According to a recent Nielsen report, the Hispanic population (52 million) continues to be the fastest growing in the U.S., with an impressive buying power of $1.2 trillion. That statistic drew us to Miami earlier this month for Hispanicize, the largest annual event for Latino trendsetters and newsmakers in journalism, blogging, marketing, entertainment and tech entrepreneurship.
For the past six years, this five-day gathering has served as a stage for all things Hispanic focused – from creative marketing campaigns, new products, technology and inspiring stories. With such brands as Dunkin’ Donuts, Toyota, Coca-Cola, Google, JetBlue, Best Western and McDonald’s in attendance, Hispanicize delivered yet again.
Authenticity and relevancy. Those were, by far, the most used words at Hispanicize 2015 – and remain the keys for brands to successfully connect and build relationships with the Hispanic population. It’s a demographic drawn to brands that deliver an experience and build an emotional connection. Toyota’s innovative gratitude campaign, Mas Que Un Auto (More Than a Car), serves as a perfect example of a brand focusing on a core value of a specific population. The campaign is all about personalizing the car to make it part of the family via car badges – and Hispanics are all about family.
For brands, social media is no longer just a tool for promotion. It’s about the experience. Coffee-Mate, a non-dairy creamer brand manufactured by Nestle, struck a positive chord with Hispanic customers by leveraging Facebook to distribute its telenovela series Crema Con Aroma De Café. Limited-run serial dramas have proven popular with Latino populations on Spanish television for years. So Coffee-Mate stepped outside the box to create its own original series and, in doing so, pulled back the reins on traditional promotion to focus on consumer engagement.
As the Hispanic population has grown, so have the number of online Spanish searches. While digital Hispanics are comfortable with stylish English websites, that doesn't always mean it translates into an optimum experience. To help the Spanish-speaking consumer, brands should be present on search, be culturally relevant and meet customers where they are. Wells Fargo, for instance, has upgraded its mobile app to cater to Spanish- or English-speaking customers. The brand has also become an active partner with the Hispanic Scholarship Fund.
From 2011 to 2014, there has been an 80 percent increase in Spanish health care searches. This represents another major opportunity for brands to build connections with audiences. Florida Blue did research to better understand what their Multicultural audience connected with best. They launched outreach campaigns through public events, where they offered health plans and other informative broachers on site in English and Spanish and offered services from bilingual representatives.
Brands are staying ahead of the game by partnering with agencies to help reach multicultural audiences on different social media channels, using relevant and authentic messaging, and continue to make emotional connections with consumers. With its organic growth these past six years, Hispanicize continues to reach new heights. This event has created a platform for Latinos to network, learn, and grow their careers.