Ep. 131 – How to Successfully Market to a Hispanic Audience in the U.S. w/ Hugo E. Gomez

How to Successfully Market to a Hispanic Audience in the U.S.

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Spanish is one of the most widely spoken languages in the United States after English. Many people live, operate, and conduct business in this language. There’s also a large unmet need in terms of marketing to a predominantly Spanish-speaking audience across different industrial sectors. How can B2B companies proactively address this untapped opportunity? 

That’s why we’re talking to bilingual marketing expert Hugo E. Gomez (Founder/Legal Marketing StrategistAbogados NOW) about how B2B companies can leverage cultural and linguistic insights in their marketing campaigns. During our conversation, Hugo discusses which pitfalls to avoid and what roles multicultural best practices and data play in his field. He also elaborates on the fundamental differences between marketing to English and Spanish speakers, and why it’s not enough to just translate documents or assets.

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Topics discussed in episode

  • Where businesses fall flat when marketing to a predominantly Spanish-speaking audience in the U.S. [1:12]
  • Some pitfalls to avoid [6:13]
    • Defaulting to translation
    • Not leveraging marketing professionals
    • Not having a more nuanced approach
  • AI as a language tool for marketing to the Hispanic market [11:07]
  • Hugo shares some multicultural best practices with data [15:22]
  • Hugo provides some actionable tips: [19:56]
    • Have a webpage in Spanish & add a link on the top menu of the website (in Spanish)
    • Generate 10 keywords in Spanish and run Performance Max Google Ads
    • Run some Spanish social media ads
    • Have someone ready to respond in Spanish in near real time
  • Hugo shares his experience helping companies reach out to a Spanish-speaking customer base [24:43]
  • Hugo explains why he disagrees with the saying that ‘Hispanic market is incremental, and it’s meant for incremental growth’ [29:48]
  • The impact of the potential increase in the Hispanic population that speaks only English [33:07]

Companies and links mentioned

Transcript

SPEAKERS

Christian Klepp, Hugo Gomez

Christian Klepp  00:03

Welcome to B2B Marketers on a Mission, a podcast for changemakers where we question the conventional, debunk marketing myths, provide actionable tips, think differently, disrupt the industries, and take your marketing to a new level, from improving your campaigns to making you a better marketer. These are the inspirational stories that will help us change the way we think and approach B2B marketing, one conversation at a time. This podcast is brought to you by EINBLICK Consulting, helping you to stand out in the market and drive revenue to your B2B business. And now your host, Christian Klepp.

Okay, welcome, everyone to this episode of B2B Marketers on a Mission. This is the show where we help you to question the conventional, think differently, disrupt your industry and take your marketing to new heights. This is your host Christian Klepp. And today I’m joined by someone on a mission to bridge the language and cultural gap in the US market. So coming to us from Los Angeles, California, USA. Hugo Gomez, welcome to the show, sir.

Hugo Gomez  01:10

Thanks so much Christian, super stoked to be here.

Christian Klepp  01:12

Really looking forward to this conversation Hugo because I have to admit, I’ve been running the show for coming on 4 years. And I don’t think I’ve ever had anyone on talking about this specific topic. So I’m really looking forward to diving into this. So you run a very successful marketing agency. And let me see if I can get this right. You help attorneys to advertise to underrepresented communities in the US specifically around the Hispanic market. So Spanish speaking, right? So for this conversation, let’s focus on the topic of how B2B companies can successfully market their products or services to the Spanish speaking market in the United States. But before I ask you a question, I’m just gonna, like, drop some figures here as I do. This article is a little bit dated, but there was an article written in Forbes back in 2021. Okay, and so these were the stats. So in the United States alone, 13% of the population speak Spanish at home, so that around, we’re going to quantify that further, it’s a little over 42 million. Spanish is also the most common non English language spoken in the US. No big surprise there, right. This one surprised me, though, a little bit. The United States has also the second largest population of Spanish speakers in the world. So Mexico is at the very top of that list. Alright. So now that we’ve stated all those facts, here comes the question to kick off the conversation. Where do you think they mean, specifically, with regards to the United States. Where do you think businesses fall flat when it comes to marketing to a target audience that is predominantly Spanish speaking?

Hugo Gomez  01:12

Yeah, I think this applies in both the B2C and the B2B market, if you will, it’s assuming that marketing to Hispanics is a language exercise, rather than a cultural exercise. And it’s assuming that it’s a Google Translate exercise or that it’s a function of having the Spanish speaking employee, you know, whether that’s an entry level or a C suite individual sort of take responsibility of managing those communications, I think that’s generally where most organizations we work with fall short, but it’s no fault of their own. It’s a fair assumption, that if one knows the language, that should be good enough, right? But it generally isn’t.

Christian Klepp  03:53

Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. I remember you and I, having this conversation previously, where I told you about my experience out in China. And that was the assumption, right, that if you, if you speak the Chinese language, then you’re good to go. There’s probably nothing else that you need to worry about. And boy, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Yeah. Right. So to your point about there’s a language barrier, and there’s a cultural barrier, and it was something you said in our previous conversation. It’s also the nuances because if I’m going to try to coined this phrase, not all Spanish is created equal, right? I mean, we have that conversation about there’s different variants of the Spanish language. I mean even if you just look at Latin America itself, right?

Hugo Gomez  04:39

Yeah. Like most Hispanics, or rather, all Hispanics are not a monolith. So, you know, in national campaigns, one needs to thread the needle when speaking to all Hispanics, because the reality is that most Hispanics their value systems are defined by how they or their families immigrated to the United States if they even did immigrate, or if they have any history or recollection of immigration. And so I think that that says a lot about how I believe the communication models can be quite different in South Florida versus that of, you know, let’s call it Southern California. So it’s not just a function of, you know, trying to communicate to this vast market in their language, but it’s by understanding their culture, and threading the needle to make sure that you’re you’re addressing as many Hispanics as possible. While not excluding any of them. I would say, marketing to Hispanics is just generally more challenging than marketing to the general market.

Christian Klepp  05:46

Absolutely, absolutely. Speaking of which, though, I’m glad you brought up that point, because that’s a great segue to the next question. Common mistakes that you’ve seen marketers make out there, and you probably got hundreds of them. But let’s narrow it down to like probably three to five of the top mistakes you’ve seen when it comes to marketers targeting the Spanish speaking market. So what have they done? And what should they be doing to address these mistakes?

Hugo Gomez  06:13

Yeah. I think the first one is, is defaulting to translation, right. And again, it’s a very common approach. And it’s very commonly understood as to why this approach is always usually taken. So let’s put, for instance, a tax professional that wants to work with another business to acquire them as a client. Let’s say that there’s an emerging Venezuelan market in New York, have folks that are starting their businesses or have matured their businesses over the last 5-10 years, that tax professional, if they themselves aren’t Hispanic, might just want to throw a bunch of collateral in Spanish, and just put together some flyers and say, Hey, come see me if you need your tax issues resolved. Or if you want me to file your taxes, or if you have any questions about your business taxes, very common approach. However, that’s not generally a mistake, it’s a mistake, if you think that’s your only option. If you really want to get involved in the community, you want to tell the community that you work with immigrant owned businesses, that’s like doubling down on you understanding their story. It’s telling folks that, you know, you support the XYZ community that makes up that local community, I think that’s really strong when you vocalize it, and when you explicitly say that you’re aware of the changes in the markets. So I think that’s the first mistake that’s remedied quite easily just by being you know, a little aware of what’s going on in the market.

And the second thing is defaulting to not leveraging, marketing, rather, you know, marketing professionals that are aware of the Hispanic market. This is something that can be remedied. So, for instance, let’s put another example with a tax professional. So let’s say this tax professional, has a receptionist, right, or let’s say, a co-owner, both ends of the entry level to the more seasoned professional spectrum, that professional might just say, Hey, I’m just gonna hand off this project, this exercise of this, you know, Spanish social media posts, or this Spanish newsletter or something to the Spanish speaker in our designated Spanish speaker in the office, I genuinely think that’s a huge mistake. Because unless they are themselves a seasoned marketing professional, and that person’s abilities are probably just going to be limited to translation. And again, this isn’t just about translation, it’s about making an authentic push into a community so that you are a trusted agent of that community. And it’s important to not just assume that someone who speaks Spanish will also somehow know how to market effectively to your local community. So I think those two are generally the more common mistakes we see. As far as the more nuanced approaches, you know, we see it rather not so much the nuanced approach, the more egregious errors or assuming stereotypes we see this less than less each year. But you know, each Cinco de Mayo I would be lying to you if I said I didn’t see mariachi or a taco celebration or a margarita office party, you know, which, you know, it’s up to you whether you can tolerate that kind of communications. But generally speaking, again, not all Hispanics are monolithic, and to the point about Cinco de Mayo festivities and using stereotypes to try to communicate that you’re part of the Hispanic community. I think that’s an egregious error that I just generally wouldn’t even recommend working in that universe of thinking. There are just more intelligent, much more sensitive ways to market to the community without defaulting to these tropes.

Christian Klepp  10:22

Well, those are some really, really great points. And thanks for bringing those up. I just wanted to quickly go back to like, for example, point number one, just from your own experience that defaulting to translation. How often do you see especially now, I mean, it’s almost unavoidable subject. But how often do you see people defaulting not just to translation, but to AI translation to just get this over the hill, because they think it’s quicker, it might save them a bit of money. But in the end, it all somehow comes crashing down. Because big surprise, AI translated it the wrong way. They probably translated it. That it looks like Spanish, but no Spanish speaker would ever say it that way. For example, right?

Hugo Gomez  11:07

Yeah, precisely. Yeah. I mean, it happens more often than not. There’s a lot of chatter that, you know, AI is sort of the end all be all to all solutions. But you know, we’ve seen as Language Tools, it’s just not there, it totally understands translation. And it’s actually getting better in assessing how humans actually talk. So natural language, I think it’s actually getting a lot better. But we’ve yet, we’re always on the pulse of what tools are available. Because admittedly, we also want to find out ways to reduce our own costs internally, to do this, to do this kind of marketing effectively, we’ve yet to find one, Google Translate is always getting better. They’re sort of like the leading name and translation, they’re getting a little better in natural language translation, but we’ve yet to see even even OpenAI’s tools, they’re just not there. I mean, the direct translations work. But to give an example of how this could be super effective, and let’s say… I’m going to kind of switch things over to B2C for a moment. If a dentist that is marketing to a largely Dominican Republican community wants to say that, hey, we offer service to you know, Hispanics in the market, we have a bilingual friendly staff, bilingual friendly hygenist, dentists, etc. It’s not enough to say that we speak Spanish, like what you really want to say is we’ll work with you, regardless of your insurance policy, and regardless of your documentation status, because a lot of folks that are in the United States may or may not have their documents yet, or they’re in the process, or maybe they just don’t want to disclose those things. Right. And so there are ways to be more direct. In terms of the copywriting, however, that needs to be written by human like, I can’t tell. I can’t I don’t know what prompt I could write to any AI tool that would produce that kind of copy output. Right? And it’s because that’s such a cultural nuance that only a human could know. Do I believe that at some point AI will get better to the extent that it will know how to tweak things for local regional cultural nuance. Yeah, I’m a big believer, I’m very pro tech. And so I think it will eventually happen. It’s just not happening right now.

Christian Klepp  13:31

Absolutely, absolutely. And, you know, going back to those other two points that you mentioned, I mean, I absolutely agree that, you know, there has to be, it has to be done by a human, but not just a human, but somebody that’s also an expert in that field. And I believe that was your point, right? I mean, I saw this happening out in China. And you’ve seen that in your field of work that you don’t just, you can’t just rely on the intern to post something on social media, because they happen to speak the language and then you know, that it all falls flat, but even more dangerous, which I think is also what all your other points is you could get into some serious legal trouble. If that translation that’s not accurate. And just because somebody speaks Spanish that doesn’t necessarily make them a qualified, not even a lawyer or just qualified to be able to give an opinion on the piece.

Hugo Gomez  14:25

Absolutely. Yeah, absolutely. Especially if you’re in a vertical that has, you know, rules of professional conduct and advertising. Probably more stringent in the legal and medical verticals. But, you know, we see this in financial circles, you know, we see this everywhere, that there’s just more rules and more regulations on how you can, you know, communicate anything to a consumer or the end buyer. So, I think that’s only going to get more difficult. So yeah, it poses a risk to your business. If you think that copy or marketing copy is sort of like a trivial aspect of your business, it could actually be something that takes down your business overnight.

Christian Klepp  15:06

Yeah, exactly. I mean, of course, we all hope that never happens, right?

Hugo Gomez  15:10

Yeah, absolutely.

Christian Klepp  15:12

Moving on to the next question. And this is kind of like a bit of a combo here. What roles do multicultural best practices and data play in your field?

Hugo Gomez  15:22

The best way to get multicultural best practices is by deferring to the data.  Like they are exclusively chained to one another. So I’ll mention, for instance, if there’s a… let’s use a bank, for example, that wants to work with other small businesses. This is especially true for the much larger banks that aren’t just regional, that they’re nationwide, the best thing to do is defer to census data on a local level to find out what the immigrant makeup is of your local Hispanic community. And so with that understanding of what that makeup is, at the county level, or the statewide level, or even on the city level, if you’re in a huge Metro, you can design entire campaigns just for that community. And we’re seeing it right now. I can’t disclose certain companies that are the newer line ones that are doing this, but it’s taking the actual population data, gross population, and finding out how to craft messages just for them. And what we’re finding is that very few of those campaigns work nationally. Generally speaking, you want to run hyperfocus digital and traditional campaigns that are quite local, in order to get buy into the community. So I find that that’s the relationship between best practices and data is that you want to look at data as the starting point rather, for these best practices. The starting point is this census data that’s publicly available. And of course, as these campaigns mature, you can get into more like behavior, segmentation, and sort of like repurchasing behavior down the road. But it does really start with understanding the local immigrant makeup.

Christian Klepp  17:18

Yeah, no, absolutely. Those are really great points. And that’s such a great way of looking at it that you use the data to understand how you can maybe custom tailored is not the right word, but like to have targeted campaigns, yes, specifically for that demographic, because again, not all Hispanics are created equal. Probably they might even have different purchasing behaviors, decision making behaviors. They might have some parts of their buyers journey are similar, but others are different. And yes, the data might help you to like understand why.

Hugo Gomez  17:53

Yes, absolutely. Like if you can, if you can understand what the ethnic makeup is of your local community, you can find out what percentage of X Hispanics came from countries for where there are more visa or immigration privileges with the United States. Whereas on the flip side, where are those immigrants that probably don’t come from countries that don’t have those set privileges, and might be more conservative with their savings, might be less likely to invest? Might be less likely to start businesses. I mean, like I mentioned earlier, how you come into the country will dictate your value system, it’ll dictate your likelihood for generational wealth, that’ll dictate all sorts of aspects that we sort of take for granted, you know, living here in the United States. And I do have to put an asterisk that I know I’m talking a lot about immigrant Hispanics, that’s largely where a lot of my expertise falls in line. However, you know, with Hispanics at large, we find that even multi generationally, rather generations after a lot of these values, while not exclusively inherited all the way through. A lot of these values are carried through multi generationally.

Christian Klepp  19:09

Absolutely. Okay, Hugo, we come to the point where conversation or we’re talking about actionable tips, and you’ve given some already, right, and I’m gonna throw in this caveat, just to say, we got to appreciate that a lot of things that you and your agency do. These aren’t things that you can do in 24 hours, right? A lot of this takes time. That said, if somebody were listening to this interview between you and I, that is facing the situation, and they need to act upon it immediately. So what are like, top level like three to five things that marketers can do right now to… And I think that was the point you made in the previous conversation to experience incremental success in marketing to Spanish speakers in the US.

Hugo Gomez  19:56

Right, I think there’s three that come to mind, and they’re very technical, depending on your level of experience it, they’re all generally technical, I think the first thing to do is, especially in the B2B space, you want to have, at minimum, a page in Spanish, a dedicated page doesn’t need to be a fully translated website, you should leave this as sort of as like your proof of concept for receiving traffic in Spanish. And seeing how the consumer, you know behaves on said Spanish page, you want that written by a marketing professional. You don’t need to engage with an agency, you can engage with a local Hispanic or Hispanic marketing expert copywriter to help draft let’s call it like a one sheet, a Tear Sheet, a one pager page on your site. That is only meant to convert Spanish speakers who visit said page. So that’s sort of like let’s call that the destination. We’re talking total costs to put this together less than $700. More or less, let’s just say $500. For copy, design, the deployment of this page, then let’s run some Google ads. This is where open AI or our ChatGPT is amazing, we actually deployed this strategy. Let’s use banks, for instance, let’s say that a bank wants to market to get into small businesses for let’s just say SBAs. You know, we will tell ChatGPT, hey ChatGPT, Here are 10 keywords in Spanish or rather attend keywords in English like phrases that we know English speakers search for when they look for SBA loans, give me different variations in Spanish. And it will give you a quite pretty decent output of keywords. So when we’re talking about AI translation, for like these kind of one off tactical technical outputs, ChatGPT is quite good. So we like that. So to ask ChatGPT for a Spanish set of keywords, and then upload those keywords to assemble Performance Max Google ads campaign, run however many ad dollars you want to it, presumably you’ll be the only one running ads to Spanish speakers with that list of keywords. Similarly, the third point I want to make is on in Spanish, you want to run some Spanish social media ads, Spanish speakers over index for mobile usage for video consumption on streaming videos, and have a high trust factor in social media communications, including advertisements. So I think those three as long as they’re pointed to that Spanish page that we just discussed earlier, you’re probably ahead of 90% of most organizations, especially in B2B that are trying to make a concerted effort to be in front of Spanish speakers.

Christian Klepp  23:07

Yeah, no, those are some really great points. And just to recap, so the first one was have at least one page in Spanish, run Google ads, and then run Spanish social media ads. Right.

Hugo Gomez  23:19

Exactly.

Christian Klepp  23:20

I would assume also, for your first point, like to have that page in Spanish, obviously, that gets funneled to some location and the back end of the company system. And there has to be somebody that has that capability to be able to answer those inbound inquiries to and that like which…

Hugo Gomez  23:37

Great point Yeah, absolutely. So if you have form fills or phone numbers, yeah, make sure someone’s responding to them in near real time. One other point about the dedicated page, put it on the navigation clearly on your website at the very top, and it shouldn’t say Spanish because I assume that the person doesn’t speak any English. And you want to put it Espanol, click Espanol, or Esatalas Hablas Espanol. Like you want to put that super explicitly. So that if that Spanish dominant speaker comes to your site, they see that link, they’ll know exactly to click there without any real confusion. So we just want to make sure that the person who’s reading your site that speaks zero English, which does happen, has a great, easy, nonrestrictive way just to learn more about your company.

Christian Klepp  24:30

Correct. Correct. Absolutely. Moving on to my next question, give us an example of how you helped the company reach out to a predominantly Spanish speaking customer base, and you don’t have to mention the company’s name.

Hugo Gomez  24:43

Sure. So I’ll speak more to the… I can speak to both B2B and the B2C side. And I originally came from, like commercial finance. So a lot of heavy equipment, loans so to speak. And there’s a huge market of Spanish dominant business owners that need loaders, tractors, lifts, you know, trailers, you name it. And they oftentimes, like most business owners need financing to acquire these massive, you know, pieces of equipment, oftentimes a loan value was above $30,000. And it was such an obvious play to say, hey, let’s kind of find a competitive edge here, by reaching out to these over indexed mobile users who are Spanish speaking, by providing them loan options or loan advertisements on their phones, through social, because we know no one else is doing it. The B2B loan space is extremely competitive on Google and in English, super high cost per clicks, that’s, you know, crazy high acquisition costs. So we were able to undercut the market a little bit by finding clients, rather buyers or borrowers in Spanish, so that, you know, I can’t speak to these percentages, but where I used to work before I started my own companies. That was that was a significant lift to the business, it was just addressing the reality that there are a lot of Spanish speakers who may be bilingual, but prefer to speak in Spanish, who are comfortable working with a loan provider that spoke directly to them in Spanish. I think that is, it’s great story, it’s really fun to describe, because it’s not a market that that one would associate to having a lot of Spanish speakers in it. Secondly, and in the B2C… Like, I can speak to the legal space. And it is B2B parallel, because we’re helping a legal rather law firm grow by means of, of consumer share. There are tons of attorneys on our program, that have attorneys who don’t speak any Spanish, but understand the market potential of reaching out to Hispanics. You know, admittedly, we’ve grown firms from, let’s call it low six figures to definitely low to mid eight figures in a matter of a couple of years. And it’s because they’ve trusted, that it’s not necessarily our companies that doing that’s doing a bunch of magic, we don’t have any black box or, or secrets here. But what we do have is just a lot of trust in the data, we trust that the market population. If you invest in Hispanics, they will see your message, they will commit to your message, especially if you’re the only one in a major metro area that’s attempting to communicate with them authentically. So yeah, in B2B and B2C, it’s, I kind of sorted see, I sort of see them the same now. Because the market potential is just there. It’s waiting for someone or an organization to speak to that community, authentically and directly.

Christian Klepp  28:06

Absolutely, absolutely. And they, you know, obviously, that’s an incredible achievement, you know, the way that you help these companies to grow. But it’s also back to your original point was to identify that niche, niches. Plural. And to… I think, something that you’ve done quite well as identify that unmet need. And for you, it might have seemed so simple, okay, they don’t have someone that speaks Spanish, or, you know, you’ve got this group of like, construction companies or contractors, who, while bilingual, might prefer to be able to converse with somebody on the service provider and in their own language. And that’s definitely an unmet need that that needs to be addressed.

Hugo Gomez  28:52

Yeah, I think we’ve barely scratched… the scratching of the surface, like, really, there’s so much potential here. It’s, you know, Hispanics gonna be 40-45% of the market by 2050. So, especially if you’re a legacy business, like this is all you should be thinking about in terms of finding scale, you know, aside from managing the business as it exists today. You know, if you’re a legacy business thinking about the next 10, 20 years, this should be a no bias of our own because we don’t work with every organization and B2B, but this should be the most important pressing thing that you should be investing in for the next generation.

Christian Klepp  29:32

Absolutely. Absolutely. Okay, Hugo, get up on your soapbox here. What is the status quo in your area of expertise that you passionately disagree with? And why?

Hugo Gomez  29:48

The most common conversation in multicultural marketing, even within the agency community, is that the Hispanic market is incremental, is meant for incremental growth. When we’re talking about the Hispanic market in the United States that makes up 1 out of 5 persons in the United States. I don’t think 1 out of 5 persons in the United States is incremental. Right. And now it does that incremental marketing doesn’t require nuance, the US Hispanic market falls by our definitions in our organizations under three buckets. It’s English dominant, Spanish dominant, or bilingual slash bicultural. There are a lot of case studies that we have of copy that’s written just for English speakers, and just for Spanish speakers that identify as Hispanic. And examples of copy that use both Spanglish as it’s known that work really well. So it’s, there’s two things that we disagree with is that the Spanish or the Hispanic market is Spanish dominant only, it’s much more nuanced than that. And that, if you want to market to Hispanics, that is somehow incremental, it’s not, it’s, again, for the most serious organizations, I’ve spoken to a few, you know, marketing leaders in the Fortune 1000s, they’re obsessed with this topic. They actually don’t work with any agencies that even use the word incremental in the conversation of Hispanic market. So to me, that’s really I’m really optimistic about that. Because it’s addressing the reality that this isn’t just, you know, a way to get new business above and beyond what you’re currently doing. If you’re really thinking about significant market share, you have to think about the Hispanic market is sort of core to your business and future state. So, because if you don’t think about it, someone else is going to, you know, whether it’s through an agency or, or their in house, kind of mindset, they’re gonna figure it out. So I think those are, I couldn’t distill it down to two, or rather one, so I had to pick two.

Christian Klepp  32:07

That’s okay.

Hugo Gomez  32:07

But those two absolutely kind of speak to where we sit on our soapbox quite often.

Christian Klepp  32:15

Absolutely, absolutely. I’m gonna oversimplify what you’ve just said Hugo…

Hugo Gomez  32:20

I tend to…

Christian Klepp  32:22

I just think that assumptions are such a dangerous thing to begin with. In my experience, they become even more precarious when you assume things about another language and culture. Right? Because that can lead companies down a path where they not only will lose money, but they could also fail spectacularly. In terms of targeting specific demographics, right?

Hugo Gomez  32:49

The failures don’t have to exist as long as you defer to other Hispanics about these channels. There’s a fine line between…. Rather I’ll just leave it at that. That’s my last statement.

Christian Klepp  33:07

Fair enough. Fair enough. Okay, and now here comes the bonus question. Now. I really, I thought about this long and hard. Okay. So you’re clearly bilingual, English and Spanish. Okay. So we’ve dropped a couple of statistics at the beginning of the conversation. Now allow me to drop just one more. Okay, for the sake of this next question. Right. So according to research conducted by the Pew Research Center, 54%, of people that were interviewed said that they cannot speak Spanish fluently, even though they are Latino. Right? So the assumption there, I mean, it might fall into a couple of buckets, right, the assumption there is that they’re probably already they’ve been in the United States for several generations already. They’re more American than anything. They might be the children of immigrants, who have been, you know, through the school system, et cetera, et cetera, right. And now they’ve become adults. And it might even depend on which industries they eventually enter. And they are working in fields where Spanish is not necessary. Right. So my question to you as somebody who’s bilingual, and you know, clearly, you’re very passionate about the Spanish language. What would you do if you had the power to make it make a change, right, based on this statistic I just gave you, right? We’re not even talking about the decline of the language. It’s not the decline, but it’s just the probability that more and more speakers might grow up, eventually just becoming monolingual. So what is the one thing that you would do to convince these people of the benefits of bilingualism whether it’s professional or personal, if there if you had that one superpower, right.

Hugo Gomez  34:57

What you could do to convince other organizations? Is that right? Yeah, that’s a great step. And there again, as always, there’s always nuance, right? There is a part of that, I believe it’s the same study. I got this from the book Hispanic Market Power by Isaac Mizrahi, which I’ve been selling this book, on his behalf like crazy. I have no participation in this book. He is a friend of ours. But he has some amazing stats on this, on language usage. And even though the majority don’t speak the language. There are no signals that it’s going away, actually, the folks that can speak it, use it more often than not at home. So that suggests that the language is more than likely here to stay in perpetuity barring that there’s no cultural event that nullifies the use of Spanish language in the United States. So that’s the good news there that it’s all trends point to that it’s here to stay. However, with even with that 54% cohort that speaks very little, if any fluently, a decent percent, I think it’s 70 to 80%. respond to any organizations that acknowledge the fact that they are Hispanic. That is why I think the assumption that language and not culture being so important, is generally false. It is a cultural exercise. It’s not a language exercise. It just so happens that in the cultural exercise, you may use Spanish, or you may use an English or you may use both. But the acknowledgement and this happened post 2020, the trend actually reversed after 2020. I won’t get into why because that’s a whole other conversation. But after 2020, there was a massive trend reversal, especially with Gen Zers. That declared overwhelmingly that if a company speaks to them as a Hispanic, even if they don’t speak that much, that much Spanish, that they will more than likely defer to that company or respect that company or just have more affinity to that organization. I think that’s… it’s so nuanced. Right. And it’s an it’s not monolithic. But I think it speaks to how much there is yet to be learned about this cohort. It is. It’s just more complicated than the general market. That’s just what we find. It’s just more complex. But the opportunity’s there and all the all the numbers point to the opportunity. Absolutely staying and remaining, regardless of language adoption.

Christian Klepp  37:38

Yeah, yeah. Well, that those are, those are definitely very interesting statistics. And I think it’s going back to what you said earlier, it is a nuanced thing. But I think it’s also… it speaks volumes of like, where we see all of this going eventually and how this how this, call it what you will behavior or trend is going to evolve in the years to come. But people are readily embracing not just their linguistic identity, but also their cultural identity.

Hugo Gomez  38:11

Yes. Yes. Which is way more important to most persons of color, that whatever language they speak, it’s really just like the acknowledgement of the background. That’s the background.

Christian Klepp  38:22

Absolutely. Absolutely. Hugo, thank you so much for coming on the show and for sharing your experience and expertise with the listeners. I mean, I had a wonderful time. I mean, this was such a great conversation. Please a quick introduce yourself and help folks out there can get in touch with you.

Hugo Gomez  38:40

Yeah, Christian, this is awesome. Thanks for asking such, you know, nuanced questions and, and yeah, really going beyond surface level. I really appreciate that. My name is Hugo Gomez. I’m the founder of Abogados NOW, and Doctores NOW. These are agencies helping the medical and legal verticals market their practices to Hispanic speakers, rather Hispanic persons across the United States. We’re nationwide. And we also operate under Gente NOW (gentenow.com), which is the wing of our business that deals with everyone else outside of the legal and medical verticals. So if you’re looking to tap into the Hispanic community and on the B2B or B2C level, feel free to reach out to me at Hugo@abogadosNOW. You can also… I encourage you to please like really talk to other multicultural professionals across the US. We’re a growing community.

Christian Klepp  39:44

Fantastic, fantastic. And let me see. I’ve been practicing this before we hit record but… Approxima vez, Nosotros hablamos Espanol solamente.

Hugo Gomez  39:57

Se Bien. Gracias Christian.

Christian Klepp  40:04

I promise you, I’m going to brush up on my Spanish at some point.

Hugo Gomez  40:08

That was great. That was good.

Christian Klepp  40:09

But in the meantime, Hugo, thank you so much for your time. Take care. Stay safe and talk to you soon.

Hugo Gomez  40:15

You too Christian. Thanks so much, man. Talk soon.

Christian Klepp  40:18

Talk soon. Bye for now.

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