What Nonprofits Must Know About Hispanics: Insights from Maria Elena Salinas


When you think about Hispanic marketing, what comes to mind? Hispanic culture? The segment’s economic power? For many people, the topic arouses apprehension. Like them, your mind may have jumped to the current political climate. Conversations about immigration and gang violence circle the Latino community. Negative rhetoric flows continually from influential sources like government officials and the media. Which begs the question: How should marketers, and especially nonprofit leaders, communicate with and about Hispanics in these troubled times? Maria Elena Salinas believes incorporating Hispanics into your marketing is extremely important. Here are three reasons Hispanic marketing is a no-brainer, even in the context of American current events.

Everyone loves tacos

Let’s start with the basics. Some things are as true today as they were before anyone ever chanted “build that wall!” Specifically, Hispanic culture is still an inescapable, unavoidable part of American culture. City names, our music, and the food we eat regularly remind us of Latinos’ role in United States history. And that cultural influence continues to grow. Ever heard of a song called “Despacito?” That’s not going to change. Even while Hispanic people struggle for acceptance as real Americans, Americans of all stripes happily engage in Hispanic culture. And marketing isn’t separate from that. If your organization has a social media account, you’ve probably either used or considered using something about Taco Tuesday. No matter what’s going on in Congress, incorporating Hispanic culture in your marketing is still giving your audience what they like.

Hispanics have the power

“I have seen the purchasing power of Latinos grow tremendously.”

Careful, though: trying to use Hispanic culture while ignoring Hispanic people is a big problem. But that’s point number three. Before we get there, let’s look at another reason Hispanic marketing is business savvy. And that’s the fact that Hispanics are a powerful market segment. Forty years ago, marketers had to be convinced to spend time and money reaching 14 million Hispanics. Today, there are 60 million. Every 30 seconds, a Latino turns 18. This group is on the rise, demographically and economically. Their collective buying power is estimated to be around $1.7 trillion. Forget politics for a second and consider what Hispanics are capable of. If you put in the work to win the hearts of Hispanics, your nonprofit could see significant gains in the future.

Representation matters

“To ignore Hispanics would be to ignore part of America.”

There’s one more reason to engage in Hispanic marketing, and it has less to do with economic opportunity. Studies show that non-Hispanic Americans who don’t live around immigrants are the ones more prone to anti-immigrant views. That means they’re forming their opinions based on what they see and hear – from the news, from the president, from marketers. That’s no small responsibility. Maria asserts that marketers can change the narrative, one story at a time. Hearing people’s stories – and seeing them represented as normal, legitimate Americans – can change perceptions. Through your organization’s marketing, you can communicate the crucial message that Hispanics are Americans.

Timelier than ever

The reasons for Hispanic marketing range from business smarts to civic responsibility. Although it might seem scary, nonprofits can simultaneously support their own causes and that of Latinos. Don’t let the political climate dissuade you from participating in quality Hispanic marketing.

 

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