultural differences among various countries and cultures. But within the U.S., linguistic and cultural differences are often overlooked—most notably, the fast-growing U.S. Spanish-speaking market. The U.S. is now the second largest Spanish-speaking country, behind Mexico.

View related webinar on multicultural customer experience: How to Market to Hispanic Consumers

2014 Pew Research Center report states that there are 55.4 million Spanish-speakers or Hispanics in the U.S., which is approximately 17.4% of the total U.S. population. And, Hispanic consumers represent $1.5 trillion in purchasing power. That’s a high market share to target, so it makes sense that an increasing number of companies are marketing to Hispanic consumers.

To capture this growing target audience, just translate your marketing content into Spanish, and you’re all set, right?

Not exactly.

Just like English in the U.S. vs. English in the U.K., not all Spanish is the same. With Spanish, from the many countries in Latin America to Spain, there are even more dialects. It’s not just about different pronunciations. Understand that many words have various meanings, depending on the dialect. This is true for many languages, including English, where elevatorin the U.S. is known as lift in the U.K.

Here are some best practices you should keep in mind and research further before you are developing a strategy for marketing to hispanics.

1. Understand the difference between Hispanic and Latino

There are many interpretations of how to define Hispanic vs Latino. For the purposes of this blog, I’ll distinguish the two in the following way: Hispanic refers to language and Latino (including Latina and Latino) refer to location Therefore, Hispanic here is defined as one who has a Spanish-speaking origin or ancestry, including Spain.

Latino refers to Spanish-speakers as well, but only people from Latin America—including Brazil. (Portuguese is spoken in Brazil, and thus, is not considered to be Hispanic.) Hispanic and Latino are often used interchangeably, even though they don’t mean the same thing. It’s important to be aware of not only who you are targeting, but also how you choose to reference them. Not all Spanish-speaking people are Latino, and not all Latinos are Hispanic.

2. Be aware of regional differences

According to the Pew Research Center, most U.S. Hispanics prefer to use their country of origin to describe themselves. More than half of the survey respondents said they have no preference for either term, Hispanic or Latino. However, it’s still important to localize your marketing efforts, as these preferences vary from state to state, and they also change as the Hispanic population grows.

For example, California has the highest Hispanic population percentage, and 30% of them say they prefer to be referenced as Hispanic, while 17% say they prefer Latino. But this preference is much stronger in Texas, where 46% of Hispanics said they prefer to be referenced as Hispanic, vs. 8% who prefer Latino.

Localization is critical in states with a high population of Hispanics, such as Texas, California, Arizona, New Mexico, New York, and Florida. There are several dialects of Spanish and Spanish variants in the U.S. Thus, Google Translate can’t compare to professional translation services—it lacks the ability to tailor translations to these dialects.

3. Consider generational and cultural gaps while tailoring marketing tactics and content

Hispanics, like many cultures, integrate their traditions from their countries of origin into their lives in the U.S. But cultural integration can vary depending on segments of the larger Hispanic consumer population. Generationally, they can be broken down into two main groups:

  • Traditionalists: Older immigrants, and some younger, are considered “traditionalists” who don’t speak fluent English. You can market to these traditionalists via Spanish-speaking TV and radio stations, as well as Spanish websites. Your marketing strategy should emphasize these traditional Hispanic cultural values and traditions including food, family, and holidays. Know the various dialects and idioms within a specific region, and don’t stop at the online home page, TV ad, or radio message. Keep the customer engaged.
  • Millennials: Second-generation Hispanics are those who are born in the U.S. into a Hispanic family. Like many second-generation ethnicities, they are typically the younger family members, including millennials, who have adopted many U.S. customs (and English) but still appreciate, respect, and enjoy their culture, language, and heritage.


Note: White, Asian, and Black include only those who are single race and not Hispanic. Hispanics are of any race. Figures may not add to 100% due to rounding. Source: Pew Research Center analysis of 2014 American Community Survey (IPUMS), “The Nation’s Latino Population is Defined by its Youth.”


Culturally, marketers tend to divide Hispanic online consumers into three different categories: Hispanic Dominant, Bicultural, and U.S. Dominant.

  • Hispanic Dominant (23%): This group speaks predominantly Spanish at home and consumes most media in Spanish. Typically, they’re foreign born and have a mean age of 40. On average, they’ve lived in the U.S. for seven years.
  • Bicultural (31%): This crowd typically speaks both English and Spanish at home, but they consume most media in English. They’re a combination of foreign and U.S. born and have a mean age of 34. They’ve lived in the U.S., on average, for 22 years.
  • U.S. Dominant (46%): This bunch generally speaks English at home and consumes most media in English. They’re U.S. born and with a mean age of 37, they’ve lived in the U.S. an average of 36 years.

Offline, the sizing of these groups is reversed, with Hispanic Dominant representing 52% of the segment, Bicultural 19%, and U.S. Dominant 28%.

4. Consider using “Spanglish”

For a U.S. Dominant or Bicultural audience, blend both Spanish and English into your campaign, keeping English as the primary language but integrating Spanish phrases, quotes, terms, etc. to truly connect to Hispanic consumers.

5. Include Hispanic talents, using Spanish influenced music and imagery

Create campaigns that are centered on Hispanic imagery and tell vibrant, colorful stories. But avoid stereotypes or singling Hispanics out.

6. Create mobile-friendly campaigns

Pew Hispanic Center found that Hispanic mobile phone owners are more likely than Anglo mobile phone owners to access the internet—40% vs. 34%. And according to a July 2014 Google Consumer Survey, Hispanics are 1.5 times more likely to buy mobile apps and digital media than non-Hispanics. Don’t miss these opportunities to connect with Hispanic consumers. Be sure to optimize all your digital touch points and campaigns for mobile.

7. Include Hispanic culture in online ads

88% of digital-using Hispanics pay attention to online ads that include aspects of their culture—regardless of the ad’s language (Google Hispanic Marketing Forum, 2015).

8. Be consistent with Hispanic marketing

Offering a web page in Spanish is effective, but only if your landing page is in Spanish, too. The same is true for phone orders and support: Pressing “Numero 2” for Spanish on your phone keypad is helpful only if there is a Spanish-speaking representative on the other end. If you’re going to market to consumers in Spanish, be sure to support them throughout the customer journey.

9. Understand Spanish-speaking social media

This is where cultural patterns shift. According to CNN, the most active of all ethnic groups on social media sites are Hispanic adults, at 72%. CNN also points out that even though “Hispanic” is the identity most referenced on social media, the term “Latino” was mentioned more on Twitter. There are many reasons for this, one of which is that Latinos are becoming more prominent in TV shows, magazines, and professional sports.

For example, according to a 2016 Neilson report, 10% of overall NFL TV game viewers are Hispanic. This results in more Tweets on Latinos. The word “Latino” was also searched more on Google in the last few years. Cultural patterns vary by region (within the U.S.) and are also a result of more references to the types of activities, music, and other events that cater to the Latino population.

10. Be aware of cultural diversity

It all comes down to being aware of cultural diversity within any country, where multiple ethnicities and language dialects exist. And although no one is expected to know each dialect and market, there is much benefit and value to thoroughly researching and understanding the various linguistic and cultural differences, as well as the spending patterns within a particular country.

This can be done in many ways, such as hiring local employees or services that are aware of the various differences, as well as knowing the latest research on buying trends, social media trends, etc.

After all, if you are making the effort to market to Spanish speakers, be sure to be able to relate with them the way they relate to one another. Know their local culture, language, and customs. Bottom line: Localize, localize, localize.

To learn more, view the recorded webinar, How to Market to Hispanic Consumers.

About the author

sergio-restrepo-200x240Along with his operations responsibilities, as a digital marketing expert, Sergio provides sales support for Lionbridge Global Marketing Services. In 2007, he founded Darwin Zone, a Costa Rican-based digital marketing agency acquired by Lionbridge in 2014. There, he designed and implemented strategies for global brands including Nestle, 3M, New Balance, SABMiller, Honda, and Johnson & Johnson, among others.







Your Next Big Opportunity: The US Hispanic Market