San Diego AMA Group Explores Unique Attributes of Hispanic Millenials

January 19, 2016

There are important distinctions between U.S. Hispanic Millenials and their non-Hispanic counterparts for marketers to consider.

Unsurprisingly, it is widely agreed the two groups share many characteristics: adoption of technology, scrutiny of corporate values, desire for authenticity, spirit of adventure, social consumerism, acceptance of diversity and affinity for collaboration.

But marketers are wise to bear in mind their major differences, some of which were subjects of discussion at San Diego AMA’s Jan. 13 Hispanic Marketing Special Interest Group lunch.

Group members marveled at the dedication with which Hispanic Millenials (those born between 1981 and 2000) use technology, especially mobile devices and social media, perhaps even more so than non-Hispanics. Some group members made the case that Hispanic Millenials are more passionate about using technology for social purposes, to connect and communicate, than for business.

Attendees also observed that while Hispanics might share Spanish as a first or second language, linguistic nuances, or inflections and idioms that vary between nationalities and even regions, require careful consideration.

Research reveals many more differences impacting marketers looking to drive awareness, engagement, leads and sales within this demographic.

As the Hispanic Millenial Project points out, a critical distinction is biculturalism. U.S. Hispanic Millenials live in two worlds – closely connected with Hispanic friends, family and community while being immersed in American institutions and media. And while technology makes it so much easier for people of all age groups to share interests in food, literature, entertainment and leisure activities, so does it reinforce connections with their heritage across borders and time zones.

So Hispanic Millenials closely identify with their specific cultural origins, and a great many are bilingual. Marketers who attempt to communicate with them using vague accents and clumsy stereotypes risk rejection.

That said, Hispanic Millenials share some surprising preferences concerning media consumption, according to Viacom subsidiary Tr3s. They consume content in English and Spanish with equal enthusiasm, but welcome English-language advertisements on Spanish-language channels.

Tr3s has also observed that Hispanic Millenials are more likely than non-Hispanics to live in a multi-generational household and assign higher value to college education. They are also more likely to share information and opinions about products and brands.

Univision extends the Tr3s finding regarding Hispanic Millenial consumerism, stating that the segment is more likely than non-Hispanics to engage with brands via social media and to seek out and share brand and product reviews, relying on them extensively in their purchasing decisions.

The Pew Research Center found that Hispanic Millenials are less likely to own a desktop computer and to use the internet overall, but they are more likely to access the internet via mobile device.

Finally, according to multiple sources, Hispanic Millenials are much more receptive to advertising on their mobile devices.

All these tendencies mean marketers can’t assume that by addressing the needs of all Millenials, they have effectively appealed to the Hispanic subset. Of course, the distinctions discussed in this post can hardly be considered an exhaustive list. There are many more to consider, and a considerable amount of research to digest.

San Diego AMA’s Hispanic Marketing SIG events offer a great environment in which to discuss the unique interests of Hispanic consumers both in the U.S. and elsewhere, and to refine your strategies for reaching them. Keep an eye on their Events page for future opportunities.

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