Marketing to the Multicultural U.S. Population and Its Language Trends
In recent years, many industries have been confronted with downsizing, restructuring and financial setbacks, and there have been an increasing number of predictions for a 2011 economic rebound over the past few months. CNN Money reported that the Business Roundtable, an association of CEO’s at top U.S. companies, noted in its Q4 survey that “80 percent of its members expect sales to increase in 2011. Nearly one in six expects to invest more in their businesses.” These statistics beg the question, where and how will these funds be allocated?
As companies plan to implement new strategies to generate revenue and increase bottom line results, The San Jose Group, an integrated multicultural marketing communications agency, sees a highly talked about yet underserved consumer segment that merits being addressed: the nation’s limited English speaking population. Statistics show that 76 percent of the U.S. Hispanic population speaks Spanish, yet “40 percent of companies say they do not understand the financial value of multicultural groups to their bottom lines”.
According to the Selig Center for Economic Growth, “the combined buying power of the Hispanic, Black, Asian and Native American communities is already more than $1.5 trillion. One in every six Americans (46 million) in the country is Hispanic.” In terms of the language breakdown, while 71 percent of all Asians are foreign born, 86 percent speak a language other than English; the most prominent being Mandarin, Cantonese, Tagalog, Korean, and Vietnamese among foreign born Asians.
Companies who ignore these multicultural segments in their 2011 budgets will be at a disadvantage, specifically when it comes to booming Latino population. Statistics show that of the 42 percent of U.S. Hispanics are who foreign born, 96 percent of them speak languages other than English. And if you think they prefer English, think again. Market Segment Research found that “59 percent claim to speak Spanish all the time, with another third saying they speak Spanish at least half of the time. Only four percent of Hispanics claim to never speak Spanish”.
With 170 different languages and dialects in the U.S. and Census numbers showing that more than 27.6 million people are limited English speakers, it is illogical to not target these multicultural segments. The San Jose Group recognizes that speaking directly to these segments with the appropriate multicultural messaging and marketing communications could turn those 27.6 million people into loyal consumers.