Mistakes Brands Make With Spanish-Speakers | Bilingua Franca

Mistakes Brands Make With Spanish-Speakers

Branding Mistakes With Spanish-Speakers - Bilingua FrancaAs far as marketing has come, a multitude of strategies have been tested upon. And one of it is targeting a specific ethnic group. For this matter, they should be influential and increasing in terms of purchasing power. Realistically, Hispanics fit these mentioned characteristics. That is why successfully engaging a Spanish-speaking audience has been a challenge yet fulfilling at the same time for business owners.

This may seem like a challenge for marketing groups who wanted to have instant output from engaging a Spanish-speaking audience. Instantly, without undergoing thorough planning and research. Little did they know that they are committing a huge mistake in the field of marketing.

Is it a great deal to engage a Spanish-speaking audience?

Engaging a Spanish-speaking audience is definitely worth it with their strong economic and demographic importance, especially in the United States and states bordering Mexico. Here are the facts that give greater impact on perfecting a marketing strategy just to engage a Spanish-speaking audience.

  • More than half of the population in America are from Hispanic background, with a surprising increase of 15 million Latinos somewhere in between the year 2000 to 2010. But it doesn’t end there, Hispanics are expected to grow a whopping 167% from the year 2010 to 2050. In fact, 13% of the population in the U.S. are Hispanics who love to go online.
  • Given that they were approximately 17% of the population in the US last year, it is hard to ignore that engaging a Spanish-speaking audience is tremendously helpful for the branding and success of a company. However, not all of them speak Spanish and not every one of them speak fluent English.

Diversified as it may seem, this will have to add up to the challenges that one may handle in engaging a Spanish-speaking audience.

Bilingua Franca: engaging a Spanish-speaking audience

Bilingua Franca, which we have coined as a merge of Spanish with another language, is what a marketing community should consider, especially in dealing with cross-cultural topics. This will be helpful because instead of directly translating an advertisement, a touch of Hispanic heritage can be added, making it closer to the hearts of Latinos.

Bear in mind that they don’t want to be generalized. Hispanics are made up of different kinds of backgrounds and it is much better to do some research first before trying to translate languages and take a look at what is well-suited for the Latinos in the target area. Complementing this is avoidance of the common mistakes in marketing.

How to avoid marketing mistakes in engaging a Spanish-speaking audience

Marketing Mistakes With Spanish Speakers - Bilingua FrancaDo not generalize

Like any other ethnic groups in the world, generalization is the worst that a marketing company can do. As mentioned earlier, Hispanics consist of different backgrounds and heritages. The main point here is to do adequate research first and use common words that will not be wrongly understood by another ethnicity. Do not consider that all Latinos like a common hobby, since they are not equal.

Understand their diversity and subgroups like Mexicans, Puerto Rican, Cuban, and other subgroups identify the fitting words to use for them.

Say No to direct translation of ads or campaigns

Often times, people rely too much on automated Spanish to English translations. However, this abruptly ruins the content and intent of the campaign. As much as possible, make an online content of the same quality and intent as the original one. The solution for this is by having their own marketing that handles Hispanic marketing. Preferably the people who consist of the team are natives and knows the culture, therefore, fully engaging a Spanish-speaking audience, just like what McDonald’s has done. With that, translating will never be a problem since the grammar and the quality of the produced content is equal to what they understand and emotionally piquing their interest since it is culturally relate-able to them.

Do not sell like robots

Ordinary ad campaigns feels like a robot keeps on pushing brands and products to customers without considering their feelings and reactions about it. Though it may be natural for the usual American brand campaigns, this is different. A big no-no that will certainly fail in engaging a Spanish-speaking audience. Learn that their culture is more of a close family tie. They usually prefer marketing campaign that makes them feel important and personal. In which building relationship is important. Though most of the time this eats up time, it will in turn be a 100% closed deal with loyal Hispanic customers. Remember that it takes time before introducing the brand. Another is to do video campaigns that practically involve a Hispanic family – aunt, uncles, sisters, brothers, mothers, and all relatives.

Tips for lead-generating sites and eCommerce sites

Specifically for lead-gen and eCommerce sites, an insight into engaging a Spanish-speaking audience is by maximizing the use of the internet. As mentioned, a great number of Latinos owns a smartphone rather than laptops or computers, but gives them the same effect of accessing the internet.

They do banking, shopping, and almost everything on their smartphones. Thus, giving eCommerce sites an edge with this since they are very willing to pay on the internet for the good and brands that they like.

To add up their enthusiasm and loyalty, try incorporating QR codes that give them special insights or free gifts to the website, in return shows good leads especially if the website is responsive and relevant for Latinos. Other than that, try giving out coupons, either electronically or physically by mail, Latinos, like other ethnic groups, like to lessen their spending as much as possible with free gifts, discount vouchers, and coupons wherein they can gain something.

Is engaging a Spanish-speaking audience marketing strategy applicable for all kinds of brands?

Of course! There is no limit, as long as the common mistakes in engaging a Spanish-speaking audience is avoided plus doing enough research for the target market according to a specific area. Furthermore, it is helpful to be creative, especially now that it is understood how Latinos are so much involved in online events and transactions.









Pablo V.
Founder of Bilingua Franca. Pablo holds a BA in Sociology and works as an Organic SEO Strategist for an agency in Phoenix. He is a study abroad enthusiast, a lover of deep and meaningful conversations, and is always fascinated to understand how things work. His passions include culture, language, human behavior, and astronomy.

One Response to “Mistakes Brands Make With Spanish-Speakers

  • Great post, Pablo! You have some great points and its interesting how most Americans think all Latinos have a homogeneous Mexican Culture. They should realize that all Latino groups are different and have their own unique characteristics!