Five Steps to Kickstart your Hispanic Marketing Program
Step 1: Know Your Community
US Hispanics are becoming a powerful economic force in the US economy. Here a few facts to consider about the community:
- They are the largest ethnic minority in the US making up almost 20% of the population at 62+ million
- Hispanics will comprise 30% of our population by 2050
- They have a spending power of $2.5 Trillion!
- If a country, US Hispanics would be the 8 largest economy in the world
- Account for over half of US Population Growth!
- 58% of US Hispanics are under the age of 34
If you want to grow your business, and gain loyal customers, then you need to market to the Hispanic community around your dealership.
But where do you start? The first thing to do is find out the demographics of the Hispanic community around you. Here are some questions to ask:
- How large is the population in general?
- What is the mixture of the countries or area of origin for the community? For example, people of Mexican origin share a lot in common with people of Puerto Rican origin, but there are differences in some of the words and phrases that they use and celebrations they cherish.
- What is the generational mixture of the community? What do I mean here? Simply put, an Hispanic community in Texas might have families that are 3, 4, or 5 generations deep. Some members might not speak Spanish, but all are still culturally Hispanic. This would contrast with new arrivals who mostly speak Spanish and very little English.
Step 2: Nuanced Messages Work
I grew up in Rhode Island in an area where there is a very large population of Azorian Portuguese. Some still spoke the language, while others didn’t because their family had lived in the area for generations. If I were to market to that community as a dealer, I would make sure that I marketed in ways that appealed to the culture of the community. I would use images, colors, terms, celebrations and their language… all with the purpose of connecting to the community so that my dealership stood apart from all my competitors.
This logic applies to anyone marketing to US Hispanics too. A smart marketer learns about the nuanced nature of the Hispanic community in their area and markets accordingly. If the community is largely of Mexican origin, then Cinco de Mayo is a good example of a holiday to celebrate in one's marketing. Another example can be found in the language I might use. For the Spanish word for truck, I would use "trocha" instead of "camión" since "trocha" is commonly used in Mexican Spanish.
Just translating content from English to Spanish is not enough. If you want to show that you understand a culture, flavor what you say and do accordingly. Nuance counts.
Step 3: Prep Your Team
If your sales team is used to selling only in one language, then you have some work to do to get them better prepared to sell in English and Spanish. Here are some things that you should do to prep your team and hone your sales process for bilingual sales:
- Adjust your sales process so that you know how a bilingual sale is handled through each step. Know who needs to be involved when and where at all times and train appropriately.
- Translate your transactional docs. This one is important. If all your docs are in English, then you need to translate them to make the sales process as easy as possible for your customers. Plus, this mitigates risk, since having someone sign a document that they can’t read is a bad idea for you (but a great idea for lawyers who might want to sue you).
- Promote Spanish language reviews! There is no better way to tell your Hispanic customers that your dealership treats bilingual customers well than to have your own customers say it for you, in their language.
- Modify your referral process. If you have a referral process, then make sure you flavor it well for your Hispanic customers too.
- Finally, be willing to experiment and try new things to improve success! No plan is perfect and all plans require modification over time. We’ve had dealers do a range of things to capture their Hispanic audience with one even dressing up as a clown. (Yes, it was hilarious!)
Step 4: Prep Your Tech
As all of you know, there’s a lot of tech that goes into selling to customers these days. So, make sure you remember to:
- Adjust your website so that it has tailored messaging in Spanish nuanced to the type of community in your area. Follow steps 1 and 2 above to inform what you say. If you have a new Hispanic community, then information about what IDs they need to buy a vehicle from you is helpful (as opposed to just having an auto translated version of your website).
- Customize your CRM messages and responses to reflect your new Hispanic marketing focus.
- Include Spanish language content in your social media posts and outreach.
- Use a chat solution that can communicate in English and Spanish. This is especially important if you use AI chat since some tools can only communicate in English.
There’s more, but you get the point!
Step 5: Learn as You Go
Perfection is the enemy of the good. Anyone who waits around to get everything right will never get started. So take some advice from me… be flexible, get started, and learn as you go. You will only get better as time passes.
With over two decades of experience revolutionizing the automotive industry, Adam leads SurgeMetrix who, through Bilingual Marketing Strategies, AI powered SEO, Market Intelligence Analytics, & Cybersecurity solutions, help dealerships build new markets.
Focused on data - finding it, understanding it, leveraging it and protecting it - Adam is invested in providing solutions which help dealers make informed decisions about how best to sell cars.View full profile