The most well-known example of a company that didn’t do its
homework is Chevrolet, which became the laughing stock of Hispanics when it tried to market its Nova model to them. In Spanish,
no va means “it doesn’t go,” making it a less-than-auspicious name
for a moving vehicle.
Appealing to La Familia
While Americans are more inclined to focus on self and ask, “What’s
in it for me?” Hispanics in the United States are less egocentric and
much more family-oriented than the general population. According
to Nielsen, 60 percent of U.S. Hispanics are under age 30 and almost
twice as likely to live in households of four or more people. Fifty-five
percent of Hispanic households have children living at home—66
percent more than their American counterparts. “They tend to be less
individualistic,” Mam says. Therefore, any speaker whose subjects can
be tailored to the family, such as healthcare, education or finance,
may find customers in the Hispanic community.
From recent arrivals to the more established and assimilated, one
element that connects nearly all Hispanics in the United States is the
shared experience of being immigrants. “Hispanics all have a recent
history of leaving home to find a better life,” Mam says. “From the
poorest who have just moved here to the wealthiest, they tend to be
hardworking people who have come to this country to improve their
lot.” Therefore, a speaker with expertise in real estate, investments—
or immigration law—would be a natural for this market.
Virtually every consultant agrees that tapping into the Hispanic
market requires time and commitment. “In the United States, usu-
ally you can throw a lot of money around and, boom, you get your
result,” Coro says. Among Hispanics, however, he adds, “You need
to have some cultural relevance to begin with. They are not necessarily going to respond to you out of the box.”
Getting a Piece of the Local Pie
One example of a promising Hispanic sector to market in is banking and money management. The FDIC predicts that in the next
decade Hispanic customers will comprise more than half of banking growth in the United States. Nonetheless, despite the upsurge in
their buying power, only about half the Hispanics in this country
have bank accounts.
Numerous U.S. banks have been stepping up their marketing and
promotional efforts to attract this customer. Speakers who have
expertise in introductory finance—small investment opportunities,
IRAs, Koegh plans, or even how to balance a checkbook—are
uniquely positioned to attract a Hispanic audience.
“Go local and see what’s going on,” Mam suggests. “Take the
pulse of your community. No one expects you to be an expert on Hispanic culture, but the more research you do and the more you open
up, the more successful you’ll be. Tapping into
cultural differences can be enriching.”
David Lida, who lives in Mexico City, is the
author of Travel Advisory, a collection of short
stories. His writing has been published in The
New York Times, the Los Angeles Times,
Gourmet and The Village Voice.
The NSA Foundation Can Assist Your Favorite Charity
The Art Berg Grant
Applications for the
2007 grant are due
Many NSA members make the world a better place by
getting involved in charities they care about. Are you
an active volunteer with a charitable organization that
could use some help with technology or communication-related projects? The Art Berg Grant can help! The late
NSA leader Art Berg, CSP, CPAE, had a passion for innovative
technology tools and their ability to facilitate communication. The Art Berg Fund helps 501 (c) 3 groups implement
technology for the benefit of their clients.
Applications are now being accepted and the deadline to
apply is May 1, 2007. Visit the NSA Web site at www.
nsaspeaker.org/about/foundation.shtml for information on
the Art Berg Grant. You may also contact Audrey O’Neal at
(480) 968-2552 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.