If you’ve got a Hispanic strategy that hasn’t managed to get off the ground, is going nowhere fast, is evolving ever so slowly or is being implemented piecemeal, don’t give up on it. The market is robust. Instead, address the four most common culprits: Commitment, Competency, Capability and Compensation.
The Hispanic marketing community is abuzz about the 2010 Census numbers and the double digit growth in the past 10 years. You’ve heard the rhetoric before: Corporate America is missing the boat by not waking up to the Hispanic market opportunity. The argument is the same as it’s always been: the market is huge, the market is growing faster than the non-Hispanic market and the market will cease to be a minority in our life time. Pundits are already trying to leverage Census numbers to grow media budgets and all the while, many decision makers are “tuned to another channel.”
Walking the Talk
Why? Because in the scheme of things, if company CEOs haven’t called out the Hispanic market as a strategic growth driver and haven’t committed to take action to make the organization competent and capable to execute against this growth driver and if compensation and reward systems aren’t tied to the success of the Hispanic Market Strategy, it might as well be Charlie Brown’s teacher talking. Everyone just hears the same noise (read: lip service) and goes about managing the business priorities they are being rewarded to grow. So how do Commitment, Competency, Capabilities and Compensation impact the degree of interest, momentum, financial support and sustainability of a Hispanic Market Strategy within an organization?
Commitment means that, upon a CEO’s communication to his organization, the Hispanic market is a critical business driver for the company. Key leadership is given a directive to mobilize the organization, to conduct its due diligence and to understand the market’s situation vis-à-vis the company’s business model and current state.
Competency means that all areas of the organization responsible for delivering value to the company’s consumer targets participate in the due diligence such that each area leader acquires a deep understanding of market requirements and what that means in terms of adjustments to each area during the planning, implementation and on-going management phases.
Capability means that each area leader understands the implications of existing area shortcomings, understands the necessary organizational and infrastructure interdependencies to deliver against this consumer base and can recommend and implement the necessary processes, headcount and / or infrastructure changes.
Compensation means that area leaders’ compensation and rewards systems are tied to KPIs for Hispanic strategy success.
Clear Priorities Lead to Action
We know it’s possible. We see companies do this every day. They do it when leadership wants to win against a host of business growth trends including outsourcing, green, technology, social media, health, organic/fresh or private label. No one has to beat them over the head with the size of the segments, with how they’re missing the boat, or with how much they’re under-spending against these opportunities.
When companies address a market opportunity as if their survival depends on it, they make the commitment at very high levels. They conduct the necessary due diligence, they build the necessary competency among key leadership and functional areas, and they synergistically create and enable an organization that is capable of winning in a given market space – Commitment, Competency, Capability and Compensation are a given.
Terry Soto is President and CEO of About Marketing Solutions, Inc., a Burbank, California-based strategy consulting firm that specializes in the U.S. Hispanic market. Author of Marketing to Hispanics: A Strategic Approach to Assessing and Planning Your Initiative and co-author of Grow with America: Best Practices in Ethnic Marketing and Merchandising. Terry's consulting expertise spans a broad range of industries including such companies as Wells Fargo Bank, Cigna Health Care, Coca Cola, Kraft Foods, Walgreens, Disney Consumer Products, United States Postal Service, Verizon Wireless, Autozone, and Absolut Vodka.