On the heels of Hispanic Heritage Month, it’s important to note that marketing to — and reaching — Latino customers should not be a flavor-of-the-month endeavor. Rather, it should be a year-round focus.
Consider the numbers:
- Hispanics are the nation’s second-fastest-growing racial or ethnic group.
- On a more localized level, the number of Latinos living in my home region alone (St. Louis) has increased by nearly 30 percent since the 1990s and is predicted to increase to as much as 160,000 by 2030.
- There are 4.65 million Hispanic-owned companies across the nation. In fact, Hispanic businesses grew 40.2 percent from 2012 to 2018, according to Claritas.
- The buying power of Hispanics is expected to be $1.7 trillion U.S. dollars by 2020. That’s a lot of money!
Why should you care? When it comes to the future of your business — large or small — it means you must start strategically and intentionally planning to include the Hispanic consumer and Hispanic community.
I’ll spare you more data points and give you one key guiding principle from Andrew McCaskill, SVP of global communications and multicultural marketing at Nielsen:
“If a brand doesn’t have a multicultural strategy, it doesn’t have a growth strategy.”
In 2017, we launched Elasticity Multicultural because of this potential for growth. But to reach Latinos — or for that matter, any ethnic or racial minority —requires an integrated approach, deft cultural understanding and a nuanced voice that builds authentic and long-lasting relationships.
That’s also why we participate with the 40-year-old U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and joined the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan St. Louis and the Greater Dallas Hispanic Chamber of Commerce as we have presences in both metro areas.
Hispanic chambers tend to be a nexus for Latino business owners, diverse professionals and organizations that prioritize inclusion efforts. They’re also an excellent resource for often hard-to-find local demographic and economic development data.
Last month, I attended the U.S. National Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Convention in Albuquerque. The convention — held in the middle of Hispanic Heritage Month — was a celebration of where we, as Latinos, have come from and where we’re headed. And yes, it’s true, we know how to throw a party. I tasted some delicious tequila, discovered a few new dance moves and had some great conversations at the intersection of culture and business.
In addition to all the fun, here are some insights that present yet another window into why the Hispanic market is worth your marketing dollars:
- Successful Hispanic businesses are part drive economic development in many markets.
- A record 32 million Latinos are projected to be eligible to vote in 2020. The 2020 election will mark the first time that Hispanics will be the largest racial and ethnic minority group in the electorate.
- Latinas are the fastest growing entrepreneurial segment — growing 15 times the national average — but only receive less than 1 percent of venture capital funding.
- Corporations want to both hit their supplier diversity target numbers and reach a multicultural market. They are keen to work with Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs), Women Business Enterprises (WBEs) and Small Business Enterprises (SBEs). ‘
OK, so what’s the takeaway here? This “new” America is 100 percent American and 100 percent multicultural. And there’s lots of opportunity for both businesses and consumers to win.
If you haven’t started thinking about the changing demographics, it’s time. The number of Latinos is growing in nearly every sector. Not reaching out is a missed opportunity. And while any change can seem daunting, the great thing about diverse chambers of commerce is that they are a great resource to help you figure out how to reach new audiences.