23 posts categorized "Language"

Cuidado con las Jergas de los Distintos Segmentos del Mercado Hispano

Junio, 2010
Por Juan Tornoe

De la forma en que hoy en día el mercado segmenta a la comunidad hispana, pareciera que todos somos un uniforme y gigantesco bloque de 17 millones de individuos que aumenta en número cada día. En muchos casos, como lo he mencionado anteriormente, hasta se considera que mercadear a hispanos es mercadear en español. De ser este el caso, que no lo es (hay un gran número de latinos que no hablan español en lo absoluto), sería contraproducente asumir que el español es una lengua estática la cual se puede utilizar de exactamente la misma manera en cualquier parte del planeta en el que se hable. Debo recalcar que estamos hablando de conectar emocionalmente con personas para persuadirles a hacer lo que queremos que hagan, o sea, mercadearles nuestros productos o servicios.

Buena suerte tratando de mercadear sus productos en Colombia utilizando jerga, modismos y regionalismos de Argentina o México. De la misma manera, la comunidad hispana en los Estados Unidos es tan diversa y está tan dispersa a nivel nacional que se debe tomar en consideración su composición en el mercado que usted desea alcanzar antes de comenzar a crear una campaña publicitaria o cualquier otro tipo de comunicación.

Al hablar de composición del mercado me refiero a los porcentajes de los subgrupos de la comunidad hispana que habitan en el territorio que usted sirve (ya sea desde un vecindario hasta la nación completa). ¿La mayoría son mexicanos, cubanos, portorriqueños, dominicanos, salvadoreños, colombianos, o nicaragüenses? Aunque el mayor porcentaje de los Latinos son de origen mexicano, es un error asumir de primas a primeras que el utilizar modismos mexicanos es la mejor forma de hablarle a su público. Por ejemplo, aproximadamente el 45% de dominicanos viviendo en Estados Unidos radican en la ciudad de Nueva York; de igual manera, 50% de los cubanos viviendo en este país residen en el condado de Miami-Dade en la Florida. Otro dato interesante es el hecho que a nivel nacional, los salvadoreños en el 2008 por primera vez en la historia sobrepasaron en número a aquellas personas de origen dominicano, convirtiéndose en el cuarto grupo hispano en cuánto a cantidad de población, atrás de los mexicanos, portorriqueños y cubanos, en ese orden.

¿Cómo le afecta esto a usted y a su negocio? Déjeme darle algunos ejemplos. Algunos artículos/productos tienen nombres completamente distintos dependiendo del origen de las personas a quien se dirija. Lo que para un mexicano son “frijoles”, para un chileno son “porotos” y para un dominicano son “habichuelas”. En otras situaciones la mismísima palabra tiene otro significado y hasta puede tener un significado completamente opuesto. “Ahorita” para un guatemalteco significa “inmediatamente”, mientras que para un costarricense la misma palabra quiere decir “eventualmente”.  Estos son ejemplos “para todo público”; existen otras palabras que son de uso común y corriente para un grupo pero que son vulgares para otro; se debe tener muchísimo cuidado.

Así puede usted comprender porqué es importante conocer a fondo a su público, conocer su jerga, sus modismos y hasta los acentos con los que hablan. Haciéndolo logrará comunicarse con ellos de una manera más poderosa, más efectiva, ganando tanto sus mentes como sus corazones, todo gracias a que usted hizo un esfuerzo adicional en conocerles mejor y utilizar este conocimiento para comunicarse con ellos de tal manera que se establezca un vínculo emocional más fuerte con su empresa que con la competencia. En esta época en que todo consumidor es bombardeado constantemente por miles de mensajes publicitarios, esto hará la diferencia entre que su mensaje publicitario se diluya con todos los demás o que sobresalga y acapare la atención de su clientela.  

Originally published on Abasto Magazine


Regionalized vs. "Walter Cronkite" Spanish

February 2010
By Juan Tornoe

So you have come to the conclusion that you must reach out to Spanish dominant Latinos utilizing ads in their language. Now the question is what kind of Spanish should you use? Well, Spanish Spanish right?

Well, it is not always as simple as that.

When reaching out to Spanish speakers you first need to define the specific segment of the market you will be talking to. It can go from reaching all Spanish-dominant Latinos in the U.S. to those in a specific city or even part of a city, and everything in between. For example, around 45% of the Nation’s Dominicans live in New York City, and about 50% of Cuban-Americans live, no wonder, in Miami-Dade County. If you are marketing your products and services in Los Angeles, you need to take into consideration that there resides the biggest concentrations of Central Americans in the United States; Salvadorans being the second-largest immigrant community in the city.

Even though more than 65% of all Hispanics are from Mexican descent, you cannot immediately assume that reaching out to all Latinos using Mexican dialect will be an immediate home run.

You must take into consideration that different words in regionalized Spanish have the same English meaning, and that a specific Spanish word may have different meanings in Spanish – and English - depending on the community you are talking to.

Some examples:
A car is a car all across America; in México a car is called a “coche”, in Guatemala a “carro”. The interesting thing is that in Guatemala, a “coche” is a pig, not a car!
Depending on the country of origin of Hispanics beans can be referred in Spanish as “frijoles”, “habichuelas”, “porotos”, or “frejoles”.
The Spanish term “guagua”, for Cubans is a bus while for Chileans is a small child.
“Ahorita” means “right now” for Guatemalans, while for Costa Ricans has the exact opposite meaning, “later”.

Indeed, even though the majority of Hispanics in America are from Mexican descent, the percentage distribution varies a lot depending on the location you are aiming to reach them at. IF you are one of the companies that cater to the entire nation and have budget allocated to do Spanish advertising it is quite safe to say that utilizing Journalist Spanish, that is Spanish without any regional wording, accent or undertone: Walter Cronkite Spanish, would work just fine for you. Now, if you really have deep pockets and want to connect in a much deeper emotional way with all your audiences, create message variations for your campaign adapting to the demographic/ethnic makeup of the different regions you will target; this is what separates the men from the boys when marketing nationally.

For the rest of us who market day in and day out to clients in a specific city or region, my strong suggestion is that you do your home work and figure out the composition of your Spanish speaking clients and prospects as far as country of origin/heritage comes, and adapt your message accordingly, using as much as possible regional words, accents and even slang to get your message across in the most powerful and relevant way.

Spanish dialects vary, just as American English has differences with British, Australian and even Canadian English, eh? Please do keep this in mind for your next Spanish language advertising campaign.

Originally published on Abasto magazine.


Does Spanish Fluency Define Your Latinoness?

September 27, 2012
By Juan Tornoe

 According to the U.S. Census Bureau, at least up to the 2010 Census, you are a Latino/Hispanic if you say you are. I tend to agree with this perception, because I believe that being Hispanic is more of a state of mind, the embracing of a culture, rather than the Nation or people group you belong to / descend from.

The question about the authenticity of one’s Latinoness recently came up after San Antonio’s Mayor, Julian Castro, delivered the keynote speech at the 2012 Democratic National Convention. Several media outlets had a field day pointing out that Mayor Castro was not a “real” Hispanic because he does not speak perfect Spanish. A grandson of a Mexican immigrant, this third generation Latino was brought up in an English-only speaking house; his mom wanted him and his twin brother Joaquin to speak and think in English since she did not want them to go through a similar experience as she did when, as a child, was punished at school for speaking Spanish.

Does this make Julian Castro less of a Latino? I don’t believe so.

The latest numbers from the Pew Hispanic Center indicate that 24% of Hispanics are English dominant; which means that almost 1 in 4 individuals with Latino Heritage feel more comfortable interacting in Shakespeare’s tongue than in that of Miguel de Cervantes.

Yes, language is part of culture. Still, language is not culture’s only element. Here is a quick run-through of a few others of its building blocks: social organization, customs & traditions, values, norms, and expressions of art & literature.

It would be difficult to argue that Mayor Castro is not connected with all the other elements of Latino culture. So what if he is not fluent in Spanish? He simply is part of the 24%; those Hispanics who live their lives in English, if not all, most of the time. They may throw in an “Oye” or a “Mijo” every now and then, but most of the time they feel at home when interacting in English.

By limiting the definition of an authentic Latino by his or her proficiency in Spanish, we are simply contributing to the same stereotype that drives many companies and organizations to define Hispanic Marketing as Spanish Marketing.

Marketing in Spanish must be a tactic, never an overall strategy to reach the diverse and complex Latino market. There will always be a place for reaching out to part of the Hispanic market in Spanish, but if that is the only thing you do, you are missing out on establishing a relationship with the 24% who you just won’t reach in Spanish.

How complex and diverse is the market? We don’t even agree on the issue of defining Hispanics by language spoken. A recent Huffington Post Quick Poll asks the question, “Is Spanish a cultural requirement for Latinos?” to which we get a split answer:

36.49% say, “Absolutely yes! That’s a crucial part of the Hispanic heritage”.

63.51% say, “ No, not in this day and age”.

Originally published on Hahn, Texas' Editorial and Trends

MundoFox takes on Univision and Telemundo

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August 13, 2012
By Shereen Marisol Meraji

Hispanic marketing expert, Juan Tornoe, says the ad works.

    Juan Tornoe: It gives me the warms and fuzzies and a little tingling feeling when I see all these diverse faces that, by the way, are not stereotypical Latino faces telling me Americano como tu!

But Tornoe adds that a 30-second promo is one thing, diverse content that appeals to the American Latino, that's something else. He says American Latinos that speak Spanish want more then telenovelas, soccer games, and cleavage-baring news anchors. They want smart entertainment -- think shows like "Mad Men," "The Office" and "The Wire."

Please listen to the whole story here:

Or visit Marketplace.org


7 Reasons Why the Pizza Patrón “Picza Por Favor” Campaign Will Be a Huge Success

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May 4, 2012
By Juan Tornoe

  1. Most of their customers have actually been ordering in Spanish all along.
  2. At the very least English-speakers learned to say “por favor” during those 4 years of High School Spanish Classes. Now it’s time to get their money’s worth for all their hard work, all $5.00 worth of it.
  3. Most English-speakers who have visited Latin America have had to learn the basic survival Spanish phrase: “Una Cerveza Por Favor.”
  4. If someone is able to say “Yo quiero Taco Bell” or “Hasta la vista, Baby,” then they will be able to pull this one off as well.
  5. Because people are NOT speaking in English either when they order BibimBap, Pho Tai, Baba Ganoush, Tacos, Enchiladas, Salsa or Tortillas.
  6. The campaign is geared towards Spanish-dominant Latinos, Latino-philes and cheapskates; so most of those “boycotting” Pizza Patrón were not even targeted to begin with.
  7. You don’t want to order in Spanish? No problem; just pay the $5 for your Pepperoni Pizza, no one is stopping you.


In case you've been living under a rock lately, here's some background on this:

Pizza Patrón has launched campaign that has sparked controversy because it encourages the public to place their orders in Spanish. The "Ordena en español y llévate gratis una pizza grande de pepperoni" (Order in Spanish and get a large pepperoni pizza free) campaign, will run from 5:00-8:00 p.m. on June 5. Pizza Patrón plans to give away 80,000 pies during the three-hour window of the promotion. Free pizzas are limited to one per customer while supplies last. Despite the fact that the campaign ads explicitly state how to order a pizza in Spanish using the phrase "Pizza, por favor" (Pizza, please), for some of those who are not Spanish-speakers, the promotion appears to be politically incorrect. Around 70 percent of Pizza Patron's customers are Hispanic and the majority of the chain's 104 stores are located in areas with heavy concentrations of Latinos. From the beginning, the brand has been recognized for its 'fresh-dough' pizza, its low prices and its trademark "friendly, bicultural service."

Pizza Patrón’s brand manager, explains,“If you don’t speak Spanish, come on in. We’ll give you the phrase and make sure everyone that shows up walks away with a pizza.”  Anyone can say, 'por favor.' Some individuals are boycotting the eatery over the promotion. Some people say that now that they have to speak Spanish they don't want anything from Pizza Patrón, even thought neither of the words in the company name were of English origin.


Latinos, Cars, and Ford Motor Company

An interview with John Felice, General Manager Ford Lincoln Marketing

By Juan Tornoe

John_felice Through my good friend Alvaro Cabal, I had the opportunity to connect with John Felice last week. As mentioned above, John is the man at the wheel – pun intended – of all marketing efforts for Ford. He was kind enough to share with me many interesting insights on what’s going on in the industry, and specifically at Ford in regards to the Hispanic consumer and his company’s efforts to establish a strong relationship with Latinos.

Enjoy…


Juan Tornoe: Over the last year auto sales volume growth among Hispanics has over indexed in comparison to the General Market. What has Ford specifically experienced regarding Latino auto purchases?

John Felice: According to the data we have through June 2011, the Hispanic auto market is growing and recovering faster than its general market counterpart. Specifically, the Hispanic market has increased 23.8% and the general market has increased 17.5%

Year over year Ford’s Hispanic car mix has increased +6.0 ppts, 32% to 38%. Hispanics are back buying vehicles and looking for full efficient small cars with great design and features that complement their lifestyle. Ford Focus and Ford Fiesta are hitting that sweet spot.

If I was to pick a strategic priority for us, the one thing we could do better and put more emphasis on is growing our relationship and customer base with the Hispanic consumer.

It is time to raise awareness about the importance of the Hispanic consumer, because now Ford has a wider vehicle portfolio, beyond the trucks and crossovers; now we are right in the process of launching world-class small cars and crossovers. That gives us a great opportunity to have the right products at the right time for the Hispanic consumer.

Interestingly enough, each year we get our dealers together from around the country, and next week they are going to be here in Dearborn for our annual dealer meeting, and as the marketing guy, one of the few things I am talking about is the importance of the Hispanic market for them and their business. That’s how important it is to us.


JT: Could you share with us the themes that you will be covering during that meeting?

JF: We want to make sure that all the dealers are aware of the growth and importance of the Hispanic market, so we will be sharing some of the demographic trends, some of the industry trends – which I just mentioned. Also, we’ll share some hopefully eye-opening statistics around recent Census data showing the distribution of the Hispanic market; because people usually think of California, Texas and Florida, buy you look at the growth and it is everywhere in the U.S.! It’s not just a regional opportunity. Then we will be sharing them some of the marketing platforms that we have to improve our marketing to Hispanics. Things like increasing efforts in our Tier 2 (our Dealer Association), that is, working with our dealers collectively in our advertising to dedicate more resources to the Hispanic Consumer. We will also talk about some of our other very successful platforms, like Drive One 4UR School, which is a very successful community base program that we’ve had for many years, where the local dealer partners with the school and they set up a test drive event at the school property, and for every test drive there is a donation made to the school. Then the dealer gets to go to the school to support one of their sports teams or a building project, presenting them with a check for $4 or $5 thousand. It is a great win-win program because we get people exposed to our products and we get to give back to the local community. This year we have done these specifically targeting areas with high-density Hispanic populations, having all the language and making sure we have bilingual staff present. We are going to be expanding this effort going forward. Then we will talk specifically about them, about their staffing in their dealerships; do the local dealership’s sales and service teams reflect the community. 


JT: I understand that not only Latino auto purchases are increasing, but also there is a shift in the types of vehicles they are buying… Tell me what has Ford seen on this regard.

JF: A couple things we are seeing is a continued shift in segment preference, obviously Trucks and SUV’s have always been an important segment for the Hispanic market, but we are seeing more and more buyers – and this have been a trend over the last 10 years – shifting to smaller cars. That may be driven a lot by fuel efficiency or the makeup of the industry, but it is one of the trends we are seeing, especially towards the C Segment (like the Ford Focus or the Honda Civic) or the CD segment (like the Ford Fusion or the Toyota Camry), small and mid-sized cars.


JT: What are the main reasons Hispanics are migrating towards small cars, as you mentioned earlier?

JF: We have seen the same trend in the general market; in recent times fuel efficiency is so much more important, as gas prices have risen from $2 per gallon to $3 or $4 per gallon. The economic elements of that have given consumers the motivation to think about other alternatives. Do they really need the capability of a big SUV or can they have a car instead? The other systemic issue in the industry is that traditionally in the U.S., small cars have been “cheap and cheerful”, haven’t been with the latest technologies and features and all the things that consumers – both Hispanic and general market – want in a vehicle. This has quickly changed. For example, the new Ford Focus has all the latest technologies, has best in class fuel economy, the MyFord Touch and SYNC Technologies, Active Park Assist where you can literally take your hands off the wheel and the vehicle will parallel park itself, just by using the gas and break pedals. That is technology that you would only find in luxury cars before!

So again, the two big trends or key drivers would be the strength of the product offering in smaller vehicles and fuel efficiency.

We feel we are in a very good position to be in the right place at the right time with a product portfolio for the Hispanic consumer.


JT: What has Ford specifically done through their marketing efforts to connect with the Latino consumer?

JF: Part of it is having a dedicated Latino agency – Zubi Advertising – that works with us to be relevant to the Hispanic consumer, so we try to tailor our marketing messages specifically. It is a very important part of our marketing strategy to make sure that we are relevant and bilingual in our marketing communications. Also, we are very specific in tailoring our creative and other marketing assets to resonate with the Latino consumer; we get a lot of help from Zubi on that and that won’t change.

But, as I mentioned before, something that will be a specific point of discussion during our dealer meeting, is our engagement with our retailers and getting them more active.  I believe that is it very important to us to reach the Latino consumer at the community level. This is done through people and marketing platforms. If you take a very successful platform, like Drive One 4UR School and make it relevant, through having the right language capabilities and everything else, it can really help you connect with the Latino community. So we are evaluating our internal programs to do that.

We have three forms of auto advertising here in the U.S. We have Tier 1 or The Factory – my advertising, Tier 2 or dealer associations, and then we have Tier 3, which is your local dealer advertising. We have always had a Hispanic effort at the Tier 1 level; we are greatly expanding our Tier 2 advertising through various initiatives in Latino advertising; and the next step is to work with our retailers to not only advertise but to work to better meld into the fabric of the Latino community. Those are some of the things that we will be talking about in the meeting next week.


JT: Are there any media outlets that have you notice working better for Ford in reaching out to Latinos?

JF: We use several of the traditional media outlets – TV, radio & print – that have been utilized to reach out to Hispanics, but we have also found success away from traditional media in more experiential events where you interact with the Latino community vs. just trying to run advertising on various dedicated media.

Digital has also been a very successful media; with penetration in social media outlets such as twitter and facebook. We just opened our new facebook “Ford en Español” page; it is in a soft launch, so it is not officially out there, but it is coming up. Also, through Zubi, our Hispanic marketing team, we are working online with AOL, Univision, and Terra; the have been really successful platforms for us. We launched a very successful program for the Ford Fiesta called, “Ready pa’ tu Mundo” (ready for your world), which included a feature called a Slider, where you go from full Spanish, into Spanglish, or full English. 


JT: Anything else you would like to ad?
 
JF: I want to emphasize my personal passion to raise our awareness and market presence with the Hispanic Consumer. It is to me a tremendous strategic opportunity to Ford Motor Company; we have the right products at the right time.  

Note: Interview conducted on September 23, 2011


The Truth About Hispanics Online

By Juan Tornoe

Don’t get me wrong by what I am about to share with you. I am Google’s #1 admirer and avid customer, using them for just about anything I do online, on a daily – or should I say minute by minute – basis. Bottom line, I am not in a crusade to discredit them in any way, shape or form. Still, there are certain minor details or nuances that seem to have passed undetected on their recent outreach efforts to sell Google as the ultimate tool to reach Latinos. I’m certain that using the web, and Google specifically, is a great way to reach out to a very interesting segment of the Hispanic market, but you must really understand the different segments of the Latino community before making any serious investments to connect with them; you must really know your customer.

Google’s insightful results come directly from interviewing 4,117 Hispanics who are anywhere within the English-Spanish language spectrum, and are US residents age 18+, INTERNET USERS, who in the next 6 months intend to purchase items within at least one of the following categories: Auto, Retail (like a pair of socks at The Gap), Tech, and CPG (I’m guessing a pack of Trident gum counts). A quite broad, although interesting range of people.

Now let’s take a look at the pool from were this individuals were taken from. There are several estimates out there that put the number of Latinos currently online at least at 60% of the entire US Hispanic population. What is not mentioned along with such headlines is that “being online” is defined as “accessing the internet at least once a month for information or entertainment.” At the same time, we have been informed that only 1/5 of online Hispanics are “power users”, defined as those who spend 24 hours a week – about 3.5 hours a day – on the web. According to this last definition only about 12% of Latinos are “online power users.” A much less exciting number than the previously mentioned 60%, don’t you think? It takes one spending three and a half hours a day online to be considered a power user? In that case, I am a Triple-Platinum Ultra Super Power User! But I digress…

So, all the great information included in the Google “Four Truths About US Hispanic Consumers” presentation is definitely useful and worthy of notice, BUT it does not apply to the almost 47 million Latinos living in the US today, nor to the approximately 30 million Hispanics who access the web at least once a month, but it does to the 6 million (give or take a hundred thousand or so) Latino Power Users. Hey, although Latino Power Users still represent the population of a small country, and more importantly the kind of customer most companies salivate over (or should be salivating over), there are 24 million “online Latinos” for whom these numbers might not fully reflect their current web usage.

The Pew Hispanic Center reported in 2010 that 47% of Spanish-dominant Latinos use the internet, compared to 74% of bilingual Latinos and 81% of English-dominant Latinos. By taking these numbers into consideration along with the information shared above and the wealth of data included in the Google presentation, it is likely that most of those Latino Power Users are either English-dominant or bilingual.

Curiously, the Google Insights report along with its case study videos actually reinforces this fact. The “Four Truths About US Hispanics Online” as well as “Connecting with Hispanic Moms Online” videos show English-dominant Latinos sharing how they are connected to the web on a constant basis visiting sites like TED, The Weather Channel, Newsweek, facebook & Gmail (using English language interfaces), The Colbert Report, Fandango, Sports Authority, Macy’s, Orbitz, searching for “best price for tvs” on Google… You get the picture.

Then, when you watch the case studies for Kraft and General Mills, you see takes of the same English-dominant Hispanics, actually navigating the web in English combined with others takes of the corporation’s staffers sharing their success stories and of their Spanish Language websites.

Yes, Kraft’s Comida y Familia and General Mills’ Que Rica Vida are Spanish-only websites that, independently of the great results they are certainly getting, I don’t believe are the first choice for obtaining this kind of information on the web for the “cream of the crop” Latino Online Power User that is being presented.

There is one thing that is being overseen here: Hispanic Marketing is NOT Spanish marketing! The Latino market is quite complex and diverse, with a wide range of levels of acculturation, assimilation, language preference, etc… When you are marketing to Latinos, it is quite risky, and inaccurate, to say that you are helping them navigate life in the US… What about those 2nd, 3rd, 4th+ generation Latinos that have only been exposed to this lifestyle since the moment they were born? They might just be listening to Grand Funk Railroad’s “We’re an American Band” on their iPads, as one of them is actually doing on one of these videos!

Yes, I am using and will continue to use the internet and Google specifically to reach a very profitable segment of the Latino Market, and recommend you do as well. Yes, I believe there is a great opportunity to reach out to Spanish-dominant Latinos using the web – as Kraft and General Mills have been doing – and will continue preaching just this. Still, you must be careful on how you build your case; the worst thing that can happen is having many advertisers jump into the “Reaching Latinos Online in Spanish” bandwagon, just to become disenchanted because their results don’t meet the high expectations that were set. It is much better to follow one of Tom Peter’s formulas for success: under promise and over deliver.


Reach Latinos through 'the culture,' speaker urges business leaders

March 22, 2011
By Ron Cammel

The growing Latino market is diverse and cannot be reached by clichéd sales pitches, Juan Tornoe told hundreds gathered for the West Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce awards ceremony Monday at the JW Marriott.

But that did not stop him from having some fun with stereotypes.

In Grand Rapids Tornoe, a national business consultant and blogger of Hispanic Trending, summed up the growth in the U.S. Hispanic population quite simply: Salsa now outsells ketchup.

But he was serious about businesses reaching the estimated 47 million Latinos in the United States, or 16 percent of the population, whose buying power has grown much faster than the non-Hispanic population’s.

How does a business connect?

“It’s the culture, stupid!” he said.

“Hispanic people overwhelmingly say they want to preserve their families’ culture,” Tornoe said. “If you speak to the heart of the Latino community, it goes a long way.”

He said Latinos value social harmony, social flexibility and social speed — they tend to become friendly faster. It’s important for sales people to spend a little more time on the small talk and getting to know a person in the Hispanic community before talking business, he said.

And family comes first, he said. Hispanic women are a growing force in Hispanic-owned businesses, not for the wealth, but to look out for the interests of their families, he said.

Don’t assume Hispanics want to be spoken to in Spanish, he said. The large majority of Hispanics who use the Internet regularly, for example, use English sites.

If you want to joke around with “Spanglish,” be careful, he cautioned. Some advertisements have turned off the Hispanic community. Regular English-to-Spanish translations are difficult enough: A T-shirt hawked after the pope’s visit to Miami read in Spanish, “I saw the potato.”

Tornoe said businesses reaching out to Hispanics need to remember the broad range of income, education and social levels, while recognizing some common cultural characteristics.

But in any case, the Hispanic market is here to stay, he said. “It’s not a matter of when you reach them. You will. It’s a matter of understanding them.”

Source: MLive.com


Cuidado con las Jergas de los Distintos Segmentos del Mercado Hispano

Por Juan Tornoe

De la forma en que hoy en día el mercado segmenta a la comunidad hispana, pareciera que todos somos un uniforme y gigantesco bloque de 17 millones de individuos que aumenta en número cada día. En muchos casos, como lo he mencionado anteriormente, hasta se considera que mercadear a hispanos es mercadear en español. De ser este el caso, que no lo es (hay un gran número de latinos que no hablan español en lo absoluto), sería contraproducente asumir que el español es una lengua estática la cual se puede utilizar de exactamente la misma manera en cualquier parte del planeta en el que se hable. Debo recalcar que estamos hablando de conectar emocionalmente con personas para persuadirles a hacer lo que queremos que hagan, o sea, mercadearles nuestros productos o servicios.

Buena suerte tratando de mercadear sus productos en Colombia utilizando jerga, modismos y regionalismos de Argentina o México. De la misma manera, la comunidad hispana en los Estados Unidos es tan diversa y está tan dispersa a nivel nacional que se debe tomar en consideración su composición en el mercado que usted desea alcanzar antes de comenzar a crear una campaña publicitaria o cualquier otro tipo de comunicación.

Al hablar de composición del mercado me refiero a los porcentajes de los subgrupos de la comunidad hispana que habitan en el territorio que usted sirve (ya sea desde un vecindario hasta la nación completa). ¿La mayoría son mexicanos, cubanos, portorriqueños, dominicanos, salvadoreños, colombianos, o nicaragüenses? Aunque el mayor porcentaje de los Latinos son de origen mexicano, es un error asumir de primas a primeras que el utilizar modismos mexicanos es la mejor forma de hablarle a su público. Por ejemplo, aproximadamente el 45% de dominicanos viviendo en Estados Unidos radican en la ciudad de Nueva York; de igual manera, 50% de los cubanos viviendo en este país residen en el condado de Miami-Dade en la Florida. Otro dato interesante es el hecho que a nivel nacional, los salvadoreños en el 2008 por primera vez en la historia sobrepasaron en número a aquellas personas de origen dominicano, convirtiéndose en el cuarto grupo hispano en cuánto a cantidad de población, atrás de los mexicanos, portorriqueños y cubanos, en ese orden.

¿Cómo le afecta esto a usted y a su negocio? Déjeme darle algunos ejemplos. Algunos artículos/productos tienen nombres completamente distintos dependiendo del origen de las personas a quien se dirija. Lo que para un mexicano son “frijoles”, para un chileno son “porotos” y para un dominicano son “habichuelas”. En otras situaciones la mismísima palabra tiene otro significado y hasta puede tener un significado completamente opuesto. “Ahorita” para un guatemalteco significa “inmediatamente”, mientras que para un costarricense la misma palabra quiere decir “eventualmente”.  Estos son ejemplos “para todo público”; existen otras palabras que son de uso común y corriente para un grupo pero que son vulgares para otro; se debe tener muchísimo cuidado.

Así puede usted comprender porqué es importante conocer a fondo a su público, conocer su jerga, sus modismos y hasta los acentos con los que hablan. Haciéndolo logrará comunicarse con ellos de una manera más poderosa, más efectiva, ganando tanto sus mentes como sus corazones, todo gracias a que usted hizo un esfuerzo adicional en conocerles mejor y utilizar este conocimiento para comunicarse con ellos de tal manera que se establezca un vínculo emocional más fuerte con su empresa que con la competencia. En esta época en que todo consumidor es bombardeado constantemente por miles de mensajes publicitarios, esto hará la diferencia entre que su mensaje publicitario se diluya con todos los demás o que sobresalga y acapare la atención de su clientela.