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US Hispanic millennials number more than 21 million, making up about 21% of the total US millennial population. When it comes to digital devices and media, they largely mirror their peers, but with some important differences, particularly in regard to digital shopping and buying, according to a new eMarketer report, “US Hispanic Millennials: Bridging Cultural and Technology Gaps.”
As they pool all their resources and scour for the best prices both online and offline, US Hispanic millennials remain receptive to offerings from brands and advertisers about products and services. In a September 2013 study, Experian Marketing Services found that 18.7% of Hispanics ages 18 to 34 would be interested in receiving advertisements on their mobile devices, compared with 8.5% of non-Hispanics the same age.
In May 2013 polling by ThinkNow, 77% of Hispanic millennials agreed that advertisements on their mobile phones provided them with useful information about new products and services. And per the Experian survey, 22.7% of Hispanic millennials reported they were likely to purchase products they saw advertised on their mobile phones; just 14.1% of non-Hispanics said the same.
But what is the right way to communicate with this bicultural and diverse group of consumers? How do Hispanic millennials want to be recognized?
Most of them consume media in both Spanish and English, demonstrating that they identify with both cultures. March 2014 polling by Sensis and ThinkNow found that 40% of US Hispanic millennial internet users consumed media equally in Spanish and English. Nine percent of respondents said they consumed media in Spanish only, and 16% only consumed media in English.
When it comes down to it, it’s not so much about language in mainstream advertising, said Annette Gonzalez-Malkin, vice president at Hunter Public Relations. “Nearly half of Hispanic millennials are US-born, are more acculturated and are consuming media in English. Still, they maintain a strong cultural duality. It’s more about infusing advertising with cultural nuances.”
But there is a fine line between giving Hispanics a cultural nod in a mainstream ad and marginalizing them, she added.
Roberto Ruiz, senior vice president of strategy and insights at Univision Communications, agreed. Hispanic millennials tend to be more aware and sensitive of cultural cues in advertising than their older generations. Portraying certain stereotypes will just make this group feel alienated, he noted.
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