The key to reaching Hispanic audiences? Be relevant and relatable

Panelists at Hispanic Leadership Summit
(L-R) Marissa Solis; David Newman; Ariana Stolarz; Jorge Ferraez; Pedro Lerma

Brands need to see Hispanics as a community rather than consumers, marketers agreed at the Hispanic Leadership Summit.

Brands need to go deeper than just using Hispanic faces in ads to connect with this growing audience. 

Treating Hispanics like members of a community, relating to their circumstances and telling stories about their contributions to America are a good place to start, marketers agreed at the Hispanic Leadership Summit on Wednesday, held in New York City and hosted by non-profits We Are All Human Foundation and Hispanic Star. 

On the panel, moderated by Jorge Ferraez, publisher at Latino Leaders Magazine, Hispanic marketing professionals from agencies and clients stressed the need for brands to win over Hispanic consumers, given that the market represents a multi-billion dollar opportunity.

Still, nearly 70% of Hispanics do not know their own contributions to the US, and that lack of knowledge is higher among non-Hispanics.

“If you want Latinos to be part of your brand family, you have to invite them in as family and be relatable, approachable and familiar,” said Ariana Stolarz, managing director at Accenture Interactive, on the panel, adding that “visual diversity” is not the same as cultural relevance.

But true cultural relevance can only be achieved by acknowledging the diversity of thought and leadership within the Hispanic population, said David Newman, EVP and chief marketing, content and communications officer at the New York Mets. 

“You don't want the prototypical profile,” he said. “It has to start with diversity of thought in any organization, and that starts with the diversity of people.” 

According to the 2020 U.S. Census, over the last decade, the Hispanic population has grown by 23%, making it the fastest growing demographic in the country. A 2020 report by the University of Georgia shows that Hispanics are also fueling the economy with a collective spending power of $1.7 trillion. 

That’s a big opportunity for brands. Marissa Solis, SVP of global brand and consumer marketing at the National Football League (NFL), says marketers can best tap into this audience by understanding what the Hispanic consumer already cares about.

Pedro Lerma, president and founder of Lerma agency, echoed the sentiment, noting brands should hold themselves accountable and abide by the commitments they’ve made to the Hispanic community if they want to gain truly loyal customers.

All agreed, however, that the future of business will depend on the Hispanic consumer. 

“[Hispanics] are the future of any business and the most powerful [demographic],” Solis said.

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