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Direct Response Marketing

En Español: Your U.S. Hispanic Campaign Is Generating More Sales Than You Think

1 Jun, 2013 By: Alex Agurcia Response


Most marketers who are measuring the effectiveness of their U.S. Hispanic DR campaigns grossly underestimate the sales lift generated by Spanish-content media. Why? Because they don’t account for the fact that Hispanics living in the U.S. transact and operate in a bilingual retail world.

Typically, only sales generated through either the Spanish call center or Spanish-language website are counted and attributed to that media. Yet many campaigns driven by Spanish media are having a big impact at retail stores and on English-language websites.

Hispanic Web Behavior Changes Drastically

A common myth is that Hispanics don’t order online as much as non-Hispanics. In fact, an overwhelming amount of Hispanics are now shopping online, representing a dramatic increase from only four years ago when Internet penetration was hovering in the 60-percent range. That number is now over 90 percent for Hispanics with household incomes of $30,000 or more. The proliferation of mobile device ownership has accelerated this trend, as this segment has leapfrogged non-Hispanics in the U.S., and is significantly more likely to own and shop through a smartphone or tablet.

It is important to note that the nearly 50 percent of online U.S. Hispanics prefer to browse on English websites — and when it comes to actually placing an online order, the number is even higher.

When it comes to offline media, most U.S. Hispanics still prefer and respond best to Spanish-language advertisements. However, those resulting sales that go through English sites are likely not attributed to the media that generated them. Through our database of in-language campaigns, we have isolated data that has proven up to 90 percent of Spanish media Web orders were transacted on English sites. There are several factors that drive this activity:

  • Search engine protocols show bias for English sites: U.S. search engines prioritize sites that that are in English and have more traffic. So when a trademark name is entered into the search box — for example “Ab Rocket” — the English Ab Rocket site will come up first organically. The search engine ads are probably in English too. Even if you put a generic Spanish word in front of the trademark, like compra (“buy”), it will still prioritize the English sites unless you bought that search term directly. Moreover, most U.S. Hispanics do not choose “Spanish” as a language preference in search engines because their search would exclude the majority of sites in the United States.
  • Once on the English site, they stay: Even though most Hispanics prefer to speak Spanish in social situations and get much of their media entertainment in-language, most still have a good amount of written English proficiency and, at minimum, are fine with filling out a simple and common order form in English.
  • Conditioned to trust English site over Spanish site: Most sites in the U.S. do not have a Spanish-language option — and many times when they do, they are translated poorly, the content is not current and the functionality is not as reliable.
  • Hispanics live in multigenerational households. Many times the mom, dad or grandparents (Spanish-dominant) will be watching a Spanish TV advertisement with their younger teenager or twenty-something (English-dominant) and ask them to research or buy it for them online. This is a common scenario in U.S. Hispanic households.

Understand Your Spanish Media Impact

No one can argue the fact that we are witnessing an ever-higher percentage of retail orders going to the Web — and the U.S. Hispanic consumer is no exception. They are just more likely to buy from your English site and do it from a mobile device. To fully leverage and build a competitive advantage within the Hispanic segment and for the total business, marketers should take into account all Spanish media’s impact on retail sales by assuming a percentage of English Web orders. Your media and Web partners should be able to help with isolating Hispanic retail analytics and attribution. ■


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