"The Hispanic market seems to be the only one still flourishing these days in the face of economic doom and gloom," says Blaire Borthayre in an article at MarketingProfs. And there are, she argues, a number of reasons why the buying power of these savvy consumers will likely grow to $1.1 trillion in 2009. Among them:

  • Many foreign-born Hispanic consumers don't rely on credit. Nearly 60 percent have not used a credit card in the last month, and a third prefer cash transactions.
  • Hispanic households often benefit from multiple income sources. Since discretionary spending levels are less dependent on any one earner, they're less likely to drop.

Before you begin your outreach, however, it's best to hire a bilingual expert to help mold your message and marketing plan, Borthayre insists. Some of her advice on hiring such a seer:

Keep in mind that a Hispanic surname does not make someone an expert on the community. Nor does a summer spent in Argentina, a college course in Spanish or a Mexican wife. "Look up the definitions of 'code switching' and 'Generation Ñ' and then ask your candidate to explain each one to you," says Borthayre. "If the candidate's score is less than 100%, walk away."

Choose someone who is truly bilingual. It's not just about translating words: "Hispanic marketing requires a keen feel for the spirit of the language and how it affects consumers," she explains.

The Po!nt: Reach out to this bright spot in the marketplace! Though it may take a little time to master your approach, "the payoffs are well worth [it]," Borthayre concludes.

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