What Nonprofits Must Know About Hispanics: Insights from Verizon


At this point, it’s no insider secret: Hispanics are shaping the future of the U.S. in a way unlike any other market segment. Every year, 1 million Hispanics turn 18. They are becoming voters, enrolling in college, and getting jobs. Their annual buying power is approaching an astounding $1.7 trillion. Nonprofits – and marketers of all kinds – have a huge opportunity to engage a demographic that’s influencing the nation.

Who’s leading the charge?

What many people don’t realize is that one particular subgroup is driving that growth. Who are these influencers of the influencers? Bicultural millennial Hispanics. When you think about it, it makes perfect sense. Even compared to other Hispanics, millennials have more cultural influence and years of buying power ahead. Through their youth and the constant exploration of new technologies, millennials have developed major market clout. But these aren’t just any millennials. Young U.S. Hispanics occupy a unique space between their parents’ heritages and the culture of the country around them. How can nonprofits tap into this core growth group? Ricardo Aspiazu, Director of Brand Marketing at Verizon, describes three key strategies for reaching them.

Consider the uniqueness of your target

First, marketers must give bicultural millennial Hispanics what they’re looking for. The products and services they want aren’t synonymous with those of other Hispanics or millennials. Fortunately, nonprofits already have a head start: Hispanics, including bicultural millennials, deeply value community and social causes. Still, listening is required to understand and engage with cultural nuance. Investing in this group’s dreams and thought processes will pay off when your nonprofit makes a genuine connection.

Reflect their world

Second, build a relationship with them by conveying messages and situations that reflect the world they live in. You can make your call to action stronger by making a personal connection with your audience’s daily lives. Again, this takes real understanding of cultural nuance. Ricardo gave an example from one of Verizon’s campaigns. In a series of video spots, short scenes played out the difficulty of life without Verizon. The process of comparing network providers is especially familiar to millennials. The campaign succeeded by tapping into the audience’s personal experiences; for bicultural millennials, this instance spoke to the millennial side of their identity. Marketers could also portray moments that illustrate the bicultural aspect. The key is to understand the little things your audience encounters on a daily basis, and recreate them in relation to your cause.

Don’t confine your content to one language

“It is less about language and more about culture.”

Third, give bicultural millennial Hispanics the choice to connect with your nonprofit in English or Spanish. According to a recent Nielsen report, 72 percent of Hispanics speak Spanish at home. Yet bicultural millennials (and most Hispanics) are increasingly engaged with the English-speaking culture around them. Ricardo attests that young Hispanics want options when they interact with an organization. Having the choice of which language to use lets them feel like they can have a real part in your cause.

Listen to people with broad experience

“Tapping into a group of diverse people yields great reward.”

Besides Ricardo’s three pillars of engaging young Hispanics, he had one more piece of advice: get help from a diverse agency. The greater the variety of backgrounds in an agency, the more likely they can meet your organization’s specific needs. Naturally, someone who grew up in a Hispanic family has a unique inside scoop. That experience matters when you want to understand the way Hispanics think and act. If you see the need in your organization for these kinds of insights, the Kerux Group is ready to help. Our team is made up of professionals with a wealth of experience in secular and faith-based settings. Most of our members also draw from their own Hispanic upbringings. Our range of backgrounds informs the way we approach your nonprofit. We would love to help you engage an untapped audience.

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