After running Lopez Negrete Communications for more than three decades, Alex Lopez Negrete believes your organization needs a serious commitment to Hispanic marketing. That’s certainly a bold call to action. But the numbers don’t lie. The country is changing around us. By next year, non-Hispanic whites will no longer be the majority of those under 18 years old. Eighteen percent of the population is already Hispanic. General market messaging isn’t going to suffice, even if it once did. And nonprofits have a golden opportunity; most Hispanics already care deeply about social and community causes.
But a partial investment isn’t enough. According to Alex: “If you’re going to go, go.” During his interview with the Kerux Group, he laid out three characteristics of seriously committing to Hispanic marketing.
Before taking any other steps, nonprofits need a vision. Alex advises having a tough conversation… with yourself. You need to know why you’re committing. Once you’ve envisioned success, you can begin figuring out the steps to get there. If you don’t have a vision, start with some research. Look into Hispanics’ population growth, future buying years, and heart for causes like yours. Of course, you’ll also need to learn the specific opportunities for your organization, but seeing the facts like these can helps you to start building a vision of your own. If you don’t have the resources to do the research, consider working with a metrics company like Nielsen. A partner like the Kerux Group can also be invaluable for identifying your nonprofit’s place among Hispanics. Either way, by educating yourself, you can begin to establish clear, ambitious and attainable objectives for your organization in the Hispanic market.
“Those nonprofits that decide to be always on tend to succeed.”
The second element of a serious commitment is vigilance. Alex describes it as being “always on.” Genuinely engaging Hispanics isn’t simple. They are a diverse group across age, country of origin, language preference, and level of acculturation. That doesn’t mean you have to reach every single subcategory. But it does mean you need a deep well of ideas and proposals. Some approaches may not work the way you planned. It’s important to be ready with a different strategy. Investing in an occasional program for Hispanics isn’t enough. And Hispanic diversity isn’t the only reason.
“Multicultural outreach cannot be bolted on. It must grow from within your organization.”
Hispanics have experiences and desires far beyond a single stereotype, which means tacking on a couple initiatives as afterthoughts won’t cut it. Along with vigilance, you need consistency. Alex described meeting with the leaders of several fine arts organizations, who expressed that they wanted to target Hispanics. However, their only efforts in that direction were a few select programs. From Alex’s point of view, this approach communicated to Hispanics: you’re only welcome at certain times. He asked why they hadn’t invited Hispanics to their cubist exhibit. Picasso was Hispanic! Why not their art of the Vatican exhibit? Religious art is part of many Hispanics’ cultures! If you can name one of your programs, it’s probably more relevant to Hispanics than you think. All you need to do is communicate that connection. Consistently showing Hispanics how your work interacts with their lives is key to a serious commitment.
Nonprofits have everything to gain from winning the hearts of Hispanics. Collectively, they are a group of people who are steady, generous and growing. And on those merits alone, they are worth the effort. If your organization will commit to vision, vigilance, and consistency, you will see results. Consider the future and make a serious commitment to Hispanic marketing.
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