by Claudia Ahaviah Goffan
Are you taking advantage of the crisis to increase your share of the Hispanic market?
Hispanics are more resistant to recessions and economic crisis. They have been exposed to them already.
In 1998 and 1999, the majority of Latin American countries suffered a severe economic recession that drove corporations into insolvency and forced many to close down. In some cases, whole countries bordered bankruptcy. These recessions also caused the deterioration and sometimes the fall of the banking system and massive lay-offs that increased the existing unemployment levels and caused the further loss of purchasing power among large sectors of the population.
Perform an internet search on ”worst recession in Argentina” and you will get articles from 2001. Not too long ago, right?
If we add the fact that most U.S. Hispanics are less prone to running large credit cards tabs, invest heavily in the stock market and more price conscious – another effect of going through recessions, high inflation-levels and high unemployment rates paired to the lack of available credit in most Latin American countries – makes them more resilient to these tough financial times.
Of course, this doesn’t mean all products or services will be equally appealing to the market. We are not even considering segmentation. But many companies have increased their Hispanic sales in 2008 and the first two-months of 2009. We are even seeing the two major Hispanic TV networks, Univision and Telemundo, challenged by a new one, Estrella TV.
In the U.S., one in four children under 10 years old is Hispanic. Do you think it’s wise to market to them when they are young? And to their parents? Personally, I believe that as crisis promote change, people tend to change products, brands, services. Thus, developing an innovative Hispanic marketing and communication strategy that entices these consumers should be a smart move. Yes, even with a limited marketing and advertising budget.