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Direct Response Marketing

En Español: Hispanics, Social Media … and Sales

1 Apr, 2014 By: Denira Borrero Response

We know that Hispanics are a large influential group in the United States. It’s proven out in pop culture, politics and music — and in the bottom line for companies that are savvy enough to market to them.

A recent study sponsored by Unilever in partnership with Mindshare and ShareThis, offers expanded insights into U.S. Hispanics’ engagement in social media compared to non-Hispanics. The fairly large scale study (42 million users and 70 million shares) examines real behavioral patterns (vs. self reported) and found that Latinos:

  • Are twice as likely to either share content or click on shared content than the general market
  • Share five times more often than non-Hispanics
  • Are 35 percent more likely to have the content that they share be clicked-on and shared than content shared by non-Hispanic consumers
  • Are more likely to read and share online product reviews
  • And yes — the biggest take-away for marketers — Hispanics are twice as likely to purchase the products they share

With the power of social media, the segment’s influence has a multiple effect that continues to grow and expand beyond the Hispanic population. They interact online in English, Spanish and bilingual formats and their networks span far beyond Spanish-language speakers. A marketer looking to launch a new product can benefit from targeting Hispanics to increase overall market awareness and get an effective “viral” bang for their marketing buck.

So how should you incorporate these insights into your direct response strategy?

  • Prioritize Hispanic marketing efforts, particularly for certain categories. Relevant to DR marketers, some of the top categories that showed a notable “over-index” in sharing content and purchasing behavior compared to non-Hispanics were also top direct response categories, such as: Style & Beauty, Health & Fitness, Automotive, Home & Garden, Family & Entertainment, Personal Care, Education, Children’s Products and more.
  • Learn from recent market successes. The following key factors have proven themselves out in several campaigns that have rolled out successfully in the past 12 months:
  • Strongly consider building Spanish social media content prior to the launch. With Hispanics more likely to review product content on the Web prior to purchasing, social media presence builds credibility and higher purchase lift from this segment. We’ve recently seen up to 50-percent increase in Web activity for products that are launched with social media versus those without.
  • Launch every campaign with a robust website strategy, including a Spanish content site and Spanish SEM. If they are interested in buying, they need to find you on the Web. Both English- and Spanish-language sites are important to have in place. Although the majority of Spanish Web orders will go through your English site, about 20 percent still transact on the Spanish site — and even more will go there to learn more but transact through phone or the English site. The Spanish site activity also gives insightful metrics and allows extraction of Hispanic behavioral data going through English to estimate Web attribution.
  • Always develop creative that is culturally relevant. Dubbed commercials and/or creative messaging that ignore this segment’s cultural norms and behaviors do not usually test well. Invest in a well-adapted creative or, even better, an original concept production. If you are serious about capturing the incremental revenue benefit of this group, you need to speak to them in ways that respect their culture. They will pay you back in spades.
  • Find the right partners. Specialized Hispanic expertise in production, marketing, inbound capture, Web marketing, social media and media planning cannot be underestimated. Just as in your general market execution, the right team will make the difference in avoiding the costly blind spots but most importantly capturing the real opportunities for success. ■


About the Author: Denira Borrero

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