Reaching New Customers in New Markets: Understanding the influence of culture

Eric EOD1

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Every year we get to see the round-up of new stats about how our country has changed. Each year, the Latino population grows and is currently 16% of the U.S. Population, the fastest growing demographic segment. The purchasing power of this group is estimated at over $1 trillion dollars. With this growing trend, is your business ready to communicate to your new customers? It’s not just Latinos either as Asian demographics is also growing in numbers and purchasing power. How is your management ready to engage with this growing market?

In a Forbes article about capturing Hispanic market, it states that no longer need to be a part of a particular cultural group to sell a specific kind of food. Management must take the time to learn how a culture operates and what it values. For the Latino market, people don’t want management to sell them on a product, but rather they want to appreciate a brand that commits itself to the culture and is invested in the long-term. Being able to understand cultures, genuinely, allows businesses to compete globally and into new market segments.

Among Latinos, ages 18-29, 84% are using social media and a major reason they are “liking” your business is because of the discount incentives you are offering. If you aren’t doing this, it is time that management think differently about how it engages with audiences. Bizjournals article on attracting loyal customers breaks the process down into four steps:

  • Make a genuine effort – it is about more than just translating a website from English to Spanish. Management must know the nuances of language and messaging to be sure the business is communicating appropriately. If you aren’t sure and need help, check out a Latino PR agency as they are in tune with strategies that work to reach your intended audience. An example of how agencies are connected to audiences can be seen as they often place case study examples online to show work they have done so far.
  • Engage your audience – Social media is very present in the daily conversations for Latinos. Engage them by asking for input, inviting them to special events, or finding other creative ways to connect and build a positive rapport.
  • Get to know their culture – You will not generate buy-in if you haven’t committed your business to the culture. Find ways to know and understand the needs of the community so you can become a solution in providing them.
  • See the big picture – Latinos in the United States is one market segment, but there are many others that are characterized by fast-growing populations and increased purchasing power. Understanding that can help you to build a bigger strategy that reaches across continents.

Eric EOD2

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One of the biggest lessons that must be learned when reaching new customers is to be genuine. It is easy, when money is involved, to appear as if you are only superficially interested to do business with customers. Find ways to gain the appreciation for a culture, embrace the differences and find ways to experience them. Gaining that first-hand experience and insight into something new will help you, and through you, your business to be more inclusive. We may not enjoy every experience, but by putting ourselves out there, we can find the greater commonalities among ourselves and use those as the bridges to communicate together.

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