To Effectively Communicate With Hispanics, Go to Those With Expertise


Would you visit your family’s general practitioner to examine your eyesight? The answer is probably no, because specialization is critical to taking care of yourself, and just as critical to marketing your company.

After a period in which companies first discovered they should communicate with multicultural consumers, a fierce debate has emerged over how they should be doing it. I believe the most effective way to target any audience is to engage a firm which specializes in nothing but.

At large global agencies, U.S. Multicultural practices are too often a loosely formed amalgam of Hispanic, African-American, LGBT, Asian and, in some cases, even niche targets such as “boomers” or “gamers.” It’s unrealistic to think that one practice group at one agency could expertly target 50-year-old black men, and simultaneously be at the forefront of research and strategies with Hispanic tweens. The most effective way to target these consumers is to hire independent, specialized shops that targets one of these demographics.

Latino agencies live and breathe the Hispanic world. It’s evident in upbringing, family life and everyday experiences. They consume Spanish-language media, speak Spanish at home, and stay on top of the latest trends. Obviously, there are Latin employees at multinational public agencies, but they are proportionately so insignificant that they can’t be expected to have any major impact on the culture, expertise or dynamic of their firm.

Another frequent argument is that global agencies can provide the necessary resources that specialized firms cannot. This presents a false choice. For example, the Latin agency for which I work is comprised of nearly 100 bilingual employees in five offices, with dedicated practice areas of digital, events, creative and media. Many of our independent competitors boast similar offerings.

At the public firms, multicultural communications becomes an after-thought, rather than the priority clients should expect. This isn’t about choosing a Hispanic-owned company, or being altruistic to small business. It’s about specialist shops being better positioned to positively move the needle on a client’s business.

Specialization is the way to go. Your eyesight, and your market share, will be in better shape for it.