Women are the market. We decide what to buy for ourselves and the people we love across all industries. Yet businesses and brands still struggle to resonate with women meaningfully. One of the biggest factors is biased or outdated product development, branding and marketing strategies. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to connecting with women. Businesses that research their target audience recognize the layers of women's identities and reflect them through targeted, personal campaigns can have more impact. According to a 2017 Nielsen Report, the nation's leading consumer purchasing powerhouse is Latinas.
Despite recognizing their value, many businesses and brands fall short when it comes to resonating with them. Three Latina entrepreneurs share how business can connect more authentically with Latinas.
1. Recognize who holds the purse strings.
The Nielson report, “Latina 2.0,” shows that the 28 million Latinas living in the U.S. are leading economic growth in record numbers. A new generation of young, bi-lingual, bi-cultural and educated Latinas dominate the market, with buying power and influence that exceeds other demographic groups.
Monica S. Villalobos, president and CEO of Arizona Latina Chamber of Commerce, a nonprofit organization that advocates for Latina-owned small businesses and Latina consumers statewide, suggests businesses home in on who's making the decisions.
“Latina consumers control the family purse and drive purchasing power," Villalobos says. "Brands and products that project the dynamic role that Latinas play in their family as bread maker and breadwinner will resonate most with them as consumers."
Recognizing that Latinas are making the majority of consumer purchasing decisions for their household is just the first step. Acknowledging the layers of culture that contribute to their identities is also key.
2. Identify their layers.
Melissa Rodriguez, CEO and founder of Mel Rodriguez & Co., a marketing agency that connects companies with the increasingly growing U.S Latina population emphasizes the role that a new generation of Latinas plays in the market.
“If you want to reach this consumer, you need to first identify her age and level of acculturation," she says. “Her mixed background is a hybrid of two worlds. She may identify with an upbringing at her grandmother's house, listening to bachata with the aroma of arroz con pollo cooking in the kitchen, while also keeping up with the latest American fashion trends or talking about U.S. politics and activism."
According to Nielsen's “Latinas 2.0,” the average Latina is 31 years old, unmarried and at the beginning of her career. Most have grown up with one foot firmly planted in their family's cultural traditions and the other in America's. Many speak Spanish at home and English within other social settings.
To understand this dynamic group, businesses must recognize their multiculturalism: independent with a pulse on contemporary American life and deep ties to their family's cultures.
“The Latina woman has grown up in a caretaker role: carrying the weight of the world from a young age, a trait passed down by parents or grandparents," Rodriguez adds. "[This demographic group] consists of some of the most independent women you'll meet. When marketing to them, use a tone and voice that acknowledges and celebrates these dimensions of their identities."
As Rodriguez attests, the power of Latinas in the market is undeniable, but that does not mean that broad marketing campaigns will resonate. Her company helps businesses and brands take a niche, targeted approach to the people behind the customer personas.
For example, Nielsen's report found that Latinas are leading users of mobile tech or influential across industries like health and beauty. This can help businesses understand how and where to engage. Integrating the age, personality and cultural heritage with the data can help companies connect authentically.
3. Acknowledge educational achievement
According to the Neilson report, more Latinas are becoming entrepreneurs than previous generations and one of the reasons is their advancement in education. In addition to access to more resources like small business loans for Latinas, educational attainment has become a key marker of success. This younger generation is bearing the fruit of their parent's hard work, with a rise in advanced degrees or credentials and an exponential increase in business ownership.
Laura I. Gómez, CEO and founder of Atipica, a people analytics platform for talent acquisition and HR leaders focused on diversity and inclusion is one of them.
“We are varied, diverse and big consumers—more businesses should target our purchasing power by understanding our intelligence and passion for our families, communities, work and careers," Gómez says.
If you want to reach this consumer, you need to first identify her age and level of acculturation. Her mixed background is a hybrid of two worlds.
—Melissa Rodriguez, CEO and founder, Mel Rodriguez & Co.
Businesses and brands do not need to look far to see the cultural impact of Latinas. But paying attention to the layers that make this group of women so powerful is the key to authentic connection.
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