Tapping into the growing Hispanic market

2014-05-19T00:00:00Z Tapping into the growing Hispanic marketBy Diane Diamond Special to the Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

Southern Arizona used to be part of Mexico before the Gadsden Purchase of 1854.

By 2030, Pima County will grow to become more than 50 percent Hispanic, according to a demographic study done each year by the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; Tucson is expected to surpass that 50-percent mark by 2035.

Lea Marquez Peterson, president and CEO of the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, spoke to local SCORE mentors at a recent membership meeting. She encourages business owners to review the 17th edition of DATOS: Focus on Arizona’s Hispanic Market, posted on the chamber’s website, tucsonhispanicchamber.org

The DATOS study provides a detailed analysis of the Hispanic economic market in Arizona, with some interesting findings including:

  • Arizona’s estimated 67,500 Hispanic business owners have doubled since 2003 and are expected to double again by 2035.
  • $34 billion a year in goods and services are purchased by Hispanic consumers, and that is expected to grow to $50.3 billion by 2015.
  • One-third of the Hispanic business owners are women, and another third are immigrants.

Marquez Peterson also explained how to market goods and services to the growing Hispanic market in Southern Arizona. She warned that just adding Latin music or translating your brochure into Spanish is not a marketing strategy.

Understanding the Hispanic culture, lifestyles and values is the first step, Marquez Peterson said. Keep in mind that family is an integral part of Hispanic culture and the younger generation tends to have more children than the general U.S. population, plus they may also have relatives throughout Latin America so that the family relationships are not only deep but wide. Hispanics want to connect with brands that embrace their culture and commit themselves to long-term and trustworthy relationships, she said.

Identify the segments of the Hispanic market according to age, language and whether the consumer is U.S. or foreign born. Understand than Hispanics include nationalities beyond Mexican, such as Cuban, Puerto Rican, Venezuelans and Brazilian, and because Hispanic cultures value relationships, face-to-face transactions are important, Marquez Peterson said.

If you want to reach the older generation, advertise in Spanish and use Spanish-language media. Younger generations and U.S.-born Hispanics respond to English, she said.

Because of the burgeoning growth of Hispanic consumers and businesses in Southern Arizona, the Southern Arizona chapter of SCORE will provide a mentor for startup businesses at the Tucson Hispanic Chamber office once a week.

Diane Diamond is the vice president of media relations for SCORE Southern Arizona, a nonprofit group that offers free small-business counseling and mentoring by appointment at several locations. For more information, go to www.southernarizona.score.org, send email to mentoring@scoresouthernaz.org or call 505-3636.

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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