Who We Are
The number of Hispanics residing in the United States in April 2010 was 50.5 million—that’s 16.3 percent of the total population; in Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory, it was 4.6 million. Projections by the Pew Research Center have estimated the number of Hispanics to more than double by 2050, comprising 29 percent of the future population of the U.S.
Hispanics make up the largest ethnic/racial minority in America.
63 percent of U.S. Hispanics are of Mexican origin
.2 percent are of Puerto Rican origin
3.5 percent are of Cuban origin
3.2 percent are of Salvadoran origin
2.8 percent are Dominican
The remainder (19.3 percent) are made up of Central/South American and other Hispanic Latino communities.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau
>>Americans of other ethnic ancestries happily embrace many of the cultural contributions of Hispanics, but when it comes to doing business with the Hispanic communities in this country, what are the best practices for reaching and influencing this important segment of the population?
Enrique Perez, CAS, president of Hitex Marketing (UPIC: HITEX) in Miami, Florida, says the first step is to recognize that within the Hispanic community are dozens of distinct ethnic backgrounds, each with their own cultural traditions. “You’ve got to narrow down what type of market you’re dealing with. What segment are you trying to reach? A 10-ounce coffee mug won’t appeal to [Cuban Americans] because they don’t drink that much coffee!”
To entice customers in these separate cultures, Perez says 20 percent of his company’s catalog focuses on products with a universal appeal and 80 percent are group-specific items. “You cannot [pitch] one single item to bring out a message [for different ethnic groups],” he says.
Perez and Barbara Apodaca of Albuquerque’s Above & Beyond Promotional Products (UPIC: Above02) say a distinct dividing line exists between second- and third-generation Hispanic Americans and recent immigrants, particularly when it comes to advertising and promotional marketing.
“My experience with new immigrants is that they are shy about any type of advertising,” says Apodaca, owner of the New Mexico distributorship. Perez, who works with clients in the U.S. and Latin America, adds, “But the more assimilated they are, the more high-tech or mainstream items they want.”
In McAllen, Texas, a robust micro-economy, growing population and the steady influx of retirees from up north means Leroy Cadena’s distributorship, K.C. Ad Specialties (UPIC: KCADSPEC) , is seeing Hispanic culture blend seamlessly with other groups. As a result, he says, “Their [promotional] needs and perceptions aren’t that different. We mainly sell to school districts and healthcare agencies. Everything we’ve done is in English, though the providers here have to be bilingual.”
>>Doing Business In America
In 2007, Hispanic-owned businesses numbered 23 million—a 44-percent increase from 2002.
Hispanic veteran-owned businesses were recently counted at more than 113,000.
>>Tips For Pitching To Hispanic Clientele
Be prepared for bargaining, but pitch a value-driven solution.
“In terms of pricing, they are used to bargaining. I tell my clients, if you want to bring in business, you have to get a worthwhile product,” says Jose Alejo, president of Alejo USA (UPIC: AlejoUSA) in Georgetown, Texas. “I use presentations to provide examples when they specify a price range.”
Help them make their venture successful.
“I do a lot of business with Hispanic customers, mainly small businesses—a lot of Mexican restaurants,” says Alejo. “They often get business cards and special forms … [but] they are open to giveaways.”
Pound the pavement and don’t be afraid of cold-calling.
“It’s about going out into the community so people know who you are. Jump out in the middle of it and get involved. People want to see, feel and try things,” he says.
You can’t go wrong being bilingual.
“It is helpful in this business—it’s a big plus—to speak Spanish.”
>>Where We Live
More than half the nation’s Hispanic residents live in just three states: California (28 percent), Texas (19 percent) and Florida (8 percent).
Seventy-five percent of Hispanic Americans live in eight states with Hispanic populations of one million or more—California, Texas, Florida, New York, Illinois, Arizona, New Jersey and Colorado.
Hispanics in New Mexico comprise 46 percent of the total state population, the highest proportion for any state.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau
A local taqueria, bakery, café and Georgetown, Texas-based distributor Alejo USA (UPIC: AlejoUSA) sought a single goal: to strengthen and increase customer relationships.
The businesses co-branded 576 mugs that were distributed to bakery customers with their orders, to restaurant guests who ordered coffee and those who wanted to purchase the mug.
The clients benefited by getting more customers from the mug advertising, and Alejo generated additional business from its clients by selling car magnets, calendars, aprons, business cards, signs, t-shirts, polos and caps as a result of the mug campaign.
First 5 Sacramento, a county division of the CaliforniaChildren and Families Commission, needed a product that succinctly outlined the services they provide to both English- and Spanish-speaking audiences. They originally assumed it would be two distinct brochures that needed to be compact and easy to mail.
Sacramento-based distributor Graphic Focus (UPIC: G492819) instead created one brochure for First 5, with identical designs on both sides but with content printed in English and Spanish. “A big percentage of their audiences are Spanish-speaking and yet their children are growing up multilingual,” says Joe Zaniker, lead project manager at Graphic Focus.
The brochure was the flagship piece that launched a brand identity for First 5 Sacramento, inspiring the design of future pieces. “One of the challenges with multi-language projects is that you normally need double the amount of space to tell your story or message,” Zaniker said. “This job was no exception, but because of how we designed it, it works for both audiences.”
In 2007 the bilingual brochure won a statewide award from The California Association of Public Information Officials (CAPIO) in the category of Special Publication.
>>Latest companies to launch Hispanic-focused campaigns in the U.S. (Digital Extras)
Dodge Ram interviewed Hispanic owners of its trucks and built a campaign around their stories. Listen to Ram Truck Brand /Chrysler de Mexico President & CEO Fred Diaz discuss the concept and development of the campaign. Listen to the campaign.
>>Bridge The Culture Gap
Consider these products when reaching out to multicultural prospects.
Give jet-setting business professionals the world at their fingertips with the Digital World Time Clock, Calendar & Thermometer. It features a sleek silver finish perfect for imprinting with a name or logo. The clock features 29 time zones and digitally displays a monthly calendar and temperature reading.
Logomark, Inc. UPIC: logomark 800-789-4438 www.logomark.com
Bring new clients to the table with a bold Table Cover that showcases a strong logo or slogan. Whether non-woven, convertible or waterproof, domestically made table covers printed in eco-friendly inks spell success in any language.
Aprons, Etc. UPIC: APRONS 800-467-1996 www.apronsetc.com
Promote healthful living with English/Spanish Self Exam Tags. The handy door hanger-style tags are printed in two languages to help public health officials and physicians reach as many patients as possible.
BUDGETCARD, Inc. UPIC: BUDGET 800-451-8600 www.budgetcard.com
Patricia Dugan, vice president for sales and marketing at BUDGETCARD, Inc., explains how the bilingual exam cards are most often used:
“We do update our artwork once a year, if necessary, in order to make sure our self-exam information is as current as possible. These items are sold all year long, although Cancer Awareness Month and Testicular Awareness Month are in April, and Breast Cancer Awareness Month is in October; due to that, we see big spikes in production.
“They are distributed within companies to employees, given out at health fairs, mobile mammography units, runs and/or walks, tip-ins in conjunction with a magazine advertisement or article and mailings since they fit in a No. 10 envelope and do not increase postage.
“There are many different dialects as far as Spanish is concerned. Without additional charges or production time, we can print whatever dialect is desired as long as the camera-ready artwork is provided. The design of these items allows the piece to hang on a door, or in the shower to serve as a reminder.”