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How To Market To Hispanic Consumers: Tapping into tech-savvy audiences

by | Apr 9, 2024 | Insights


Hispanic consumers are early adopters — as our Media expert Jen always reminds us.

At THE 3RD EYE, we’ve always known this to be the case. And we’re not the first to notice this. Surveys have taken note of the pattern, Nielson gathered  evidence of Hispanic consumers being “at the top of the tech curve,” and recent studies like this one for the Collage Group continue to conclude the same. THE 3RD EYE’S own 2023 white paper found similar patterns, with Hispanics tending more towards wearable fitness devices.

“Hispanic Buying Power is expected to grow $2.8 trillion by 2026, representing 12.1% of total US buying power,” and much of this is attributed to the young, diverse, and growing nature of the population segment.

So how can you tap into these tech-savvy hispanic customers? And which other insights should you keep in mind when serving the Hispanic consumer?

We gathered 4 key steps for marketing to hispanic consumers.


1. Understand the nuance of multicultural audiences

A “Hispanic audience” is NOT one thing. Hispanic and Latino consumers come from a myriad of rich cultures — each with its own unique traditions, histories, and perspectives.

Those of us living in the United States are, in some way, connected by our shared hispanic culture. Whether it’s our own or one central to our family, U.S. Hispanics also share a story — often centered around a journey of immigration. 

Marketing effectively to diverse audiences demands a thorough understanding of the unique perspectives and nuances that shape each group. Every community possesses its own distinct values, motivations, concerns, and preferences.

As marketers, we’re used to putting people in neat boxes. And it makes sense! We observe patterns in audiences to which we want to connect. We try to understand people in groups.  It’s more efficient to generalize an audience than to truly be one-to-one — so we observe patterns and draw hypotheses in an attempt to grasp the people within those groups. And how else would we do it? 

We can’t abandon data, and we’ll always take a look at demographic-based patterns. But remember that a person is far more than their gender, age, and income bracket. In a similar vein, don’t get stuck on stereotypes of the Hispanic American experience. 

Every community of Hispanics in this country has something that sets them apart.

It’s important to be tuned into regional differences. There’s large scale ones, like for instance the preference of being called “latino/a” versus “hispanic.” On the west coast, the former (latino/a) is more common— and on the east coast, the latter (hispanic) reigns. Generally, however, people want to identify with their home country over either of the two (e.g. Cuban, Mexican, Venezuelan, etc.).

Our next Steps focus on what brings Hispanics together, but I challenge you to stay tuned into the nuance. Dive into your audience and the community that your brand serves. Engage in detailed social listening, not just online — but in person. Go to where your audience goes. Discover who they are. Lean into Hispanic culture in your creatives — a far easier task if Hispanic people are on the creative team. 

Before you focus on what brings Hispanic consumers together, make sure you know what sets your audience apart.


2. Keep Generational Marketing in mind

The Hispanic population is not a monolith — and that’s especially true when generations come into play. Like we mentioned above, a shared journey of immigration connects all Hispanic Americans. The generation to which a Hispanic person belongs and their level of acculturation are also a huge factor, however. 

Many marketers fall into the trap that marketing to hispanics simply means translating your ads. But it’s much more to that. And not every Hispanic in the United States even speaks Spanish these days. Don’t get me wrong. Speaking in the language of your audiences can be powerful — but do the hispanics in your audience even speak Spanish?

Maybe they do. Maybe they don’t. Maybe they can — but they don’t very often. 

According to the latest census data, “about 39 million US Hispanics (67.6% of the total Hispanic population) ages 5 and older speak Spanish at home” (Insider Intelligence).

Generational marketing is how you find out. And it’s not just about someone’s age. Age is a guiding factor — and communities of older hispanics are more likely to speak Spanish. 

The share of Latinos in the U.S. who speak English proficiently is growing. In 2022, 72% of Latinos ages 5 and older spoke English proficiently, up from 59% in 2000. U.S.-born Latinos are driving this growth.

Source: Pew Research

Age isn’t the end-all be-all, however. When it comes to Hispanic audiences, generational marketing also refers to the generation in which someone’s family immigrated. 

If I came to the United States at 10-20 years old for instance, I’m a first generation immigrant. If my parent came to the United States but I was born here, I’m a second-generation immigrant — and so on. Of course there are nuances, but the important factor here is level of acculturation. 

The longer Hispanic-Americans live in the US, the more accustomed we grow to the language and cultural norms. Despite this, Hispanics often maintain strong cultural ties through their heritage as generations pass, forming a community of Hispanic Americans even living in the United States. 

English becomes more dominant than Spanish by the third generation of Hispanics (i.e., Hispanic individuals born in the US to parents who were also born in the US).

Insider Intelligence

Many third-generation Hispanics are highly acculturated but nevertheless engage with their Hispanic identity — as is the nature of a bicultural audience.

Who makes up the Hispanic American community your brand serves? Is the community mostly 1st, 2nd, or 3rd generation Hispanics — or is it a combination of all 3? Which Caribbean, Central or South American culture makes up the bulk of your community? And which cultural ties remain strong?

Your market research should aim to answer these questions. And once you understand your audience, you can communicate your brand story in a way that resonates.


3. Tap into tech-savvy audiences

Forty-four percent of US Hispanics were born after 1997, versus 31% of non-Hispanics in the US. You may ask: are hispanics thought of as early-adopters because Gen Z makes up a large portion of the Hispanic Market?

That’s definitely a large part of it.

Latinos’ young median age means many have grown up as digital natives. As a result, they’re more likely to use technology than other segments of the population. According to our latest report, Hispanics 18 and older are 9% more likely to own a smartphone, 11% more likely to own a game console, and 13% more likely to own a smartwatch than non-Hispanic Whites.

Source: Nielson

So the hispanic community are early adopters when it comes to technology. Why does this matter and how does it play into your digital marketing strategy?

Well, don’t underestimate the power of social media. Whether it’s paid ads with Meta or influencer marketing with micro-creators on TikTok, digital marketing on social media platforms is essential. 

According to the Collage Group, Hispanic Americans are more likely to post on social media every day, to use social media to connect with community, and to venture into novel social media platform (like TikTok in 2020). Key points of interest were Food/Cooking, Exercise, and Video Games. Interestingly, they’re more likely to combine tech and exercise as well (Collage Group 2022).

This mirrors our 2023 white paper’s finding that Hispanic Americans were more likely to use wearables.

Free mobile apps are the most common tools used by Black and Hispanic consumers, who reported usage at 30% apiece, versus 22% for White consumers. They were also more likely to purchase new exercise and sports equipment than White Consumers.


Source: Defining Health & Wellness, And The Barriers To Change, 2023

Consider an incredible benefit of serving digitally-connected audiences: you can find where a community gathers digitally — and connect with them. You can engage in social listening, and take it further. You can find your audience, and you can talk to them. You can serve audiences that are fragmented physically but hyper-connected digitally.

The possibilities are endless. Narrow them down by finding your target audience online and listening to them.

Use the power of digital spaces to connect with your Hispanic audience.


4. Don’t Abandon Traditional Marketing Channels

Just because Hispanic consumers are more tech savvy than your average American doesn’t mean you should abandon traditional marketing channels. 

Keep in mind the cultural diversity of hispanics that we mentioned in step one. And consider the generational differences from sep 2. The Latino population is not a monolith. Your consumer segment could respond well to direct mail, out-of-home ads — even the digital natives. So try different approaches. 

Older Hispanics may be more tech savvy than non-hispanics their age, but that doesn’t mean traditional advertising won’t resonate. Ensure your brand story is authentically connected to your audience. Aim for a united message across all channels for each marketing campaign — and test which combination of digital and traditional methods works best for your Hispanic consumer market.

Key Takeaways

Let’s review. We’ve established four key steps for reaching your Hispanic target audience:

  1. Embrace the Nuances: there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. Understand regional and generational differences within the Hispanic community. Most importantly, dive into the specific cultures and perspectives of the community you serve.
  2. Mind the Generations: Consider the role of generational marketing. Understand the level of acculturation within your target audience and tailor your messaging accordingly.
  3. Go Digital: Leverage the tech savvy nature of Hispanic consumers. Utilize social media platforms for advertising and influencer marketing. Remember, Hispanic and Latino consumers are early adopters, so stay ahead of the curve with new technologies.
  4. Don’t Forget Traditional Channels: Hispanic consumers are tech-savvy, but that doesn’t mean you should neglect traditional marketing strategies. Consider direct mail, out-of-home ads, and other methods — especially for older generations.



The 3rd Eye

Content Writer

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