The Spanish-speaking community is a fast growing one in the United States, especially in big states—like California, Texas, Florida—and other border states, such as Arizona and New Mexico. Law firms in these and other areas with a growing Hispanic presence need to devise outreach plans that will reach these prospects when they’re looking for legal services.
Here are a few important tips to keep in mind when doing marketing for lawyers in Hispanic communities.
Most Hispanics prefer to describe themselves by country of origin. Just as previous immigrant generations from Europe did not describe themselves as “European,” but as “German,” “Italian” or “Irish,” the Hispanic community is identified by more granular terms.
Each geographic area is different: in California, 30 percent of your audience prefers “Hispanic,” while 17 percent defines themselves as “Latino.” In Texas though, those numbers are 46 percent and 8 percent respectively.
Even though you may have learned a “Spanish” language in high school or college, there are, in fact, several different dialects and variants of Spanish in the United States. There are also differences in how Hispanics of different generations react to advertisements.
Consequently, marketers have found it helpful to divide the Hispanic market into 3 segments:
- Hispanic dominant. A little less than a quarter of the audience, they speak mostly Spanish and therefore consume most of their media in Spanish. On average, they are about 40 years old and have arrived in the United States within the last decade.
- Bi-cultural. They probably arrived in the United States in their teens or pre-teens and are bilingual. They tune into English-language media, but are often attracted to marketing campaigns that make an explicit appeal to their heritage.
- S. dominant. This group likely arrived in the United States when they were extremely young. Consequently, they react very much like other segments of the U.S. market. Like their bi-cultural counterparts, they are drawn to marketing appeals to their roots.
One approach marketing campaigns have used for the bi-cultural and U.S. dominant audiences is what the industry calls “Spanglish.” They keep English as the primary language of their campaign, but then insert Spanish phrases within.
The Pew Research Center is renowned for the intensive, detail-oriented studies of the American marketplace. Their Hispanic Center uncovered an interesting tidbit that has definite implications for marketing—Hispanics are more likely than other Americans to use their phone to get online and are 1.5 times more likely to purchase mobile apps and digital media. This underscores the importance of your firm being fully optimized for mobile in reaching out to this audience.
Finally, all the marketing in the world is fruitless if you can’t close the deal when the prospect comes into your office. In that regard, having a bi-lingual attorney or paralegal is absolutely paramount in marketing for the Hispanic audience.