If you want to target your efforts to a particular US Hispanic demographic, by far the Mexican market is the biggest and most evenly distributed in America. Selling to the Mexican market is very complicated because of the high variance across customers and the many nuances across geographic differences. Here are the top issues you should take into account while selling to Mexicans in the USA or in Mexico.
1. Don’t compete with Mexican owned businesses, instead partner with them. References, word of mouth and personal preferences guide the Mexican shopper more than anything. They spend a lot of time on Facebook and Instagram, so try to reach them there.
2. Please understand the culture before setting free your inner David Ogilvy. The Mexican culture is very complex and full of history. Your best bet is to focus on comparative marketing while you nail down the cultural changes of your marketing.
3. Meet face to face with distributors and establish a personal relationship with them. The majority of Mexican businesses are not listed online, so, you’re better serve by picking up the online real estate and partnering with brick and mortar distributors.
4. Don’t use celebrities, but try a logo in Spanish. Consider making a spin-off brand with a logo in Spanish. This will increase referrals and boost recall among Mexicans.
5. Consider all the personas. Mexicans come to America for a very, very wide variety of reasons. Craft multiple personas and prepare a strategy to market to each one.
6. You need that focus group. You need to do focus groups on a per city basis. Only then will you identify all the idiosyncrasies of this market on each particular region.
7. Heritage sells only if its relevant. Consider hiring Mexicans to do your copy and design your ad. Yes, heritage and nostalgia sell very well, but be careful on the copy and timing of your ads.
8. Expansion is not easy, even for big brands. A new name, a substantially different inventory and totally new marketing are common in expansions. A typical case is Walmart’s expansion into Mexico.
The world’s largest retailer, Wal-Mart, operates over 2,200 stores in Mexico, that make up for over a third of its international store fleet. Despite the prevailing economic problems, the retailer has performed decently in the market over the past four quarters, thanks to the success of its self-service business and small format network, Bodega Aurrera Express. The Mexican unit of the retail giant, Walmex, aims to double its business over the next 10 years and the historical performance metrics indicate that this can be achieved. – Forbes Magazine
Conquering new markets is not easy, but a good value proposition and true empathy can make a difference and ensure your success even in the most complex markets. Take your expansion one step at a time and include locals in your team. Don’t short circuit your promotions and understand that is better to get in the game later with a solid team and strategy in order to dominate it over the long term.