I recently spoke at the Annual Florida Sterling Conference about communicating with the Hispanic consumer. It is projected that by the end of 2015, Hispanic owned businesses will reach 4 million, with an estimated total annual revenue of $661 billion. 

With so much revenue being generated by one culture, there is an increasing need for bilingual communicators to help bridge the gap between corporate America and the Hispanic consumer. So how can we effectively market to individuals who place such a large emphasis on their culture and have the largest buying power in the U.S.?  

Here are 5 hacks to help you better understand and engage with the Hispanic Customer:

1. Hispanics are not a race but a culture:

National Hispanic Heritage Month kicked off on September 15. This day was chosen as the starting point of the 30-day celebration because it is the anniversary of independence of five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on Sept. 16 and Sept. 18. For some, it’s just another holiday in the calendar, for others, a unique opportunity. 

What makes Hispanics “Hispanic” is 400 years of Spanish control over Spanish speaking countries in Latin America; the dominant Catholic Religion; and the Spanish language. This heterogeneous group today makes up 17 percent of the U.S. population, and is a strong community of people who have one goal in common: to improve their lives.

2. Hispanics make decisions by means of family discussions:

When purchasing a big-ticket item such as a car, Hispanics make decisions by means of family discussions. Shopping trips are a group outing, featuring the whole family or at least one or two friends. Be sensitive by addressing the whole family and making sure everyone is on the same page. 

3. Word-of-mouth is big among Hispanics:

Hispanics rely and trust each other’s recommendations; therefore word-of-mouth is an invaluable source for referrals. Building a good reputation within the community is key for ongoing business. Bilingual team members facilitate communication and understanding. 

4. Engage online in Spanish and English:

Many Hispanic families are bilingual, with older members of the family preferring Spanish and younger members English. A bilingual website will allow families to experience your website, as a family, in English and Spanish. By providing a Hispanic online experience in both English and Spanish, you will send a strong signal to the U.S. Hispanic market that you are investing in them. 

5. Hispanics don’t appreciate the “hard sale.”

Are you ready to tap into the largest non-white group within the U.S with buying power that exceeds $1.5 trillion? There is no better time than today.

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