Posted by: sbilingual | August 23, 2011

Marketing to Spanish Speakers

Every business is looking for a way to increase your visibility among customers and increase your client base. Guess what? Translation is an easy way to reach new markets and boost sales — and marketing to Spanish speakers can be the best first step.

According to a survey by Hispantelligence, Hispanics make up 15.1 percent of the world’s population. Not only is marketing to Spanish speakers a big opportunity, but its potential earnings increase with time — the study states that Hispanics have a growth rate higher than any other group.

All this can total to some serious sales potential. Statisticians estimate that Hispanics will spend $1.1 trillion a year by 2012. How can your marketing efforts accommodate this Spanish-speaking audience?

1) Start Small
Even a few phrases or slogans in Spanish can introduce Hispanic audiences to your product. Marketing materials with some Spanish translation can be the gateway for Hispanic audiences to get to know your product.

The majority of Hispanics are fluent or partially bilingual in English, so complete translation won’t make or break your marketing efforts. But including some Spanish is a welcoming sign for those who speak the language. As your brand recognition increases, your marketing campaigns will benefit from gradual escalation of available Spanish materials to reach a broader audience.

2) Localize
The term “Hispanic” serves as an umbrella to loosely refer to very diverse groups of Spanish speakers. From Mexico to Argentina, these varied groups must be approached differently to make your marketing successful in Spanish, even if you’re only targeting groups within the US.

That makes localization essential when marketing for Spanish speakers. Localization targets your Spanish translations to a specific audience, and can help you avoid possible marketing mishaps.

When Tropicana was marketing orange juice to a Spanish speaking audience, it called its product “juga de china,” since “china” means “orange” in Puerto Rico. But when it used this translation in Miami, Cuban-Americans thought the juice was from China, since their word for orange is “naranja.” Localize your message to avoid these translation mistakes!

3) Consider Demographics
As you expand your marketing campaigns for Spanish speakers, think about the demographics of the different audiences you’re serving. Age, gender, economic profile and many other factors can determine the success of your marketing materials.

Consider tailoring your marketing translations to specific groups within the Hispanic community. This is another benefit of localization — it can make your message relevant for teenagers or seniors, men or women. Marketing translation is more than marketing in Spanish or another language — it’s also about conveying a look and feel to the right demographic.

4) Research
When your marketing materials are complete, take the time to do some market research. Testing your marketing power on Spanish speaking audiences before you use the materials in a campaign will save you money — and maybe help you save face.

Think about when Parker Pen company ran its ads in Mexico that read: “It won’t leak in your pocket and embarrass you.” Their translators mistakenly used the word “embarazar” on their marketing materials, so the Spanish meaning was, “It won’t leak in your pocket and make you pregnant.”

Professional, accurate translation can help you avoid these simple errors and promote your marketing materials to a burgeoning Hispanic customer base. Give your business a boost by translating your marketing for Spanish speakers!


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