Baker Dillon Group Sheldon Baker has been developing brands and marketing programs in the dietary supplement industry for 20 years. He is also a contributing writer to several supplement and foods publications and hosts an online television talk show that features many supplement industry health leaders. He can be contacted at Info@BakerDillon.com.
Several years ago, a dietary supplement client said all their target markets had been exhausted. When I inquired about the Hispanic community, there was silence. Then they said, “We haven’t marketed to those people.”
More recently, a functional foods client thought it would be a good idea to tap the Hispanic marketplace. They ran a print ad in a Spanish language magazine and to their surprise the phone started ringing off the hook. But there was a problem. The company had no telemarketers who could speak Spanish. Obviously, while the promise of expanding sales to the Hispanic community may be beneficial to some companies, there are several areas that need to be addressed before launching a full scale marketing campaign.
Bi-lingual packaging, collateral and a website, as well as a Spanish-speaking staff are mandatory for targeting the Hispanic community. And don’t forget social media. There are more Hispanics involved online than there has ever been in the past decade. Hispanics in the social media age are now involved in watching videos, listening to music, communicating through social networking and creating content to publish online. Social media is one of the key sources of information for Hispanics.
There are more social media sites with Spanish content arriving online and the responses are met with great enthusiasm by Hispanic communities. Many of the larger social networking sites are creating Spanish versions of their websites to allow for the portion of non-English speaking users to have access to their websites and content. This plays well into Hispanic marketing 2.0 and companies wishing to offer social media platforms for their Spanish-speaking users. Hispanics in the social media age are redefining the standards for marketing and advertising throughout the Internet enabled world.
More than 66 percent of Latinos in America would be more inclined to buy products and services from companies and 64.7 percent would be even more loyal to companies that demonstrate a strong and visible commitment to the Hispanic community, according to a recent national telephone survey of 1,100 employed adult Hispanic consumers conducted on behalf of the management consulting firm Garcia Trujillo LLC.
“Hispanics in the U.S. will no doubt impact health and wellness trends,” says Ray Wolfson, president of The Matrix Group in New Jersey, whose company advises many supplement and food manufacturing companies about retail product placement. “Many Hispanics come from cultures that value traditional remedies. They have a predilection for “natural” remedies and have a negative attitude toward traditional doctors and prescription drugs. Often in their home countries medical care was beyond their means due to cost factors. Those concerns have not disappeared.” says Wolfson.
According to the dLife Foundation, diabetes is one of the most serious health challenges facing Hispanics and Latinos in the United States. It is the sixth leading cause of death within the community and the fourth leading cause of death among Hispanic women and Hispanic elderly. Hispanics and Latinos are at a higher risk of developing and dying from diabetes, and twice as likely as other populations to experience complications such as heart disease, high blood pressure, blindness, kidney disease, amputations and nerve damage.
The National Diabetes Education Program reported that 10.4 percent of Hispanics/Latinos ages 20 years or older have been diagnosed with diabetes. And among Hispanics/Latinos, diabetes prevalence rates are 8.2 percent for Cubans, 11.9 percent for Mexican Americans, and 12.6 percent for Puerto Ricans.
“Although many companies continue to make investments in building their brands and their business strategically in the Hispanic market, our survey shows a significant gap in companies’ ability to engage and build equity with the fastest growing demographic in America,” said Charles Garcia, Garcia Trujillo CEO and a director of Winn-Dixie Stores.
“It’s no secret that the Hispanic population is the fastest growing segment in the United States and that consumer base is an integral part of the marketplace with close to $1 trillion in buying power,” says Karena Dillon, president of Baker Dillon Group, a leading dietary supplement and food brand marketing firm based in Northern California, and president of the Consultants Association for the Natural Products Industry.
“If you’re not effectively marketing your product or service to the Hispanic community, you’re missing out on reaching over 45 million potential customers,” Dillon added.