Discrimination or Lack of Vision? Large Companies are Still not Investing in the Growing Latino Market
Latinos are the future of the U.S., despite this, large companies continue to give crumbs to the Latino market. Photo: Peshkov / Adobe Srtock

The numbers don’t lie. Latinos drove the majority (51.1%) of the nation’s population growth in the last decade. According to scholars, this trend will unquestionably continue to increase. Latinos are the future of the U.S., yet it appears that many large corporations are still in denial and are reluctant to invest in the Latino market.

I remember a talk by Dr. James H. Johnson from UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School. He said that if you want to know the future of a place, just look at demographic trends because demographics are destiny. Under this premise, what is the future of the United States?

Latinos represent 18.7% of the population, with 62.1 million people, according to data from the 2020 Census Bureau. A decade ago, this community had 50.5 million individuals. That means the Latino population grew 23% between 2010 and 2020. In contrast, the country’s white population is shrinking.

Although all this is apparent and verifiable, large companies continue to give crumbs to the Latino community. Consider, for example, spending on advertising.

Big companies, advertising, and the Latino market

The United States is by far the largest advertising market on the planet. In 2020, more than $260 billion was spent on advertising. This figure is almost triple the amount spent on advertising in China, the second largest advertising market in the world. How much is being invested in Latino media?

Spending on multicultural media only reached $28.7 billion in 2020. Of that amount, $17.9 billion was invested in advertising to the Latino sector, and the majority was for television media.

What does this mean? Multicultural consumers now account for more than 40% of the total population, yet investments in multicultural media account for only 11% of total advertising and marketing revenue. Latino media received only 6%, according to data from the consulting firm PQ Media.

Discrimination or lack of vision?

Since the end of the 20th century, it has been evident to communication and marketing experts that the so-called “general public” is a myth. A company or organization that seeks to be successful cannot launch a generic message and pretend that everyone will receive it in the same way.

An effective strategy must consider the demographic and cultural characteristics of the market sector you want to reach, such as Latinos. The opposite of this is turning your back on a growing group of the population that indisputably drives the economy.

Along with population, the purchasing power of Latinos grew substantially in the past 30 years, from $213 billion in 1990 to $1.9 trillion in 2020.

The purchasing power of Latinos represented 11.1% of the total purchasing power of the United States in 2020, up from just 5% in 1990, according to a study published August 11 by the University of Georgia.

Businesses (large, medium, and small) cannot afford to ignore the Latino community. These days, it is inconceivable for a company to have sustainable growth in the future if they ignore the Latino community.

Likewise, we as consumers must demand that companies treat Latinos not as a cultural phenomenon, but as partners for progress.

Diego Barahona A.

Diego Barahona A.

Periodista, editor, asesor, y presentador. De 2016 a 2019 el periodista más galardonado en Estados Unidos por los Premios José Martí. Autor del best seller: ¿Cómo leer a las personas? dbarahona@lanoticia.com

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