Resources Home

5 Hispanic Marketing Insights for Nonprofits

Published by Ivan Leon
5 Hispanic Marketing Insights for Nonprofits

Cinco de Mayo is just days away! To celebrate, I’ve prepared a spicy plate of data-driven Hispanic marketing and fundraising insights from marketing leaders in companies like Sprint, Nestle, Pepsico and Comcast to help you optimize your fundraising to Hispanic donors.

There’s a huge opportunity for nonprofits to connect with Hispanics and engage them in their missions.

I got to sit down and interview these industry leaders during the Culture Marketing Conference, the premier gathering of Hispanic strategists and creatives.

You can watch each full interview with these multicultural marketing leaders here »

According to these marketing leaders, there are big changes in marketing and fundraising right around the corner. The ethnic diversity in the United States of America increases every day.

And one ethnicity is taking the lead in terms of numbers – Hispanics.

That’s why in the interviews with these successful marketing leaders, we tapped into their wisdom and asked how their strategies and principles apply in the nonprofit sector.

Here are just five of the many recommendations they gave me for nonprofit leaders.

1. Hispanics are changing the face of American society.

It’s been a long time coming, but it is finally here.

Minority populations in America are shifting, and Hispanics are about to take the lead in sheer numbers.

According to the latest Census data, Hispanics will make up over half of U.S. population growth between 2016 and 2020 (and as much as 80% by 2040-2045).

On top of that, Hispanics have a younger median age and longer life expectancy. So as this demographic moves into its prime years of wage earning, it is set to reshape the U.S. market.

In terms of social and political causes, the Pew Research Center released a study earlier this year showing Hispanics will be the largest voting minority in the 2020 election.

The data is clear: Hispanics are and will be a growing force for social change in the U.S.

Vanessa Strain, VP of Multicultural Growth and Strategy at Nielsen, warns against putting this priority off to another time.

The nation’s Hispanic population is projected to double by 2050.

Simply looking at the demographic data, Vanessa urges nonprofits to invest now in multicultural marketing and fundraising while there is time to plan.

The Hispanic market is an expanding population who already values social and community causes.

Just consider how Hispanic buying behavior speaks to their concern for community causes:

  • 57% of U.S. Hispanics agree they are more likely to purchase from brands that support a cause they care about.
  • 43% expect the brands they buy to support social causes (over-indexing non-Hispanic whites by 26%).
  • 58% agree they are willing to pay more for a product that is environmentally safe.
57% of Hispanics are more likely to buy from brands that support a cause they care about.

No matter what experience your nonprofit may have had with Hispanic marketing or fundraising, this growing market cares about community and social causes.

Don’t miss the massive opportunity to get ahead of the curve!

2. Don’t translate. Communicate.

While speaking with José Velez-Silva, VP of Multicultural Marketing Communications at ComCast, he stressed that addressing multicultural audiences doesn’t mean sending the same blanket message to everyone.

Nonprofits should avoid translating their general marketing messages into Spanish.

Instead, they should listen to their Hispanic audience to see the world through their eyes and then craft messaging that will resonate with them… in whatever language makes sense for that particular campaign.

It’s counterintuitive. But your most effective messaging can be in Spanish or English.

Ricardo Aspiazu, Director of Brand Marketing at Verizon, put it this way: “It is less about language and more about culture.”

Today, second and third generation Hispanics live in the US, making up more and more of the market. And they’re bilingual.

In order to reach Hispanics, nonprofits must now engage with culture, not just language.

Marketers have endless options for tuning in to Hispanics’ rich and vibrant culture.

One size does NOT fit all.

Each demographic needs to be engaged on its own terms, while at the same time supporting a unified nonprofit brand.

3. Digital marketing is a MUST.

Although digital marketing has many advantages for reaching all kinds of demographics, Hispanics tend to be overrepresented in digital marketing channel data, especially social media.

In their studies, Nielsen found that “35% agree that they are among the first of their friends and colleagues to try new technology products (over-indexing against non-Hispanic Whites by 36%).”

35% of Hispanics are among the first of their friends and colleagues to try new technology.

That means your Hispanic donor or audience is more likely to try out and own new gadgets and technologies than non-Hispanic whites.

An industry leader in youth Latino entertainment and television, David Chitel is even more enthusiastic about digital marketing to Hispanics saying, “Digital is the great equalizer for Latinos.”

“…digital has special relevance for Hispanics at different levels of acculturation. With the right talent or partners, you could release Spanish language content on any of those platforms. With digital, you have access to all kinds of Latinos, including many bilingual, bicultural millennials. Hispanics with all kinds of desires and passion points are waiting for you to speak to them.”

– David Chitel

Not only do Hispanics consume digital content at higher rates than other ethnicities, they also engage on these digital platforms.

In my interview with Meghann Elrhoul, Head of Global Research for Twitter, she told the story of how Hispanics changed Netflix’s programming decision to cancel the popular show, One Day at a Time.

This show follows the life of a Cuban-American family, and Hispanics loved it.

But when Netflix pulled the show – cast, crew, and fans of the rebooted sitcom took to Twitter, demanding a third season.

And Netflix listened. On March 26, the series was renewed.

To reach out to your Hispanic donors, you’ve got to meet them where they’re at, online.

4. Hispanics are generous.

You might have heard before that Hispanics don’t give.

This myth has been around for some time, claiming that Hispanics either don’t have the means to give, or that philanthropy isn’t as valued in their culture

Multicultural marketing leader Jose Villa says differently.

“Hispanics are a huge opportunity for organizations that depend on donors.”

– Jose Villa

So why the discrepancy in the amount that Hispanics, as a whole, give to charity?

Villa explains in our interview that for centuries, the life of the average Hispanic “centered on the church – and that’s where they’ve directed their giving.”

But now as Hispanics continue to immigrate to the United States, they are growing accustomed to the American society where “the church is a less dominant cultural force. And the alternatives for giving are endless…”

Last year, Telemundo and Univision raised $20 million in 30 hours for victims of Hurricane Maria and the Mexico City earthquake, out of a primarily Spanish-speaking audience!

One of my favorite examples is how St. Jude Children’s Hospital set a record raising $4.6 million in a campaign with Spanish-language channel Univision.

This is a big opportunity for nonprofits like yours to become the charity they give to.

5. Collaboration is critical for Hispanic marketing success.

The idea of working with a marketing agency or fundraising firm isn’t a new one. You’re probably already working with a general marketing agency right now.

Marketing is a specialized field, and it’s a lot cheaper in the long run to hire an agency than to hire a large team in-house.

However, long-time multicultural marketing veteran Aldo Quevedo warns against leaving your Hispanic marketing up to the generalists.

“If your nonprofit recognizes the need for Hispanic marketing, that objective will probably butt heads at some point with general market goals. Plenty of organizations end up working with both a Hispanic marketing agency and a general market agency. This may seem complicated, but successful collaboration is a game-changer.”

– Aldo Quevedo, Principal and Creative Director, Richards/Lerma

Aldo’s not the only one who thinks partnership is essential.

Alberto Lorente, Sprint’s multicultural marketing director, attributes much of Sprint’s success in Hispanic marketing to their Hispanic marketing agency partners.

In 2017, about 34 percent of Sprint’s new customers were Hispanics, — and at the time, they only composed 18 percent of the U.S. population!

34% of Sprint's new customers in 2017 were Hispanic.

Sprint sells more in the Hispanic segment than their competitors, Verizon or AT&T. That’s incredible.

Their success is no coincidence.

Bonus: Commitment is key.

The success of the marketing leaders I interviewed is linked to their commitment to reaching out to the growing Hispanic market.

I’m confident that with the same commitment, your nonprofit can experience the same success in optimizing your fundraising by connecting with the heart of Hispanics.

And if you want to glean even more insights into how your organization can develop relationships with Hispanic donors, you can get all the interviews in full!

Published by Ivan Leon