Blog Demographics and Culture

Culture: As Important as Ever with Hispanics

By Roberto Ruiz, EVP - Strategy & Insights

Sep 15, 2014

As we travel across the country consulting with client and agencies, we don’t typically get why Hispanic questions such as “why should I spend resources on Hispanic marketing?  Why is this important to my business?” Marketers know Hispanics are essential to their growth.  What we do get often is the how questions.  How do we best connect with bicultural, bilingual Hispanics? How do we message in a way that’s relevant?

That’s why we’re on a constant quest to demystify Hispanic culture and bring the latest research and trends to the table.  Here are a few findings from the latest Futures Multicultural Monitor that will do just that:

Culture is multi-dimensional and pervasive

While language is a core facet of culture, it’s not the only one.  The study shows that Hispanics say family ties, music, food, religion, celebrations and, yes, language, all make up their culture.  The story remains the same whether Hispanics are bilingual or not;Hispanic culture is fundamental to their life.  Moreover,Futures also found that culture permeates every role Hispanics play throughout the day.  Whether they’re in “mother,” “daughter” or “financial decision maker” mode, being Hispanic affects how they think, feel and behave.  For example, a mother might go for a more expensive car with enhanced safety features because her children come first.

Culture is strong and enduring

Hispanics have a strong desire to retain their Latin identity and culture. When asked if they feel a need to preserve their family’s cultural traditions, 80% of Hispanics agreed compared to 72% in 2010. The numbers increased from 2010 across the board, whether the statement was “I feel proud of my Hispanic background” and “I would prefer that my children choose Hispanics as their role models.”  It’s clear that cultural pride remains strong across generations.

Cultural relevance remains key to connecting

Connecting with Hispanics is more than just speaking their language; it’s making sure you’re reaching them in a culturally relevant way. In the study, Hispanics were asked if they believe there should be more commercials directed to Hispanic audiences – 67% agreed versus 63% in 2010.  When asked if they appreciate when businesses communicate in Spanish, 84% agreed compared to 81% in 2010.  In fact, Millward Brown’s research has shown that targeted advertising (ads specifically created or adapted with Hispanics in mind) is more likely to work better than mainstream work, especially in terms of consumer engagement and believability. Targeted approaches also have a positive effect on message relevance and persuasion.

To hear more about the importance of culture to Hispanics in their words, watch this video. And continue following @Hispanic411 for the latest.

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