Hispanic Heritage Month Is Over, but Marketing to Latinos Shouldn’t Stop, Too.

Hispanic Heritage Month has come and gone. So, does that mean all of your communications efforts to connect with Latino consumers should stop? Absolutely not. We have some ideas that you can add to your plans for the rest of 2018; and especially as you begin planning for 2019.


In a previous blog post, Senior Account Executive, Daniela Chavez Lira, highlighted some brands that have “done it right” when celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month and how it’s best to be authentic, current and relevant.


We’d like to take it a step further and stress that it doesn’t end there when engaging with Latinos and communicating the benefits of your brand.


If you’re reading this post on a multicultural marketing agency’s website, we are assuming your brand’s objective is to play the long-game, commit yourself to experiencing sustained Latino consumer loyalty and benefit from all the potential business results that come from it.


If our assumption is correct, your strategy must not be confined to 30 days a year, playing in a space so many brands use as their one-and-only engagement. It’s nice, but not enough when you’re talking about one of the strongest, most influential buying power groups, and it certainly won’t bring you the results you’re looking for.


Here are some thoughts for you to explore as you consider deepening your brand’s relationship with Latinos:



There was a time when Hispanic marketing was an experiment. We would pitch potential clients using simple, quantitative data from the Census Bureau and clients would use minimal, unallocated funds to throw at this unproven idea of marketing to Latinos.


As in any industry, in 2018, times have changed…for the better!


Many of the data resources are paid, but there are a few solid choices with little-to-no investment required. Of course, the Census Bureau has much more data than in decades past, but Pew Hispanic is free and really dives into some interesting information.



Any organization can use Google Translate or hire a Latino employee to qualify themselves as a “Hispanic Marketing” agency. However, this can only lead you to being on the list of brands that get it wrong. There are more than 20 countries in Latin America. They all speak Spanish and have many things in common culturally.


However, there are some pretty big differences in language and customs that can turn into land mines if you decide to seek counsel from organizations with minimal depth and experience.


{Inserting shameless plug here} Flowers Communications has been in business for almost 30 years and its Latino crew is multi-generational and originating from several different Latin American countries.  Contact Christina Steed at csteed@explorefcg.com if you’d like to learn more about us.


Ehem…now back to the post.


Over the years, we’ve seen it all.  A few years back, I was researching the marketing history of an “unnamed” new client and came across a press release that had been translated by someone who decided to use Google Translate. This company organized events attended by the public and throughout the release, were boasting about the increased attendance and improved experience had by their “fans”.  In the Spanish version, however, they were boasting about having thousands of “ventiladores” in the seats and how much fun their “ventiladores” were having at their events.  Let us illustrate…


These are ventiladores:



The next example and probably one that can get you into deeper trouble, is the use of the correct terminology and making sure that you aren’t offending anyone in the process. We couldn’t believe our eyes when one of our print partners published a headline on their front page that read, “¡BICHOS GRANDES NOS INVADEN!”.


For context, it had been an unusual summer in the Midwest, with inconsistent temperatures and large, flying insects were all over the place. This headline was reporting the fact that these large insects (bichos grandes) were becoming a problem.


In many Latin American countries, this headline wouldn’t get a second look. However, this publication is circulated in many areas that are predominantly Puerto Rican, and in Puerto Rico, the invasion of large male genitalia is not something anyone would like to see as a headline.


The moral of the story aligns with a great saying in Latin America, “El perezoso trabaja doble.”


In other words, the lazy person has to work double. If you want to cut corners and try to do something you’re not familiar with, to save budget or time, it will cost you double in both.


So, you can either invest the time that it takes to learn all the nuances necessary to speak relevantly with Latinos or you can work with specialists who know your audience. The latter may seem like it costs you more in the short term, but that investment will pay you handsomely in the end.


Commitment and Consistency

These days, almost every organization in this country is looking for a way to be more efficient with their budgets and it’s very easy to allocate a small budget, once a year, to say you’re speaking to the Latino market. The same goes for the African American market. A lot of these same organizations decide they want to start Multicultural Marketing, so they lower both budgets, combine them, do less frequent engagement, wonder why they don’t get results and lower the budget again the next year.


Our advice to you:

1. Seek the data; you’ll see the opportunity.

2. Talk to and hire real experts; you’ll see the vision.

3. Commit sufficient resources relative to opportunity size; you’ll see results.

4. Be consistent and frequent with your engagement; you’ll never look back!


Send us a note or give us a call.  We’d love to show you how we FLOW.


Eric Claudio is an Account Director at FCG.

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