4 Things Brands Need to Keep in Mind When Reaching Out to Bicultural Hispanics

What does it mean for U.S. Hispanics to be “bicultural”—and what are some things companies need to know when reaching out to this audience?

eMarketer recently interviewed Aleena Roeschley, Research Director and Multicultural Expert at Communicus, a company that provides advertisers with insights to strengthen campaign effectiveness.

In the interview, Roeschley provided some key insights into bicultural Hispanics and what advertisers need to know to effectively reach them. In this post, we’ll provide a few notable takeaways from that interview.

First, let’s take a minute to define what it means to be bicultural…

Oxford Dictionaries defines “bicultural” as: Having or combining the cultural attitudes and customs of two nations, peoples, or ethnic groups.

In the case of U.S. Hispanics, bicultural individuals have significant exposure to both American and Hispanic customs and culture.

Roeschley further focuses that definition in the eMarketer interview saying:

“…we typically define bicultural Hispanics as first- or second-generation, and sometimes even third-generation, U.S. citizens who grew up here. This group has parents who immigrated to the U.S. and were raised in either a purely Spanish-speaking or bilingual household and spent the majority of their life going to U.S. public schools. They’ve grown up around American customs and the English language since an early age, but they’ve maintained their Hispanic heritage and culture from their home life.”

4 Tips for Effectively Connecting with Bicultural Hispanics

When you are attempting to connect with U.S. bicultural Hispanics, make sure to keep these things in mind:

1. Be Authentic and Transparent

Roeschley notes that more than other audiences, bicultural Hispanics can see through the artificial. If you’re being generic or posturing or just trying to sell them versus truly speaking to them, they will know it. So be transparent and consistent in your messaging.

2. Be Specific and Relevant

Hispanic marketing is not one size fits all—meaning one message won’t work for everyone. You have to be relevant when speaking to different generations and acculturation levels. Roeschley states, “Something that’s culturally relevant to a 70-year-old Hispanic woman who has lived in the US for 20 to 30 years is not culturally relevant to a 25-year-old Hispanic woman who has lived here for her entire life.”

3. Be Aware of Region and Subculture

There are many regional and cultural differences with U.S. Hispanics that you need to be aware of because they impact how your message may be perceived and received. Individuals of Mexican, Cuban and Puerto Rican descent, for example, may have very different experiences and outlooks.

4. Don’t Silo Your Communications by Language

Since bicultural Hispanics tend to speak and engage in both languages, it’s important to make sure your message is aligned in both. Many companies make the mistake of having separate English and Spanish communications that create a sense of disconnection. Communicate fluidly across both languages—and even in combination—to build strong relationships.