Accessing the Hispanic Market
Accessing the Hispanic Market
With Maria Rodriguez
We’re located in Tampa Bay, Florida, and if you’ve ever visited here, you’ll have noticed there’s a large Hispanic demographic. Maria Rodriguez is from a Hispanic country and has worked with business to help target that specific market. In today’s blog post we’re going to talk about what you can do to help access that market and use it as an example for other markets that may be in your area.
It’s an important thing to think about, even if you don’t speak Spanish or are yourself Hispanic. It’s a growing market in our country, a lot of Hispanics are coming in from Columbia, Venezuela, and Brazil because they don’t want their wealth taken away from them. A lot of them arrive in Miami, and see how over populated it is and then spread out to other areas, including Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Colorado, Illinois, who have seen an increase in the Hispanic clientèle.
Even if the Hispanic market is not in your area, there are other growing markets you can expand into, whether it’s Greek, Vietnamese, etc.
“Once you get into a small group of Hispanics you have a customer for life. They’re very loyal if you really know how to target them.”
Most Hispanics are online, prefer their ads and news online to TV, and prefer them in English. They also prefer word-of-mouth, and are more likely to use something because a friend recommended it.
By creating advertisement specifically targeted at the Hispanic market you’re creating a window where you’re going to stand out. This idea of targeting your market is not a new idea. In advertising if a company wanted to sell a product to women, they’d use a woman’s voice or picture on the ad and so on.
What are some marketing ideas?
Soccer (football) is incredibly large and has a very large following in the Latin community. You can take advantage of that by creating apparel that appeals to that crowd (example: Columbia colors).
Quinceañera is a big celebration in the Latin community for a girl’s 15th birthday. The more bling for a Quinceañera the better.
What are the first steps you should take to get into the market?
If you already have an established business, and are reaching a point where you’re trying to grow more, we recommend looking for a Hispanic salesperson or employee to work with you. So you can put “hablo español” on your store sign or website. You can call Latin-American businesses and speak to them in English and their native language. A lot of potential customers can speak English, but often can get their thoughts and ideas across better in Spanish, so it’s really helpful to be able to offer that. Find someone who’s already in that community and is into sales and can go out and make those connections.
Alternatively if you’ve already got a customer that’s very active in the Spanish community (or any community), think about asking them for referrals, or even ask them to take a look at an advertisement and get their opinion on it. Or visit the local Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and see how they can help you, how you can become a part of their community.
Going back to the idea of word of mouth, most Hispanics aren’t as familiar with most American brands, so they really rely on word of mouth. They’ll ask their friend what they use and choose that brand. Traditionally they tend to use the same brands that their parents and grandparents used, but will really respond positively to brands that go the extra mile to reach out to them.
It could be a church service, or other local event (like a Puerto Rican Parade, Cuban Festival), but go to those events.
Engaging with these smaller niche communities is likely something your competition isn’t doing. So especially if you have an affinity to the culture, the food, the music, of a different community reach out that community. Whether it’s through the Chamber of Commerce or events.
What are some actions you can do?
- Go online and find out if there is a local Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
- Find out if there are any events, and if they have any advertising or booth space
- Make some appropriate samples – ex: country flags (make sure you do the right flag for the right event),
- Find out what’s important to that community
- Find out if there’s an area in your city that the businesses are largely owned by Hispanics (or Italian, Jewish, Chinese, etc)
Culture is beautiful and rich. Within a culture or community there is an inherent trust between members. There is a similar thing with people who embrace a culture. So you can go into a Columbia restaurant (for example) and say to them “I’m not Columbian, but I think Columbian food is awesome” they’ll likely welcome you in and you’ll become a friend. It’s about developing that personal connection.
If you’re a little bit nervous about getting out there, find a festival or event that’s going on in your area and go, just to see what it’s like, and to see if the event has booths set up, and see if there’s a hole in that you could fill when the next event comes up. Because chances are, no one is selling custom shirts and bags in those countries’ colors.
If you’re already a part of a community, get out there. Take advantage of the inherent trust and knowledge you have of the culture. Reach out and attend those events. Perhaps you already have a niche, such as dance, but if you’re also Puerto Rican that should be your secondary market.
And if you’re ready to jump in, you can put out an ad to help you find someone who speaks the language. While you can’t say in the ad that you’re looking for a “Puerto Rican”, you can look for someone who is bilingual to help you grow that market.
“If you invest in us, we will spend on you.”
Be brave, pay attention, do your to-do-list on how you’re going to go after this market. And we’d love to hear your success stories.
Have a good business!