Perspectives

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A paradigm shift of multicultural proportions

Virtually every industry sector needs to start preparing for when the ‘minorities’ become the majority

By Amalia Moreno-Damgaard
Tue, 2016-11-29 10:20

The year 2017 will be a breakthrough time for many U.S. companies as they come to the realization that in order to compete and grow, they must take advantage of the fastest-growing demographic and market, which remains largely untapped by many businesses, despite its potential. Retailers, sports, nonprofits and other organizations will finally come to grips as they recognize the sheer size and impact of the Latin market.

At 56.5 million, or 17.6% of the population, lies a market opportunity expected to grow to $1.7 trillion by 2020. Not far behind is the second largest-growing group, the Asian market, reaching $1.1 trillion by the same year. We are progressing to a time when the United States will be a minority-majority country. While a great number of the population keeps aging, that trend is reversing and producing a paradigm shift of unprecedented multicultural proportions as Latins and other minorities tend to have bigger families.

Dramatic shifts in population are good for business as they energize and stimulate the economy by enticing corporations to stay competitive and reach new targets. These fluctuations can also create temporary chaos for local businesses while they try to cope with the quick changing needs of their employee base, customers and partners. Many companies and the healthcare industry are struggling with limited or complete lack of resources that allow them to serve and reach multicultural markets. There is not a one-size-fits-all solution.

Minnesota is a resilient, dynamic and progressive state, open to new things and quick to adapt to changing conditions, but it is not up to speed with the level of understanding needed to deal with diverse demographics. Taking advantage of the current trends requires thinking outside the box and a close study of what is going on in this area and beyond. Strategy dictates looking at many factors affecting current business practices and the economy, and other strong influences such as millennials, changing tendencies in PR and marketing and social media, consumer behavior and perception, and more.  

Statistics source: U.S. Census Bureau

Quick strategies for companies and entrepreneurs to reach new talent, clients or markets

  • Integrate more diversity into management and executive board
  • Establish a multicultural community advisory board
  • Achieve cultural competence and take a crash course on Latin business etiquette
  • Look for specific talent in Latin or Asian professional organizations
  • Join local international or global organizations with expats and members from business and foreign dignitaries and diplomat sectors
  • Hire a multicultural workforce, form internal groups, and tap into specific talents, conduct ideation sessions and innovate with incentive-driven competitions
  • Integrate bilingual systems and multicultural understanding education within strategic planning and deliver this information from the top down
  • Hire strategic consultants with big visions and backgrounds in international business and global travel experience who are multilingual and multicultural
  • Make a deliberate effort to adapt internal systems to supporting the needs of a diversified employee base
  • Reach new clients with bilingual or multilingual communications via social media marketing campaigns, blogs and interactive press releases
  • Establish a bilingual or multilingual presence online
  • Tap into the insight of executives who travel internationally

BIO

Amalia Moreno-Damgaard is an internationally recognized, award-winning author and chef entrepreneur who consults and builds strategies for global food companies and nonprofit organizations, developing products and acting as brand ambassador, spokesperson and creating PR/marketing campaigns for successful high-end galas and fundraising events. Her mission is to bridge the knowledge gap of Latin American culture in the United States while creating awareness about cultural nuances and educating companies and individuals through bilingual speaking and writing, strategic consulting and fun healthy gourmet culinary experiences.