What You Need to Know About the Bilingual Bicultural Hispanic Market

July 26, 2023 Author: Mario X. Carrasco

The American ethos of “individualism,” which prioritizes self-reliance, independence and frugality, has tremendously impacted general market advertising strategies. Marketing to Hispanic consumers, however, requires a different approach. The Hispanic ethos embodies collectivism, emphasizing the belief and practice of interdependence and interconnectedness among individuals. Twenty-eight percent of Hispanics live in multigenerational homes where bilingual-bicultural family members typically serve as digital sherpas for Spanish-dominant loved ones who need assistance with online purchasing decisions and online/offline searches.

Interestingly, when Hispanics search online, they prefer to search in English, particularly among the highly acculturated. Marketers may misinterpret this to mean that English-dominate or English-proficient Hispanics are receptive to general market ads when they are not. While advertisers may be reaching Hispanics with these ads, they are not truly connecting with them if they are not brand loyal. And how can they be brand loyal if they do not see themselves reflected in the campaigns? At that point, it becomes a transaction driven by price or availability, not a genuine connection with the brand.

To effectively engage with the bilingual-bicultural Hispanic market, brands must embrace and understand the importance of community, family, and shared experiences. Rather than solely focusing on individual benefits, marketers should emphasize these cultural values in their marketing campaigns. Highlighting how a product or service contributes to the collective well-being and fosters connections can resonate more deeply with Hispanic consumers.

In this episode of The New Mainstream Podcast, Maria (Lopez) Twena, Chief Marketing Officer at Adsmovil and children’s book author of the MariVi the Master Navigator series, discusses the importance of cultural values like collectivism to marketing to bilingual-bicultural Hispanics.

For more Hispanic Consumer insights, get the free report, “The Hispanic Market is not a Monolith but it is Collective,” presented by Publicis Media, Adsmovil and ThinkNow. Download it here.

Meet Our Guest:

Maria (Lopez) Twena, Chief Marketing Officer, Adsmovil

Maria (Lopez) Twena serves as Chief Marketing Officer of Adsmovil, a leading minority-owned and certified mobile advertising and digital media pioneer.

An award-winning marketer with extensive expertise in technology, digital media, and branding, Twena has over thirty years of marketing acumen. Prior to joining Adsmovil, she served as CMO of Entravision Communications and as CMO of Pulpo Media.

Widely recognized for her expertise in branding, positioning, and multicultural consumer segments, Twena’s accolades include receiving the ADCOLOR Award (2009) for her groundbreaking achievement in identifying, segmenting, and targeting bilingual/bicultural Hispanics while at MRM (McCann Worldgroup). There, she founded a discipline that developed Best Practices for advertising to the Hispanic bilingual/bicultural cohort.

She has served as a Board Member of the Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies and as a faculty member of the Association of National Advertisers (ANA). She is also a ThinkNow Advisory Board Member. Twena is a graduate of Loyola University of the South (B.A. Psychology) and the University of New Orleans (M.A. Mass Communications, with a specialty in Film and Television).

She has also authored a children’s book and TV series: MariVi, the Master Navigator Series, which follows its heroine, MariVi, a bilingual/bicultural character, and her family, the Abascals, as they adapt to life in the U.S. The first of the MariVi television series premiered on Nuestra.TV in April 2023.