It is no secret to those Insurance agencies who are already successfully selling to Hispanics that it is quickly becoming beneficial and lucrative to target this market. There is new data available that backs the spending power and growth of this group. So why, then, isn’t every agency successful at marketing to this ever-evolving Hispanic population?
Here are 5 key tips you must know when marketing Insurance products to Hispanics.
#1 Know your target audience.
There are very specific groups within the Hispanic population, and each is very dynamic from the next. There are cultural differences, language differences, even generational differences. And you need to decide which will be your primary focus. The one good thing about Insurance; is though it is universal, meaning anybody, anywhere can sell it or buy it, people will only travel so far for the services you offer. So determining your niche within the Hispanic culture will be slightly easier when you look at your local demographics. Are you in Miami, San Diego or Corpus Christi for example, where there are strong cultural influences? Or are you in places like Orlando, Chicago or San Francisco where the generation of Hispanic (meaning 1st, 2nd or 3rd generation) plays a larger role over culture? What the independent Agent has as an advantage over the larger corporate agencies is the ability to tailor their practice specifically to the dominating Hispanic culture in their area.
#2 Use images that represent the Hispanic person you are targeting.
This again involves knowing your target audience within the Hispanic community. In your less culturally influenced cities, the generation of the person you are targeting becomes important. Someone who was born and raised in Mexico or Puerto Rico, for example, will not be as subject to the “American lifestyle” as one who was born and raised with the Americanized ideals. Your second and third generation Hispanics are blending more and more to the images of today’s American standards. Though they are still heavily influenced by “family” and ‘family images”, they are also influenced by images of personal growth and wealth.
The more culturally influenced Hispanics in places like Miami or Houston do better with images relating to their specific cultures. Not just providing for their immediate families, but to their extended as well. To show images that do not include old and young people together will not appeal to these heavily cultural dominated areas. This does not mean you should include sombreros or cigars in your advertising campaigns, however, vibrant colors and images of modest homes and families have proven to be successful.
#3 Accurate translations.
The best advice anyone can give when marketing to Hispanics, regardless of your target audience, is NEVER use slang. If a Dominican, for instance, is engaged in a conversation with another Dominican, then the use of slang may be appropriate. But it has no place in print or online marketing. A slang phrase in one culture could be completely offensive to another and may cause more damage than good.
In addition, if you are going to offer translated services and documents, make sure they are prepared and translated by a professional; someone who knows the language formally. Translation is not just simply exchanging Spanish words from English ones as the entire format and sentence structure needs to be changed to make sense.
#4 Offer bilingual services.
Catering to Spanish only is just as profit prohibitive as catering to English only. To truly expand into both markets, you need to offer services in both languages. Recognizing that there are differences not only from culture to culture, but also from family member to family member. A parent’s preferred language may be Spanish, and they will be more attracted and comfortable with Spanish terminology and forms. Their son or daughter, having been educated and raised in the States; may be more attracted to the services you have outlined in English. However, since you took the time to cater to their parents’ language barrier, you will gain the loyalty of both.
This step may also include the expansion of your staff. Whether you advertise your services in print form or on online, you will ultimately need someone to pick up the phone and communicate with anyone who calls in. Having at least one person in your staff, who can communicate effectively in English and in Spanish, will only set you further apart from the competition within your community.
#5 Network your agency in both languages.
This is different than simply offering bilingual services. For this you will actually be advertising your insurance agency using both English and Spanish networks. Print advertising is the easiest to explain, you simply provide your brochures and pamphlets in both languages.
To effectively market a website is trickier. Make sure whoever you choose for your website optimization provides you with both English and Spanish SEO (search engine optimization). Finally, that your page titles and meta-tags are written in both languages as well.
To be successful with one specific market may be easier. But to transcend into a multicultural agency could ultimately double your profits. Knowledge is the key element when marketing to Hispanics in your local area. The more you know, the more you will set yourself apart as the trusted and respected advisor.
By Michael Williams