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Posted January 14, 2006 by publisher in Cuban American Business

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By Amy Gillentine | Long Island Business News

Research shows that Hispanic buying power equaled $580 billion in 2004, making the demographic a difficult one for businesses to ignore. In 2005, the buying power of the U.S. Hispanic market is expected to be larger than the gross domestic product of Mexico.

Businesses that want to attract the Hispanic population should keep two things in mind, said Alecia Jones, president-elect of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in Colorado Springs.

“The most important thing is to always have a bilingual person on staff,” she said. “Many Hispanic people now speak English as well, but they are more comfortable speaking in their native tongue. It is always a good idea to have someone who can speak Spanish, especially for the people who have trouble with English.”

The second: Don’t assume that all Latinos will respond to advertisements and marketing in Spanish.

“I’m a fourth generation American,” Jones said. “And I identify myself as an American first ” not as an immigrant. If you are trying to reach people who are Hispanic-Americans, it’s a good idea to keep that in mind. We’re watching the same television programs every one else does, reading the same papers.”

Newly arrived immigrants watch Spanish language television, she said, but those who have been here for generations do not. Marketers should carefully target who they want to reach, she said.

Although Hispanics quickly become acclimated to life in the United States, they still retain their cultural identity, Jones said. Marketers can use English, but need to keep in mind that Latinos still maintain traditions and practices from their home countries.

“I was born here,” she said. “But I still relate to the culture my great-grandparents came from. We tend to keep those traditions and cultures.”

The Hispanic market is lucrative, and businesses are scrambling to create ads to reach them.

According to an Advertising Age survey, more than 81 percent of respondents expected their budgets for Hispanic advertising to increase. And the ads are moving online, with 65 percent saying they will increase online spending.

The influence of the Hispanic population is growing. National chains, such as Home Depot, work with the U.S. Department of Labor and Hispanic groups to provide jobs for Spanish speakers ” and noted when they did, sales to Latinos went up as well. McDonald’s routinely runs a Spanish advertising campaign, with English subtitles.

The growth in Hispanic-owned businesses could translate into growth for service sectors, the businesses that help other businesses succeed ” financial services, insurance and health care.

Amy Gillentine writes for the Colorado Springs Business Journal.

  1. Follow up post #1 added on February 16, 2006 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    If you want to talk about US Hispanics and Cuban Americans, we have finished our Hispanics Forum.

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