Aculturación Inversa - Nuevos Mercados para sus Productos
Culture, the Glue that Holds Latinos Together

How Big is the Latino Market, Really?

March 2010
By Juan Tornoe

Short answer: It Depends.

Let me elaborate. By 2050 one third (33%) of all persons living in the United States of America will be of Hispanic descent. It is a fact that the Latino community is the fastest growing in the Nation, both in head count as well as in buying power. Currently, depending on who’s measuring, it represents anywhere between 16 and 17% of the entire population of the U.S.

These numbers are quite impressive but they can easily be misused to fool and deceive you into believing a reality that might not fully apply to your specific set of circumstances. Without the detailed definition of who within the Latino market you are trying to reach you run the risk of squandering away your ad budget by investing it into a futile endeavor. You might be enthused by the opportunities of riding the Hispanic Wave only to hit a wall head first and realize that it was not as easy as it seemed to be.

You need to be fully aware of several things in order to truly define how big the Latino market for your product or service is.

First you need to indentify how big your market is: the nation, a region, a state, a city, a ZIP code? Then get a general idea of the number/percentage of Hispanics living there. It is not the same concentration of Latinos living in California, El Paso, TX or Bangor, ME!

Then you need to take a deeper dive into this community: In which language should you reach out to them? What are their levels of acculturation / assimilation? Which country of origin or heritage are they predominantly from? What is their buying power and how is it distributed within the community? Which are their preferred media outlets and how good will these work for you to obtain the best reach and frequency for your advertising message in order to stir them into action?

A very important part of the analysis revolves around the following; do all these specific market demographics match those who are most likely to want or need you product/service and who will be willing and able to purchase it?

Most certainly, there are many more questions needed to be asked and get answered before committing serious time, money, and effort to reach out to Hispanics, but by addressing at the very least what has been mentioned above, you will have a much better understanding of the actual size of the Latino market specifically for what you sell.

Many, who simply wish to make a quick buck, will be eager to tell that it is a no-brainer to “invest” lots of dollars into reaching out to Hispanics, especially if that investment is going directly into their bank accounts. I advice you not to jump in too fast; first do your due diligence and then move forward, with a clear understanding of what you are getting into.

It is most likely than not that indeed there will be an opportunity for your products/services within the Latino community in the area you service. What is important is that you get a good grasp of the potential size and profitability of this opportunity. The last thing I want for you is to go about it the wrong way and believe that it was a mistake to reach out to Latinos.

So yes, Hispanics represent as many as 17% of the population nationwide, as little as 1% in Altoona, PA as much as 95% in Laredo, TX. How much do they represent for your market? Are you ready to cater to them?

Originally published on Abasto Magazine

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