The rise of digital marketing allows connecting with the Latinex generation. But, what does it mean to talk about Latinos instead of Latinex or even Latinx? According to Merriam Webster Dictionary:
Latinx is a gender-neutral term used to refer to a person of Latin American descent. That is to say, the word Latinx pretends to end the binary definition of Latin, Latina, and the plural Latinos.
The idea is to say Latinex and detached from the masculine or feminine gender. Therefore, it is time for your business strategy to take this concept. And apply it as part of your marketing strategy.
But before we get into the subject, let us look at the Latinex phenomenon in the United States. And that is why it is not that easy nowadays to connect with the Latinex generation.
It is not that easy, in the first place,
connecting with the Latinex generation
In summer 2020, Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, asked a question on Twitter:
Does it seem like non-Latinos use Latinx a lot more than actual Latinos? So, a debate ensued on the Gonzalez Twitter thread.
Firstly, Spanish loyalists criticized the gender-inclusive label because of the attempts to change a language consisting of masculine and feminine nouns. Proponents called it a non-binary, inclusive label that recognizes Latinas and LGBTQ Latinos.
But, what is clear is that the label has gained popularity on the Internet. For instance, over the past five years, peaking on Google Trends. Since September 2020, a month before the presidential election. Let us check what Pew Research Center finds about the Latinex term in the Latino community.
The path for connecting with the Latinex generation
In 2020, the Pew Research Center study found that only a quarter of Latinos in the USA have heard the term, Latinex. And only 3% use it. Instead, the study shows Latino communities prefer to be referred to by their own country. For example, Mexican, Honduran, Colombian, or Cuban.
But the term Latinex is strongly embraced by:
- Younger Latinos
- Liberal Democrats
- And the LGBTQ community and their allies, including California Governor Gavin Newsom.
However, it tends to be rejected by many native Spanish speakers and older working-class Latinos too. As Laura E. Gomez said: it is a question of how people choose to call themselves. She is a law professor at UCLA and author of the book: Inventing Latinos: A New Story of American Racism.
So, who finally uses Latinex?
A curious fact: the use of this word is frequent among:
- Young Hispanic women
- USA-born Latinos
- And college-educated Latinos. At least, it is what the Pew Research Center says.
For instance, about 14% of Latina women, ages 18-29, are likely to use the term compared with 1% of young Latino men. To clarify, about 42% of younger Latinos, ages 18-29, say they have heard the term. That is in comparison with 7% of older Latinos, ages 65 and older.
However, almost 32% of U.S.-born Latinos are more likely to have heard of the term. That is, in contrast with 16% of foreign-born Latinos, according to the report. Moreover, about 29% of bilingual and English-speaking Latinos have heard the term, in relation with 7% of predominantly Spanish-speaking Latinos.
But, younger Latinos are also coming out as lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender. It is the concept of Beatriz E. Valenzuela, communications manager for the nonprofit Equality California LGBTQ. She explains that they tend to embrace the label.
22% of Latino millennials, ages 18-34, identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender, compared with African Americans, 14%, Anglos, 13%, and Asian Americans, 9%. All according to a 2018 GenForward survey. They study a series of topics related to Generation Z and millennial trends.
Latinex will stay for more time?
Latinos and non-Latinos historically have struggled to reach consensus. To clarify, on one label to describe descendants representing Latin American countries. It is the affirmation of Kevin R. Johnson, dean of the UC Davis School of Law and Chicano/Chicano Studies. In this regard, he adds:
These efforts now are trying to be constructive, unlike the epithets used in past generations. I think it is an effort to move forward.
The Hispanic label has also drawn criticism from progressive Latinos. They assume it for its association with Spain, according to Laura Gomez. For example, migrants from Latin America whose native language is an indigenous dialect. They may not want to be in the same group as Hispanics or Latinos.
Johnson said he would be surprised to hear the term between two Latinos having lunch. Also, he added: maybe a political figure would say something like that, but I do not know; I am not sure it would stick.
Valenzuela said it is hard to say, especially whether the label will replace used terms like Latino or Hispanic. But she emphasized that the tag makes LGBTQ Latinos feel seen, validated, and heard.
One of the main reasons it is starting to gain lots of use is because of (its) inclusivity, said Valenzuela. She thinks language evolves continuously, so we may see another term that better represents what people feel in the next ten years.
So, connecting with the Latinex generation in 5 easy steps is possible. That is why we invite you to continue reading and find out how to do it.
1) Connecting with the Latinex generation
it is a question of understanding them
First of all, the Latinex or Latinx community now makes up the largest ethnic market in the USA. They are representing over $1.5 trillion in buying power. Also, this figure increased by more than $500 billion since 2010, expecting to gain $400 billion by 2023. It is, by far, a tremendous opportunity to connect with this enormous community. Does it catch your attention?
In this vein, connecting with the Latinex generation is a significant challenge. According to Danny Hernández, head of communications and PR at Forsman & Bodenfors:
One of the biggest issues in advertising for Latinex is the one-dimensional portrayal. In other words is to go beyond the conception of Latinx in commercials, films, and media. Marketers need to look beyond stereotypes. And to project a more authentic picture.
However, to reach these contemporaries, it is more than necessary to understand their language. Language is a tactic, not a strategy, says Parker Morse, CEO of H Code. For a brand strategy, language is an essential part of reaching the Latinx audience. But there are many opportunities for brands utilizing the Hispanic cultural pillars. Hispanic culture is the mainstream culture now. Whether it is music, food, or entertainment, adds Morse. Therefore, do not miss this opportunity.
What can your business do to connect Latinex?
For Marcela Gara, creative director of Resource Media, the key is the Latinex identity. In this connection, she says:
Six in ten Hispanics belong to the Millennial generation. That is, they have a powerful effect on socio-cultural views. And redefining the Latinx identity.
She adds that Latinx is a gender-neutral identity as an alternative to the binary of Latino or Latina.
To put it in context: in the USA today, the Latino population makes up the biggest minority group in the country. And almost 55 million people identify themselves as Hispanic, according to the latest census. In other words, there is a lot of fluidity and impact. And not to be omitted by marketers or nonprofits when it comes to commitment and support.
However, Gara concludes that those numbers mean this demographic makes up one of the top 20 economies in the world. Most importantly, with a spending power of 1.5 trillion dollars.
2) Connecting with the Latinex generation
through nostalgia and stories
You have seen a big wave of remembrance of the 80s. Netflix series that refer to this decade with music, sports, a resurgence of video games of the time. So, that is not exclusive to reach the heart of the Latinex generation. But it has been more effective than with others. As a result, including nostalgia as an element to convey a message is so functional for Latinx.
Meanwhile, according to nostalgia, three things defines the Latinex experience:
Those elements refer to stories. One of the best ways you can appeal to people is through stories. Above all, stories viewers can connect with on a personal level. As a result, storytelling is so essential when engaging with a particular population. That is why the main element is identifying your public.
Take note if your business wants to reach the soul and connect with the Latinex Generation with stories:
Marketers will tell you that the best way you can appeal to people is through nostalgic stories. Especially stories viewers can connect with on a personal level. (Taken from How to Understand the Latinx Market, 2020)
Is also a matter of values
Understanding the Latinex community and its unique values is crucial, especially to plan strategic marketing to this demographic. However, marketers tend to center on family, food, traditions, and language. And while we appreciate all these things, that is not necessary to being Latinex.
On the other hand, cultural identity is very relevant to Latinex people. But how and what we identify with is not one-size-fits-all. For example, what vibrates with someone with Colombian roots? Because it may fail to connect with someone of Argentinian ancestry. So, take the time to find the distinction within diverse subcultures.
3) Connecting with the Latinex generation
is a question of technology and heritage
Videos always be a great marketing tool for every generation. Consequently, various studies show Latinex generation prefers to download or share videos online. Over 58% of them use streaming platforms like YouTube to find valuable information. So if you want to reach Latinex, video is the medium.
About it, Parker Morse says media consumption preferences evolve within the Latinex market. For instance, in the past, many advertisers focused their efforts on broadcasting. But now, even the older generations try to use digital and mobile. In other words, a mobile strategy is perfect for your business. Almost 80 percent of the Latinex access internet via mobile. This percentage is growing in the Latinex generation. Especially between the ages of 18 and 29, which is closer to 94 percent. So, to put all their efforts into a strategy aimed at advertising to this public.
Platform preferences for Latinex consumers
Media consumption practices and choices are evolving very fast within the Latinex market. For example, in the past, many merchants focused their efforts on broadcast networks. Yet, even the more adult generations are adapting to digital. And mobile as access and intuitiveness grows through diverse offerings. So, advertisers pay attention to how different ages are communicating on many platforms.
Keep in mind: a mix of broadcast and digital may be better for older viewers. On the other hand, it is necessary to consider social strategies for younger audiences. Because, according to a recent study, younger Latinex does not watch Spanish-language television.
These Latinex consume an enormous amount of media on social and other digital resources. So, advertisers should focus on the platforms they use to influence Latinex consumers.
Brands are increasing their efforts to cater to the growing influence and the purchasing power of this group. Also, they must take a thoughtful and genuine approach. That is, they must aid by direct audience feedback. Additionally, they need to collaborate with influencers to create unique experiences for this audience. And that results in success.
4) Connecting with the Latinex generation with calls to action
Latinex generation stands out for being the most likely to share content. Integrating a clear call to action will lead you to take concrete activities. For instance, factors like tone and passion are critical to Latinex consumers. As a result, they are proud of their background and heritage.
So, listening to Latinx customers allows you to create campaigns that speak to them. Also, calls to action appeal to their interests. And demonstrating that the brand has done its homework. Above all, it is coming from a place of understanding and respect for their cultural identity. It is an excellent way to connect with the Latinex generation.
Hispanic culture is mainstream, so lead your efforts towards Latinex
Hispanic culture is mainstream culture now, whether it is music, food, or entertainment. That was what Morse explained when he talks about reaching Latinex consumers.
He explains that one thing that can promote a brand and interact with these audiences. For instance, to increase their internal diversity hires. In that way, everyone understands that they need to be in front of this audience. But that is challenging from an expertise viewpoint. Why Because increased representation from these audiences can help reduce that.
Parker Morse concludes:
People know how to market to themselves better than they do to others. So there is a business case for increased diversity and inclusion across the board.
5) Connecting with the Latinex
generation using social networks
According to the Nielsen report, the Latinex generation is the most connected. In other words, they are social media addicts. For example, most of them use Facebook, but Instagram is their favorite. And, of course, YouTube, in which 75% of them find videos from past years (nostalgia), and 68% to keep up with the latest news. These platforms represent opportunities for engagement using strategies like targeted advertising. So, keep in mind that.
Use the correct media
Digital marketing is a phenomenal channel to reach the Latinex community. They rely heavily on mobile media. And almost 90% of Latino consumers stream video on a smartphone or tablet. This population also uses digital media to build communities among friends and family.
So, to connect with the Latinex group, marketers need to rethink their strategies. That is, to better understand and represent Latino culture. For example, Hispanic Heritage Month is a proper time to start. If marketers want to connect with Latinex, they carry out these suggestions every day.
So what can your organization do?
- The first thing is to assemble the right team. Focus on building a team that understands the diversity of the Latinex experience. Also, don’t only appoint someone who speaks Spanish. Or is Latino to lead projects targeting Latinex. That’s not enough.
- Second, don’t just focus on the language but culture. Also, explore images or videos that reflect different Latinex experiences or values. (While language is vital, it is not everything.) And, above all, be authentic, not tokenistic.
- Third, know your audience. What may work for Dominicans in New York may not work for Salvadorans in Los Angeles.
- Fourth, never translate using Google or an online translation service. Try to capture the meaning of the message you are sending. Not the literal text.
- Fifth, use technology. Remember that the mobile strategy is your best ally. For example, 80 percent of Latinos access the Internet through a mobile device. And among 18-29-year-old Latinex, that figure is much higher at 94 percent. Besides, other platforms such as YouTube represent engagement alternatives. All because they rely on strategies such as targeted advertising.
Brilla Media, an example of social media for Latinex
Do you know Ralph Paniagua, Manny Ruiz, and Joseph Paniagua? They are pioneers in the Hispanic industries of social media. And they know connecting with Latinex generation! Also, they have experience in:
- Pop culture festivals
- Sports marketing
- And press release services
That is why they are joining forces to launch Brilla Media (www.BrillaMedia.com). It is a company created and operated by Latinos. And they will leverage decades of experience, strategic alliances, and expertise to provide:
- Innovative brand positioning services
- Press release distribution
- Experiential storytelling focused on Latinx.
Brilla Media, powered by its premium proprietary content distribution platform, integrates partnerships, paid, owned, and earned media. Also, they guarantee the delivery of CPE campaigns. The company features five service pillars:
- Brilla Media (distribution)
- Festivals and live broadcasts, with Brilla Live
- Brilla Creative (branded content storytelling)
- Social media and influencer amplification, with Brilla Social
- Brilla Purpose (social good).
As part of its legacy of cause for good is the Brilla commitment. For instance, them contributing cash and marketing resources throughout the year to select. Also, for non-partisan, nonprofit organizations that serve the Hispanic community.
In 2020, during the COVID-19 crisis, Brilla produced three major live-streaming festivals. And that helped raise more than $1.6 million for 25 Latino nonprofits in the USA and Puerto Rico. For example, The Altísimo Live festival team. They support the USA farmworkers. As a result, they became finalists in the PRWeek 2021. That was the multicultural marketing campaign of the year.
The name of the is significant because Brilla means to shine in Spanish. And the narrative DNA of the brand refers to being a purpose-driven force for good.
Brilla Media brings pop-culture festivals to Latinex people
In 2021, Brilla has growing diversity of innovation content. They will feature a coast-to-coast trifecta of major Latinex pop-culture festivals. And it will be possible to broadcast live in Los Angeles, New York, and Miami. For example, Cinco de Mayo LA will anchor the West Coast on May 1 with a star-studded spring festival. Summer will highlight the venerable 116th Street Festival in New York on July 10. Besides, Hispanic Heritage Month will be the theme of Miami’s epic fall program. Also, NuestroFest, on October 2. If the conditions permitting all festivals will take place in 2022.
Manny Ruiz, the co-founder of Brilla Media, said:
Nothing I’ve done before compares to the enormous scale of partnerships. Also, digital media inventory, reach, talent, and access to celebrities. Besides influencers that Brilla represents from day one of its operations.
He concluded that it is a great honor to be part of a platform truly created by Latinos. And that will also have a focus on producing social-good projects for our Latino community.
On the other hand, Ralph Paniagua, also a co-founder of Brilla Media, added:
The timing for Brilla meets the needs of a rapidly changing industry. That must evolve with new and creative ways to engage the Latino consumer.
Brilla Media is created and operated by Latinos. In other words, it offers marketers innovative brand positioning services, press release distributions. And, the most relevant thing, experiential stories focused on Latinex.
Are there any more things to consider about the Latin X generation as customers? Any specific digital marketing strategies to keep in mind? Please, share it with us.
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