Hispanic consumers are predicted to represent 1.5 trillion dollars in buying power by the year 2015. Marketing to the diverse Hispanic market is no longer an initiative in diversity but strategically imperative.
Larger than most world economies, 1.5 trillion dollars is some serious market potential. According to Jeff Humphreys, Director of the Selig Center for Economic Growth at the University of Georgia, despite the recession, Hispanic’s buying power is expected to grow by 50 percent in the next five years. Yet most marketing strategists still lump Hispanics demographically into their “general” marketing strategies. We get it, when you are busy intensely building a brand, who has time to differentiate?
As part of this general strategy, companies targeting Hispanic consumers take their traditional marketing campaigns and simply present translated versions without any note of cultural nuance. They talk at them, not with them. They don’t take time to truly understand why they buy and what makes them buy again.
The assumption from those in position of corporate leadership is that marketing in Spanish automatically means an increase in Hispanic sales. Without authenticity and sincerity, sponsoring Hispanic events or translating a website in Spanish could hurt a company’s brand. Stereotyping or condescension will get you no where.
The question is not: How can I sell to more Hispanics? The question IS: How can I best win the trust and loyalty of Hispanic consumers?
In 2012, Nielsen’s released a study, The Hispanic Market Imperative that claimed Hispanics are the largest minority group to exhibit significant sustainability of their culture. They do not simply come to the States, strip off their Hispanic heritage and become “Americanized.” While embracing their new American culture, they remain fiercely loyal to their heritage.
Speak to this heritage and they could be your customer for life. It’s important to listen carefully and understand the nuances. You can’t claim to know what they want until you truly know where they’re coming from. Witness first hand how Hispanics live and what they value. Let your marketing plan speak to the importance of extended family, sense of community and helping others. Show you believe their voice matters with culturally relevant messaging authentically supporting the Hispanic community.
With that much spending power there is much to gain by formulating specific marketing strategies with Hispanic consumer cultural values and preferences in mind. Imagine the impact when a company can gain the trust and loyalty of the Hispanic market. Authentic and emotionally compelling engagement builds lasting consumer relationships well worth the time and attention is takes to create.