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3 Ways Your Small Business Can Pivot Toward Focusing More on Hispanic Consumers Attracting Hispanic customers can prove a huge boon for your small business moving forward.

By Hernan Tagliani

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Thomas Barwick | Getty Images

It is estimated that by 2021 more than 50 percent of the U.S. population growth will be attributed to Hispanics based on a report from Geoscape American Marketscape DataStream. Today, youthful diversity is becoming the counterweight to white, aging consumers, and it is forcing brands to redefine themselves -- to discover new market opportunities and develop more meaningful, culturally relevant customer experiences.

We live in a reactive society, not a proactive one, and Corporate America moves slowly. Sometimes, the procedures that companies have in place don't allow them to react fast enough to market trends. It's like the old motto that many executives cling to: "If it is not broken why fix it?"

They think that if consumers want their products or services, they will buy them, and if not then so be it.

That outdated thinking won't be sustainable moving forward, and it doesn't have to be thanks to technology that has helped brands communicate to consumers. I remember in early 2000, many marketing executives didn't believe in the power of digital and social media. Back then, I was participating in marketing meetings where executives had strong opinions about this new technology because it was challenging their status quo. I heard comments like, "This type of technology will never take off" and "I will never invest marketing dollars in it."

Now, many corporations are allocating between 40 to 60 percent of their marketing budget to digital and social media.

That disruption a decade ago is similar to the one Hispanic consumers can create now. They are a big player and influencer in the marketplace. Yet, in the face of such a dynamic shift, I still encounter business owners who say the Hispanic market is not a top priority. They think they are already reaching Hispanic consumers through their one-size-fits-all, total market approach.

But today's consumers are more diverse, demanding, and product savvy, and they have high expectations. So, let me share with you 3 helpful tips that will help you find a significant business opportunity with Hispanic consumers:

  1. Be a leader. John Maxwell said, "A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way." Eliminate the fluff about diversity and inclusion in your vision and mission statements, and set a high bar that others in your industry will have to compete with.
  2. Calculate the cost of opportunity. Stop thinking about how much it is going to cost you and start thinking about the money you are leaving on the table by not tapping into a growing and influential consumer base.
  3. Make a lasting impression. Dale Carnegie, in his book How to Win Friends and Influence People in the Digital Age, said, "To influence others to act, you must first connect to a core desire within them." This is why cultural relevancy is key to engaging with multicultural mainstream. Stay away from a total market approach and literal translations. That won't get you the results you are looking for.

How to improve your company's standing with Hispanics

Start by realizing that even the idea of "Hispanics" is overly broad. Just as British and American cultures are not the same even though they speak English, what makes you think that Hispanics are all the same?

Take time to learn about your consumers and how you can influence them. Remember that consumers will decide when and how to interact with your brand and do business with you.

It's not about what you want anymore. It's about them.

Hernan Tagliani

President of The Group Advertising

Hernan Tagliani, president of The Group Advertising, is a Hispanic communications expert, business speaker and author of The Hispanic Market for Corporate America: How to Make Your Brand Culturally Relevant.

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