If you are reading this, you know that Latinos are a prime consumer target for a large number of consumer-focused companies across the American economy. They spend billions in an effort to try to convince us to buy their products and services. They invest so much money because we are a very attractive and lucrative consumer market: 54 million strong with spending power of $1.5 trillion USD. We are also trendsetters and are very loyal consumers.
But there is a transformation going on in our community that will impact how marketers will need to engage with Latinos to attract them to their brands. We are increasingly becoming creators in all arenas; we are creators of businesses, new ideas, art, technology, products and culture.
We are becoming small business owners faster than any other group; according to Geoscape’s Hispanic business 2015 report, three out of four new businesses in the U.S. are started by Hispanics. Hispanic-owned businesses are growing at 15 times the national growth rate, their revenue increased 88% to nearly $661 billion from 2007 to 2015.
We are becoming powerful digital influencers and content creators. As Natalie Boden pointed out in her recent Engage:Hispanicsarticle, our social media presence is very significant: 26 million of us are on Facebook, 12 million on Twitter and 9.6 million on Instagram.
Next week, I am going to the 2016 Hispanicize conference where the top Latino digital influencers in the country will be present. It is amazing how much Latino influence has grown in the last few years. Today, millions of people are influenced by these Latinos and Latinas that share their content through myriad platforms, including YouTube, Vine, Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, Periscope, and podcasts, among many others. We are spreading our beautiful culture, delicious food and preferences to the rest of America, which is experiencing and embracing them.
We are talented artists, inventors, workers, chefs, photographers, executives, carpenters, designers, salespeople, etc. We are tremendous contributors to the economy, culture and social fabric of this country despite what anybody says. Without our presence, hard work and creative energies, the country will literally come to a standstill.
The hateful and ignorant rhetoric that has come from a certain presidential candidate towards our community has only galvanized and empowered us more than ever to make a difference and show this country the immeasurable value of our contribution.
We are empowering ourselves to take center stage in the future we are creating for America. All this adds up to a profound change in mindset in our community to one of empowered creators.
This leads to a significant but simple implication for marketers: Treat Latinos like empowered creators not like consumers.
Companies that want us to consume their content, products and services need portray us as the creators of value that we are. They need to recognize our contributions, tap into our aspirations and gain our trust by bringing value to our lives.
We love authentic brands that truly care about our community and that offer us products and services that are good for us. We can also see through the posers that are just trying to make a quick buck but don’t really care. We don’t like or trust brands that sell us products that are not good for us, are not in our best interest or that have a catch. We don’t like or trust brands that give lip service and don’t make a real commitment to invest in the Latino community and in Latino employees.
The mindset of treating us as consumers is a win/lose and does not lead to successful product, brand and marketing choices. But the mindset of treating us as the empowered creators that we are is a win/win that leads to your success and ours… and that is what it’s all about.