This article was published in Entrepreneur Magazine
According to Geoscape, by 2020, over 50.6 percent of the U.S. population growth will be attributed to the Hispanic market.
Small and large corporations alike will be affected by this demographic shift, now and well into the future. Multicultural consumers are driving the growth of the U.S. economy, its employment growth and even upcoming political elections.
As the U.S. Hispanic community matures and becomes part of the mainstream, their household incomes increase and so does their economic class. The projected growth of Hispanic household incomes of $100k+ between 2017–2022 will be +23 vs. +12 percent for non-Hispanics, based on a Geoscape report.
Consumers do not buy products or services; they buy brand experiences. It starts from the first time they visit your website, walk inside your store or even interact with your customer service hotline. You have to be able to fulfill your customers’ needs, wants and desires so you can build loyalty, increase retention and turn them into your brand ambassadors.
Here are four helpful tips to gain a new profitable consumer base with Hispanics.
1. Invest in research.
Throughout my career, I have encountered many occasions when corporations did not know their Hispanic customer base. They didn’t know what percentage they represented, where they were located, what they bought from them, etc.
So, if the upcoming consumer growth will be multicultural, and in particular Hispanics, how can you project revenue growth in your company when you don’t know who your customers truly are or whether you are fulfilling their needs?
Qualitative and quantitative researches are the wisest investment you can make.
2. Be proactive.
I have seen executives who get paralyzed with the decision of moving forward with a Hispanic market initiative. They make excuses such as, “I don’t have a budget for this market, it is not a priority as we are content at the present time.” Or they say, “Once we hire bilingual employees with a customer service hotline and we convert our marketing materials in multiple languages, then we will start thinking about marketing to Hispanics. “
As Zig Zigler said, “If you wait until all the lights are green before you leave home, you’ll never get started on your trip to the top.”
You have to start somewhere. Reallocate a portion of your marketing budget to Hispanics. You will obtain a greater ROI.
3. Culture is more important than language.
The growth of the Hispanic market will come from those born in the USA, bilingual, bi-culture, higher household income, higher level of education.
For many corporations, a Hispanic initiative means targeting to the traditional Spanish-speaking consumers through a partnership with a Hispanic network running translated messages or scripts into Spanish. But, what about millennials and Generation Z? Diversity youthful is becoming the counterweight of white aging consumers. This is why cultural relevancy is key to engaging with Hispanics. It is not about language, it is about culture and how well you understand it.
English might be their preferred language, but your execution has to appeal to their cultural nuances.
4. Be inclusive.
You have to have the right diversity representation in your business. If you are in an area where, for example, 20 percent of the people living within a five- to 10-mile radius from your store are Hispanic, what makes you think that you don’t need bilingual people on your team?
You must hire accordingly, it will pay off in the long run. I remember talking with a car dealer in Miami who reached out to us because sales where declining for him.
Turns out, his marketing money was only allocated to the Anglo market. Basically, he was only reaching 30 percent of the Miami-Ft. Lauderdale DMA consumer market. That was a big part of his problem.
So, if you really want to be successful with Hispanic consumers, the best investment you can make is in education. Learn who they are, get exposed to their culture and how they interact with your brand.
Start investing in this market today, so you can assure a sustainable growth for your business now and well into the future.