4 posts categorized "Education"

Reach Latinos through 'the culture,' speaker urges business leaders

March 22, 2011
By Ron Cammel

The growing Latino market is diverse and cannot be reached by clichéd sales pitches, Juan Tornoe told hundreds gathered for the West Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce awards ceremony Monday at the JW Marriott.

But that did not stop him from having some fun with stereotypes.

In Grand Rapids Tornoe, a national business consultant and blogger of Hispanic Trending, summed up the growth in the U.S. Hispanic population quite simply: Salsa now outsells ketchup.

But he was serious about businesses reaching the estimated 47 million Latinos in the United States, or 16 percent of the population, whose buying power has grown much faster than the non-Hispanic population’s.

How does a business connect?

“It’s the culture, stupid!” he said.

“Hispanic people overwhelmingly say they want to preserve their families’ culture,” Tornoe said. “If you speak to the heart of the Latino community, it goes a long way.”

He said Latinos value social harmony, social flexibility and social speed — they tend to become friendly faster. It’s important for sales people to spend a little more time on the small talk and getting to know a person in the Hispanic community before talking business, he said.

And family comes first, he said. Hispanic women are a growing force in Hispanic-owned businesses, not for the wealth, but to look out for the interests of their families, he said.

Don’t assume Hispanics want to be spoken to in Spanish, he said. The large majority of Hispanics who use the Internet regularly, for example, use English sites.

If you want to joke around with “Spanglish,” be careful, he cautioned. Some advertisements have turned off the Hispanic community. Regular English-to-Spanish translations are difficult enough: A T-shirt hawked after the pope’s visit to Miami read in Spanish, “I saw the potato.”

Tornoe said businesses reaching out to Hispanics need to remember the broad range of income, education and social levels, while recognizing some common cultural characteristics.

But in any case, the Hispanic market is here to stay, he said. “It’s not a matter of when you reach them. You will. It’s a matter of understanding them.”

Source: MLive.com


“If I were an aging white person”

Note from Juan: Usually I am not this insistent, but today I am compelled to urge you to read my friend Dave's article. It is a must read for anyone living in the United States today, especially for those with "issues" regarding the nation's increasing diversity.


March 3, 2009
By Dave Schechter
CNN Senior National Editor

“If I were an aging white person,” Ron Crouch begins provocatively, “I’d want to find some young black and Hispanic families and ask them how they’re doing because those young Hispanics and blacks will be taking my butt down the road” as they become the taxpayers and leaders of an increasingly multi-cultural America.

Continue reading Dave's post on CNN's AC360 Blog.


Segmentation of the Hispanic Market

By Juan Tornoe

All Latinos are not the same.

It is true that we all carry Latin American and/or Spanish heritage in our blood, but that is the only variable that won't vary (some may say this is cutting us short, but let's use this definition for the purposes of this discussion). As I've discussed in previous articles, there are certain cultural characteristics that you need to be aware of in order to better understand the Latino frame of mind:

    * Degree of intimacy
    * Level of interaction
    * Social harmony
    * Personal contact
    * Respect for authority

These are extremely important and a great starting point for truly connecting with Hispanics. Then again, the Latino community is so diverse, that if you limit yourself to only these general characteristics, it will still be quite challenging to effectively and efficiently reach out to the market you specifically are trying to attract.

You also need to be aware of additional variables that influence Latinos, both as distinct groups and as individuals. Here, in no particular order, are some of the traits to consider when identifying the group (or groups) of Latinos on whom you will focus your marketing efforts in order to tailor a message that resonates with them:

1. Country of Origin / Heritage: There are many differences between Hispanics, depending upon the person's country of origin or heritage: Food and music preferences, as well as the Holidays they celebrate are some of the most obvious. The actual words they use to describe persons, places, actions and things can vary immensely as well.

2. Language Preference: What is the actual language that your target group prefers? Do they usually speak and read in English or Spanish? Are they fully bilingual or closer to either end of the English-Spanish language spectrum? This is of utmost importance when developing your message. Will you talk to them exclusively in English or Spanish? Will you talk to them in both languages? Will you utilize Spanglish (code-switching)?

3. Generation: It is a completely different worldview depending how far away, generationally, Hispanics are from their country of origin/heritage. First generation (foreign-born) Latinos have experienced life outside the U.S., have gone through the immigration experience, and to different degrees, have embraced or become acquainted with living in America. Second generation Latinos encounter a mixed experience, being born and growing up in the United States, but brought up by immigrants and thus heavily exposed and influenced by their parents' culture. Finally, Latinos who are third generation and beyond are the sons and daughters of U.S.-born parents. They are very much influenced by the general market, but still connect to their roots through the values, traditions, and culture passed on by their parents and grandparents.

4. Place of Residence: Latinos living in different parts of the country have completely different life experiences. It depends on the size of their city or town, its demographic composition, and how much or little interaction they have with fellow Latinos. Hispanics living in Los Angeles, Houston, Miami or New York have a vastly different experience and easier access to all things Hispanic than if they reside in Boise or Billings.

5. Socio-Cultural Level: In most cases, foreign-born Latinos obtain a higher income level and greater buying power than they experienced in their home countries. Still, even while their wallets or bank accounts tell one story, their buying habits and overall lifestyles could tell a different story. Their mind-set may cause them to retain financial habits learned in the past, meaning they may be spending less than their buying power would indicate. In other cases, immigrants may arrive in the U.S. with a high socio-cultural and economic level and broader world-view, which creates a completely different set of needs.

6. Acculturation: How much have Hispanics modified or adapted their attitudes and behaviors as a result of contact with mainstream America? What new systems of thought, beliefs, emotions and communication systems have they embraced in order to exist in a new cultural environment without abandoning their heritage?

7. Assimilation: While often used interchangeably with acculturation, this is actually the process of giving up a cultural heritage and becoming absorbed into the mainstream culture. How much has a Latino "forgotten" about their heritage in order to see him/herself as part of a larger national family?

8. Income Level: In general terms, the higher a person's income level (this applies to all people, not only Latinos) the likelier they will have their basic needs fulfilled. The wants and/or needs addressed in your targeted marketing message will need to take this into consideration.

As you can see, it is a combination of all these distinct variables that defines the Hispanic group (or groups) that you will focus on. A good way to understand the interaction between these variables is considering each as an element of a matrix, and the point of intersection of all these variables defines the part of the market you are trying to reach.

As mentioned before, this analysis could be executed down to an individual level, but for marketing purposes it is completely cost prohibitive and would deliver a dreadful ROI. The idea behind this explanation is that you need to perform your due diligence and understand where the majority of the people you are trying to reach land on this matrix, modifying your message according to this insight.

Originally Published on LatPro.com on January, 2008


Hispanic Average Annual Expenditures

Last week I received a message from a major corporation serving the Latino community in the Food sector (I won’t name names) asking for some specific info they needed to put the icing on the cake for a presentation they were about to make to a MAJOR retailer (again, I’m not naming names).

Knowing where to find the info they needed, I went directly to the U.S. Department of Labor’s website and got the Average Annual Expenditures, according to all the Consumer Expenditure Surveys I could find where the segmentation showed exclusive data for Hispanics. I found data from 2003 through 2006 and shared it with them.

Then my OCD kicked in…

You can download the excel worksheet that came to be once my obsessive-compulsiveness was fully satisfied. I hope you find it useful.

There are so many interesting inferences that you can come up with from reviewing the data, not only as absolute numbers, but through the passage of time AND by viewing the Latino Community annual expenditures as a percentage of their after taxes income... Then you compare it with data available for Non-Hispanics and it gets even more interesting!!! Have I told you already that I am a research freak?
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I’ve come to some pretty cool conclusions; I’d love it if you would download the worksheet and
share with us what data caught your attention. You can always comment on this post or, if you prefer, shoot me an email.

Enjoy!