What Nonprofits Must Know About Hispanics: Insights from Target


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Who comes to mind when you think of the world’s most energetic markets? Where is the most exciting growth? The answer may be closer than you think… U.S. Hispanics are the third fastest growing market in the world!

As Hispanics’ buying power accelerates, marketers across the country are taking notice. Whether or not your organization has begun to engage Hispanics, you face some challenging choices. Overall, nonprofits have been slow to tap in, so you may not have heard the most accurate information. Rick Gomez, the CMO of Target, shared three myths many marketers believe that can hinder their success.

It’s too pricey

Let’s knock out a popular one. You may assume that Hispanic marketing takes more time and money than your organization can afford. On one hand, it’s true that nonprofits need specific data and insights to target Hispanics. Rick pointed out that Hispanics are a diverse group, and used his own family as an example – while Rick can manage carrying on a conversation in Spanish, his sister barely knows any… and his brother has been teaching the language for twenty years. Engaging a group with such a variety of cultural backgrounds and language preferences isn’t easy. But it doesn’t have to be expensive. Social media provides nonprofits with cheap, insightful tools for listening to Hispanics and targeting them as specifically as possible. And Hispanics use social media heavily, so it’s a rich opportunity to meet them and grab their attention for your cause – and at little cost! The assumption that Hispanic marketing is too expensive doesn’t hold up.

It’s too dicey

There’s another common myth out there. Some marketers see the political tension around Hispanics these days and back off. Or maybe you’d consider marketing to Hispanics but steer clear of politically sensitive issues. The truth is that politics shouldn’t be off limits. When the debate over DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) was raging in fall of 2016, Target didn’t stay quiet OR immediately take a stand. Instead, they held sessions for any employee who wanted to share what was on their mind. After taking the time to listen and reflect, Target joined other companies in calling on Congress to protect DREAMers. Not everyone liked this action, but Target did just fine. On a side note: Don’t forget what your brand stands for. And remember that community and social causes are major values for many Hispanics. By listening first and acting with confidence, you can tackle even touchy, personal topics in your Hispanic marketing strategy.

It’s too limited

Finally, you may have heard that Hispanics are a siloed audience with a narrow sphere of influence. Like the others, this is a myth. When Target wanted to improve their marketing around the ‘back to school’ season, they studied all kinds of customers. They found that like other parents, Latinos felt both optimism and stress. However, the Latino parents’ emotions were stronger. Their values and impulses were just a more concentrated version of the general market. Rick says this taught them to listen to Latinos as a ‘muse.’ As U.S. Hispanics grow in number and influence the culture, their insights are key to addressing the entire country. Their significance is bigger than you think!

So don’t be intimidated by Hispanics’ rapid growth. Equipped with the proper tools and insights, multicultural marketing is an opportunity like no other. Ignore these common myths and take the chance. Hispanics are ready to support your cause – if you’ll just get their attention!

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