Marketing to the Latinx community goes beyond language

Hispanics are a fifth of the U.S. population and growing, yet are still being under-served by brand marketers.

Despite being one of the fastest-growing demographics brands are still struggling to connect with Hispanic audiences according to Parker Morse, CEO of H Code.

The media company, which connects U.S. Hispanic audiences to brands through exclusive and direct network of endemic publishers, has made the conscious decision to delineate U.S. Hispanics as Latinx, the gender-neutral moniker for those of Latin descent. 

The term is mainly used by younger people, and is indicative of an audience Morse says is largely underserved by brands even amongst the larger Hispanic population in the U.S. 

"Multicultural audiences represent 40 percent of the country but only about five percent of brand marketing budgets," Morse said, highlighting the opportunity that brands have so far squandered. 

"The entry point to the Hispanic audience that brands have typically used in the past is television because it’s easy to do a simple translation, but third or fourth-generation Hispanic audiences are not consuming Hispanic television, they are consuming digital media" Morse explained. 

"Brands don’t understand the Latinx audience, so they do the easiest thing that they can. Roughly 80 percent of spend targeting this audience is aimed at TV, radio, and events almost completely ignoring the digital aspect of it."

One thing that Morse believes brands are struggling to understand is that language alone does not define the Latinx, or overall Hispanic communities. 

"Language is a tactic, not a strategy," he said. 

"Brand strategy needs to be about reaching this audience, and language should be a part of that, but there are a ton of cultural tent poles that exist and opportunities for brands to leverage to market utilizing these Hispanic cultural pillars.

"Hispanic culture is mainstream culture now, whether it’s music, food, or entertainment," Morse explained. 

One simple thing that can boost brand's ability to interact with these audiences is to increase their own internal diversity hires. 

Morse added: "Everyone is understanding that they need to be in front of this audience, but that’s challenging from an expertise perspective. Increased representation from these audiences can help alleviate that. People know how to market to themselves better than they do to others, so there is a business case for increased D&I across the board."

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