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Despite the continued slump of the general economy, African-American and Hispanic economic clout continues to increase. According to a recent study by the Selig Center, African-American buying power topped $1.04 trillion last year and is growing faster than all other population segments combined since 2000. Nielsen reports that Hispanic buying power likewise has topped $1 trillion annually and is expected to grow another 50% by 2017. Over the next five years, Hispanics will account for 60% of U.S. population growth, and the number of Latino households earning more than $50,000 will double. Hispanics are also boosting the youth population; according to census data, more than 60% of all U.S. Hispanics are under age 35. With the largely Caucasian baby boomer generation poised to retire, the young Latino workforce takes on added importance. Therefore, it’s more important than ever to target-market to these demographics.
While manufacturers can’t and shouldn’t market to these diverse groups in the same way, there is one thing both groups have in common: they both frequent community and cultural events on a more regular basis than other parts of the population.
A company called Cosmetic Promotions has found that offering free samples at these types of events is a great way to improve sales and bounce consumers back to certain stores in their area. Some 89% of all first-time purchases are the result of a trial, so sampling is a great way to create a quick sales lift.