Why Hispanic Americans are Automotive Marketers’ Most Receptive Audience

Jon Schulz, CMO of Viant, and Jacqueline Hernández, CMO of NBCUniversal’s Hispanic Group, present at J.D. Power’s 2015 Automotive Marketing Roundtable.

At the recent J.D. Power Automotive Marketing Roundtable in Las Vegas, I took the stage with Jacqueline Hernández, CMO of NBCUniversal’s Hispanic Group, to discuss how Hispanic Americans are rapidly becoming the most receptive audience for automotive marketers.

Every year the Hispanic population in the U.S. grows by about one million people. Today, Hispanic American consumers account for $27.9 billion in registered new vehicle transactions, representing 11% of the total market – an astounding figure no matter how you look at it, and one that is continuing to grow.

Historically, car brands like Toyota, Ford, Chevy, Nissan and Honda have marketed very strategically to Hispanic American car buyers, and their efforts have consistently yielded double and triple year over year sales growth. In recent years, however, Hispanic Americans have developed an appetite for luxury car brands like Mercedes-Benz, Lexus, Audi and BMW.

In fact, luxury segment purchasing growth among Hispanic Americans has risen 16% from 2013 to 2015. Compare that to just 5% growth among non-Hispanics over the same period of time. This shift in consumer behavior signifies an emerging trend: automotive buying power among Hispanic Americans is on the rise.

Earlier this year, we partnered with Millward Brown to publish a study focusing on U.S. shopping and media consumption habits among Hispanic Americans. The report, which drew on trends across verticals and device types, produced some interesting auto-related consumer behavior findings.

Mobile Ads are More Persuasive

36% of Hispanic American auto shoppers surveyed found that in-app mobile ads were persuasive to them.

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What does this data ultimately tell us? Hispanic Americans over-index slightly when it comes to mobile usage, but nearly double for those actively shopping for vehicles.

Video Ad Impact is Greater

Responsiveness to video ads followed a similar trend. Among self-identified Hispanic auto shoppers polled in our survey, 22% found that video ads were most likely to persuade them to make a purchase.

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Among non-Hispanics auto shoppers, only 8% found that they were most likely to be persuaded by video. These findings signify that Hispanics are nearly 3x as likely to consider a brand when making a purchase than non-Hispanics.

Hispanics Are Much More Social

Lastly, we polled Hispanics and non-Hispanics on social sharing behaviors, and uncovered one of the largest consumer differences.

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When asked if they had discussed a brand online with others or used a brand’s hashtag in social messaging, nearly 50% of Hispanic auto shoppers answered “yes” to both. Among non-Hispanics, 20% said “yes” to discussing a brand online with others, and only 15% answered “yes” to using a brand’s hashtag in their social messaging.

Tying it All Together

By owning mobile, video and social – all very different and challenging mediums and formats in their own right – automotive marketers will be successful in reaching Hispanic American car buyers in the digital space.

To go a step further, however, auto marketers must consider not only the mediums and formats with which they’re reaching Hispanics, but also the methods with which they’re targeting them. For example, consider these two Hispanic American audience statistics:

  • Brands that advertise in Spanish on TV are 2.5x more likely to be recalled
  • 62% of Spanish language ads online deliver brand recall (compared to 54% of English-only ads)

To effectively leverage these audience idiosyncrasies, automotive marketers must shift away from probabilistic cookie targeting and employ a people-based, or deterministic, targeting approach.

By targeting actual Hispanic American car buyers, whose ages, devices, incomes, locations, behaviors and vehicle purchase histories are all known, marketers are able to create a single customer view for each auto shopper. Now, with these singular views, automotive marketers can deliver the right message, at the right time, to the right Hispanic American consumer.

  • #automotive marketing
  • #car brands
  • #car buyers
  • #Chevy
  • #digital marketing
  • #digital media
  • #digital video
  • #Ford
  • #hispanic american consumers
  • #hispanic americans
  • #Honda
  • #J.D. Power
  • #Jacqueline Hernández
  • #luxury brands
  • #media consumption
  • #Millward Brown
  • #mobile ads
  • #NBCUniversal
  • #Nissan
  • #research
  • #social media
  • #Toyota
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