Last October, Facebook IQ commissioned a study to determine the language preferences for Hispanic consumers living it the United States.
Not surprisingly, the results of the study overwhelmingly showed that Spanish-speaking residents in the United States, which comprise a $3.1 trillion market, preferred receiving marketing materials and navigating smart-phone apps in their native language. In other words, bilingual consumers in the United States do not feel the need to stop speaking, reading and communicating in Spanish just to “fit in” to U.S. culture.
What this means for marketers is simple and powerful: advertisements and public relations materials are far more effective when they are delivered in native, culturally-sensitive, and localized language variants to Hispanic marketing segments.
The data from the study revealed the following relevant highlights:
1. 86% of those surveyed felt that speaking Spanish, which they considered to be more “beautiful” and “emotional” than English, was a way to stay connected to their culture
2. Hispanics were 1.4 times more likely to buy products from static advertisements in Spanish than those who saw the same advertisement in English
3. 35% of Hispanics living in the U.S. who still predominantly speak Spanish feel more confident receiving product information in Spanish to avoid missing key details
4. 62% of those surveyed agreed that “Spanglish” is an informal and effective way to communicate, although 50% believed that mixing the two languages was “disrespectful”
5. 60% of Hispanics who speak predominantly English believed that brands should advertise in both Spanish and English, although many Hispanics found that when content was translated into Spanish it was too literal, forcing them to request the English version for clarity
6. To make brand videos more culturally relevant, Hispanics recommended including Spanish-speaking actors and emphasizing family gatherings and humor
Presumably, similar findings could be replicated with other large foreign-language consumer groups, such as Portuguese-speaking U.S. residents from Brazil.
The take-away for advertising agencies is that a professional language services company, like Lingua Franca Translations, can greatly enhance the effectiveness of any advertising campaign, as we already do for our corporate clients, by reaching niche markets in their native tongue, while being mindful always of local variations, jargon, and idioms among different segments of the Hispanic market.