Engaging Hispanic Millennials in 4 Steps

Posted by: Jeff Fromm

In metropolises like Los Angeles, New York, Miami and Chicago, more than half the millennial population is Hispanic. Every year from now until 2028, an average of 904,000 Hispanics will turn 18, making it the fastest growing segment of consumers. For brands, this means that a greater focus needs to be spent creating targeted messages, campaigns and content for the Hispanic millennial population. Too often, brands believe that translating a non-Spanish marketing message into Spanish is all it takes and wipe their hands and call it good. But that is not sufficient enough. With the population of Hispanic millennials becoming more prominent, it should be a key target demographic for marketers interested in young consumers.

Tap into cultural heritage and strong family connections

Unlike their immigrant parents who believed that blending in meant fitting in, Hispanic millennials are proud of their culture. While many Hispanic millennials were born in the U.S. and have woven American values into their repertoire, they still hold dear the culture and customs of their own heritage. Hispanic music, food and family culture have not been abandoned, even by those Hispanic millennials who have grown up in the States. According to the Pew Research Center, only 33 percent of second generation Latinos identifies as American first; the rest refer to themselves as Hispanic or Latino first. This emphasizes how Hispanic millennials are proud of their heritage and would rather embrace it instead of hiding it to assimilate. Ultimately, gen X and boomer Hispanic immigrants were considered Hispanic because of their language and cultural differences, but Hispanic millennials are Hispanic by choice, they want to embrace their roots in a modern, connected way. However, it is important to keep in mind that trying too hard to “be Spanish” could be hazardous. Instead, advertisements should represent the diversity this demographic sees within themselves. This population, like the general millennial group, values authenticity and will quickly walk away if they spot a phony.

Reach out via mobile

Mobile presence is critical for brands trying to engage with Hispanic Millennials. When it comes to social media use, this demographic considerably over-indexes compared to the non-Hispanic millennial population; Hispanic millennials are nearly 66 percent more likely to connect via mobile. Culturally, Hispanics have larger social communities and larger families, including family and friends living in Latin America. It makes sense for them to be more engaged with Facebook and Twitter to stay in touch and up to date with loved ones. Hispanic millennials’ high levels of connectivity make them the perfect audience for mobile advertising. Not only are they heavy users of Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, but they are also constantly texting their friends, classmates, colleagues, bosses, and international family members. This includes opt-in-texts from brands they are interested in. If brands reach out in useful and engaging ways on mobile, they will be more likely to connect with the Hispanic millennial population.

Find the right balance between Spanish and English messaging

While Hispanic millennials feel connected to their Hispanic culture, they express a strong preference for English as their primary mode of communication. In a survey conducted by Adroit Digital on Hispanic online shopping habits and views on digital advertising, 92 percent of Hispanic millennials said they are more likely to respond to marketing displayed in English. Younger Hispanics are becoming more acculturated than their older family members, so it only makes sense that they would display a greater tendency to speak English and respond to English advertising. The challenge for advertisers is to find a balanced bilingual voice, integrating Hispanic culture with English language.

As the buying power of Hispanic millennials increases, brands must focus more on earning the business and loyalty of this population. The Between Two Worlds campaign from AT&T designed to win over young Latinos, for example, used a documentary style series to celebrate the lives of multicultural Hispanic millennials. Hispanic millennials are already entering into their greatest spending years, starting careers and settling down. With these life changes come new brand preferences, behaviors and patterns that will shape future buying habits. Brands need to tap into this opportunity like AT&T did and implement strategic plans to reach and retain Hispanic millennial customers.

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About Jeff Fromm

Although not a Millennial as defined by his age, Jeff Fromm is the Millennial Marketing Guy. Jeff is President of FutureCast, a marketing consultancy that specializes in Millennial trends, and is a contributing writer at...See Jeff's full bio.