A Five-prong Approach for the Hispanic Market
There is a good deal of hype surrounding the Hispanic market these days, and rightfully so. Let’s take a moment to look at some key facts. Hispanics will account for one-third of new home purchases in the next 10 years. According to research conducted by the Direct Marketing Association’s Directo Council, credit card mailings to Hispanics increased 57 percent over the past two years. And while the Hispanic population will grow by 67 million people in the next 45 years, it also is very important to note that within the same time frame, the existing white non-Hispanic (WNH) population will decline.
So while it is clear that there is a growing and prosperous Hispanic market, marketers likely have a number of questions on how best to tap this market. Here’s a look at a five-prong approach that can help you break into the Hispanic market.
The Hispanic market is not homogenous, and its segments must be clearly defined. Segmentation criteria can include acculturation level, language preference, country of origin, income, credit card use or direct response activities.
You must have an adequate budget, ample personnel and/or outside resources. Entering the Hispanic market is not a test, it is a launch. However, mistakes will be made, tests may not work and initial numbers may be disappointing. That’s why a serious commitment is required. You may be inviting failure if you start to consistently hear:
• “Make the tests as cheap as possible.”
• “If the test doesn’t work, that’s it.”
• “We don’t have budget for this.”
• “We will use Maria Gonzales from accounting to translate.”
• “We cannot afford to adapt backend infrastructure right now.”
• “We tried that before.”
Don’t sweat the little stuff. Don’t be overwhelmed by the conflicting information or perceived obstacles you will come across. The General Motors Mexican NOVA story is an urban legend. However, Hershey’s misfortunes with its “Cajeta” product is not. Learn from the anecdotes. All Hispanics use the same dictionary. There is no Mexican-Colombian version just as there is no New York-Alabama version in English. There are more cultural commonalities than differences in the Hispanic market. In other words, there are challenges, not obstacles.