According to Autoproyecto, Hispanics represent 18% of the U.S. population, yet account for 24% of all car sales and have the potential to buy more cars over their lifetime than non-Hispanics. The Hispanic population in America is currently around 61 million, and Nielsen projects that Hispanics will contribute more growth than any other population segment in the U.S., comprising 53% in just the next five years. As the Hispanic population increases, not surprisingly, so does their buying power. Hispanic buying power in the U.S. increased by 69% from 2010 to 2019, outpacing non-Hispanics by 41% during the same time. And, by 2024, Hispanics’ total buying power is expected to reach $2.3 trillion.
There’s no doubt that the growing Hispanic market is a huge opportunity for car dealers. However, simply buying Hispanic media and translating your English ads into Spanish isn’t going to cut it. If you’re not doing Hispanic marketing, it’s time to start now. And if Hispanic marketing is already a part of your automotive marketing strategy, you may need to take a closer look at what you’re doing and make some adjustments to better appeal to today’s Hispanic car buyer. Here’s what you need to know about the lucrative Hispanic population segment and how you can make them customers for life:
Although OEMs have their fingers on the pulse of multicultural automotive marketing, it’s car dealerships that need to be most in tune with the Latino communities within their own markets. Here are some things you can start doing today to effectively reach that key Hispanic demographic.
Don’t just research, get to know your audience. Every market is different—that’s a given. This is especially true when it comes to Hispanic consumers in the United States. Age and income demographics aside, dealers need to understand the diverse nuances, such as the country of origin and cultural history, of their Latino neighbors. All consumers want brands that make them feel relevant, but this is next-level for Hispanics. Culture is extremely important, no matter if they’re first-, second-, or third generation U.S. 71% of Hispanics are more likely to think favorably about a brand or purchase products if that brand includes elements of their culture. Knowing where they come from, supporting their community, and showing interest in what matters to them most are the first steps to proactive engagement with your Hispanic audience.
Throw out your old Hispanic marketing playbook. Surprise! Translation isn’t the most important aspect of Hispanic marketing. While most Latinos (54%) were born and raised in America, they are largely bilingual and bicultural, with 75% speaking Spanish at home. But just because you’re targeting Hispanics, it doesn’t mean your marketing has to be in Spanish. In fact, the 2021 Hispanic Digital Fact Pack from H Code found that 59% of Hispanics actually prefer ads in English, and only 15% say that language is the most influential factor in getting them to click on a digital ad. This may come as a relief if you’ve ever experienced an English-to-Spanish marketing fail, but it doesn’t mean you can skimp on production costs by running the same creative as your English ads. Marketing that focuses on lowest cost, low payments, pre-owned vehicles or financing isn’t what most Hispanic car buyers are after. Recent statistics prove that car dealers need to move away from the notion that the stereotypical Spanish-speaking car buyer is low-income. Your marketing messages should be relatable and authentic but should also highlight the things most important to them: new cars instead of used, longevity of the vehicle, quality, and brand reputation.
Meet them where they are. Of the almost 61 million Hispanics in the U.S. today, the median age is 30, which makes them the youngest racial or ethnic group in the nation. This means that how and where they consume media and interact with brands has become more digitally dominant. According to the H Code survey, 1 in 2 Hispanics is a cord cutter and does not have a cable subscription at home. Eight in 10 Hispanics use CTV platforms or services, 83% listen to audio content or music online, and 56% say social is where they are most likely to notice a digital ad.
Enhance their CX. Like most consumers venturing out on their car-buying journey, Hispanics start online before setting foot onto your lot. That’s why it’s extremely important that you have a welcoming bilingual website with culturally relevant content that appeals to your Hispanic consumers. However, beware of using Google or software web translation services that lack cultural relevancy, as they may hinder the customer experience rather than enhance it. Your dealership should also diversify your staff to reflect your community. Even though most Hispanics prefer ads in English, they may feel more comfortable doing business in Spanish. This is probably most important for first-generation Hispanics in the U.S. Whether it’s sales, F&I or service, you should always have a Spanish speaker on duty who is able to assist and can fluently interact with your Hispanic customers.
Turn their purchase into a celebration. Buying a new car is a big deal for Hispanic consumers. It should be celebrated and recognized as the hard-earned achievement that it is. 71% of Hispanics say that if they find a brand they like, they will stay loyal to that brand. Make your dealership that brand. Applaud them, take pictures, post on social media. Hispanics are very passionate and social. They share what they love. Bonding with them over this shared experience strengthens your relationship, not only with them, but their entire family and the Latino community as a whole in your market.
For more information on how your dealership can develop a multi-channel Hispanic marketing strategy, as well as other automotive marketing strategies, contact Intermark Automotive today!
by Shea Posey, Senior Account Executive/Blog Writer/Compliance & Co-op Specialist