By: Gina Espinosa
As we get ready to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, the period from September 15 to October 15, the Latino community is getting more attention than ever before.
The latest U.S. Census data confirms that Hispanics are the largest ethnic group in the nation, with 18.7% of the population as of 2020.
From a financial perspective, the Hispanic market is the largest minority market in the U.S. and continues to expand briskly. Latino spending power grew to $1.9 trillion in 2020, an increase of 87% from 2010, according to UGA’s Selig Center for Economic Growth.
With a surging population and fast-growing spending power, the Hispanic market is the key to growth opportunities for businesses in a wide range of industries. But to tap into this market, it’s paramount to have a well thought out strategy.
The recent data should serve a guide to navigate this segment of the market. But before jumping into a Hispanic Heritage Month showdown or planning some kind of Hispanic market outreach, it’s critical to gain a deeper understanding of Hispanics in America.
First, stay away from perpetuating traditional stereotypes. Looking at what’s behind those numbers, you will see that the Hispanic market is not a solid block. This segment includes people from over 20 Spanish-speaking countries, with different cultural backgrounds and interests. Mexicans, Cubans, Puerto Ricans, Colombians and such are similar but also very different.
Beyond that, Hispanics in the U.S. have not only grown but also evolved. There are more factors to take into consideration. You have to determine who within this group is your target market: the first generation, which is more comfortable speaking Spanish, the Latin business community or the younger American-born Latinos sometimes referred to as LatinX.
Done incorrectly, marketing outreach could end up alienating a significant share of the Hispanic population, mainly the younger generations.
Second, be authentic in your efforts to communicate with the Hispanic community. Expand from just Hispanic Heritage Month to a more consistent process, aligned with the community’s needs.
We recommend using Hispanic Heritage Month as a launchpad for a year long community outreach program.
Your efforts toward the Latin community should be an opportunity to connect with a vibrant and culturally rich group, but must never come off as opportunistic. Moreover, make sure your team is diverse and inclusive, reflecting the community you are serving.
The Hispanic community will continue to grow in size and impact. That is inevitable. So any marketing plan is incomplete unless it includes the Hispanic/Latin market.
If you are ignoring this market segment, there’s no time like the present to fix that and get engaged. If you do it correctly, you will be rewarded.