By Rieva Lesonsky
The economy is finally starting to show steady signs of recovery, but for Hispanics, climbing out of the economic funk left by the Great Recession may take longer than for other ethnic groups. In a new study by the Pew Hispanic Center, the majority (54 percent) of Hispanics said they feel the recession hit them harder than it did other groups in America.
Hispanics generally trail other ethnic groups in the U.S. when it comes to financial well-being, but Pew found the gaps have widened since 2005. Here are some details:
- More than half (59 percent) say that they or someone in their household has been out of work in the past year, compared with 51 percent of the general public.
- Three-fourths report their personal finances are in “only fair” or “poor” shape.
- Nearly half (49 percent) canceled or delayed a major purchase in the past year.
- More than one-fourth (28 percent) of Hispanic homeowners are underwater on their mortgage, compared to 14 percent of homeowners in general.
- From 2005 to 2009, median household wealth among Hispanics declined by 66 percent, compared to 16 percent among whites.
But the news is not all bad. Pew also found that Hispanics were more upbeat than other ethnic groups about the prospect of better days ahead, both for themselves and their families and for their children as they grow up.
- Two-thirds (67 percent) of Hispanics say they expect their financial situation to improve over the next year, compared with just 58 percent of the general population.
- Two-thirds (66 percent) of Latinos say they expect their children to enjoy a better standard of living than they do, compared with just 48 percent of the general public.
Accounting for 50 million Americans, making it the largest minority group in the U.S., Hispanic population is a market you can’t afford to ignore. How can you improve your chances of successfully marketing to Hispanics facing tough economic realities?
- Don’t ignore their reality. Your advertising and marketing should be sensitive to price and value concerns.
- Use discounts and special offers, but not at the expense of quality. Hispanics are seeking value, not just rock-bottom prices.
- Consider using layaway or installment payment options for consumers who can’t or don’t want to use credit cards.
- Speak to Hispanics’ optimism by showing how your products or services can help them and their families save money, enjoy life or strengthen family bonds.
- Target niches. Overall, native-born Hispanics are somewhat more optimistic than immigrants, and also have more positive financial situations. Be sensitive about which audience you are targeting.
Image by Flickr user Images of Money (Creative Commons)