Monday, May 3, 2010

Complexity in the Consumer Decision Making of Latinos

We have found that consumer decisions among Latinos are more likely to be influenced by the spouse, children, or other family members than among non-Hispanic Whites. In particular, Hispanics who prefer Spanish appear to be more likely to say that these “significant others” are important in influencing the products they buy. The table below illustrates the findings.
How Important are each of the following in influencing the products you buy?
Average Responses
African Americans
Non-Hispanic Whites
Other family
Scale: Five points from "not at all important" to "extremely important" 

These data were collected in 2008 as part of the ongoing Multicultural Marketing Study conducted by the Center for Hispanic Marketing Communication at Florida State University and DMS Insights. The national sample had approximately 500 respondents in each segment for a total of almost 2,500.  The study was done online. Tests of statistical significance were conducted but omitted from the table to make it more readable. 

Overall Hispanics who responded in Spanish to the survey were more likely than most other segments to report being influenced by family members in general. Hispanics who responded in English were also more likely than most other segments to report being similarly influenced. Non-Hispanic Whites were found to be less likely than Hispanics, and almost everyone else, in general to be influenced by their family members. Asians and African Americans were generally in between or not statistically different from Hispanics who answered in English, or not different from non-Hispanic Whites.

The data provides food for thought for marketers who have believed that by getting to know how females head of household feel and think about products represents the family. Males and children are very important in influencing purchase decisions for the home. For one thing many Hispanic males, particularly those born abroad usually arrive in the US by themselves and live with other males. They learn the consumer landscape of the US and become consumers and decision makers here. When they bring their mates or meet them in the US, they are already very familiar with making consumer decisions for the household.

Further, children are particularly influential on families that are relatively new immigrants. Kids learn fast what are the product the family should buy. They influence decision making in the home probably more than anyone else in immigrant families.

When thinking about who the target is for commercial messages remember that the decision maker is not just one person. Also, remember that these people talk among themselves and influence each other very strongly. 

This information can be distributed as long as the source is acknowledged.

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