We learned a few marketing strategies in our last Millennial Generation blog, but let’s dig a little deeper into the ethnic and racial sub-segments that make up the generation. Millennials have become one of the most ethnically diverse generations in the United States. Only 57 percent of the country’s Millennial population are white, compared to Gen Xers, where 62 percent are white and Baby Boomers, where 74 percent are white. Hispanics are the largest ethnic sub-group within Millennials with a national presence of 21 percent which has doubled since the Baby Boomer Generation. As PR professionals draft their communications strategies, they must be make sure not to treat Millennials homogeneous group; ethnicity and race play a large role in strategic targeting the Millennial Generation. Cookie cutter strategies simply won’t work.
Images USA, a multicultural marketing communications agency, states African American Millennials are significantly more likely than Hispanic Millennials to regularly use social networking sites to make sure they purchase the best product at the best price. African Americans are the third largest ethnic group of the Millennial Generation behind Hispanics, occupying 13 percent of the population. Although they are confirmed buyers, Reaching Black Consumers shows that 38 percent of American Americans feel underrepresented in a media and twenty five percent feel that many advertisements targeted towards them are offensive. There are, of course, many facets to an African American identity, many of which can largely influence consumer behavior and advertiser opportunities.
The population of Hispanics in the United States continues to grow every year. Unlike their immigrant parents, Hispanic Millennials strive to define themselves without sacrificing tradition. Just like many African Americans, Hispanics value their individualized identities but still celebrate their ethnic diversity. Hispanic Millennials are heavily influenced by American youth culture and continue to be the fastest growing segment of the population. “What we’re seeing is that a 24-year-old Hispanic may have more in common with the 24-year-old African American or Asian American than with his 45-year-old uncle,” says Greg Knipp, CEO of Dieste, the largest Hispanic ad agency in the U.S.
Hispanics can differ from other millennial groups and other generations of Hispanics, simply by their media usage. Stuart Fiel, a contributor to Adweek, finds they are nearly twice as likely to own a tablet and use YouTube, as well as 66 percent more likely to connect via mobile than any other ethnic group. Marketing to Hispanic Millennials can be intimidating to many organizations because of the vast array of media outlets and the possible language barrier that are tied to them. Although it might appear that Hispanics predominately speak Spanish as their preferred language, the majority of Millennial Latinos watch English-only television and prefer to browse websites in English. It can be easily forgotten that Hispanic Millennials are the first generation that is primarily native born.
Hispanic Millennials are also more in tune with technology-based marketing. Dan McQuarrie, creator of New Media Marketing, a blog which reflects upon using new media in marketing, suggests that using television, radio, and direct marketing in conjunction with each other may be the most effective marketing strategies with Hispanics. McQuarrie states that entire families will tune into radio, on average, between 26 to 30 hours a week, thirteen percent above the general population. Almost three quarters of Hispanics claim to always read their junk mail which encompasses direct marketing materials and are 211 percent more likely to download content from the Internet.
Hispanic Millennials remain tightly connected to those around them making word-of-mouth marketing a heavily utilized tactic. The power of simply talking to each other can be overlooked by many marketers who have become digital media friendly. Hispanics are notably influenced by the opinions of friends and family. If one member of the family is brand loyal and recommends a specific product or service, he or she will share their own personal experience. Promotores and Promotoras are community members who promote health in their own communities from various organizations. They provide word-of-mouth empowerment through peer education and address health needs in their communities. Many companies could benefit by using similar tactics when targeting Hispanic Millennials. Graciela Eleta, senior VP-brand solutions at Univision Communications states that Hispanic Millennials “Eat tamales and burgers, and watch football and futbol. It’s a la carte acculturation; they pick and choose which part of Latino culture they get to keep. It’s less about language fluency and more about cultural fluency.”