by Kenneth Rudich
One of the nice things about marketing as a discipline is the natural inclination to constantly look for new opportunities and/or underdeveloped potential. It’s standard practice.
From an enterprise standpoint, new opportunities are those that have recently emerged, already exist or potentially exist, but are as yet untapped in any specially recognizable way, shape or form.
Identifying new opportunities often entails the idea of moving away from a strictly scatter-shot approach for reaching customers, usually in the form of mass marketing, to a more laser-like approach, also known as target marketing. It starts with the realization that the larger population is comprised of smaller subgroups, and that the characteristics of any given subgroup may or may not be important or significant to improving the overall marketing effort.
Underdeveloped potential involves those opportunities that have been sought or are presently being sought in a targeted manner, but not just yet well enough to realize their full value for the enterprise. Said another way, there’s still room to improve the marketing performance in some appreciable fashion.
In both instances, the larger objective is to court customers in a manner that will achieve better cumulative results.
An excellent example of why it’s important to entertain this distinction rests with the major demographic shift that’s currently underway in the United States. As likely you’ve already guessed, I’m referring to the explosive growth of the Hispanic and Latino population. They represent an easily identifiable subgroup within the larger population. But do they really merit special consideration from a marketing standpoint?
In part 1 of this two-part series of posts, we’ll look at what’s driving the heightened interest in this population group – what in fact qualifies them to be legitimately considered as a so-called target market. In part 2, we’ll explore some key implications for successfully cultivating this opportunity within the framework of it being a target market.
As we proceed, keep in mind the distinction between a new opportunity and one with underdeveloped potential. Ask yourself if or how these two concepts might apply to what your enterprise is presently doing.
U.S. Latinos Equal Grande Target
Relatively recent revelations about the burgeoning influence of the U.S. Hispanic and Latino population have put this group on the marketing radar unlike ever before.
For some businesses, it has resulted in an awakening to a new opportunity. For others, it has underscored the wisdom of further developing this target market to achieve a greater presence in it (in marketing, this concept often is referred to as market entrenchment).
There’s no denying the data about this group is ripe with characteristics marketers like to see. A translation technology company named Smartling, which has a vested interest in tracking such trends, provides a good snapshot of this target market with an infographic titled, “The Power of the U.S. Latino Market: 30 Facts about Latino Influence that May Surprise You.”
You can study the details for yourself, but let me quickly point out a few key factors that, when taken altogether, yield a grande target opportunity for anyone wishing to delve ahead and try to seize it.
Check this out:
- According to the 2010 census, they are, at 52 million strong, the largest and fastest growing minority group in the U.S.
- They are mostly situated in population pockets scattered across eight U.S states.
- Their estimated purchasing power was $1.2 trillion in 2012.
- The per capita income of U.S. Hispanics is among the more robust in the world.
- Seven key economic sectors are predicted to claim the bulk of their buying power (and you may be in one of them).
- Upscale Hispanic Households are increasing in number at a better than modest rate.
- They’re already being courted as a customer group by many large, multi-national corporations.
- The number of Hispanic-owned businesses in the U.S. increased at more than twice the national rate between 2002 and 2007.
- They’re one of the most connected population groups in today’s high technology world.
This compilation of observations clearly reveals there is something of substance going on. In terms of both quality and quantity of opportunity, it’s reminiscent of what sparked the California Gold Rush back in the day.
Of course, identifying an opportunity is not the same as being able to take advantage of it. After all, not everyone got rich from the California Gold Rush just because they knew about the plentiful availability of gold in them there hills.
Actionable Information Considerations
As nice as it is to identify, define and measure a target market, the real challenge lies with translating the raw data into meaningful action. Such action should strive to endow the target group with a sense of being specially catered to as a subgroup. Making them feel special in this manner helps to create what is known as an affinity for the product or service that stands behind it.
An affinity, in turn, can lead to group loyalty; and group loyalty pretty much represents the ultimate end game for a target market strategy.
In part 2 of this series, we’ll explore some action-based takeaways to consider for your enterprise. This content will help you to determine:
- If this group represents a new opportunity for your enterprise.
- If it is a presently underdeveloped opportunity for your enterprise.
- How your enterprise might reach and sustain the lofty aim of achieving group affinity.