The U.S. Hispanic population continues to be a rapidly growing segment of super consumers and one that is increasingly digitally savvy. U.S. census data shows that since the 1970s, the population of Hispanics in the United States has grown 592%. In the first decade of the 2000s alone, Hispanics made up more than half of total U.S. population growth.
This segment of the U.S. population packs a powerful economic punch with buying power estimated to reach $1.5 trillion this year (2015).
With such a large demographic segment in population and economic scope, credit unions with a large Hispanic population falling within their field of membership need to tap into this opportunity.
Historically, beliefs around Hispanic marketing has focused on reaching family units and traditional media as core to Hispanic marketing.
New research into the online behaviors of the U.S. Hispanic population sheds light on behaviors that credit union marketers whose field of memberships include Hispanic populations should take note of.
Hispanic Population More Attentive To Online Advertising
Historically, the family unit and television have been key pillars in Hispanic marketing plans. However research from Google indicates that U.S. Hispanics use online sources at a rate higher than the general internet population (54% vs. 46%) throughout their purchase decision favoring online above family, radio and tv.
When it comes to online advertising, 66% of Hispanics pay attention to ads a full 20 percent more than the general internet populations.
Key takeaway: Online advertising is a crucial new pillar of a modern, Hispanic marketing planning. If additional budget can't be secured, consider reallocating from traditional media to digital channels to reach this crucial segment.
Search Is A Crucial Step In The Journey
In the same Google report, nearly 80% of Hispanics say search his their #1 online tool in gathering information for decision making.
Combine this with the rate of adoption for mobile as a primary tool for online activity (42% vs. 33% for non-Hispanic according to Specific Media) search, both paid and organic and mobile optimized is critical.
Key Takeaway: Search is a crucial tool. Credit unions should look to bolster their paid search position and ramp up efforts in organic search with strong social media and content marketing efforts. Support all of this with a mobile friend user experience on your credit union's marketing website and landing pages or microsites.
Spanish, Culture and What Matters
Finally, culture, naturally, is crucial. Google reports that 70% of Hispanics find a website's cultural relevance to be important when gathering information. Nearly half feel more favorable towards a brand who shows cultural relevance which is important because research from the Pew Hispanic Trends team shows it takes a great deal to get Hispanics to switch brands.
So what matters, culturally speaking?
Well, according to Google, the notion that Spanish "always" has to be used, is outdated.
Search trends for Spanish keywords are rising, 65%-500% from 2011 - 2014 across product categories. However in their research, only about 1/3 of respondents are dominantly Spanish speaking and nearly 95% are comfortable consuming English content online.
A thoughtful approach to blending both Spanish and English seems like a good approach. Overall the key is to be relevant so if a credit union ventures into the Spanish language with ads and content, do it well.
Key takeaway: Culture is important. Credit Union's should be thoughtful about creating experiences from ads to content and microsites that reflect Hispanic culture. That doesn't mean everything has to be spanish. Take a thoughtful approach and whatever your credit union does, do it thoroughly. Winning the Hispanic population is a loyal population and worth the time to do it right.