58.9 million people. That’s the US Census Bureau’s estimate for the number of Hispanic Americans in the United States as of mid-2017. Not only is there a large number of Spanish-speaking individuals already, Hispanics are now the fastest growing demographic in the U.S. By 2060, Hispanics are predicted to make up approximately one third of all Americans.
This generally highly connected demographic has an estimated buying power of $1.7 trillion by 2020, making Hispanic Americans a powerful economic force that you can’t afford to ignore. There might not be a large Hispanic culture in your law firm’s service area right now but statistically, many of your future clients will be Spanish-speaking individuals.
If you’re not familiar with marketing to this demographic, here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Internet use is also high among Hispanic Americans, but primarily through mobile devices. In fact, Pew Research found that three in four (76%) Hispanic Internet users access the online world on a cellphone, tablet or other mobile handheld device at least occasionally. With the growth of mobile devices in the U.S. as a whole, this reinforces the crucial importance of having a mobile version of your firm’s website.
- Hispanic adults are still consuming a lot of TV (86%) and radio (56%). Reaching this audience may require using those media.
- Understand the diversity within the demographic. The Pew survey uncovered a number of interesting trends. For one thing, Hispanics don’t always use the term. Some prefer Latino, others prefer an identification with their home country or those of their forebears–Honduras, Chile and so on. In fact, only 24% of survey respondents said that they use the terms “Hispanic” or “Latino” to describe their identity–21% reported a preference for the term “American.”
- Don’t assume a language barrier. Though Hispanic Americans feel a strong bond to the Spanish language–38% of all Pew survey respondents were Spanish dominant, with the same percentage bilingual—most see English fluency as essential to success. Including the phrase “Se habla español” on your website and marketing materials will encourage Hispanic clients to contact your firm. But Spanish fluency may not be absolutely essential for you or your staff.
A couple major marketing points follow from these observations. First, this is a very local market. So setting up your online presence to take advantage of local mobile searches is a must. To learn more about the importance of a local mobile strategy, download our whitepaper or reach out to us directly.
Second: Given the economic and ethnic diversity of the Hispanic demographic, it pays to really get to know your market and its distinctive local characteristics. As you do this, remember to differentiate between cultural trends and your individual clients. To learn more, download our report on Spanish-speaking consumers.
So be sensitive to cultural differences and never stop learning about your potential market. Reach out. A growing pool of future clients is waiting to hear from you.
Editor’s Note: Originally published October 24, 2014 and updated May 17, 2019
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