It is a very common situation—marketers who had never gotten around to establishing a specialized Hispanic program are suddenly faced with a corporate mandate—“Go after the Hispanic market!” Other companies and brands are clearly benefiting from having done so and may appear to be very far down this road—but you are just taking your first steps.
Don’t be discouraged
There’s no need to be intimidated; in fact, by starting now you can benefit from the best practices established by others and avoid the pitfalls (and the bumps and bruises) they encountered. Before you get going, you need to do your homework—to understand what you should do, could do and need to avoid at all costs. Most advertisers begin with research, both internal and with a partner who intimately understands the Hispanic market. You can be wiser than those who may appear to be further along by relying on expert research that has much more refined tools and methods—that recognizes that the “Hispanic market” is heterogeneous and ever-changing.
Syndicated data has its place in this process, yet often falls short by having no Hispanic data view. To properly identify the Hispanic opportunities for your products in your categories, you need to develop a tailored program—one that reflects both your needs and your budget.
Of course, there is no one singular way to go about this process of discovery...but here is a general guide, based on years of experience with clients in dozens of CPG categories.
Secondary comes first
Start with some secondary research to quantify basic information about your company categories, to see which are the lowest hanging fruit—the ones in which Hispanics over-index. For this you would use shopper data or syndicated studies that show market activity and incidence levels by market (and ethnicity).
There may, however, be bigger opportunities in categories in which Hispanics under-index; here you can examine why there is a lack of interest, possibly “introduce” the category, present your brand as the solution, and own it. But tougher categories are best taken on when you have a better idea of what you are doing; it’s best to start with the simplest tasks.
To make this effort more than an activity you need a filter. The bottom line is to ask yourself the following questions as you examine the secondary data:
What are my objectives in targeting the Hispanic population?
What can I learn from competitive brands that target Hispanics?
What has my company done that has succeeded or failed?
What holes in my discovery need to be filled with custom research in order to have a solid strategy and activate tactics?