Often times when U.S. companies think of targeting the Hispanic market it seems like an overwhelming proposition. I hear it often. So many buts and questions come up. But there are so many nationalities? How do we know how to speak to them with so many dialects? Do we have to customize according to dialects and nationalities? Where are the Mexicans concentrated? Do we need to target them in Spanish or English? Do we need to target recently arrived or Hispanics who have lived in the U.S. for a while? And what about US-born Hispanics – aren’t we already reaching them with our English language efforts?
So many questions and yet only two questions matter:
- How is your company planning to grow this year?
- What products and services are they planning to focus on?
The answer to these questions will drive the Hispanic target profile that matters to you and the manner in which your strategies should be aligned to be most successful in meeting company growth goals among this target.
The answer to this question will also drive the extent to which organization, operations and infrastructure will need to be coordinated to deliver relevantly across:
- Focus products and services
- Planned messaging, promotions and media
- Current or new distribution channels
- Servicing language requirements
For example, if your company sells life insurance. The target profile will likely be middle income foreign- and US-born Hispanics because these targets will be more established family households with assets like homes to protect. They will likely speak English well or very well so the company’s English communication can be English. The company can sell the same key insurance products being sold to non-Hispanic targets. It also means most of the company’s independent or career agents will be able to sell policies to Hispanic targets after some cultural development of Hispanics’ values, beliefs, attitudes and misconceptions around life insurance.
It does however; mean that messaging in English language communications will require some modification to address Hispanics values, beliefs, attitudes and misconceptions around life insurance. Similar adjustments will be necessary on the company’s website, newsletter, and letters. Also, bilingual brochures of existing materials will be helpful to agents as leave behinds to reinforce their sales pitch after an in-home visit. And lastly, customer service centers will need to be trained and aligned to the lengthier conversations and longer call times and it is advisable to hire or engage a bilingual vendor when Spanish language conversations are preferred. As with most financial products, language of comprehension will likely be Spanish especially among the foreign born.
So take the time to identify and get to know the right fit Hispanic target. Doing so will do away with many of the questions I mentioned prior. It will also make clearer the steps you must take to be successful among the Hispanic targets that will contribute to the company’s growth plans and strategies.