For the past three weeks, we’ve been discussing myths about the Hispanic market, different facets of the Latino culture and three key Latino groups that marketers should keep an eye on. However, just understanding this information is not enough. To generate a bigger impact as marketers —a more effective business plan— it’s crucial to consider the Hispanic market when creating your overall strategy/plan. Ignoring the Hispanic audience will only make it more difficult to meet growth goals. It’s not only about adding Hispanic-themed tactics into an existing strategy; marketers must build total-market strategies at the get-go. In other words, why would you target only the general market, or only non-Hispanic Whites, which represent 63% of the U.S. population? Wouldn’t it be better to create a total-market strategy – one that includes the Hispanic market (which represents about 17% of the U.S. population) – so you can reach at least 80% of the U.S. population?
So, if creating a strategy to reach at least 80% of your population piques your interest, and you want to start capitalizing on the $1.3 trillion market opportunity that Hispanics will represent by 2014, here are three imperatives that you need to keep in mind:
1. View Hispanics as business critical.
The $1.3 trillion opportunity is hard to underestimate and should be impossible to ignore. However, the challenge in recognizing this opportunity might be coming from inside your organization. A total-market strategy must be embraced and mandated from the top down, and accountability held from the bottom up.
2. Integrate the Hispanic market in your strategic development phase.
From day one, research, plan, allocate a budget, consolidate a strategy and execute it with the Hispanic market in mind. By doing this, you will be in a much better position to understand whether your total-market strategy was effective. For example, McDonald’s (client) starts with deep understanding of all targets, and leads all plans with multicultural insights. This allows them to have a more compelling vision of and approach to the entire marketplace from the beginning, and design appropriate campaigns, packaging and products that resonate with their consumers.
3. Recognize similarities and acknowledge differences.
When you generate a deep understanding of commonalities and differences among Hispanics and mainstream consumers through research and insights, you can maximize the effectiveness of your marketing campaign and investment. For example, when planning a campaign, the insights might indicate that your brand promise will resonate both with “mainstream” and Hispanic consumers. However, other instances may dictate that the best way to connect with the Hispanic consumer is to create brand new products, services or solutions.
As mentioned earlier, the key to capitalizing on the $1.3 trillion Hispanic market opportunity in 2014 will be to build a total-market strategy, one that addresses both mainstream and multicultural audiences. Remember, U.S. Hispanics will soon represent the world’s ninth-largest economy.