By Terry Soto, Author of Marketing to Hispanics A Strategic Approach to Assessing and Planning Your Initiative
I often find myself on the phone with a management person who has suddenly “seen the light” and wants to lead the company onto a more strategic path; a path that will once and for all produce the types of results that will position the Hispanic market as one of several catalysts for their company’s growth.
I’ll hear something along the line of, “I know we’ve hit the wall on this and I know we just won’t get past this point if we don’t coordinate our efforts internally.”
And, here comes the BUTs;
- BUT the rest of the organization thinks we’re doing just fine because we’re growing.
- BUT I’d have to get a sense for much appetite there might be for an initiative like this.
- BUT we’re about to venture into some M&A activity and this work won’t get the attention it deserves if we do this now.
- BUT the last time we targeted the Hispanic market we didn’t have much to show for it so we stopped when budgets got tight.
- BUT our sales people aren’t asking for it so it’s hard to justify.
- BUT I just started and I want to first see what I can do with the resources we have and then we’ll see.
And the list goes on. The truth is we can justify not taking action all day long and a year from now, two years from now we’ll be having the same conversation except your frustration will be at an all time high and you’ll be trailing your competition. Most companies don’t have the luxury of wasting valuable time to “think about” whether they want to organize to seize the only consumer market that is growing at an astounding pace and the only consumer market driving sales growth across most product and service categories.
The irony is that when we typically see or hear about a market opportunity, we inform and mobilize our organizations to leverage the opportunity to effect growth in spite of a myriad of objections and obstacles. We move forward because it makes business sense to do so. We acknowledge, but dismiss the naysayers who are part of every business environment. We consider the source when listening to those who speak from a place of assumptions, who repeat what they “hear” instead of what is fact, who carry forward stereotypes, who fear that doing things differently might say they haven’t done a good job, and who make decisions based on ignorance and in many cases fear of change and its personal impact on them. Sometimes when folks hear talk of the need to coordinate efforts to optimize the company’s strategy to succeed among Hispanics, they think their world is about to be turned upside down.
Let’s face it; few of us make decisions or take action without first considering the personal impact and many of us believe that leaving well enough alone is best. But is it?
The growth opportunity Hispanics represent to today’s top line growth for companies is very real. Your job is to shed light on the opportunity and the cost of ignoring or paying it lip service. Your job is to act in the best interest of the business. I believe knowledge is the key and creating awareness of the link that exists between Hispanics and your company’s direction, priorities and goals is paramount.
The truth is that many in the C-Suite simply don’t know of the misalignment that exists between the company’s mission, values and priorities and the needs of today’s very different consumer landscape, and worse, the fact that stagnant or declining sales are often a direct result. So, should it be a priority to integrate Hispanics into your current and future initiatives? I think deep down, we all know the answer to that question.
Terry Soto is President and CEO of About Marketing Solutions, Inc., a Burbank, California – based strategy consulting firm specializing in helping her clients dramatically improve overall business performance by optimizing their strategies to succeed in the Hispanic market. firstname.lastname@example.org