What I Learned at the 2014 Hispanic Retail 360 Summit

hr360, hispanic retail 360, multicultural retail 360, multicultural, hispanic



By: Alejandro Martinez, Market Intelligence Strategist | August 20, 2014

HR360 is an annual retail industry conference that focuses on the Hispanic shopper. This year’s summit focused on the Total Market approach and the influence of bicultural Latinos.

What is Total Market? – It’s one of the most misunderstood terms in marketing today. To some, it means to assimilate Hispanic (or any ethnic) marketing into a general market campaign. A more recognized approach is to make Hispanic and multicultural insights the core of the general market campaign.

Is Total Market more effective than a Hispanic (or ethnic) campaign? –  In most cases it may not be an apples-to-apples comparison. The marketing problem we may be trying to solve for white non-Hispanics (e.g., increase purchase frequency) may be totally different for Hispanics (e.g., create brand awareness). Different problems require different communication messages. And even if you are trying to solve the same marketing problem and have a rock-solid “universal” consumer insight, your message can always be more powerful if you add cultural insights from each ethnic segment (Hispanic, African-American or Asian).

Don’t bicultural Latinos resemble the general market? – Bicultural Latinos could easily live and work in an “English language preferred world,” but they choose not to. They love to seamlessly switch from one culture to another at their convenience. The best way to reach them is through cultural insights that create emotional bonds.

Is Total Market more cost-efficient? – Total Market sounds very tempting from a cost-savings perspective. But in the long run, what you can save on advertising and production fees is usually marginal compared to what you can gain in market share with an effective Hispanic/ethnic campaign.

So what’s the best marketing approach? – First, find out what marketing problem you need to solve. Second, understand how your consumer behaves (regardless of demographics). A market segmentation to find out the different ways they shop, use and perceive your brand is key. Finally, look at the demographics and cultural nuances. Understanding the consumer’s purchase behavior, cultural cues and passion points is the best way to craft the right message.

HR360 will expand to Multi-Cultural Retail 360 in 2015. More on HR360 here.