By Maria Valdez Haubrich
Is your small business trying to reach out to Hispanic consumers? If you’re not, maybe you should be, because Hispanics are already over 52 million strong and will account for the majority of U.S. population growth over the next 5 years. U.S. Hispanics had $1 trillion in buying power in 2010, and Nielsen reports that will grow to $1.5 trillion by 2015. That’s just some of the data from Nielsen’s recent State of the Hispanic Consumer study, which offers an overview of this consumer market. What makes Latinos such an important market?
- Youth: The median age of the U.S. Hispanic population is 28 years old. That’s nine years younger than the total market median age of 37. That means Hispanics are poised to make even more of a mark on U.S. culture as they enter the work force, start families, buy homes and enter their peak spending years.
- Technology: Hispanics spend 68 percent more time watching online video and 20 percent more time watching video on their mobile phones than non-Hispanic whites. They also spend more time than non-Hispanic whites on texting, mobile email, mobile Internet use and mobile music or photo downloads.
- Shopping patterns: Hispanics shop and buy differently than the overall U.S. market. For instance, they make fewer shopping trips but spend more per trip.
- Income: Although a large percentage (43 percent) of Hispanics have household incomes under $40,000, overall, Hispanics are advancing financially more rapidly than the average U.S. population. Between 2000 and 2011, for instance, the proportion of Latino households with incomes of $50,000 or more increased faster than the national average.
- Growth: Between 2000 and 2011, Hispanics accounted for more than half of the U.S. population increase; in other words, their population grew more than that of all other non-Hispanics combined. In the next five years, they will account for an even greater share (60 percent or more) of population growth.
How can you reach Latinos effectively? Marketing with respect for their culture is key. The survey found that U.S. Hispanics want to maintain the culture of their countries of origin. For instance, nine out of 10 Hispanic parents and parents-to-be want their children to speak Spanish as well as English. It’s easier than ever for Hispanics in the U.S. to maintain ties with their cultures, because social networking, ease of cross-border communication and access to technology enable them to stay in touch with relatives in their countries of origin.
Image by Flick user Jorge Ravines (Creative Commons)