In recognition of National Hispanic Heritage Month, The Hannon Group is proud to share some of the knowledge we have acquired in terms of developing and implementing impactful communications and marketing strategies targeting Latinx consumers.

The Power of the Visuals and Audio

In an era where multiple communications platforms are available to message producers and consumers alike, the array of information dissemination and exchange options are plentiful. While digital marketing strategies demand, and deserve, a heightened degree of attention for a number of reasons (e.g., the ability to target small, hard-to-reach populations and general cost-effectiveness compared to other outreach options) PR professionals must also bear in mind the value of traditional communications platforms. In the case of predominately Spanish-speaking Latinx populations, that means using Spanish-language television channels and radio stations along with social media and other digital media platforms.

The Hannon Group – Our Multicultural Communications and Research Expertise

The Hannon Group, LLC has been conducting multicultural research for 19 years, using culturally appropriate visual and content cues to reach multiple ethnic populations, including African American, Latinx, Asian, South Asian, and Native American audiences, as well as economically disadvantaged and underrepresented communities. We have extensive experience formulating and executing market research programs in support of multicultural marketing initiatives.

Recent Communications Research Work with Spanish-speaking Latinx Audiences

We recently conducted two market research studies where various predominately Spanish-speaking Latinx populations constituted important target audiences for two distinct communications campaigns. In one case, we conducted in-person focus groups with Spanish-speaking Latino construction workers. In another, we interviewed Spanish-speaking Latino small business owners from across the United States by conducting web-enabled telephone triads and dyads. The former was for a public health campaign while the latter was focused on how best to help small business owners establish and grow their enterprises.

In both cases, we tested a number of potential communications avenues. For the construction worker focus groups, we evaluated their interest in, and likelihood of receiving useful information from, the following sources:

  • Posters and signs
  • One-page pamphlets/fact sheets/cards
  • Newsletters
  • Brochures/booklets
  • Instructional videos
  • CDs/DVDs
  • Calendars
  • Coffee mugs
  • Social media
  • Websites
  • Television
  • Radio
  • In-person/Word-of-Mouth
  • Magazines
  • Newspapers
  • Information mailed to their homes

Rising to the Top: Short Videos Focusing on People Sharing Their Personal Stories

The predominately Spanish-speaking construction workers identified videos (short videos, no more than three minutes long) and social media as two of the three most effective ways of reaching workers such as themselves (on-site posters and signs being the third). When it came to social media and video, they wanted to see and hear people discussing their personal stories, believing such formats would maximize their interest in learning more about a particular serious health issue…and how best to avoid it. Facebook, in particular, was mentioned as an ideal milieu for viewing, and sharing, relevant videos.

Connecting with Spanish-speaking Latinx Audiences: Time, Place, and Manner Considerations

The predominately Spanish-speaking small business owners believe that videos, placed on a government website and shared via multiple outlets (such as YouTube) are an excellent means for delivering timely, useful information to help them with their small business creation or expansion needs. Furthermore, public service announcements (PSAs) on Spanish-language radio stations and television channels are also deemed to be effective at connecting with populations who are most likely to speak Spanish at home. Such PSAs, if aired shortly before regular work hours or during prime time in the evening, are likely to reach audiences watching Spanish-language programming for news or entertainment (such as novelas). As small business owners (and construction workers) can often be time-pressed, short videos in Spanish, no longer than three minutes in length, were considered to be the optimal platforms for connecting with predominately Spanish-speaking audiences. Telemundo and Univisión were the most frequently cited television networks when the study participants were asked about where such PSAs should air. Facebook, again, was noted as the platform most likely to be employed by Spanish-speaking business owners for marketing purposes.

Nothing Connects Like the Spoken Word…When Done Correctly

The unifying theme across the research was the importance of seeing and hearing the person/people delivering their messages. The written word was simply not considered to be as compelling, or as useful, at getting and sustaining the attention of many predominantly Spanish-speaking workers and small business owners. With that in mind, it is important to ask the right questions about ideal information delivery and exchange vehicles when engaging in formative communications research. And once those insights are gathered, the content must be optimized to match the audiovisual platform(s) selected. Concept and ad testing to ensure resonance, led by fluent Spanish-speaking moderators/interviewers, provides yet another opportunity to ensure that the communications campaign is as meaningful and impactful as possible for Spanish-speaking Latino audiences.

Jason Booms is the Director of Strategic Research & Communications with The Hannon Group, a woman owned business, full-service public relations and communications research firm headquartered in Fort Washington, Maryland. He also serves as an Adjunct Lecturer, teaching communications research to graduate students at Georgetown University in the Public Relations and Corporate Communications program.