Connecting with the Hispanic Consumer: Community Relations and Cause Related Marketing

Sep 22, 11 Connecting with the Hispanic Consumer: Community Relations and Cause Related Marketing

We are all by now fully aware of the emerging Hispanic and multicultural market. It seems as though everywhere we look we are seeing statistics on how the Hispanic population continues to rise; we also know that as marketers, we cannot ignore this booming segment. The question then becomes how can you reach them and create that all important brand loyalty?

The Yankelovich MONITOR Multicultural Study conducted in 2010 discovered that roughly one-third of Hispanic and African American consumers are more likely to choose brands and companies that support the causes they believe in and the communities where they live. According to Jim Legg, executive vice president of leadership and innovation at The San Jose Group, “It is important to play a significant role and have a positive and engaging impact within the community in order to have any chance of winning over the multicultural market, and to make them loyal to your brand.” The study also showed that an overwhelming 79% of Hispanic respondents agreed with the statement, “companies that make sincere efforts to be part of the Hispanic/African-American community deserve my loyalty.”

While cause related marketing and community relations are not new topics, many Hispanics feel as though they are seen as an afterthought for their demographic. The same 2010 research indicated that 62% of Hispanics agreed that there is an extremely small amount of brands and companies that truly care about the condition of their communities. Marketers must be aware of these perceptions if they are to have any chance of capturing a significant portion of the Hispanic and multicultural markets. While the majority of the Hispanic population does not believe that there are many brands in the marketplace that are making a conscious effort to play a role in bettering their community, there have been many success stories where companies have won over consumers through cause related marketing and community outreach.

For example, Coors sponsored the tour of the Mexican pop band, Maná.  The beer-brand also donated $125,000 towards college scholarships for students from the United States, Puerto Rico and Mexico. Similarly, earlier this year the Staples Foundation for Learning, a not-for-profit arm of the office supply chain, Staples, sponsored the Hispanic Heritage Foundation, donating $100,000 towards the foundations Hispanic Heritage Teacher Award, which honors teachers throughout the United States who have had a positive impact on the lives of children in Latino communities. In 1985, McDonald’s founded HACER, a scholarship program which provides financial assistance for Hispanic youths across the country. HACER has become one of the largest scholarship programs in the country, and has awarded more than $20 million in scholarships to nearly 14,000 Hispanic students. Western Uniondeveloped a community relations campaign, aiming to bridge the cultural gap which was titled, “¡Sí!Western UnionHelps Make Dreams Come True.” The campaign asked Hispanic consumers to share their life stories and give examples of how helping others helped make their own dreams come true.

Since 2008, The San Jose Group has assisted U.S. Cellular in its Calling All Communities campaign which awards $1 million each year to schools across the country to help enhance the learning experience for thousands of students. This year, the third annual campaign includes exciting enhancements such as increasing the number of winners from 10 to 18 schools. Public and private schools, kindergarten through high school, are eligible to win a share of $1 million that can be used any way the schools see fit. Past champions have said that while the money was an educational boon for the schools, the campaign to win stimulated an equally rewarding and lasting sense of community. The campaign voting is live from now through Oct. 6, and anyone 18 years or older can visit any U.S. Cellular store and ask an associate for a code to vote for their favorite school at No purchase is necessary and you don’t have to be a U.S. Cellular customer to vote. The winning schools will be announced in October and November. Campaigns such as these allow brands a way to connect with their consumers on levels beyond traditional advertising.

Using community relations and cause related marketing is a great way for marketers to show consumers that they care and that they stand for more than just the almighty dollar. Some advantages to this approach are that it helps establish credibility, and creates personal relationships between the brand and their consumers. With thousands of choices at consumers fingertips it is critical that marketers do all that they can to make their brand stand out and break through the clutter. With a growing, and highly brand loyal Hispanic population, it is becoming more critical for marketers to reach out and grab the attention of this emerging market.  By implementing cause related marketing campaigns a brand can help differentiate itself from the competition, and through community outreach within the Hispanic market, they can help establish trust, positive feelings and the all important brand loyalty.

For more information about this topic please email For more information about the San Jose Group please visit

Sources Cited:

  1. “Social Responsibility Weighs Higher in Purchase Decisions for Hispanics and African Americans.” Hispanic PR Blog – Your Complete Source for Hispanic Public Relations, Social Media & Marketing News. 15 Sept. 2010. Web. 25 Aug. 2011. <>.
  2. “Multi-Cultural II.” Cause Marketing. 25 July 2007. Web. 25 Aug. 2011. <>.
  3. “Bromley Communication PR Campaign for Western Union Wins Top Multicultural PR Award from TexasPR Association.” Hispanic PR Blog – Your Complete Source for Hispanic Public Relations, Social Media & Marketing News. 15 Feb. 2010. Web. 25 Aug. 2011. <>.

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