Seasoned or not in multicultural marketing, most marketers and business leaders quickly point to the Mexican-American market as the key source of Hispanic growth in the U.S.
At 50 million strong, of which 63% are of Mexican descent, Latinos show power in numbers with that population; however there could be a hidden golden nugget with that rarely comes top of mind: Dominicans! That’s right; our fellow Dominicans officially account for 1.5 million (3 percent of total U.S. Hispanics) and some unofficial reports estimate them at well over 2 million. Not impressed with the 3 percent share of Latino population? Unfortunately that is exactly what most marketers do and they may stop doing the math way too soon to fully realize the market’s true potential.
Ranking as the 4th largest Hispanic origin group, according to a recent study by the Pew Hispanic Center, what may seem as a ‘small’ number nationally represents critical volume in America’s most populous city, New York City and the nation’s third largest state, New York. In fact, New York City concentrates nearly 50% of all Dominicans nation-wide. Between 1990 and 2010 the Dominican population of New York City grew by nearly 73% to over 600,000, increasing at approximately twice the rate of the city’s overall Latino population. This makes Dominicans the second-largest Latino subgroup behind Puerto Ricans but paced to become the city’s largest Latino nationality sometime within the next 10-15 years, if the annual growth rates of both groups remain the same. Their contribution is not only impressive in numbers but also in economic growth. Dominicans comprise a significant percentage of students in higher education and have become dynamic income-earners with the highest percentage of independent supermarkets and “bodegas” in New York City.
Still not impressed? This dynamic occurs in a city where today one in three people are of Hispanic decent. This also occurs in a state where 100% of the growth is Hispanic; reporting a population growth of 19.2% versus -0.9% for Non-Hispanic according to the 2010 U.S. Census. So how could you possibly win in business in the northeast and in the capital of the world without doing this math?
The resources, opportunities and channels to connect are certainly available for many to tap into. The summer for example is filled with culturally relevant events that gather thousands and hundreds of thousands of Hispanics and Dominicans. For example, this past June radio station La Mega 97.9fm hosted Bachata Fest and this coming September they are planning a Megaton that will potentially gather 30,000 Latinos to enjoy a day of live performances by top Latin artists performing at CitiField. Also, Miss Dominican Republic U.S., a pageant connected to the Miss Dominican Republic Universe and Miss Universe franchise, has elected New York as the host city for its official events and final gala taking place this summer. Major partners like Post Food’s Honey Bunches of Oats, Telemundo 47, among others have recognized this platform as an opportunity to win with Latinos in NY. “At Post Foods we are proud to recognize the contributions and impact of Hispanics, particularly the fast growing Dominican community in the U.S. This year, I am thrilled with our partnership with the Miss Dominican Republic US pageant” said Mike Foley, Brand Manager U.S. Hispanic and Export.
In August the NY Dominican Day Parade also presents a great opportunity to support the community. Established in 1982, the parade has become one of the major parades in New York in terms of attendance (500,000+). Delegations from the Dominican Republic participate in the Parade’s festivities, affirming unity and strength, and recognizing and legitimizing the accomplishments of their compatriots outside the island. Television Dominicana, reaching more than 3 million households nationally, also represents a viable channel for growth for its depth in reach with this community. In fact, the cable channel has ranked #1 during key events and coverage of the Dominican Elections in 2012 and the Serie del Caribe (Caribbean Baseball Series).
The numbers and opportunities are right in front of your nose so why not give it a try? Dominicans may be that golden nugget you need to win in one of your top markets: New York. All it takes is giving it a try as you plan for 2013 budgets and surely the sales numbers will follow.
Additional information for reference can be found at the Pew Hispanic Center, The City University of New York, The City of New York and the U.S. Census.
Lili Gil is cofounder of XL Alliance, business and politics TV media contributor and creator of the online channel Moments2CulturRise. She has also been selected by the World Economic Forum as only one of 190 Young Global Leaders. You can follow Lili Gil on Twitter @liligil. Also subscribe to HispanicAd.com for the latest market news.