The West is Weak

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Enrique Turegano
Enrique Turegano



hispanic growth chartWe have heard that statement so many times from clients. Sales are strong everywhere in the U.S., but for some reason, the West is not performing as well. Market share in the West is lower than national. The West is weak for us.

Clients then create initiatives like “build the West” or “grow California,” and they and look at lifestyle and messaging variations that may unlock the key to growing the West.

Money is spent and long meetings are attended by clients and their general market agencies. Primary research is sometimes performed trying to find that nugget of information that will open up the vast riches of the West.

Finally, a Hispanic marketing agency is approached and they make a presentation to the client’s management. In that presentation they show some very interesting figures:

  • There are more than 50 million Hispanics in the U.S., compared to the 38 million African Americans living in the States.
  • There are more Hispanics in the U.S. than there are Canadians in all of Canada.
  • The majority of Hispanics reside in the West or Southwest.
  • 40 percent of California’s population is Hispanic.
  • 40 percent of Texas’ population is Hispanic.
  • 47 percent of New Mexico’s population is Hispanic.
  • One third of Arizona and Nevada’s population is Hispanic.
  • Los Angeles is the second largest “Mexican city” in the world after Mexico City.
  • In the last decade, the Hispanic population in California grew by 28 percent, while the non-Hispanic white population declined by 5.4 percent.

And guess what? If you don’t have a Hispanic marketing program, you are NOT talking to the millions of Hispanic consumers in your clients’ markets!

No wonder that your market share is lower, or the sales seem to suffer in that region. You are not asking for the business of more than one third of the population.

What about money? California Hispanics making more than $75,000 increased in the last decade by 13 percent, and this population accounts for 29 percent of all Hispanics. The household income of Hispanics is similar to that of non-Hispanics, and they are younger, loyal consumers with small children at home — perfect home-building years and heavy consumption years.

What if you are trying to reach children? Well, it gets worse if you are not reaching out in a culturally and linguistically correct manner. Hispanic children accounted for 75 percent of ALL child population growth in the U.S. in the past ten years. Today, one out of four children in the U.S. is Hispanic.

If your sales or market share suffer in the West, ask yourself some key questions:

  • Do you have a Hispanic marketing program in place?
  • Is your product distributed in the powerful independent retailers in the West?
  • Is your general market program inclusive enough so it connects with the ethnic diversity found in the West?

If your “West is weak,” open your eyes and look at who lives there. Then, reach out and start a dialogue with them, in a culturally correct manner.


Chart courtesy of Pew Hispanic Center.

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