Friday, March 26, 2010

Generating Leads in the Hispanic Market

According to U.S. Census Bureau estimates, the Hispanic population in 2009 made up almost 7% of the total U.S. population. The total population of the United States was 301 million people, of which 45 million were Hispanic. This community is a major force in the U.S. economy, and is continuing to grow each day. Any company would be wise to try and capture the attention of Hispanics, but how can they?

Values and traditions of Hispanics

First, it is important to understand the values and traditions of Hispanics. When designing and implementing a marketing plan, the content must be relevant to the consumer. Hispanic culture and tradition relishes the idea of family, festivities, siestas, and vacations. Like many previous immigrants, they are sacrificing the life they've known for a future that is uncertain. Hard work and long hours are slowly replacing past cultural and traditional values. Hispanics are working harder than ever to support their families and work toward the American dream. Any advertising geared to a Hispanic audience needs to address this battle, and applauding the people for their hard work and family values can go a long way.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 85% of the Hispanic population in the U.S. is high school graduates. They read and write in English. Additionally, 23 million Hispanics were online last year. More than 50% of this group was accessing the internet from web-enabled phones. From these facts, it is clear that any marketing plan devised for this group needs to have a five-part focus: television advertising, radio advertising, internet marketing, print ads, and a mobile effort. When it comes to language use, the campaign can be executed in English, Spanish or bilingual. It all depends on the level of acculturation of the population being targeted.

The influx of Hispanic immigrants into the United States is not slowing down. It is important to remember Hispanic populations in their respective countries. These are the people who are looking for the same "American dream" that their families in the U.S. speak of. Developing and maintaining an internet presence in these countries will establish a familiarity with your name or brand.

Strategize for success in your Hispanic marketing efforts

Once you have taken all of these factors into consideration, it is time to strategize. Hiring a Hispanic marketing consultant or a company that understands the nuances of the US Hispanic market can be of assistance. Having your Web content available in English and Spanish will maximize the likelihood of reaching the entire spectrum of US Hispanics. At the same time, using different mediums such as blogs, websites, social media, radio, and television will maximize the visibility on the internet by maximizing your search engine presence. In short, this company will have a wealth of resources to tailor to your specific marketing needs and will help you engage in a process of attaining qualified leads and turning them into real clients.

Keying in to the Hispanic market is a great decision in today's economy. Entrusting your Hispanic marketing strategy to a company who understands your audience and knows how to better reach it - in each corresponding geographical area - while maximizing your presence in the market at the same time, is a cost-effective home run!

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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Lost in Translation

Walmart Employee: "Hello 'dis Walmarts, how can I help you?"
Suzanne: " I would like to order a cake for a going away party this week."
Walmart Employee: "What you want on the cake?"
Suzanne: "Best Wishes Suzanne" and underneath that "We will miss you".

(Source: email from a friend)

I could not stop laughing when I read that dialog and saw the picture! :)

Have you heard about the phrase "Lost in Translation"? Well, if this "lost in translation" occurs between people who are communicating with each other using the same language (in this case English), just pause for a second and imagine all that may get "lost in translation" in a message when there's an actual translation from one language to another (for instance, from English to Spanish or vice versa)!

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How many times or cases have we seen or heard when the translation does not properly address the target market? To remedy this situation, when translating your English website to Spanish, choose a partner that has expertise on that business. Otherwise, the added sales and profits from a Spanish language website could be lost.

Having your English website translated to Spanish requires the consideration of colloquial phrases and grammatical interpretation that is unique to an area. Many machine translation services will produce a generic result that gives the basic idea but misses the finer points. By using a language translation website that provides personalized service with individuals who look at each word and phrase, the smaller details are considered and the translation is focused on the targeted market. Spanish idiomatic expressions are not consistent across Latin America. Sometimes a small misinterpreted phrase or message can cause a potential customer to reconsider completing a business transaction.

So remember, as a small business owner who gains sales through the Internet, a good question to ask is whether translating your English website to Spanish will increase your sales potential. Most likely the answer will be yes particularly if the services offered by a reliable language translation website are employed.

For more information: Identifying your audience and delivering localized web content

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Saturday, March 6, 2010

Niche marketing during tough economic times

Marginalizing Hispanics as a “minority” is something of a misnomer: presently, US Hispanics comprise 15% of the population; by 2050, that number will double, making Hispanics the largest ethnic group in the country.More significantly for you as a marketer, the combined buying power of the 46 million Hispanic consumers in the United States is close to a whopping one trillion dollars. The number of purchases made by Hispanics between 1995 and 2007 grew twice as fast as that of non-Hispanics. Twenty-three million of these buyers are online: US Hispanic consumers spent $12.8 billion shopping the Internet in 2007, a number that’s projected to jump 90% by 2011. US Hispanics use search engines to research their purchases before they buy (and 44% of them know the difference between paid advertising and “organic” search results,) and they are more likely to use the Internet to find recipes, read news and blog postings, and download music than the general population.

Yet many companies persist in ignoring this market. Citing the down economy, they cut back on marketing to this huge emerging market segment, stubbornly imposing a false economy because they’re not forsightful enough to see the return on investment.

But let’s look at what actually triggers a purchase. Though companies may spend millions developing marketing plans and advertising campaigns, research indicates the most powerful driver still remains word of mouth. Moreover, word of mouth has a ripple effect: people talk about the commercials they see on TV and the Internet.

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Hispanic marketing allows a company to harness the power of word of mouth. US Hispanics, on the whole, live in a networked community. Advice is offered on the street, at church, in the grocery store. Need to know which pre-paid cell phone is best? Ask someone. Other marketing strategies are amplified through this information exchange and a satisfied customer becomes a brand recruiter. This phenomenon translates into the world of online social media, where Hispanics are present in ever greater numbers.

Simply put, Hispanic marketing offers more bang for the buck.

So how do you reach the US Hispanic market?

Well, first, of course, there is no homogenous “Hispanic market”: a Hispanic living in California may have a very different consumer profile than a Hispanic living in Florida or Texas, and search engine marketing (SEM) should target these differences explicitly. Niche marketing dictates that selected keywords for regional products and services resonate with their markets; both English and Spanish words should be tested to see which combination of the two is better for converting surfing into sales and maximizing revenues. US Hispanics also come from a wide variety of geographic regions: the content that acts as an entry page for a person with Latin American roots will be substantively different than that enticing someone whose family was from the Caribbean.

And like all consumers, Hispanic consumers will respond to outreach cues depending upon where they are in their own life cycle. A marketing blitz targeting younger consumers, and second and third generation of Hispanics might do best to focus resources on bilingual campaigns, social media and music sites while one aimed at seniors and first generation of Hispanics -- whose primary language is more likely to be Spanish -- might see better results with more traditional media like Spanish language newspapers and websites, radio and television placements.

One thing’s for certain: The US Hispanic market remains an underappreciated market. Those companies who have listened to the market cues and acted on them are a few steps ahead of the game. One sure way to boost your company’s profits is to tap into Latino buying power. If you dismiss this emerging market as merely a small “niche market” that may develop some day you are hurting your own bottom line.

So, what did you think of this post? Post a comment (good or bad) and if you liked it, please tweet or email about it!

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