Everyone knows that growing a business means understanding which demographics will help it grow the most.
And yet, many law firms don’t segment their markets to include important cultural differentiators. Instead, most only focus on age, gender, and location.
This is a huge mistake, though, as the U.S. Hispanic population is arguably the most important cultural demographic for law firms looking to grow.
The subject can be a complicated one, but we’ve included all of the pertinent details you need to understand who makes up this population, why they deserve extra attention, and how to give it to them.
What You Have to Know About Marketing to the Hispanic Market
Before we explore the many reasons Hispanic prospects are among the best for your law firm, it’s important that you first understand the unique aspects of addressing this demographic.
While “Hispanic” is an accurate umbrella term, there are more specific ones that apply to unique groups under that umbrella. In order to market to each of them, you need to understand how they prefer to be addressed.
In fact, if you’re already running Google Ads for Hispanic prospects and aren’t seeing many clicks, it could be that you’re simply using the wrong terms. Making this one important change could be all it takes to turn your campaigns around and see that positive ROI.
After all, imagine a company was trying to target attorneys. Maybe it’s a marketing agency. Maybe it’s a marketing agency based in Austin, TX with a lot of experience helping law firms generate qualified leads through PPC. Maybe they’re also really nice, easy to talk to, and a lot of people even say they’re very good looking.
They sound like they’d be a lot of help, right?
But what if they’re ads were addressing you as “law professionals”?
Does that sound right?
Or “legal service providers”?
Those terms may technically describe you, but they don’t inspire a lot of confidence, do they?
Of course not.
It sounds like the company doesn’t really understand you, so you’re probably not going to click on their ads.
(Note: This was a hypothetical. If you thought we were talking about ourselves, we weren’t. We actually know how to target prospects and would never make this mistake, but the rest of those traits do apply to us, especially the one about our looks)
Alright, with that said, it’s time to meet the Hispanic population of the United States.
Who Are Latinx?
In the next section, we’re going to detail five very important segments of the Hispanic population.
However, before we do, it’s worth noting that many people who may have formerly been considered Latina or Latino no longer identify with that term.
Instead, many have adopted the identifier, “Latinx.”
This alternative to traditional terms Latino and Latina is defined by The Oxford English Dictionary as:
“A person of Latin American origin or descent (used as a gender-neutral or non-binary alternative to Latino or Latina)”
The term may have originated as far back as 2004 according to Google Trends data cited in, Latinx: A Brief Handbook, but it largely flew under the radar at first.
It’s been in the last few years that Latinx has seen a resurgence among Hispanic people throughout North America.
But why did the term become necessary?
The popularity of “Latinx” as an identifier mirrors the growing movement among people of all ethnicities, sexual orientations, and genders to choose how they want to identify themselves.
In the Spanish language, “Latina” only refers to cisgender females. “Latino” only identifies cisgender males. Those traditional labels feel outdated to many people, especially among Millennials and Generation Z.
The problem is made all the worse by the fact that a group of Hispanic individuals is referred to as “Latinos”, even when it includes women.
“Latinx” gives people the ability to refer to individuals or groups without relying on traditional gender descriptors. It’s similar to the English version of the singular “they”, which was Time’s Word of the Year back in 2015 for this very reason.
Other attempts in the past to overcome the traditional restrictions of “Latina” and “Latino” came up short for pronunciation reasons. In text, there was “Latina/o”, but that doesn’t translate well to communicating aloud. “Latin@” was another valiant effort but failed for the same reason.
Don’t worry. We’ll cover pronouncing Latinx in just a moment, so you know exactly how to say it.
Although adoption of Latinx has been especially widespread throughout the LGBTQIA+ community, one misconception around the term is that it refers to sexual orientation.
Joseph M. Pierce is the assistant professor in Stony Brook University’s Department of Hispanic Languages and Literature and describes the distinction this way:
“It does not imply any particular sexuality…Nor does ‘Latinx’ apply to everyone as an identity category. Instead, it expands the possibilities for expression that people have at their disposal. People who have been marginalized because of the gendered dynamics of Spanish view this shift toward the ‘x’ as one of inclusivity and openness.”
That said, not every member of the Hispanic community is comfortable with this label.
Latinx May Not Be for Everyone
Although the whole point of the term is to be inclusive, many Hispanics don’t like to be called Latinx. Some actually find the term offensive, a form of “reverse appropriation.” As one Latino man put it in an interview with Latina:
“So instead of taking something from Spanish…they are putting a distinctively American—and really, it’s mostly found at elite college institutions—viewpoint into a language without appreciation or reverence for it. That’s reverse appropriation, where we blatantly force our worldview into another culture.”
When it comes to marketing your law firm, our suggestion is to use both in your ads and see which your market seems to prefer. It might be that you need to use Latinx for some segments and Latino or Latina for others.
As far as our agency is concerned, we understand both sides: those who feel strongly about making Spanish less gender-centered and those who think that it impacts the integrity of the language.
For the sake of neutrality, we will use Latina, Latino, and Latinx throughout this article. We hope this will be taken in the spirit of respect with which it’s meant.
You may want to do the same on your firm’s website or even make mention that you’re trying to use language that is both inclusive and respectful.
How Do You Pronounce Latinx?
Lastly, before we move on to describing the different demographics of the American Hispanic population, we want to make sure you know how to pronounce “Latinx.”
Putting it on your website and in your ads is one thing, but if you mess it up on the phone, you might alienate a prospect.
Fortunately, it’s simple. According to Merriam-Webster, the way to pronounce Latinx is:
“The most common way to pronounce Latinx is the same way you would Spanish-derived Latina or Latino but pronouncing the “x” as the name of the English letter X. So you get something like \luh-TEE-neks\. ‘Latinx’ is a gender-neutral word for people of Latin American descent.”
Understanding the Different Members of the Hispanic Community
According to the United States Census Bureau, the Hispanic population in the U.S. is estimated to be a little over 60 million people.
That’s a lot of people.
Might be worth getting to know them a bit better then, right?
This is especially true if you, like us, are based here in Texas. More Latinx live here than anywhere else in the country. The Texas cities with the largest Latinx populations are:
- Dallas-Fort Worth
- San Antonio
- Rio Grande Valley
That’s why we’ve pulled information from Claritas’s The Hispanic American Market Report to help better acquaint yourself with this growing market.
Because, at more than 328 million, this population is actually made up of five very distinct groups. Trying to market to all of them the exact same way is bound to end in low – or even nonexistent – ROIs.
So, take a moment to get to know each group:
Someone who is Latinoamericana emigrated to the United States within the last 10 years. They speak Spanish but almost no English. Latinoamericanas feel a much stronger bond to their native country than they do to the U.S. As such, they still participate in many Hispanic cultural practices.
Claritas found four main tendencies that are common among this group. They tend to:
- Be the least educated of these five groups
- Work as migrant laborers
- Shop at Hispanic grocery stores
- Use the Internet the least of the five groups
Hispano simply means “Hispanic” in Spanish. It’s a very appropriate term for this group as it refers to the demographic that emigrated to the United States more than 10 years ago but still prefers to speak Spanish. Generally, Hispanos do speak some English, though. They still partake in many Hispanic cultural practices, as well.
Claritas reports that, on average, most Hispanos:
- Are blue-collar workers
- Have larger families than the other groups
- Enjoy watching late night Spanish TV and Mexican soccer
Americanizado means “to Americanize” making this a very accurate term for a demographic that is made up of Hispanic people who were born in the U.S., just like their parents and grandparents. Many have family roots that go back even further. English is their native language and they speak little, if any, Spanish. Despite their heritage, they participate in very few Hispanic cultural practices.
This group represents 17.1% of the American Hispanic population. That’s about 11,022,030 people.
Given their Americanized identities, it should come as no surprise that many of the tendencies Claritas identified among this group are common across other ethnicities in this country. Americanizados tend to:
- Watch MTV2, VH1, and UFC
- Be single and never married
- Work in tech
- Shop at Whole Foods
In many ways, then, marketing to this group of more than 11,000,000 people wouldn’t be so different from marketing to other demographics in the United States.
4. Nueva Latina
The fourth group you have to know about is Nueva Latina. This refers to the majority of the American Hispanic population. A Nueva Latina is someone with equal footing in American and traditional Hispanic cultures. They’re second-generation Americans who prefer English but can speak at least some Spanish.
Because of this dual identity, many Nueva Latinas experience what is known as “retro-acculturation”:
“A term coined by Hispanic marketing researcher Carlos E. Garcia, it refers to the conscious search for ethnic identity or roots, especially by second, third, or fourth-generation Latinos who feel they have lost their cultural identity.”
Nueva Latinas make up 29.2% of Hispanic Americans or about 18,829,098 people.
According to Claritas, this group tends to:
- Go to school or work in office and administrative support
- Watch Universo and Telemundo
- Shop at Sam’s Club
So, while Nueva Latinas either have strong Hispanic cultural ties – or are working to reconnect with them – they’re still integrated into the larger fabric of America.
Someone who is Ambicultural has “the ability to functionally transit between Latino cultures and the American, giving them a unique position in the consumer landscape.”
Abasto magazine also provides the following statistics about this segment of the American Hispanic population:
- 85% call themselves “Latino and American”
- 80% look forward to dinner along with their family every night
- 37% consider themselves to be more connected to their culture of origin than their parents
- 75% state that it is important that their children continue with their cultural traditions
- 72% say that their cultural heritage is an important part of who they are
- 70% would like to learn from cultures of other countries
- 48% feel good seeing celebrities in the media who share their cultural heritage
- 70% consider themselves to be sociable people
Ambiculturals are able to speak English and Spanish at about the same level. They emigrated to America either as a child or young adult and – as we just touched on – participate in many Hispanic cultural practices.
Claritas also notes that they tend to:
- Live with their parents
- Enjoy watching boxing
- Attend U.S. soccer games
- Shop at Walmart
Representing 25.8% of the American Hispanic population means there are 16,590,556 Ambicultural Americans in our country. They are the second-largest group on our list.
The Future of the Hispanic Market
Understanding all five of those terms will help your law firm better market to the Hispanic population.
For Latinoamericanas and Hispanos, this requires marketing to them in Spanish, the language they’ll use when they search for help online. Your campaigns should also stress the fact that your firm doesn’t just create Spanish marketing materials. You should also have attorneys who can speak with them in their native language or at least staff who can translate on their behalves.
Latinoamericanas and Hispanos may not represent the largest Hispanic demographics in this country, but they do represent promising client segments for your firm if you know how to properly market to them. Just like anyone else, they get in car accidents and need personal injury attorneys. They get hurt at work and need help with workers’ comp.
In short, they need law firms like yours to represent them. Show them that they’ll be comfortable coming to you for help – just as you would with any other demographic – and Latinoamericanas and Hispanos will quickly grow your firm.
However, there are actually two other segments of the Hispanic population that are especially important to your firm’s future because they’re slowly making up the majority.
While you still want to know the other three as they could come up in conversation or it may still make sense to target them, these two deserve the most attention from your marketing efforts.
They are Ambicultural and Nueva Latina.
What makes them so vital to the future of your law firm?
Ambicultural and Nueva Latinas represent the younger generations of American Hispanics. Learn to target them now and your law firm’s marketing strategy will have a nice, long life. While we’ll talk about the growing population of all Hispanic Americans, these two groups are the largest contingencies of Millennials and Generation Z.
2. Internet Usage
It should come as no surprise, then, that this younger group is also very Internet-savvy. In fact, they’re even savvier than other groups of the same age.
Again, we’ll delve into the Hispanic population as a whole in just a moment, but the point is that if you start prioritizing Nueva Latinas and Ambicultural prospects with your Internet marketing right now, you’ll see results in the very near future.
Of course, the distant future looks good for your efforts, too.
3. Comfort with English
Finally, this younger group is the most comfortable with English, which is a huge advantage when you look at structuring your firm’s marketing campaigns.
To be clear, it may still make sense to use Spanish in some of your marketing materials. Having a bilingual staff member can be extremely helpful, too. We’re definitely not saying never target those other demographics.
It’s just that both your English and Spanish ads will work with Ambicultural and Nueva Latina populations. Of course, you still need to otherwise target this group correctly. This includes the messaging you use in your campaigns. Even if it’s in English, it must still reference the culture of Nueva Latinas and Ambiculturals. You need to back this message with proof of your bilingual bonafides to show that your company really does walk the (literal) talk.
Why Your Firm Must Market to Hispanic Prospects
Alright, so you now understand the different terms that apply to the Hispanic population.
You know why they’re significant and how to properly use them.
You even know the two demographics that deserve the most attention in the years to come.
Pat yourself on the back.
In this last section, we’re going to show you why all of this information is so important (besides, you know, just understanding other people’s cultures – never a bad thing).
So, stand up. Have a stretch. Get yourself another cup of coffee if you need to.
And let’s dive in.
Unless otherwise noted, the statistics in this section were drawn from the absolutely massive 2019 Nielsen report, Descubrimiento Digital: The Online Lives of Latinx Consumers.
1. Latinx Are the Fastest Growing Demographic in the Country
If you had to choose between a market that isn’t growing, one that’s actually declining, and one that is skyrocketing in size, which would you choose?
We’ll give you a minute.
If you picked the third option, we agree, but then your law firm needs a plan for engaging the Latino community.
They are, by far, the fastest growing demographic in the country and it isn’t even close.
Currently, Hispanics account for more than half of the U.S. population growth that has taken place since 2016. By 2040-2045, experts believe they’ll account for as much as 80%.
To put that into perspective, here is how the Claritas report sees population growth for multicultural groups between 2019-2024:
- Non-Hispanic Whites: -60,156
- Non-Hispanic Blacks: 315,492
- Non-Hispanic Asian and Pacific Islanders: 483,004
- Hispanics: 1,536,315
If you want to build a sustainable marketing campaign for your firm, the numbers make it clear: Hispanic prospects are and will continue to be on the rise.
2. Technology. Technology. Technology.
It’s not just their growing population that makes Latinx such an important demographic for your digital marketing strategy.
It’s that they are on the Internet a lot.
60% of Hispanics were either born or have grown up during the Internet Age. For non-Hispanic Whites, that number is just 40%.
98% of Latinx own a smartphone compared to 95% of the rest of the population. This number takes into account everyone from the age of two and up.
They actually over-index the rest of the population by 9% when it comes to owning smartphones, which explains why an incredible 99% of Hispanic households rely on wireless phone services. These households are well ahead of the curve there.
Toddlers aside, if you focus on actual adults, you’ll be interested to know that, among Hispanics 35 and older, their smartphone ownership exceeds that of the rest of the U.S. population by 5%.
On average, Latinos spend 27 hours a week on their smartphones visiting websites and using apps.
57% of Latinos say they are interested in watching videos on their smartphones over-indexing non-Hispanic Whites once again by 22%.
So, if explainer videos would help better engage your prospects, make them with this growing population in mind.
Finally, it can’t be emphasized enough how important it is that 27% of Hispanics live in multigenerational homes. This means younger generations are helping older ones keep up with technology. In fact, those who are 50 or older over-index non-Hispanic Whites when it comes to using electronic gadgets by 36%!
3. Social Media Is Very Popular Among Latinos and Latinas
This love of technology means Latinx also love social media.
52% of Hispanics spend at least an hour a day on social media, compared to just 38% of non-Hispanic Whites. 24% of Hispanics actually spend three hours or more on social media a day compared to only 13% of non-Hispanic Whites.
27% of Latinx report that finding out about products and services is one of the most important reasons they visit social media sites. So, by all means, run social ads knowing you’re not interrupting their experiences.
If you want to know where to run them, here are the social-networking sites and apps Nielsen says Hispanics reporting using in the past 30 days at the time of their report:
- Facebook: 74%
- YouTube: 68%
- Instagram: 45%
- Snapchat: 32%
- Twitter: 22%
- LinkedIn 12%
4. Language Is an Easy Means of Cultural Connection
As you probably know all too well, a big part of your job as a lawyer is about building trust with your prospects – fast.
One simple – but effective – way you can do this with Latinos is by using Spanish when marketing to them.
Consider the following from the Nielsen report:
- 72% of Hispanics and 75% of Hispanic households speak Spanish at home
- 73% of U.S. Hispanics agree that it’s important to them that their children continue their family’s cultural traditions
- 73% of U.S. Hispanics agree that their cultural ethnic heritage is an important part of who they are
Along with understanding the accepted terminology for each group, showing that you appreciate how important language and culture is to Hispanics is a great way to make the right first impression with potential clients.
5. Latinx Clients Are Loyal Clients
Lastly, focusing on Latino clients might be on of the best ways to reliably grow your law firm’s business for one very important reason. It’s not just that they represent such a large percentage of the population or that they’re so comfortable with the Internet.
It’s also that they’re extremely loyal to the companies that earn their business.
When Customer Communication Groups analyzed Latinx buying habits, they found that:
“The 2019 study found that 53% of Hispanics report they tend to find a good source for their purchases and stick with it. This is compared to 37% of Americans overall and 46% of African Americans who said they stick with a good source for purchases once they find it.
Obviously, giving their business to a law firm is different than a retail company, but there’s no reason to think that kind of loyalty doesn’t hold in other circumstances – provided they are happy with the service received.
Furthermore, as we’ve covered a number of times now, the Latino population is family-focused and very social among their communities.
This is a huge advantage for your law firm because Nielsen reports that 38% of Hispanics say they like to share their consumer experiences online with reviews and ratings.
In other words, give your Hispanic clients incredible service and they’ll do a lot of the marketing for you.
Effectively Market Your Law Firm to Hispanic Prospects Starting Now
By now, we hope it’s clear that you should do everything possible to show Latino prospects all that your firm has to offer.
If you want to grow your business, you need to grow your strategy to include specific campaigns that are laser-focused on this growing market.
At Nanato Media, this is our specialty.
Contact us to learn about all the ways we’ve helped firms just like yours engage with Hispanic prospects and earn their business.