Embracing multicultural consumers in Orlando: It’s time to make this market one of your company’s top priorities

This article was published in the Orlando Business Journal

The nation’s numerous young, influential Hispanics could possess the power to determine the success of your company.

According to the latest census projection, minorities are the engine of the nation’s growth. In 2045, whites will comprise 49.9 percent of the population in contrast to 24.6 percent for Hispanics, 13.1 percent for blacks, 7.8 percent Asians and 3.8 percent multi-racial.

The growth of the Hispanic community will come from the U.S.-born group, and as the Hispanic population matures, it becomes a vital part of mainstream USA and gains a strong economic and political influence. Their current purchasing power is over $1.7 trillion dollars, which makes it one of the top 10 economies in the world (larger than the GDP of Mexico). Further, Hispanics with a household income of $100,000-plus has increased 313 percent between 2001-2017, while non-Hispanics grew 127 percent, according to a report from Geoscape.

Youthful diversity is becoming the counterweight to aging white consumers. Minorities under age 18 will outnumber whites in 2020, according to the census. Thus, if the Hispanic market is not a priority for you, it is time to re-evaluate your marketing strategy and put it on the top of your list.

Here are a few steps every brand should consider when tapping this growing, influential audience:

Millennial consumers will drive your sales growth: Millennials are one of the most inherently multicultural consumers in the U.S. It is estimated there are 75 million millennials in the U.S. today. More than 42 percent are multicultural. In fact, there are 24 million U.S. Hispanic millennials today, comprising almost half of the total U.S. Hispanic population. Understanding them — who they are, where they spend their time, the platforms they visit most frequently, how they consume their content and how they interact with brands — will be crucial for your business success. There are big differences between Hispanic millennials and non-Hispanic millennials, so you have to address your marketing strategy accordingly.

It is not about you. It is about your consumers: Many executives tend to use their personal opinion as a parameter of value. “I don’t advertise on radio for the general market so I don’t want radio on my Hispanic media plan.” Or, “I read a specific publication so I want to run an advertisement there.” It is not about what you want; it is the other way around. Your consumer will determine how and when they want to interact with your brand.

People don’t buy products, they buy brand experiences: Some executives tend to think having a bilingual customer service team and a website in Español is sufficient enough to reach the Hispanic market. The question is: How can you maximize these resources if you don’t advertise to this community? How do they know what you are all about if you are not inviting them to do business with you? You must have a culturally relevant campaign and strategy in place. It is not about language. It is about culture. Also, your team has to be prepared for this influential consumer from the moment they visit your website or walk inside your store. Remember, first impressions count.

English, Spanish or both? The less acculturated the consumer is, Spanish will be their preference and vice versa. It is important to understand indepth who your target audience is and who influences them during the purchase process. Then, execute accordingly. U.S. Hispanics are consuming content in English, but that doesn’t mean that brands shouldn’t be making the effort to incorporate Spanish into their ad campaigns. According to a Kantar report, 87 percent of Hispanics appreciate businesses that communicate in Spanish. Seventy-three percent believe there should be more commercials directed specifically to Hispanics and 88 percent of Hispanics say companies that make efforts to be part of their community deserve their loyalty.

The fact that a majority of the U.S. Hispanic population is young also affects how brands reach out to them. Brands should be aware of the implications that the growing strength of the Hispanic population will have on pop culture, marketing standards and, most importantly, their bottom-line.