September 13, 2018

At a time when gaining new customers is a critical strategy for growth, it's important marketers understand why Hispanic consumers are a key segment looking for all kinds of product and service solutions.

Within this community, Latinas in particular have a huge influence on household purchases, so getting to know them better will be integral to developing a brand's strategic marketing plans.

Here are five truths to help marketers jumpstart or amplify their Latina marketing strategy.

1. Latinas Are Powerful Consumers

For brands seeking growth segments, look no further than Hispanic women to find a large, influential, and dynamic target. According to 2018 projections by the U.S. Census, there are 60 million Hispanics in the U.S., accounting for 18 percent of the total U.S. population.

Five truths about the Latina consumer.

Nielsen data shows that 50 percent of Hispanics live with children in the home (versus 28 percent of non-Hispanics) and that Hispanic households (at 3.3 people) are larger than non-Hispanic households (at 2.4 people). Given all that, this segment of the population is critical for any brand.

Digging deeper into this demographic, a 2016 proprietary study by Univision and Media Predict found that the average age at which Hispanic women first become mothers is 24, which is two years younger than their non-Hispanic counterparts. At this age, Latina moms are busy with careers and motherhood, which means they have a lot of needs. This is where brands can come in to provide solutions, simplify their lives, and become part of the fabric of their family and community.

Latinas are in constant communication and negotiation with their family members to ensure the family is content; in this way, they take a shared approach to household decision making. Because Latinas also like to tell others about the products and brands they love, they are highly influential. Furthermore, according to a 2017 Nielsen study, 68 percent of Hispanic women agree that if a product is made by a company they trust, they will buy it, even if it's slightly more expensive than another brand.

 2. Latinas Have a Growth Mindset

Latinas look for ways to improve their lives, their financial situations, and their overall happiness by striving for the next level. Hispanic women strongly value education and as such, it should be no surprise that their careers are also very important to them, with their job being a big part of their personal identity.

When Latinas become mothers, their careers continue to be important. According to the Univision/Media Predict study, 73 percent of Hispanic moms agree that "being a parent is not a reason to abandon your career ambitions," which is 7 percent higher than non-Hispanic moms. These busy moms are looking for solutions that can help them achieve all their aspirations.

 3. Latinas Have a Variety of Passions

Family is the center of the Latina life, and food and cooking are a big part of the culture that today's Latina loves to embrace and share. Whether she is grocery shopping, cooking, or entertaining, she tends to enjoy most activities around food. This passion includes being open to trying new foods and flavors.

What the Hispanic Consumer Means for Financial Marketers

Fashion and beauty are also sources of pride for this consumer group, with 77 percent of Latina respondents in a 2017 GfK MRI survey agreeing that "when it comes to clothing, I always know what looks good on me," versus 64 percent of non-Hispanics who said the same.

Latinas take pride in their appearance and presenting their best selves, which provides a self-esteem boost. In turn, this segment is driving growth in related categories like cosmetics and lotion, to name two. In fact, 96 percent of Latinas in a 2015 study conducted by Vital Findings and Univision said they refuse to leave the house without any beauty product; only 76 percent of non-Hispanics felt the same.

Latinas are also sports fans, Univision reports. In fact, they consume twice as many sports as non-Hispanic female fans across TV, mobile, and radio, according to a 2017 Univision/Nielsen study.

Music is another key interest, and a way they connect with culture, family, and friends.

4. Latinas' Shopping Decisions Focus on Family

Hispanics enjoy grocery shopping, an insight partly driven by the fact that they do it as a social experience. In fact, according to 2016 research by Acosta, 89 percent of Hispanic shoppers shop with someone and make more monthly grocery trips than total U.S. shoppers across all trip types. This dynamic means they are negotiating and making concessions when it comes to purchase decisions to satisfy everyone's needs.

Today's Latina is a savvy shopper and shops in grocery stores, drug stores, big-box stores, and club chains, but she also shops in specialty Hispanic stores to get specific items she can't find anywhere else. The trend to eat healthier is definitely the case with Hispanic shoppers, as their spend on natural and organic food has grown significantly in the past five years — growth that has even outpaced their non-Hispanic counterparts, according to Nielsen TargetTrack. These shoppers value balance and moderation as they want to provide both indulgent food items for their families as well as healthy options. Hispanic shoppers also value new products and innovations as they look for new solutions for themselves and their families, according to Acosta.

5. Latinas Appreciate Culturally Aware Advertising

It's important to connect with this dynamic, engaged consumer in a meaningful way to build trust and a lasting relationship. With language and culture being a cornerstone of pride, brands must learn how to move fluently in Latinas' heritage and culture.

Hispanics in general prefer to be addressed in-language and in-culture. In fact, Kantar Futures has found that 87 percent of Hispanics appreciate businesses that communicate with them in Spanish. Perhaps more significant to marketers, Spanish ads across industries deliver stronger likeability than their English counterparts for all Hispanics ages 18 to 49, according to Nielsen.

The importance of culture and language cannot be overstated — 82 percent of Hispanic women ages 18 to 49 speak Spanish, according to 2017 Nielsen estimates. Additionally, when Hispanic parents have kids, they feel strongly about passing on traditions so that their children also feel connected to their heritage.

By investing in the Latina consumer segment now, brands will be well positioned to grow with them and be a part of their daily routines moving forward.

Liz Sanderson (@UCI_INSIGHTS) is the SVP of strategy and insights at Univision Communications Inc. You can email her at [email protected]

 

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