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Tips for marketing to Hispanics offered by Telemundo Chicago, Hoy at CATA seminar

November 17, 2010

In all nine counties in the Chicago marketplace, the projected growth of Hispanics far outpaces general population trends. For retailers who sporadically, or never, target Hispanics, the number of people they don’t reach is growing. 

"Just because you said it once, in January, that you sell cars, the next week there is a whole new group of people here who didn’t hear your message," said Julian Posada, general manager of Hoy, the daily Hispanic newspaper in Chicago owned by Tribune Co.

 

Posada and Ed Fernandez, vice president and general manager of Telemundo Chicago, teamed for a July 11 CATA presentation, "Understanding, Selling to Chicago’s Hispanic Consumers." The seminar focused on subtleties dealers can employ to appeal to Hispanics. 

For instance, Posada said Hispanics tend to shop as entire families. "If you’re going to put furniture in your showroom, put a sofa," Posada said, because it expands seating capacity and makes for a homier setting. "The more comfortable you can make the environment, the better."

 

The use of Spanish in advertising and in conversing at the dealership also helps. One poll showed 73 percent of Hispanics prefer to shop at stores that have bilingual employees or signs. 

Posada said it is increasingly important for all retailers to bolster their bilingual staffs. Treating them well will increase their respect and subsequent retention rates, he added.

 

But Fernandez cautioned employers: "Don’t let co-workers call your Hispanic employees ‘Chico’ or ‘José,’ unless that is their name. It’s not appropriate. Don’t have an environment where people feel they are dramatically different human beings because they speak Spanish." 

Hispanics tend to be very brand conscious and brand loyal. They stick with a brand they know and trust, even at a higher price, and are swayed most by brand name, quality and good customer service.

 

"Service," said Posada, "will trump price. There is more to the sale than just buying the item. Price is important, but it is the other things you do that will keep people coming back."

 

Twenty-three percent of the Chicago market’s Hispanics are likely to buy a new vehicle in the next year; 34 percent, a used vehicle, according to a Gallup Poll.

 

Gallup also determined Hispanics compare closely to the total market in several behaviors: the number of makes they considered in advance of their last new-vehicle purchase; the number of dealers they visited and their proximity; and the average price they paid.

 

New-vehicle shopping behaviors: Total vs. Hispanic Market

Total Market

Hispanics

How many different makes (ie. Ford, Honda, etc.) did you look at when shopping for your last new vehicle?

2.5

2.4

How many different dealerships did you visit when shopping for your last new vehicle?

3.0

3.1

How many miles from your home was the dealership were you actually purchased a vehicle?

15

17

Average price paid for last new vehicle

$25,000

$22,200

If you were going to lease a vehicle, how much would you be willing to pay per month?

$317.50

$269.10

 

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