Remember, Hispanics Are More Than Just One Group

A new study serves as a reminder that marketers should not think of Hispanics as a single demographic, but a large and diverse audience made up many distinct segments.

“For U.S. Hispanic consumers, it is not a one-size-fits-all market, and they cannot be targeted collectively as one group,” said Matthew Lieberman, entertainment, media, communications and technology marketing leader at PwC, in this interview with Media Life magazine.

“The population is diverse, based on home country, length of time and number of generations in the U.S., age, geographic disparity, and family-makeup differences,” Lieberman continued. “Each group can speak more than one language—both literally and figuratively—and can be receptive to different messaging and content.”

Lieberman was talking about research findings detailed in the PwC report, Always connected US-based Hispanic consumers dominate mobile, entertainment, and beyond.

The data in that report echoes the idea that U.S. Hispanics don’t all speak in one voice (or even one language for that matter) and therefore don’t respond to the same messages.

3 Things to Remember When Connecting with U.S. Hispanics

According to the PwC report, companies need to create multiple customized strategies for reaching and communicating with different ethnicities and generations of U.S. Hispanics.

Here are a few key things ever company looking to connect with a U.S. Hispanic audience should keep in mind:

1. One size certainly does not fit all

You cannot deliver the same message to a third-generation Hispanic consumer that you would to a first-generation Hispanic and expect to get the same results. Attributes like age, geography, culture, and family can all greatly influence and alter attitudes and behaviors.

2. It’s less about language and more about content

Connecting with Hispanics involves more than simply translating your existing message into Spanish, or using some Spanglish. Brands need to know how to use English and Spanish, sometimes separate, sometime together, in an authentic way that is meaningful to the specific segment they are trying to reach.

3. Generational differences are more important than age differences

The PwC report finds that generation is more important than age when it comes to U.S. Hispanics. If an individual was born in another country and came to the U.S. just five years ago, their outlook and cultural connection is likely very different from a person who is a third-generation U.S. Hispanic—even if they may both be the same age.

Build Trust with Hispanics by Addressing Their Specific Needs

Reaching U.S. Hispanics today is all about showing them (as opposed to telling them) that you understand who they are and what they need. It’s about communicating with them in a way that rings true to their specific identity and place in the world.

As the PwC reports notes:

“Hispanic consumers know when you are being inauthentic, and when you are selling to them rather than trying to understand them and make a connection. To succeed, marketers and brands need to build trust with Hispanic consumers in a way that is truthful, transparent, and meaningful.”