In April this year I had the pleasure of being part of the closing Keynote at Digital Dealer 18 in Tampa, Florida, with Peter Leto from Google, Ricky Lopez from David Maus Toyota and David Villa from Auto Dealer Live. The entire session focused on the value of Hispanic Car Buyers and the message was so valuable that I wanted to make sure to share it with those who weren’t able to attend. There are a few major points that Car Dealers must understand if they want to make a real connection with Hispanic Auto Buyers.
There are 55 Million Hispanic People in the United States. What’s better than knowing that there are that many more buyers? Here’s what’s better, the average age of a Hispanic New Car buyer is much lower than Non-Hispanics (see chart).
What this means is that you’ll be able to sell the average Hispanic New Car buyer three more vehicles in their lifetime! Multiply that by 55 Million and you’ll be really excited. 1.9 Million Hispanic shoppers are expected to purchase a vehicle in the next 12 months, according to Experian Simmons Research NGCS Winter 2014 Study, which will account for about 18% of new vehicle sales this year. This means you can increase your dealership sales and profit dramatically if you will just invest the time and energy into learning how to serve this growing community. Not sure about your market? Use something as simple as Polk data in the Facebook Ad Manager to see how many in-market Hispanic buyers there are near you.
If you actually want to connect with Hispanic buyers though, you have to get beyond just thinking about ‘how we can advertise differently’ and think: “How can I really be better at serving people as a whole?”
Step one is to blow up some of the stereotypical myths that plague our industry, so in the rest of this article I’m going to bust four big myths and help you set a course for being a better Dealer, and enjoying the financial rewards of doing so.
Myth 1: Hispanics prefer traditional advertising.
WRONG! Truth #1: Hispanics are DIGITAL
According to Google research, 78% of U.S. Hispanic auto shoppers use the internet as their primary source of information. This means they aren’t going to the Hispanic supermarket or gas station to buy your crappy print magazine in Spanish. Do people look at those? Maybe, but it’s only because they haven’t found a local dealer that cares enough to make it easy for them by putting the information online in a quality format. Fact is, Hispanic shoppers are Digital and they often begin on Google. The next best sources for their online shopping, believe it or not, are Dealership websites. The downside is 99% of dealers don’t have anything online in Spanish so when buyers shop in Spanish, most of you don’t even exist.
Myth 2: Hispanics are behind the times.
WRONG AGAIN! Truth #2: Hispanics are MOBILE
According to Google, 60% of U.S. Hispanics live in mobile only households which means no other laptop or PC. 72% of U.S. Hispanics have smart phones which is 10% higher than the general population and here is what’s really exciting: they spend 54% more time on their mobile devices than non-Hispanics. What does this mean to you? It means if you’re not marketing with a mobile focus, you’re missing 60% of the Hispanic market, or roughly 33 MILLION people! Better yet, the top actions taken on mobile devices by Hispanic car shoppers are: looking at vehicle photos, calling the dealership and viewing current offers. Do you have any of this in Spanish? Sadly, they aren’t calling or looking at you because you don’t exist when it comes to Spanish.
Myth 3: The best video reach is Spanish TV for Hispanics
STILL WRONG! Truth #3: Hispanics watch more auto video than anyone!
According to Nielsen, U.S. Hispanics watch more than eight hours of online video from computers each month and over six hours of online video from mobile devices. This is much higher than the general population, and Google says that nearly seven out of 10 Hispanic car buyers watch online video in their path to purchase. Best of all, most of that video is consumed on YouTube which is absolutely FREE to you as a Dealership! Test drives and vehicle highlight videos lead the type of videos that are being watched so whip out your selfie stick and start cracking off some videos in Spanish before your competition does.
Myth 4: You have to be a master of Spanish to reach Hispanic Buyers
Thankfully this is wrong: Truth #4: This is STILL a people business!
People are people and the most important thing to everyone is to feel like they are valued and respected. The exciting thing is that our industry is filled with some of the most passionate people in the world. When we want to make a change, or try something new, we go at it with 100% passion and excitement. We grab the balloons and blow up dancing man and let the world know we have something big going on.
The bad news is, we are a group of people that are very short sighted. It’s evident in the ‘hero to zero’ mentality we have with our dealership goals too. Salespeople live from the 1st to the 31st and we focus on ‘month end’ rather than focusing on this quarter, this year or our success for the next five years. Because of this instant gratification mindset, we usually commit to something for 30-90 days and rather than staying committed and watching it grow to the level we want, we bail before the magic begins.
Imagine how many people were frustrated that they didn’t hang in there during the creation of Apple, Google, or Facebook. Your Dealership could be missing out on some of the best success it has ever seen, but you will just need to be willing to care enough to create a plan that’s longer than a few months.
The Hispanic community is very passionate, family oriented, and loyal. If you serve them well, they will tell their friends, their family, their church, and their co-workers. Because this community is so passionate about sharing with one another, you’ll see a dramatic increase in repeat and referral business this year! If you want that to happen, all you have to do is show them you care.