by Gillian Luce and Kimetha Hill
Today’s consumers are changing the way they accept advertisements. The Hispanic community is no different. While the present economic circumstances call for more creative and innovative advertising techniques, marketing to the Hispanic community proves to be an area that remains open for growth. Therefore, if you haven’t already introduced your brand to them, it’s time to do so.
The Hispanic demographic is the largest minority group in the US, according to Jupiter Research. It is important to note that Hispanics will experience the fastest population growth through 2013. Household size is estimated to grow from 13.1 million (in 2007) to 15.6 million (in 2013). And Jupiter Research forecasts online retail spending within this group will grow to $21.6 billion by 2011, representing the largest increase of all online ethnic groups.
Also important to note is that the Hispanic community is more than just one group. Within their demographic there are many smaller sub-divisions that must be researched. According to a Global Information, Inc. article, 90% of American-born Hispanics describe themselves as American, showing that group labels alone do not help marketing. This article goes on to describe that 34% of Hispanics prefer the term “Hispanic”, 13% prefer “Latino”, while 53% have no preference, reinforcing the idea that labels should not be the main focus. In the Hispanic demographic there are many non-English speaking Hispanics who represent a significant portion; therefore, marketing strategies should include bilingual tactics. Advertisers should break down their approach in recognizing the language barrier, and the many different countries of origin.
When considering a marketing strategy for this demographic it is also essential to take into account culture. While age may play a small part in that 58% of English-preferring Hispanics are 35 or younger and visit social networking sites; understanding the Hispanic culture is the strongest way to effectively market to them.
For Rent Media SolutionsTM offers these four tactics to toss into your marketing mix to expose your brand to the growing Hispanic community.
1. Internet & Online Video.
According to comScore, Inc., more than 49% of the 15.7 million Hispanic-American Internet users either prefer to speak Spanish only, or a mix of Spanish and English. In other words, while English language content can and does reach a large number of Hispanic-Americans, to fully reach the Hispanic online user, marketers must also provide Spanish-language content.
For Rent Media Solutions offers ParaRentar.com®, the companion site to ForRent.com®. By providing a fully-translated Spanish apartment listing Web site, For Rent Media Solutions is giving the Spanish-speaking apartment seeker the freedom to shop without language barriers. Offering more than 4,000 listings, ParaRentar.com is a leading resource in the multi-family housing industry for locating apartments for rent that cater to the Hispanic community. In 2008, ParaRentar.com received over 40,000 views on average monthly.
In “Online Video Killed the Radio Star”, published in Portada magazine, it is clear that 15% of U.S. born and 17% of foreign born Hispanics state that they focus more on online video than television advertisements. A recent study also offers that 17% of U.S. born and 26% of foreign born Hispanics feel more engaged with online video versus television advertisements. Advertisers should use a more personable approach in marketing to the Hispanic Community.
Also on ParaRentar.com you will see that we have our Community Theater® product extended to a Spanish translated video. The Community Theater product that For Rent Media Solutions offers is a professionally produced video that enhances the apartment shoppers experience by allowing users to view an apartment community’s most sought after units and amenities as well as the surrounding city it is located in.
Print is NOT dead! The Pew Hispanic Center and the Pew Internet & American Life Project found that 56% of Spanish-speakers are not on the Internet. This means that more than half of this important population is missing online. Therefore, basic fundamentals are still needed in order to market apartments to this demographic.
Already, For Rent Media Solutions offer a variety of products that appeal to this diverse audience. Apartamentos Para Rentar® magazines are fully translated Spanish language apartment finding resources. With magazines in 14 metropolitan areas and over 2.4 million magazines published each year, the extensive database in Para Rentar’s magazines offer the freedom to shop without the challenges of a language barrier, along with a variety of resources to simplify the apartment search process. Something to note: word of mouth also plays an important role when advertising to the Hispanic demographic. Because 56% of Spanish-speaking Hispanics are not online, they will ask their trusted friends and family for resources. Therefore, maximizing your appearance online for those Hispanics using Internet and offline is the way to increase exposure of your brand.
3. Social Media.
Millions of people look to social media sites as their primary source of news, opinion and entertainment, including the Hispanic demographic. According to a study done by the Florida State University Center for Hispanic Marketing Communication comparing various cultural groups, 36% of English-preferring Hispanics visited social networking sites more than two or three times a month and were twice as likely to visit MySpace regularly than non-Hispanic Whites. The English-preferring Hispanics also chose to visit MySpace versus Facebook (44% to 18% respectively).
In order to promote an online social rapport with this community, your company needs to understand why Hispanic consumers are likely to use these sites. The central importance of family in Hispanic culture is well-documented and incisive marketers should try to reinforce this dynamic through their online activities. Apartment community managers need to brand their company as the perfect model of honesty, openness, and self-disclosure to establish a safe and trustworthy environment.
In addition to our already mentioned resources, ParaRentar.com is now embracing the social networking realm. There are several Para Rentar MySpace and MySpace Latino profiles, such as: Para Rentar Phoenix, Para Rentar Las Vegas and Para Rentar Houston that are dedicated to providing apartment searching information for the Hispanic consumers. Minorities are turning to social networks; companies must be open to engaging audiences with timely and relevant content that stimulates feedback and sharing. Joining the conversation and engaging is what fosters the sense of community necessary to build relationships.
4. Mobile Media.
Many Hispanics and other Spanish-speakers will first experience the Internet via their cell phones. According to comScore m:metrics, 71% of Hispanics consume content on cell phones compared to the market average of 48%. In addition, Hispanics tend to notice and respond well to ads on cell phones. Nielsen’s recent “Mobile Advertising Report” highlighted that Hispanic data users are more likely to recall seeing ads on mobile phones (41% compared with 30% of non-Hispanics) and more likely to have responded (22% vs. 13%). Therefore, mobile marketing to the Hispanic demographic is a great way to promote your relevant content. For Rent Media Solutions is very proud of our mobile marketing initiatives.
Our text messaging product allows the apartment seeker to send a text message with the property’s unique keyword to the short code 47368 (4RENT). The property keywords can be seen on leasing banners, yard signs at the property, and in Apartamentos Para Rentar magazines. By texting the keyword apartment seekers would receive a response text message with information about the specific property. Property managers also use the service to send customized messages promoting specials to potential renters, as well as important messages and alerts to their current residents.
Your brand needs to adapt to this medium, or risk suffering a disadvantage compared with those brands that do take full advantage of the channel.
Bottom line-the Hispanic community is too large of a consumer group to ignore. As a media company, we continuously strive to improve our efforts in marketing to this demographic, using the latest emerging innovations and technologies. We encourage you to take your brand to these steps and beyond in 2009.
 US ONLINE POPULATION FORECAST,2008 TO 2013, Jupiter Research, Niki Scevak, Vikram Sehgal, and Andrew Peach Hispanic Shoppers Online, 2007, Jupiter Research, Online Behavior & Demographics, June 12, 2007. “Avoid Subtle Stereotypes To Maintain Campaign Effectiveness”, Patricia Graham and Jannet Torres, January 8, 2009. http://www.mediapost.com/publications/?fa=Articles.showArticle&art_aid=97962
 “Connecting Via Mobile: Speak Their ‘Edioma'”, Joseph Kutchera, January 15, 2009. http://www.mediapost.com/publications/?fa=Articles.showArticle&art_aid=98416