Marketing to the Growing Hispanic Population

In previous posts we’ve talked about how being precise in executing a strategy pays off, particularly at a time when communications (like writing in the digital age) is becoming increasingly more complex.

So let’s just add another layer of complexity to the conversation. Marketing managers need to be conversant in an ever-expanding world of communications methods and techniques that include new and traditional media outlets and platforms. Reaching the growing Hispanic population offers a good case in point.

While social media and the web are connecting people like never before, including diverse populations, there is still a place for marketing aimed at a particular audience using traditional means.

Read! Reading Success by 4th Grade, an initiative of the Irene E. and George A. Davis Foundation, offers a great illustration.

As the driving force behind the effort to increase reading proficiency among Springfield, Massachusetts public school students, Reading Success has engaged a wide range of community actors—early education centers, educators, public policy leaders, the faith community and others. Media partnerships with The Republican daily newspaper and its online affiliate MassLive and local broadcast affiliate abc40 WGGB television have spread the word about the initiative far and wide. But this is only part of the story.

With Springfield’s Hispanic population on the rise (its 8th grade population alone is nearly 60% Hispanic), reaching a bilingual community requires reaching people in English and in their native tongue. So, Reading Success has rendered its messaging materials in English and in Spanish, including free bookmarks distributed throughout the community that include parent tips about reading and engaging children in early literacy.

This year, Reading Success has begun airing radio spots on WSPR and WACM, Western New England’s leading Spanish speaking and programming broadcast radio stations. These spots in Spanish are designed to help parents and families identify the simple tools they can use to improve reading proficiency among their children—encouraging them to use these techniques in both English and in their native tongue.

At the same time, regular ad placements are appearing in the Spanish language weekly, El Pueblo Latino, also bringing these reading tips to parents in their native language.

Of course, there is much more to do, and focus group research conducted among Hispanic heads of household by the Davis Foundation found that parents, particularly moms, prefer to get messages or reading tips through their mobile devices.

Speaking to a wide audience through broadcast media, to a specific audience through ethnic-oriented media and to individuals on their cell phone and mobile device are all part of the new landscape of communications.

Photograph of Paul Robbins
Paul Robbins

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