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One More Hispanic Heritage Month - Update or Die
Alex Duplan | VP, Creative Director of Multicultural

It’s true that every year, Hispanic Heritage month is celebrated with great emotion. It’s no surprise, as Hispanics like me make up the largest minority group in the United States – a group with the greatest demographic and economic development in our country’s future. And yet still, we feel undervalued and underrepresented, the victims of undeservedly poor perceptions.

This effect is felt broadly in how we (Hispanics) see ourselves in both society and our workplaces, and is further complicated by a general lack of understanding and lack of connection to our Hispanic communities, allowing these incorrect perceptions and stereotypes that do not reflect reality to continue. And that makes it difficult to believe (or even understand) when people or companies try to communicate directly to the Hispanic audience because these messages are often off or make no sense at all.

For example, there’s a perception that the Hispanic market is mostly old people. In truth (and according to Pew Research Center), 32% of US Hispanics are under 18 years old. And 58% are younger than age 33. The perception isn’t just wrong: It’s entirely, severely wrong, especially when in the coming years, this young Hispanic population will only continue to grow. If you’re targeting a young audience with your message and not finding a way to share that message with Hispanics, you may be leaving a lot of money on the table.

Another damaging stereotype is the idea that the majority of Hispanics in this country jumped over the wall or slipped through the border and are all undocumented. This is completely false. 86% of this community are US citizens or legal residents (again, coming from the Pew Research Center). 84% are even registered to vote. You could easy put your foot in your mouth if you speak without knowing these facts.

And then there’s education. It may be hard to believe based on the perceptions you’ve been given, but 59% of Hispanics over the age of 25 have completed high school, and there is a 25% increase of those who have graduated from college. You don’t have to dumb down your language when speaking to Hispanics, you just need to be able to speak theirs.

We could continue to pour through the data, perceptions and ideas about what Hispanics are or are not all day. But what is true is that brands have to commit more to this group. We know the size of the Hispanic market – it’s simply too big to be hidden, left in the background or ignored. If you want to grow your business, it has to be with the Hispanic market in mind.

And to do that, brands have to invest the time and money to become experts in this market. If you want to connect with the Hispanic market (and you do,) you have to connect with them: Speak their language, know their needs and get involved in their interests. And when done right, a growth of 3 or 4% per year will be a thing of the past. Because it can be so much more. At Fuerza-Elasticity, we think of the Hispanic market as the first market. We have people who are experts in the community and in the culture who understand how the Hispanic market lives, and we do the necessary research to connect with them in authentic ways. We understand both where they come from and where they are going.

So, before you have your social media manager send a single celebratory tweet about Hispanic Heritage Month thinking that’s sufficient, do yourself a favor and do the work instead. If you need help, connect with us at fuerzamulti.com, goelastic.com or @fuerzamulti.

See you next time.

 

Es verdad que cada año se celebra el mes de la hispanidad con mucha emoción, y cómo no si somos el grupo minoría más grande de Estados Unidos. El grupo que más tiene a futuro un desarrollo inmenso en lo demográfico y en lo económico.

Aún así,  nos sentimos infravalorados, cero representados y con una muy mala percepción.

Este sentimiento afecta al exterior en como nos vemos ante la sociedad y en el lugar donde trabajamos, y si le agregamos a esto la falta de entendimiento y de conexión que existe con la comunidad hispana, entonces surgen estas percepciones equivocadas y estereotipos que no reflejan lo que realmente somos. Por eso, es complicado creer que una marca que celebra el mes de la hispanidad tenga los argumentos para que su comunicación sea verídica.

Por ejemplo, la percepción de que el mercado hispano es viejo gente mayor, la realidad es que en EU el 32% de hispanos son menores de 18 años y el 58% son más jóvenes de 33 años, (Información del Pew Research Center) Esto es digno de mención, por el contrario, se subestima drásticamente. En los próximos años la comunidad hispana será cada vez mas importante debido a su Juventud en comparación con el resto de la población estadounidense.

Otro estereotipo es que la mayoría de hispanos en este país se salto el muro, la frontera y todos somos indocumentados. Completamente falso. El 86% son ciudadanos estadounidenses o residentes legales (Información del Pew Research Center) Inclusive el 84% está  registrado para votar.

Otra percepción completamente equivocada es en la educación. El 59% de los hispanos mayores de 25 años han completado high school  y hay un incremento de 25% que ha logrado graduarse de collage. Los hispanos somos de muchas partes es cierto, pero la percepción es que sólo el 20-40% de los hispanos son de origen mexicano lo cual no es cierto, son el 62% lo cual significa que 37.6 millones de hispanos en EU son de México.

Y así podríamos seguir con un montón de data, de percepciones, de ideas sobre lo que los hispanos son o no son. Pero lo que es verdad es que las marcas tienen que comprometerse mas. Sabemos el tamaño del mercado hispano, ya no se puede ocultar ni dejarlo en segundo plano. Ya no podemos creer que esto no es una realidad y que si quieren crecer el negocio tiene que ser pensando en el mercado hispano.

Se tiene que invertir, las marcas tienen que pensar en ser expertos en este mercado. Conectar con el al 100% hablar su lenguaje de comportamiento, conocer sus necesidad, involucrarse en los movimientos que le interesan al hispano, ser parte de ellos. Si esto lo hacen bien, el crecimiento de 3 o 4% anual será cosa del pasado. Puede ser mucho más. En Fuerza-Elasticity pensamos en el mercado hispano como primer mercado. Tenemos gente experta en el mercado y en la cultura que vive el mercado hispano, hacemos el research necesario para conectar correctamente con ellos. Entendemos de donde vienen y hacia donde van.

Y para terminar el rollo, hazte un favor, si vas a participar en el mes de la hispanidad, asesórate. Busca la veracidad. Si necesitas ayuda conecta con nosotros www.fuerzamulti.com www.goelastic.com y en nuestros medios sociales Instagram y Twitter @fuerzamulti

Nos vemos en la próxima.

 

Alex Duplan

Alex is a recognized multicultural marketing thought leader who directs the Elasticity Multicultural practice group from the agency’s Dallas-area offices.

This Mexico City native has built up two decades of experience with leading agencies, such as Ogilvy México (in Mexico City), Dieste (in Dallas) and Richards/Lerma (also in Dallas), and Alex has led integrated multicultural marketing initiatives for brands including Kraft Foods, Pepsi, Levi’s, Pizza Hut, HBO, Hershey’s, Avocados From Mexico, Jose Cuervo, Nissan, Bud Light, Budweiser Chelada, Duracell, Procter & Gamble, Gatorade, Mattel, Dr. Pepper and countless others.

Nominated in 2005 as best creative director in the U.S., his award-winning international work — which has garnered FIAPs, Clios, honors from the New York Festival and accolades from the London International Awards, to name just a few — stems from his breadth of experience across all aspects of multichannel marketing. With experience in developing campaigns that integrate digital strategy and social media, direct mail, activations, promotions, TV broadcast, radio, print and content creation, Alex knows more than just how to translate content to reach a multicultural audience; he knows how to decode it, making sure every nuance is translated well and authentically.

Check out some of Alex’s work here:

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MetroPCS

Levi’s

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