Hispanic Marketing

Approximately 45 million Hispanics live in the United States; this makes them the second largest ethnic group. This group is expected to grow in the coming years and that is good news for businesses in the U.S. The reason being is that the Hispanic market represents great potential to increase their revenue.

1. Understanding The Hispanic Market

To reach any market with a message, it's important to understand that particular market. Factors to consider are: demographics, culture, language, and even certain concepts that play an important part in how a person thinks and in his expectations.

Demographically speaking, the average Hispanic is younger. He's in a lower income level and has minimal education. In addition, Hispanics normally live in urban areas and have larger families. There are many more cultural differences besides the language. When it comes to interaction, Hispanics normally expect or like to build relationships.

There are some concepts that require understanding on the part of marketers in order for them to be effective in their marketing techniques. It's critical that marketers understand the role that fate, communal living, their concept of saving, and spontaneity play in the life of the Hispanic person. Their idea of saving means saving for things that are important to them such as visiting family in their country of origin, saving for quinceaneras, or baptisms. This is completely different from the average American who thinks of saving in terms of retirement, kid's college, and so forth.

Planning is a concept that many Hispanics don't think about. Rather, they believe in fate and feel that what's going to happen will happen. Some feel that only God knows what tomorrow will bring.

Understanding these differences and concepts will help business owners benefit from this growing segment of the population. They will put themselves in a better position to serve this group of potential clients. Finally, having an in-depth understanding of these differences and concepts will result in a clearer and more effective message for the Hispanic market.

2. Business Opportunities For The Hispanic Market

Hispanics are also benefiting from the growing Hispanic market. More and more Hispanics are thinking of ways to start their own business to cater to Hispanics, thus creating a win win situation.

There's a wide scope of business opportunities and resources for the Hispanic community. Many Hispanics have been able to take advantage of franchise opportunities, which are abundant in the Hispanic market. In fact, franchise businesses are the number one opportunity for Hispanics. Next in line are property consulting businesses, restaurants, and online businesses.

Another area that has good potential for growth due to the Hispanic market is network marketing. Not only are Hispanics shopping more online, but many are also starting their own network marketing businesses. Translation and interpreting provide yet more opportunities to the Hispanic community. The demand for interpreters is very great, as more businesses strive to meet the needs of the Hispanic market. Some interpreters and translators may work for international and federal organizations. However, many are also independent contractors or freelancers. They set their own schedules and decide how much work they want to accept.

As you can see, there is no shortage of business opportunities for and in the Hispanic market. The possibilities are endless for businesses that provide services to the Hispanic segment, as well as for Hispanics who want to become independent by owning their own business.

3. How To Choose A Hispanic Market Consultant

Many business-consulting firms can help businesses with their marketing techniques. However, beware! The fact that a person can speak some Spanish does not mean that he will be the best consultant for your company.

It requires more than knowing Spanish words for a consultant to be effective. He needs to have a thorough knowledge of the language as well as the culture. Many ads contain phrases that are offensive to the Hispanic community. Even when words are translated correctly, the meaning they convey may be different than what the marketer wants to communicate. For this reason, it is better to select a consultant whose native language is Spanish. If possible, the consultant would have lived in Mexico or another Spanish country and surrounded himself by the Hispanic culture.

Ask for references. A potential mistake can cost your company large sums in revenue. Make sure that he has provided consulting services to other successful businesses.

Furthermore, it's important to realize that some consulting firms specialize in specific areas. Some firms may provide services to legal firms, while others may concentrate on financial services. Still others may be full service, meaning that they provide consulting services to any business regardless of the industry.

4. U.S. Media Projections For The Hispanic Market

Businesses invested $3.3 billion to market their services and products to the U.S. Hispanic market in 2005. This is equivalent to an increase of 6.8% over 2004. According to the U. S. census, there were approximately 41.8 percent Hispanics in the U.S. in 2005, a 3% increase from the year before. All these numbers represent a tremendous purchasing power of 8.9% of all purchases in 2005. It is estimated that U.S. businesses will spend 4.3 billion in marketing to the Hispanic market by 2010. Researchers expect that advertising directed at Hispanics through the radio, magazines, television, and newspapers will continue to increase.

It is critical that advertisers understand the differences within the Hispanic community. Due to differences in language or even culture (when Hispanics are from different Spanish-speaking countries), their method of advertising may not always work. The reason for this is that although all Hispanics may speak Spanish, there are differences in language. For example, a word may mean one thing in Mexico, but something completely different in Peru. Advertisers need to understand this and consider the segment of the Hispanic market they are targeting. Keeping this in mind will help advertisers increase their revenues in the coming years, as they strive to make their advertisements target specific.

5. Hispanic Market Augmentation

Hispanics that have lived in the U.S. for a number of years, normally 15 years or more, tend to become more adapted to the American culture. They enjoy the activities that Americans enjoy, eat the foods that Americans eat, and watch the same T.V. shows. Perhaps a better approach to reaching this segment of the population is to view them as consumers rather than the Hispanic market.

It's a well-known fact that family is very important to Hispanics. Marketers can use this information to their advantage and make ads or products to reflect family unity and togetherness when targeting the Hispanics. Generally, Hispanics are more laid back and conversational. They're informal and don't mind making conversation on the phone, while the information is uploading or processing. Customer service representatives can very well use these opportunities to build relationships and loyalty.

Moreover, use the fact that everyone likes free things, even Hispanics, to appeal to them. You can incorporate sweepstake offers, raffles, or free trial versions of your product or service. Finally, an important factor to consider is that many times Hispanics may not be familiar with certain procedures or terminology in a particular area. For example, when it comes to financial or legal information, medical terminology, and healthcare, a marketer may want to provide either written information or educational seminars to educate the target segment of population before offering their services.

6. Translation Issues And The Hispanic Market

Researchers report that Spanish is the second unofficial language in the United States and the third most widely spoken language in the world. They also report that Hispanics make up 20% of the online market today. Considering all this, you cannot afford to not have your website in Spanish, or not to provide customer service in Spanish.

There are a variety of tools to help you reach the Hispanic market. Professional translators can translate your website if you have one. They can also translate advertisements or product information labels. Another resource to use if you don't have bilingual customer service representatives is to seek the help of an interpreting company for which you would pay a monthly or yearly fee. Any time your business receives a call from a Spanish-speaking member; your service rep puts the call on a three-way conference and connects with the interpreter while the customer is on the line. This is a very effective way to keep your Hispanic customers and overcome the language barrier.

Many online services and dictionaries are available if all you need to translate is a word or short E-mail. For the translation of legal documents, contracts, or manuals, it's better to hire a professional translator.

7. How To Tap The Hispanic Market

It's important that marketers understand the culture in order to tap the Hispanic market. If marketers offer their product from a cultural perspective, their product or service will appeal more to the Hispanic consumer. Stereotype is something that marketers need to avoid if they want to tap the Hispanic market. The fact that they use Latin music in a commercial doesn't mean that it will appeal to all Hispanics. Some Hispanics like cumbias; others like salsa; still others like meringue. It depends on the person's country of origin. For a company to tap the Hispanic market, they need to be familiar with the particular market they are targeting.

One positive approach is to hire people from the target community and allow them to market the product or service. Since they know what appeals to that particular segment and how to attract them, they are more likely to succeed. Talking to members in the community and finding out what they like or want is a good avenue to take. Although this is not a very traveled road by marketers, it's a great way to tap into this growing segment of the population.

8. Religion And The Hispanic Market

Hispanics are religiously inclined. Tradition and family are important factors to them; they will often keep the beliefs and traditions that they were taught as children. This is a fact that businesses that produce books on religion or religious images are tapping. Religious videos and music are also attractive to the Hispanic consumer.

Many Hispanics are away from their family members and friends. Talking about God and the bible is comforting to them. A great number are turning to religion to find answers regarding natural disasters; they want to know why they happen. The many Spanish religious television and radio programs that have tapped into this segment of the population reflect this trend.

Stores that sell good luck charms, potions, and herbs are also increasing their sales due to the Hispanic market. In addition, Hispanics spend large amounts of money during religious holidays such as Christmas and Easter. They celebrate yearly holidays in honor of saints such as La Virgen de San Juan and La Virgen de Guadalupe. These are opportunities for the local businesses to increase their sales, as groups of people get together during these occasions to celebrate. Food and music play a part in the celebration.

9. Hispanic Online Market Overview

The U.S. 2004 census reported 41.3 million Hispanics living in the United States. This accounts for 14% of the U.S. population. As the Hispanic population increases, so does their need for technology.

For the Hispanic community, technology is not just a means to shop or find items. Going online for many of them is a way to keep in touch with family members and teach the younger generation about their heritage. For many of them, the Internet is an avenue to a better life for themselves and their children.

Proof that Hispanics are quickly adapting to technology is the fact that according to AOL/Roper research, as of April 2006, about 15.9 million Hispanics were online in the U.S. However, 1.6 million Hispanics went online for the first time between April 2005 and April 2006. This represents a growth of 12% in one year alone. Another fact is that 56% of the online Hispanic market are college educated, and their median income is $40,000. Furthermore, comScore Media Metrix reported the following statistics in April 2006 regarding all online Hispanics: 21% were Spanish dominant, 27% were bilingual, and 52% were English dominant. These percentages are quickly changing, as new online users appear to be Spanish dominant.

Additionally, comScore Media Metrix also reports that out of the 1.6 million newcomers to the Internet between 2005 and 2006, 65% were Spanish dominant. These statistics leave marketers wondering what language to use when presenting their message to the online Hispanic community.

It's interesting that the majority of Hispanics wish that more online information was made available in Spanish. Considering language preferences is an important factor for marketers who want to tap into this growing market. Listening to what the customer wants will help them market accordingly.
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