Hispanic Marketing

Insights

The Hispanic market’s current size, formation of larger households, heavy concentration in the top, youngest, trend-setting markets in the U.S., accompanied by their speedy wealth creation and high consumerism are at odds with the neglect of investment across most advertising and marketing categories.

U.S. Latinos tend to “adopt and adapt” to customs and habits in the U.S. without shedding traditions and value systems. Along that line, marketers, and those trying to tap into the Hispanic segment, cannot simply transfer directly to the U.S. Latino market the conceptualizations or marketing strategies that work with more traditional, general market consumers. Latinos are assimilating to prevalent U.S. culture, but they are not, and probably never will be, fully assimilated. Instead, theirs is a path of acculturation. It is a process of integration of native and traditional immigrant cultural values with dominant cultural ones.

And speaking of language…

Translating

Many companies in the U.S. commonly attempt to reach the Hispanic market by translating their general market advertising materials. Straight translations, which depend on an accurate linguistic text transfer from one language to another, tend to miss the emotional and culturally relevant elements. Some results will be there, but not with the same sales volume, strength and recall that a truly culturally attuned marketing and advertising effort can attain. In fact, in some instances, direct translations can be misinterpreted or even offensive.

Conversely, Hispanidad’s multicultural, bilingual staff develops concepts in the language of the target audience. We believe there are certain nuances and experiences that the native Spanish-speaker will find lacking in translated copy. We strive to maintain that integrity on behalf of our clients.

When a project requires bilingual communication, our approach is to transcreate (or adapt) the message. Transcreation is the process of determining the suitability of an original creative message to an ethnic group, and if suitable, transferring the creative concept, not just the words, in an appropriate tone and graphic look. A translation is about words, transcreations are about ideas.

Translation/Transcreation FAQs

How do you address the issue of dialects?

U.S. Hispanics represent over 21 different countries of heritage, and within each of these countries there are unique colloquialisms. For example, the word “bus” in Mexico is “camión,” while in Puerto Rico it‘s “guagua.” In Colombia, it‘s “bus,” but an Argentinean jumps on a “colectivo.” However, at the end of the day, we can rely on a standard, or neutral, approach to Spanish that helps marketers communicate effectively with all Spanish-speakers, regardless of their country of origin.

On the other hand, if we are developing creative for a strictly Puerto Rican or Mexican audience, then it absolutely makes sense to rely on a more “native” vocabulary in an effort to speak in a meaningful way with that audience.

When is it appropriate to write original Spanish copy versus translating?

Always! Marketing is an emotional discipline, and the marketer‘s objective is to achieve a response from the audience. If you want to connect with Spanish-preferred and Spanish-dominant Latinos, then designing the campaign (and writing the copy) should be performed with that audience in mind. Translated copy usually falls short.

Alternatively, it is vital to determine who your audience is to ensure that the language choice is not seen as offensive. Dropping a direct mail piece to a list that has been properly vetted for language preference is a perfect example of when copy should be written in Spanish and not translated. If you don‘t know your audience‘s language preference, then take a more conservative approach and provide your copy in both English and Spanish.

What does ATA-certified mean?

The American Translators Association (ATA) has established a certification program that allows translators to demonstrate that they meet certain standards of the translation profession. Translators who complete the program and pass the examination are certified by the ATA in a specific language pair and direction (from or into English). The examination tests for professional translation skills and is designed to determine whether a candidate is able to produce a translation that is professionally functional.

In-Language Training

Your Spanish-speaking staff plays a vital role in customer satisfaction, and a customer‘s decision to visit often comes down to customer service, which is why our training program for your Spanish-speaking staff is so important.

Our program helps overcome the cultural barriers that impede compliance with a company‘s customer service standards. Taught by a native Spanish-speaker with valuable insight into the nuances of Hispanic traditions and behaviors in a working environment, our program addresses the dynamics of body language, the importance of eye contact and how these things affect a customer‘s perception of your organization. Training is tailored to your company‘s specific needs and is proven to improve customer service and satisfaction.

For more information on training for your company, click here.