3 Marketing challenges Latina-owned businesses face

The Latino business community has made great strides over the years in terms of growth, recognition, and overall success. In fact, a study from the Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative found that the number of Latino business owners has grown by 34%, compared with the 1% growth rate for all other business owners in the US.

However, we could still do better. Currently, the number of Latino CEOs at Fortune 500 companies is still much less than it should be.  

But why is this the case? The answer may lie in how we market our businesses. Today, we’ll be discussing some marketing challenges Latina-owned businesses face, unknowingly or not, and how we can overcome them.

Balancing heritage with modern influences

When we talk about Latino roots, the main focus is always on our heritage. We’re proud of who we are and would like to spread the Latino brand across other communities. This means that most Latina-businesses are focused on Latino textiles, family-owned creations, and other Hispanic-inspired creations. But things move on. If you want to attract customers from this era, then you have to modernize your branding. A good example of a business that has successfully navigated this marketing challenge is Luna Magic Beauty, a Latina-owned beauty business, which sells make-up for Latina skin. They make clever use of hashtags and Instagram to get their name out to the wider world.


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Other modern influences you can take advantage of to beat this marketing challenge include but are not limited to: creating a minimalist logo, investing in professional photography to use for social media, and using apps when applicable. It’s a different approach for everyone, so find out how you can take your culture-inspired business into the future.

Naming the business

A business’ name is one of the foundations of their image. As such, you want yours to be influenced by your Latino roots, but not too much that it seems that you’re only catering to Latinos. Plus, some traditional Latino naming conventions could prove dangerous to your business, as it affects how it’s structured.

For instance, since family and tradition is a big part of our culture, plenty of Latino-owned businesses have their real names as their business name. The only way you can do this is if you’re a sole proprietor. However, this can be dangerous as The Balance states that sole proprietors cannot separate their personal and business assets. This means they will be liable to use their own money to pay for business damages. On the other hand, ZenBusiness notes that LLC owners have more restrictions. Some words like “savings” and “engineering” need proper licenses before they can be used. LLCs also separate personal and business taxes, so using your own name as the company name will only complicate your paperwork.

To keep the family imagery of a Latina-owned business alive, you can put your first or last name next to a Latino word to let the customer know what your business is about. “Tia Chucha’s Centro Cultural” and “Ella’s Eve Cosmetics” are good examples. You could name part of your business in a local language as well to highlight its Latino origins like “Herbal Hermanas Co.”

Marketing to a general audience

Just because you’re Latino, doesn’t mean that your business has to cater to just Latinos. If you want to grow it, then you have to expand your market. Have you ever wondered how brands like Apple and Nike grew to the size that they are today? Quality products may be a huge factor, but most of the success is attributed to branding. These companies have worked hard to create unique identities that appeal to a select but huge customer demographic.

Instead of marketing to the Latino community, broaden your scope and target a particular group with similar interests. Lenita by Grita is a Latina-owned business that sells Hispanic flowers and floral arrangements. Anybody looking to give flowers to a loved one can buy their products.

Another good example is Majestic Bliss Soaps. This Latina-owned business advocates for vegan and cruelty-free products. You don’t have to be part of the Latino community to be on board with that kind of branding.

Again, the type of approach that you can go with depends on the nature of your business. Find an idea that brings your market together and you’re well on your way to reaching out to a global audience.

Latino-owned businesses are thriving, but we could do so much more if we just expanded our business’ reach. Keep these marketing challenges in mind. Watch out for modern trends, name your business appropriately, and cater to a broader demographic so that the Latino influence can reach others around the globe. 


Havi Goffan the genie behind Target Latino

Claudia "Havi" Goffan, principal at Target Latino

Claudia “Havi” Goffan, principal at Target Latino

The Latino market is an ever evolving moving target that companies aim at with varying results. Finding a tool that would uncover the spending habits of your desired Hispanic audience is almost grabbing the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Target Latino has long developed a methodology to identify Hispanics online independently of their language or level of acculturation.

Because of its bilingual, bicultural and multi-layered nature, Hispanics have been the focus of numerous market research strategies. Following trend after trend, and many times (miss) guided by Hispanic advertising agencies, American companies have tried and erred on their quest to grab and hold this slippery fish.

“However, numbers don’t lie,” said Havi Goffan, multicultural marketing technologist and principal at Target Latino. “Our proprietary technology can identify Hispanics’ online habits –independently of the language they use– to be applied to ad monitoring and ad tracking. We also provide analytics of Hispanic targeted online advertising. Our exclusive intellectual property also allows for segmentation by country of origin, gender and age group,” she explained.

 Who is Claudia “Havi” Goffan? what-is-inbound-marketing-435x1030

An 18-year old curious woman about computers in Argentina few decades ago was not a common occurrence –I know because I am from the “pampas” – but rarer if she was interested in applying computer technology to marketing. Whaaaaat?

“Although I graduated with an MBA from the University of Buenos Aires (UBA), Argentina, and from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), I took my very first information technology class at the University of Buenos Aires back in 1978. I was interested in it not really as a career but as a field that allowed me to master certain tools. I took International Marketing classes concurrently with Artificial Intelligence (AI),” said Havi to LIBizus.

This fascination with business technology and marketing carried her over to the place she is today. An international keynote speaker and expert marketing technologist on culture, inbound marketing, content, SEO and Pinterest strategies, visionary Havi positioned her company around inbound marketing after the upheaval created by the 2000 Census. “It was crazy, every American company wanted to target Latinos,” she said.

She recognized the power of cultural knowledge as one of the pillars, together with technology and business savvy, in capturing the Hispanic market. “Instead of broadcasting a message to a market that might or might not be interested in what you have to offer, you get ready to be found when they are looking for you,” she explained.

Inbound marketing seems simple but we know not everybody can make it to the first page of Google results, much less for the same keyword,” Havi said. And inbound marketing is much more than Search Engine Optimization (SEO), email marketing, and blogging, she shared.

According to Target Latino research, over 42M Hispanics – or more than 65 percent of the U.S. Latino population – are online and 87 percent of user-generated search engine queries click on organic search results.

“Whatever it is that they are looking for, the Internet has changed the way Latinos decide what to buy and who to buy from. There are only 10 places on Google’s first page. It’s not just about language anymore; it is about culture and relevance,” Havi explained.

Here are some stats Havi shared with LIBizus:

  • B2B companies that create content have 67% more leads per month than those who do not. (Social Media B2B)
  • 80% of the people ignore Google paid ads (Search Engine Land)
  • 75% of the online population never go further than the first page of search engines results (Hubspot)
  • People want to be in control of the content they receive: 86% skip commercials, 44% of direct mail goes unopened. (Content Marketing Institute)
  • Articles with images have 94% more views (Content+)
  • Around 60% of the population has a visual style of learning
  • 58% of consumers trust editorial content.

“Companies need to develop everything and anything that will drive the prospect to them when THEY are searching for their products or services. Unfortunately, most companies still don’t get it and continue to practice outbound marketing. And here is one more reason to grasp: According to Search Engine Journal, inbound leads are 60 percent less expensive than outbound leads,” Havi concluded.

She has been recognized as an expert in Latino Marketing by CNN en Español, and featured in CNN, Adweek, AmEx Open Forum, Univision, Telemundo, HuffPo, AARP Viva, Abasto Media, and others.