This article was originally published online by the Orlando Business Journal.
Hispanics are the second-largest consumer market in the U.S., so your business must have a multicultural strategy in place to succeed.
Hispanics will account for more than 40 percent of employment growth in the next five years and more than 75 percent between 2020 and 2034, according to a study from IHS. Employment growth translates to more sales and more people buying products or services.
Many companies are trying to reach out to the Hispanic market as a venue to grow their business, but they haven’t been successful. So, if you really want to assure growth in your organization and develop the right execution, here are six helpful tips to keep in mind for a successful approach:
- Don’t assume you can reach the Hispanic market with your general market campaigns. This is a classic one. Most firms continue to approach the Hispanic market as either an outreach of general market business practice or an extension of a brand or business unit-specific strategies. Worse still, they continue translating their Anglo campaigns into Spanish. When you target the general market, your advertising campaign has been created for a totally different psychographic and demographic group. That group is completely different than Hispanics. You cannot expect Hispanics to connect with your message and buy 100 percent into your brand. Remember, reaching and connecting are two different things.
- Don’t convince yourself that it is too complicated because there are so many dialects and nationalities. Yes, it is complex. But, it is no more complex than understanding and developing strategy for the other 260 million people in the U.S. who live in different regions, have different cultural influences and even have different dialects and accents. We manage to target them just fine. The good news is the Hispanic market is no different. Besides their language of preference and acculturation levels, what they have in common and what bonds them together as a strong group is that they share one language— Spanish. Plus, they all want the American dream — to work hard, raise a family and fulfill their dreams in this land of opportunity. So, it is important that your marketing efforts appeal to these cultural nuances if you really want to gain them as clients.
- Don’t feel like your firm doesn’t even have enough budget to do what you need to accomplish now. Why does corporate America keep focusing on general market efforts that haven’t significantly increased sales for the past decade? Think for a second. Isn’t it time to expand your business to new markets where your competition is not even thinking about yet? Do you know how much you are losing by not effectively connecting with this growing market? How much business growth are you leaving on the table? How much profit are you missing out?
- Do realize that cultural relevancy is key. Hispanics don’t want to be sold. They want brands to embrace their cultural relevancy. Your campaign has to be created for and targeted to them with messages that truly speak to their needs. Only then will you achieve the level of brand engagement that generates greater return on investment and the results you want. Whether you use English or Spanish, it must be culturally relevant.
- Do get the right help. Having a strong consultant or Hispanic marketing firm that understands Hispanic culture is key to your success. They will bring smart, effective solutions to help you engage this market. Having people on your team who speak Spanish does not necessarily mean they know how to connect with this audience. I have seen the frustration of many chief marketing officers who were using their own Hispanic employees to translate their marketing materials and it was not producing good results. Cutting corners will hurt your business and your end results.
- Do make a long-term commitment. Many companies try to test the waters first instead of embracing the effort and getting a real taste of what this audience can deliver to their bottom line. It is good to start slow, but you need to be committed to an ongoing effort. You have to be consistent if you truly want to penetrate this market the same way you are doing for the general market. Build and develop a strong foundation and you will have an ongoing revenue source.
By 2050, it is estimated that the Hispanic market will grow 167 percent. My question to you is: What portion of that would you like to claim for your company?
Engage with this audience the right way and you will increase sales now and build a loyal customer base for the future.