Serving the Hispanic market: The time is now
Six steps to serve this growing market.
The U.S. is expected to be a majority minority country by 2045, and it’s time to identify opportunities and develop strategies to serve Hispanics, who are projected to make up 30% of the population by 2050, says Victor Miguel Corro, CEO of Coopera.
“It takes a lot of drive to get started,” says Corro, who addressed the 2019 CUNA Roundtable for Board Leadership in Phoenix. “It’s not enough to simply translate documents into Spanish or have bilingual staff. You must have a deliberate, comprehensive, and well-planned strategy.”
Corro offers six steps credit unions can take to serve the Hispanic market:
1. Understand the Hispanic market. More than 20 countries make up Latin America, each with its own culture, nuances, and characteristics. Understand these differences, Corro advises. Just because people are called "Hispanic/Latino/Latinx" doesn't mean they all behave the same way or have the same identity.
2. Know the cultural buy-in. Determine the general attitude and disposition that leaders at the credit union have toward serving the Hispanic market by conducting surveys to see how they feel. Understand it will take time to achieve universal embracement.
3. Establish the business case. Gather data on demographics and opportunities that exist within your market. Use that data to create a strategy for serving the Hispanic community and growing the credit union.
4. Assess the organizational level of preparation. Pay attention to the 4 Ps: personnel, products, processes, and promotion. Have the right employees in place, provide the products and services this community needs, implement processes that will allow you to serve people who may not have traditional forms of identification, and promote your efforts int the community.
5. Develop a strategic plan. Use a knowledgeable facilitator and create a strategic plan. Concentrate on the 4 Ps and develop SMART—specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound—goals.
Consider timing. Don’t launch your Hispanic outreach efforts at the same time the credit union is undergoing another large project, such as a CEO change, rebrand, or core processing update, Corro says.
6. Adapt the 4 Ps. Once launched, continue to tweak your program to make it fit the needs of Hispanics and your credit union.
“Diversification drives growth, which comes from targeting other populations,” Corro says. “Get to know the ethnic groups within your community.”