Hispanicize 2014: Top takeaways for marketers

Marina Maher's Samara Finn shares highlights from the fifth-annual Hispanicize conference.

The fifth-annual Hispanicize conference took place this week, bringing hundreds of Latino trendsetters and newsmakers to Miami to discuss music, film, technology, marketing, journalism, social media, and content creation.

The passion for connection and debate was electrifying. Everywhere you turned, conversations about optimism and opportunity for the future were buzzing. Seeing the conference through a marketing lens, here are three key takeaways:

A compelling reason to connect: Forty percent of new households in the next 10 years will be Latino. Almost every session featured compelling data showing the growth of the Latino population in the US. There’s no longer a question that Hispanic marketing must move from an afterthought to an essential strategy.

Marketers looking to engage Latinos must consider the cultural nuances affecting this target and incorporate Hispanic-specific messaging and tactics into their overall communications strategies. Face-to-face opportunities to build relationships and connect brands directly with consumers are key. And whenever possible, marketers should allow this target to play a role in brand content creation.

Hispanic Millennials put a new spin on household targeting: Did you know 65% of US Hispanics are Millennials? Or that US Hispanics represent 21% of all Millennials? 

One of the most interesting sessions was the unveiling of results from the Hispanic Millennial Project, a research initiative designed to uncover insights into US Hispanic Millennials in relation to non-Hispanic Millennials and older Hispanics. As multigenerational households continue to grow, Hispanic Millennials are being tapped by their older family members to download the latest apps, Google what type of TV to buy, and weigh in on essential family decisions.

In addition, as more Hispanic Millennials contribute financially to their households, their stake in household purchasing decisions also increases. The implication here is a forward-looking trend of driving awareness and purchase by older-generation consumers via their younger family members.

Social media and technology adoption is in their DNA: Watch out world! Hispanics are known "sharers." Culture has dictated this attitude long before technology existed to more easily enable sharing. Hispanic consumers are early adopters – think mobile and smartphone use – and have the power to not just influence, but to revolutionize the future of technology. Shout out to Google’s Eliana Murillo for driving this home. Many others echoed the sentiment that the next big thing in technology will be driven by the rise of entrepreneurial, tech-savvy Latinos.

Hispanicize not only provided in-person networking, but the robust content being shared on Twitter via the #Hispz14 hashtag took conversations to the next level, including on our @mmctweets Twitter handle. While tweeting during the conference, we experienced an all-time record for retweets, favorites, and followers. This conference was one of the most digitally engaging I’ve ever been to, and given all I’ve learned about Hispanics’ passion for sharing, I can’t say I’m surprised!

Samara Finn is SVP of online media and influencer relations at Marina Maher Communications.

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