Speaking of Love….And Friendships: The Economic Opportunities

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It’s that time of year to express your love, but not just our romantic feelings.  But the love and appreciation for our parents, children, family and friends. And to the extended family at work: our team, clients and volunteers. 

Ideally you are expressing your appreciation year ‘round and not just during the commercially fueled February holiday. This is a great time to cultivate relationships! 

As you all know, our niche is Engagement, whether engaging clients, communities or employees, with a hyper focus on the Hispanic Segment.  So, when thinking through how one can engage this particular segment through stewardship and relationship building, check out these concepts below.  Remember that these apply to the general market as well, not just Latinos. 

CLIENTS/RETAIL OPPORTUNITIES 

As nice as it is to be nice, there’s still a need to economically quantify marketing campaigns and segmented initiatives.  Unfortunately, there’s not a pot of money available for feel-good activities.   Here’s the ammunition you need to get a piece of the budget for a Valentine’s Campaign for Latinos. 

  • GROWING POPULATION 
    • One of every five millennial is a Latino 
    • One out of every four kindergartners is a Latino
    • One out of every two births is a Latino baby 
    • Latinos represent 56% of the overall growth in the U.S. population, and 
    • 80% of the growth in the U.S. labor market. 
  • YOUNGER & LARGER 
    • 63% of Latinos are 34 years or younger 
    • Larger Families:  3.4 vs. 2.6 
  • RESTAURANT STATS 
    • In the Restaurant/Food Retail Industries, Latinos represent 25% of all traffic   
    • Have larger groups when dining out (2.8 vs 2.1) and  
    • Over-index on breakfast and afternoon snack consumption. 

Obviously, the population is growing, and expected to be the majority by 2043.  Ensuring that your messaging and marketing efforts include a cultural nod to the Hispanic culture is a start.  For instance, Hispanics are naturally gregarious and don’t consider Valentine’s Day solely a romantic holiday; but rather an opportunity to show affection to ALL people we love and appreciate. In Mexico (by the way 65% of US Latinos are of Mexican descent) Valentine’s Day is  known as “El Día del Amor y La Amistad” the day of Love And Friendship.  And lunches where platonic friends exchange gifts and flowers are common, and actually expected. 

EMPLOYEES 

We all know employees work for people NOT companies- an indifferent or incompetent manager directly influences employee retention and satisfaction.  What are YOU doing to “love” (No need to get weird, in this sense, I mean “appreciate” or “express gratitude”) your folks? 

Bringing in lunch?  Hosting a team building activity? And not a kumbaya session, but something fun, like goat yoga or the amazing race, where folks can authentically connect and engage with one another, and in turn with your organization. 

Folks are jaded and cynical. Ensure these initiatives are meaningful by thinking of continuance.  What else can be done?  Is there an employee-resource group that can be tapped to develop and enact other team-building activities?   Have you emphasized the unique benefits and perks you offer that make employment attractive?  For my team, flexibility is key; being able to work from home or step out for a parent/teacher meeting is an attractive perk.  Express your appreciation by implementing policies and initiatives that matter to your folks.   

A couple of last thoughts around Latinos: there are some holidays and events that are unique or more relevant to the culture, such as quinciañeras, Christmas Eve, Good Friday, Dias de los Muertos, Independence Days, etc.  Offering floating holidays and flexibility in scheduling would be very welcomed.   

Secondly, language access- offer the option to access employee materials in language to increase engagement. Whether a newsletter, intranet platform or a simple closed Facebook group to create an inclusive environment where employees can engage authentically with you. 

COMMUNITIES 

Are you a nonprofit, healthcare or direct services organization? Tasked with serving under-served communities?  If so, show some extra love during the holiday by thanking volunteers and the multitude of pro-bono professionals that invest their time and treasures.   

Include a newsletter or blog article or consider creating some Spanish language content to express appreciation.   Steward donors with an appropriate expression of appreciation that includes personalizing their impact.  Correlate your impact and successes to their contribution and support. 

Amigos, although we can certainly benefit economically from capitalizing on the Valentine’s Day holiday, we simply need more love (and friendship, appreciation and gratitude) in our world.  To that effect: Los Quiero Mucho.  


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