Friday, June 22, 2007

¡Hola! Hispanic Marketing...

If I wasn't born into an Italian family, I wish I was born into a Hispanic family. But that may just be because I love Mexican food.

Maybe that's why my agency does more and more work in Spanish every year. But I think there is another reason for the shift in business.

The U.S. population is shifting in ways you might not be aware of.

Depending on where you live, you may notice a larger Hispanic population. But you may think that the growth is only in certain areas: Los Angeles, Miami, New York, etc. What may surprise you is that Denver is the 15th largest Hispanic city in America. About 20 percent of the population in Denver is Hispanic. It recently pushed Albuquerque, New Mexico off the top 20 list. And other non-traditionally Hispanic markets are shifting as well.

For instance, the state with the fastest-growing Hispanic market as a percentage of population is North Carolina. That's no typo. It's North Carolina. There was a 394% increase in Hispanics living in the state between the 1990 and 2000 census.

America is the 3rd largest Hispanic country in the United States. More Hispanics live in the U.S. than there are Canadians living in Canada.

Currently 78% of Hispanic adults are immigrants. That means that their first language is Spanish. They are a Spanish-only or Spanish-dominate language group.

And projections say the Hispanic population in the United States will increase 77 percent between 2000 and 2020.

So as a direct result of all this research, my recommendation to my clients is not to do any literature in Spanish. It's a big waste of money.

Instead, I encourage them to consider investing in bilingual literature. This way, you don't need to double you marketing budget to adapt to the changing marketplace.

We've built many bilingual websites for our B-to-B customers to help them communicate with their potential customers. We even work with a translator that's an expert in automotive technology to be sure all the technical jargon is correct. He's an excellent translator and in high-demand. In fact, I don't think he's taking any new clients.

Depending on who and where your market is, you may find you need to communicate in Polish or some other language or risk losing out. But let me assure you if you don't keep an eye on the shifting population, your sales will suffer. Because if you aren't talking their language let me assure you, someone else will.

So when you talk to you customers, are you talking their language? And beyond that do you recognize what makes their culture different?

Now if you excuse me, I've got a lunch appointment with Taco Bell.

- Phil Sasso

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