By Abraham Morales
Early this year, President Barack Obama selected Telemundo Denver for a one-on-one interview. In September, he selected Univision Colorado. During the summer, the president gave Denver’s KBNO a 15-minute live interview.
The last time I counted, Mitt Romney's campaign had at least 15 Spanish-language videos on its YouTube page, and had commissioned Craig Romney as surrogate bilingual speaker for his father to the Hispanic community and Spanish-language media outlets.
Late in September, both presidential candidates participated in a televised forum with Univision, on different days. The forums were watched by 5.5 million viewers.
What do the presidential campaigns tell businesses about the importance of the Latino community? A lot. The campaigns are making a conscious effort and significant investments to include Hispanics in their outreach and marketing tactics — and you can bet they wouldn’t be doing it if they didn’t see the value.
So the question for business leaders is: Are you including Hispanics in your marketing?
According to the 2010 Census, 1 million Latinos live in Colorado; in other words, one out of every five Coloradans is Hispanic. That represents a purchasing power of $12.6 billion in 2010 in just the Denver metro market, according to Global Insight, a research company that provides economic forecasts and industry analysis.
This number is projected to grow to $19.4 billion by 2015 and to $27.9 billion by 2020. Colorado Hispanic households are expected to spend $5.6 billion in stores in 2012, according to business intelligence provider Geoscape. (Data from both sources comes via Entravision Communications, which operates Spanish-language media outlets — two TV stations, three radio stations, and interactive platforms — in the Denver market.)
The future of business opportunity with Latinos looks very promising. Hispanics are younger than the U.S. population as a whole, with a median age of 27, with one-third under 18. Young Latinos serve as an important generational, cultural and linguistic bridge. For example, Hispanic Millennials are the fasting-growing fan segment of the NFL, a development that helped last year’s Super Bowl become the most watched televised event ever among U.S. Latinos.
However, not everyone is ready to take the next step. As with all other business decisions, getting or expanding into the Hispanic market entails investment and risk, and requires a blueprint to direct the efforts. A key to success is implementing intentional, strategic and comprehensive marketing and communications plans to reach Hispanics.
Both presidential campaigns are on the right track. Both of their websites have a Spanish version that’s not just a direct translation from English, but more of what we in the industry call a “transcreation” of selected content, relevant to this community.
Another good example from the campaigns is their bilingual mailers (Hispanics react better to direct mail), which generally include a direct message, well written in both languages, addressing how political issues affect Hispanics specifically.
For businesses, marketing is just the first step. They also must make sure they’re capable of servicing all customers at the same level of excellence, regardless of language. And they should include an educational component that helps newer immigrants understand systems and structures unique to American society.
Colorado is now — and probably will continue — playing a major role in political campaigns. And the 1 million Hispanics living in Colorado are now part of the conversation. Political marketing already is incorporating strategies to include outreach to Latinos in both languages. Business, big and small, could benefit from adapting a similar approach.
Source: Denver Business Journal