“Hispanics are the fastest growing ethnic segment expected to grow 167 percent from 2010 to 2050, compared to 42 percent for the total population.”
Most U.S.-based firms have a significant corporate imperative to attract Hispanic consumers, given their tremendous demographic and economic importance. Some companies, such as McDonald’s, Budweiser, and AT&T, are spending significant resources to gain market share with Hispanics and are making inroads. But it’s no simple task. According to a 2012 Nielsen report, “Hispanics are the fastest growing ethnic segment expected to grow 167 percent from 2010 to 2050, compared to 42 percent for the total population.” The report also found that Hispanics “will be the dominant and in many cases the only driver of domestic CPG sales growth.”
In fact, AdAge reported that Steve Mandala, Univision’s VP of advertising and sales had recently stated at a company presentation, that all of beverage marketers’ growth will come from the Hispanic market, likewise auto sales will grow twice as fast as sales to non-Hispanics. With this new business reality, the Hispanic market may well be one of the last significant growth opportunities left in the U.S., particularly in the consumer goods and service industries.
So, how do you capture this often elusive market? A well-crafted, data-driven strategy is the first step in reaching the Hispanic marketplace. The process must incorporate marketing, strategy, and financial assessments to comprehensively assess the Hispanic opportunity, which results in outputs that frame the size, scope, and process required to win with Hispanics, as well as clear financial contributions and investments.
As Monica Gill, Senior Vice President, Public Affairs and Government Relations – Nielsen, sees it: “Latinos are emerging as a powerhouse of economic influence, presenting marketers an increasingly influential consumer group that can translate into business impact. The key is to recognize that today’s modern Latino is ‘ambicultural’ with the ability to seamlessly pivot between English and Spanish languages and to embrace two distinct cultures. Understanding how to connect with this unique consumer profile will be key to successful engagement.”
As the 2012 Nielsen report put into perspective, “Latinos are no longer just a sub-segment of the economy, but a prominent player in all aspects of American life.” To that end, what’s needed is a comprehensive approach to creating a Hispanic strategy that highlights a deep understanding of brand building for Hispanics and their critical voice across social media platforms, as well as a “traditional” understanding of the need to approach this group in a highly-targeted and micro-localized fashion, using a test-as-you-go approach to determining best practices.
From my experience leading the Center for Hispanic Leadership, a human capital and business strategy development firm with Fortune 500 client companies, I have developed five guiding principles for companies looking to establish a Hispanic strategy.