Mar
13

The 5 Most Important Strategies to Effectively Market to Latinos

What You Need to Know About the Latino Market

Jennifer Stagner manages a multi-million dollar export sales business with clients in Central and South America  She knows her stuff and she is ready to give you her tried and true Latino marketing advice for March Marketing Madness. 

It is absolutely possible for non-Spanish speaking businesses to engage the Latino market. But there are pitfalls to avoid and definitive ways to facilitate great business relationships.

how to market to Latinos, how to market to hispanics1. Avoid Bad Translations

A great way to start forging relationships and understand the cultural differences and needs that comprise this demographic is to communicate “with” Latinos and not “at” them. A common mistake is to use a bad online translating service, convert all your English marketing materials to Spanish, and wait for the sales to roll in. Bad translations in Spanish advertising will alienate you from your target customers.

how to market to Latinos, how to market to hispanics, latino marketing strategies2. Reach Out to Understand

A better starting point is to reach out to Latino community leaders and engage them in a dialogue. It’s important to understand:

  • How their needs differ
  • How their culture influences their purchasing process
  • Where they find the most value from a product or service
  • Where they typically seek out information about those products or services

Great places to find participants who may be willing to share their thoughts with you are the local college Languages department, ESL classes, Community Action Councils, Hispanic Clinics, Latino businesses, Hispanic grocery stores and churches. Not only can you find great focus groups, you can often find new and innovative places to market to the people that frequent those establishments. 

3. Cultivate Respect

The most important “must-do” when marketing to Latinos is that you must treat them with the same amount of respect as you do their Caucasian counterparts. Never assume that a Latino demographic is less intelligent or more willing to accept shoddy work – you will quickly find out that is not the case. Take your time to craft your messages, be just as timely with follow up  and responses, and don’t take shortcuts because you mistakenly assume you can get away with it. 

do you know how to market to latinos?4. Be Patient

Don’t be disconcerted by cultural differences in time and responsiveness. I have often sent out marketing or sales pitches to customers in South or Central America only to receive a response (and often a huge order) months later. 

5. Understand Emotion

Don’t take exclamation points or all-caps in email personally. Often my customers are exuberant, full of life and expressive. It reflects in their writing style. Try not to let the communication habits of your cultural background cause you to misinterpret another culture’s writing style.

 

 

Jennifer Stagner, latino marketing expert, understanding the latino marketJennifer Stagner earned a B.A. in Latin American Studies and a B.A. in Spanish and International Economics from the University of Kentucky. 
 
During college she interned with UK Hospital in the Bluegrass High Risk Obstetrics Ward as a medical translator for the Hispanic population, taught ESL classes in the local community, and joined Sigma Delta Pi, the National Spanish Honor Society. 
 
Jennifer currently works for Tops Products, www.tops-products.com, managing a multi-million dollar export sales business with clients in Central and South America. She may be reached at jennifer.a.stagner@rrd.com. 
 
Shut up! There are more A-MA-ZING posts like this? 
 Well, not yet. Jennifer is our first Latino marketing contributor. However, these popular posts may scratch your marketing itch:
 
 
 
 
About Alicia Arenas

If you want a"No BS," overcome your fears, eliminate excuses and get radical results, business coach, Alicia is who you should work with. Not only has she helped her clients make $1mm+ but she is grounded in helping her clients have a life. Call her only if you're ready at 888-954-4999. If you'd like to do some things on your own first, check out her free eBook - 5 Steps to No-Fail Sales.

Comments

  1. Let me tell a story on myself. Recently, I had a really productive meeting with a Latina community leader. Later, I realized that I had horribly mangled the pronunciation of a place name in Spanish. My contact was totally patient and understanding.

    Don’t let fear of mistakes stop you from reaching out to the Latino market. My community leader friend knows that my heart is in the right place and we can work together for the same goals.

    And I’m going to work on my pronunciation. :-)
    Inga M. Cotton recently posted…David Robinson and IDEA Public Schools at SXSWeduMy Profile

  2. Great post. I find it sad that you have to tell people #3. Sad that there are people that don’t treat everyone with respect.
    Barbara McNeely recently posted…Sugar – It’s About Heart DiseaseMy Profile

  3. Jennifer, thank you for your insights. This is a great post. Quick question for you. One of your tips is to be patient with unresponsiveness. And you gave us an example about a client who did not respond for months. What advice can you give about following up? Thank you!
    Alicia Arenas recently posted…What Are Your Top Picks For Small Business Blogs?My Profile

    • My advice about follow up would be to understand that you have to be respectful of your customers’ priorities. Although you may feel that an outstanding order is the most critical to-do on your desk, your customer may be dealing with more pressing issues on their end, such as untangling a customs nightmare or acquiring larger clients that will result in even larger sales for you long term. Additionally you must be sensitive to the fact that people manage their workloads, and their time, differently. While it’s not uncommon for me to be responding to emails at midnight, that does not imply I should expect my customers to do the same. I have learned the best practice is to follow up politely and advise you’re willing to help in any way possible, but understand that at times you will need to be patient and accept that some responses are worth waiting for.

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