By Marty Martinez, CEO of Social Revolt Agency
Over 100,000 small businesses have closed forever as the pandemic’s toll continues to escalate across the country. If there is one thing that is evident is that the coronavirus has seemingly spared no one is its devastation of the US economy, accelerating the demise of iconic department stores, gyms, and entertainment powerhouses.
As the economy slowly reopens, this makes the role of marketers more important than ever. Agencies and brands alike will need to be bolder than ever and constantly challenging the old way of thinking because it no longer applies in the world we live in today and won’t be effective in the post-pandemic world.
Amidst the chaos lies an untapped opportunity for brands to harness the power from within. Now, I am going to share with you a secret that will position your brand ahead of the competition that will not involve your traditional “total market” approach. This secret though well documented and recognized has largely taken the back seat when it comes to investment.
Over the past decade, the Latino community has accomplished unparalleled growth across all sectors. With a growing total economic output (GDP) of 2.6 trillion in 2018, up from 1.7 trillion in 2010, the Latino community will be the cavalry that helps drive the US economic recovery.
While impressive for its size, what is most noteworthy is the extraordinary growth rate by US Latinos. Among the world’s top 10 largest GDP’s in 2018, the Latino GDP was the single fastest-growing – outpacing economic powerhouses like India (21%) and China (30%) from 2010 to 2018.
The economic contribution of Latinos cannot be emphasized enough, they are a tremendous economic engine of growth within the United States and are showing no signs of letting up. The Latino GDP grew 72% faster than non-Latinos from 2010 to 2018 and almost 350% faster from 2017 to 2018 alone.
And yet, when it comes to investment dollars to reach and engage this target segment, it is grossly underfunded. According to Ad Age, in 2018 US Hispanic ad spend was $9.4 billion, only 6% of the total ad spend ($151 billion) despite representing 18.3% of the population.
Where brands stand to gain the most is tapping into the single largest driver of rapid Latino GDP growth since 2010, and that is personal consumption. Since 2010, Latino real consumption grew 133% faster than non-Latino consumption. This dramatic increase was led by large gains in personal income that is attributed to educational attainment and a strong labor force participation that is unmatched.
Early evidence from the coronavirus recession indicates that Latinos will be an integral driver of economic recovery. As government-mandated closures began to lift, Latino Labor Force Participation soared at a rate more than double the rate of non-Latinos. The data is abundantly clear, Latinos are one of the economy’s biggest economic growth engines, and the pandemic is making this clearer than ever.
As a marketer or brand, how do you tap into this consumer segment? As cities and states across the country gradually remove pandemic-induced restrictions and many businesses begin to open back up, there’s a sense that we are on the verge of returning to “normal.” Well, I got news for you, this is highly unlikely. During months of restrictions and self-isolation, we have been creating a “new normal” whether we realize it or not. This has important implications for marketers trying to build relationships that last with their customers. Marketers will need to think long and hard about how the consumer in the next “new normal” has evolved.
Fortunately, technology has fundamentally changed the consumer experience for Latino consumers more than any other market segment. As US Latinos continue to make digital gains and economic advances at a higher rate than the total market, they are increasingly demanding authentic and culturally relevant connections with brands. The brands that will succeed in a post-pandemic world will be the brands that seek to engage with Latinos authentically with brand experiences that are tailored, and dynamic with omnichannel touchpoints that truly understand their needs and most importantly, align with their values.
While the world continues to change at a rapid rate one thing is certain, marketers need a new playbook to succeed in the “new normal” and it fundamentally begins with taking a hard look at what is happening around us and asking ourselves the right questions. While it is unclear what the next normal will look like in the months and years ahead, we do know that things will never go back to the way they once were.
Investing your marketing dollars in the US Latino community through the COVID-19 pandemic and recovery is an investment in the future of your brand as a whole. Now is your opportunity to get in now or you run the risk of falling behind. The choice is yours.
Hispanic Star is honored to partner with Advertising Week feature Hispanic voices during Hispanic Heritage Month and beyond.