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Bicultural Hispanics Embrace the Best of Both Worlds

The Hispanic Market in the U.S.—¿Por qué y Cómo?

There are more than 53 million people of Latino origin in the United States. They represent about 17 percent of the total population. Hispanic population is expected to grow 167 percent between 2010 and 2050, compared to only 42 percent for the total population. The U.S. economy now benefits from people of Hispanic background, but the future U.S. economy will most likely depend on them.

Hispanics are presenting marketers an influential consumer group that can translate into business impact.

Here are five important tips for capturing the Hispanic market:

  • Get to know and understand your consumer. Hispanics’ reasons for purchasing a product or service may be very different from the rest of the market. Consumption patterns may vary as well. Newer arrivals in the U.S. may already have established brand preferences from their native countries.
  • Understand the importance of interpersonal relationships. Hispanic culture emphasizes the group rather than the individual. Purchase decisions are often based on the recommendations of friends and family. The entire family may be involved in the purchase. Testimonials, word of mouth, and referrals play an important role in marketing to Hispanics.
  • Learn the language preference of your audience because it may vary within a single household. Older Hispanics may speak Spanish, while their children may be bilingual or prefer English. Some purchase decisions may be made collectively, so a family may need sales or marketing information in both languages. All phases of marketing should be integrated. If you advertise in Spanish, customer service should be able to respond to Spanish-speaking callers.
  • Avoid stereotypes. They might be insulting and degrading to consumers whose culture values respect and tradition.
  • Remember that this is not a homogenous audience. Someone who recently immigrated to the U.S. and speaks Spanish at home and at work and someone who was born here and prefers to speak English may be very different. They may have different preferences and buying patterns and may require different approaches from marketers. They do share a cultural identity as Hispanics in the U.S., which should be addressed in marketing to them.
[1] Libbey, Janine. Interview. April 10, 2014.
[2] “State of the Hispanic Consumer: The Hispanic Market Imperative.” Nielsen. Quarter 2, 2012. Accessed April 10, 2014.
[3] “The Hispanic Population: 2010.” United States Census Bureau. May 2011. Accessed April 10, 2014.
[4] “Asians Fastest-Growing Race or Ethnic Group in 2012, Census Bureau Reports.” U.S. Census Bureau. June 13, 2013. Accessed April 11, 2014.