Billennials: the Bilingual Millennials

May 5, 2016

It has been presented and discussed in many forums: the importance of the Latino market in the US. How its growth and buying power has transformed the marketing plans. If you want to be relevant and expand your consumer base, you must court Hispanics. And from within that segment, millennials are the fastest growing subgroup. But these young, tech-savvy consumers are bilingual. And that is where most naïve marketers miss the mark.

Today, to launch a Latin marketing campaign does not mean to stamp all messaging in Spanish. That is the most common mistake made by companies big and small. Studies by the Pew Research find that English is the predominant language in 34% of Hispanic households, and 21% of all millennials in the US are Latinos. Brands with history and experience courting Hispanic consumers know these facts and have made necessary marketing moves to continue their presence in the minds of those older consumers, but targeting the new generation without skipping a beat.

Billennials live in two worlds: one that is very American and uses English as the natural language. And another that is rooted in ancestry, which uses Spanish as part of their heritage. To acknowledge and show a level of understanding about these important aspects in the social and cultural reality of this emerging group, creates a connection and relevance for those brands that take on the new challenges the diverse market in the US presents.

In the market world of today, to assume is to err. So, to think that to capture the attention of the Latino consumer one has to address to them in Spanish, is a mistake. As a good marketing strategist, you have to know who you want to start the conversation with. Who is your primary target, where do they live, how old are they. It isn’t rocket science, but you have to do your homework before taking any step. And once you have established what consumer you want to go after, then show that consumer you know and share his or her passions, wants, dreams, needs.

Billennials are very active communicators and will explore your brand. Will ask questions and find out about your personality as a company. What role are you playing in their community, if any. What separates you from the online buzz and how can you enhance their lives. The advertising and marketing rules have changed. To empower your brand is to bring social value to your consumers. It is no longer about how bright and cool your packaging looks, or if your product is in the top shelf or the second. It is about the personality that your brand brings to the table of conversation.

And remember, with billennials, that conversation doesn’t always have to be in Spanish.


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