|Buying power is shifting to the multi-cultural demographic, but what do you do about it? Do you wait for your natural traffic to become more ethnic, or do you go after this part of the population, marketing directly to them on a consistent basis, so they become an integral part of your business model?|
The Hispanic market is the only auto-buying market in the country experiencing growth. Have you begun to target Hispanic people whose first (and sometimes only) language is Spanish? If you haven’t, you might be jeopardizing your future. Ignore this market and you ignore growth.
In general terms, look at the buying power you have overlooked. The openness and dedication of Hispanics to brand are far greater than non-Hispanics. Are you struggling with subprime and wondering where to turn? Here’s your answer. And I have plenty of facts and figures to back up my argument.
Hispanics respond to advertising. It is a critical decision to go after this market, and when you do, it is a commitment. But it is a commitment you have to make. When the game changes, you have to change with it. This is economic reality. I have never seen this kind of dramatic shift in buying power. If you don’t embrace multi-cultural marketing, you are operating under a cloud of fallacy. Let me ask you something: how long do people last when they operate under that type of attitude?
“This is a buying group you ignore at your own peril,” warned Dan Gorrell, director of automotive practices, Strategic Vision (1). We’ve all heard this before, but did we do anything when we heard this type of comment? I think most of us probably understood the metrics. $36 billion in Hispanic automobile sales last year alone (2) is a lot of buying power, which is impossible to ignore.
The overall automotive marketplace has been down for what seems like way too long now, and Hispanic purchases have been up 59 percent (3) over the past 10 years. That seems like something we should pay attention to. What are we really doing here? Do we have a plan of action to capitalize on this growing market? Are we going to meet the new paradigm in the marketplace? There is no room for error. More importantly, there is no room for ignorance.
The Hispanic market is a growing opportunity - the fastest-growing sector of the population. Their numbers are growing at more than four times the rate of non-Hispanics (4). From 2000 to 2012, 21.2 million new Hispanics will enter the U.S. market, bringing their projected total population to 56.8 million (5).
Here are a few more stats. Hispanic disposable household income averages $68,219; Hispanic disposable income totals a staggering $845 billion and Hispanic total consumer spending rings the register to the tune of $890 billion each and every year (6). The most important stat to remember is that from 1997 to 2007, the number of passenger cars sold to non-Hispanics has decreased 32 percent, while the number sold to Hispanics grew 59 percent (3).
Some local markets have even more impressive statistics. In Los Angeles, the Hispanic population will grow by 34 percent (7) from 2000 to 2013, and by 2020 nearly half the entire population will be Hispanic (1). Last year alone, Chicago Hispanics spent over $1 billion on cars, trucks, vans and SUVs (8).
Now for the even better news. From a marketing point of view, studies have shown ethnic consumers are more receptive to marketing and advertising (especially those viewed, listened to or read in their native tongue). This makes those advertisements and messages three times more effective and four-and-a-half times more persuasive. Nationally, 88 percent of Hispanics speak Spanish at home (9). The Hispanic market is also a much less saturated market, so this minimizes advertising risk.
There are tremendous resources out there for those of you who want to get into this market. Many third-party telemarketing centers offer excellent Spanish-speaking services. There are companies now specializing in Hispanic direct mail and local print. Reach out to the Hispanic community and to Hispanic marketing specialists at the same time. Ask your Hispanic media reps who the top Hispanic ad agencies in town are. Find out what agencies are buying a lot of Hispanic electronic media. Once you find out who the Hispanic radio and TV players are, you will be headed in the right direction.
Additionally, Hispanic advertising options are plentiful. Univision, Telemundo and Telefutura offer great television options. They will seem pricey at first, so I suggest you contact a Hispanic advertising professional. Major Hispanic stations can command top dollar not just because they offer such a specific demographic group, but because many of them have ratings that challenge, if not outright beat, their non-Hispanic counterparts.
In Los Angeles, Univision routinely beats NBC, CBS, FOX and ABC for the number-one position in the entire market. If you want to start smaller, look for ethnic newspapers or possibly radio; the key is to get the Hispanic advertising ball rolling and commit to it like anything else. Explosive population growth and untapped and under-saturated marketing opportunities make this the perfect time to get into the Hispanic marketing game. I know many of you already play in this arena, but are you really getting all you can out of it?
Former Rolls-Royce North America executive Eric C. Shepherd has joined Hamlin & Associates as the company’s new president.