Bloomberg Línea — Although there is a plethora of data on how big the economic footprint of the Latino community in the U.S. is, companies and the federal government are missing an opportunity to cater to a segment representing $2.8 trillion dollars, according to the main Hispanic commercial group in the country.
“That’s why we are jostling for a place on the boards where economic decisions are taken in the country”, Ramiro Cavazos President and Chief Executive Officer of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) told Bloomberg Línea.
According to Cavazos, Latinos not only represent a huge chunk of the U.S. population (currently between 19% and 20%, as the largest minority), but also an ever-growing consumer and economic power that must be taken into account.
“Latinos not only are the backbone of the U.S. economy, but they are also the future because it’s a community that is growing in numbers, in consumer power and in political influence,” Cavazos said.
The CEO of the largest Hispanic commercial lobby group talked to Bloomberg Línea before the launch of Latino Mosaic, a report on how Latino and Hispanic communities are shaping media in the world’s largest economy. The report, based on a survey conducted by the marketing firm Chemistry Cultura, states that the Latino and Hispanic communities are part of a mosaic of cultures and patterns with a common thread: language and loyalty to countries and even brands.
Chemistry Cultura, led by Mike Valdés-Fauli, discovered that Hispanics tend to watch more TV, but also spend more time in social media than other communities, something that companies should take into account when devising campaigns for this market.
“Although Hispanics represent 19% to 20% of the total population of the U.S., companies are spending just 5% to 8% of their marketing budgets to cater to this huge community,” Valdés-Fauli told Bloomberg Línea.
According to Valdés-Fauli, a finding of the survey (with interviews to 1,427 Hispanic adults) is that while some companies (such as Apple, Amazon, Nike) are getting it right, most of them are underinvesting in a market made up of more than 60 million people.
“And this is to these companies’ detriment, not just to the detriment of Latinos”, Valdés-Fauci said. “These companies could be succeeding if they realize what they’re missing.”
Among other findings, Chemistry Cultura reports that:
- GenZ Latinas are heavy TikTok users as 48% of those surveyed say they use the platform on a daily basis, compared to 36% of the general population in the US;
- 20% of Latinos say they “find new brands” on TikTok, while only 11% of the general U.S. population say the same;
- Latinos, while digitally savvy, are fervent watchers of TV with 42% saying they watch broadcast television daily.
Even though there is a perception that second- and third-generation Latinos prefer English in everything, from media to family relations, Chemistry’s report found that 65% of them still prefer at least some Spanish in their advertising.
And while Latinos prefer much of their content from TV, books and newspapers in English, it’s in music where they still fall for Spanish:
- 39% prefer English while on social media;
- 33% prefer English while watching TV or movies;
- 39% prefer English on YouTube videos;
- 40% prefer English reading printed media
- 22% prefer music in English.
According to Valdés-Fauli, this explains the huge success of Latino music on streaming platforms with stars such as Bad Bunny, Camila Cabello or Peso Pluma topping the charts for the last four years on streaming platforms.
According to Cavazos, the Hispanic lobbies in business and policy are ready to embark on campaigns to persuade big corporations and the U.S. federal government to improve business relations with the Latino community.
Data from the USHCC suggests that while the Hispanic community represents at least $2.8 trillion dollars (bigger than Brazil’s or Mexico’s GDP) US Fortune 500 companies only buy 2% of their procurement goods and services from Hispanic-owned businesses.
“That’s not fair”, says Cavazos. “Latinos represent one of every 5 U.S. residents. Fortune 500 companies sell us their products and employ our people, but they don’t do business with us, that’s where we see economic discrimination in this country.”
The same goes, according to Cavazos, for the federal government, which only grants contracts amounting to 1.7% of the total to Hispanic-owned businesses.
“The U.S. government is the country’s biggest shopper, but they don’t do business with us, we are striving to change this”, Cavazos says.
According to Cavazos, the world’s depends at least in 40% on the U.S. economy, but it won’t be strong enough with internal inequality.
“We need to create prosperity for everyone in the country, not just for a few,” he said.