New report from AT&T and Language Line Services shows 27.6 million have trouble with English, are underserved and offer great sales potential

MONTEREY, Calif., Dec. 14, 2010—Businesses in telecommunications, financial services, utilities and insurance that offer customer service in the native language of the consumer will be the biggest winners as the stalled economy begins to move in 2011, according to a new joint report from AT&T* and Language Line Services, the leading provider of language-based solutions.

The report, which cites the example of Hewlett Packard with a reported 85 percent sales increase from a targeted multicultural campaign**, points to the significant buying power of the nation’s limited English speaking population. U.S. Hispanic purchasing power will reach $1.3 trillion by the year 2014, the report forecasts (Selig Center for Economic Growth, University of Georgia). The combined buying power of the Hispanic, Black, Asian and Native American communities is already more than $1.5 trillion. One in every six Americans (46.9 million) in the country is Hispanic.

“Organizations have a competitive opportunity to reach the 9 percent of the U.S. population that has trouble with the English language (U.S. Census 2000). That’s more than 27.6 million people who could be potential customers. Yet, 40 percent of companies say they don’t understand the financial value of multicultural groups to their bottom lines,” said Louis Provenzano, President and COO of Language Line Services.

“This isn’t business as usual. It’s a buyer’s market, and many buyers speak one of 170 different languages and dialects in the U.S. By providing integrated in-language services throughout the sales, fulfillment and customer service process, organizations help attract and retain customers and enjoy a significant competitive advantage. Multiple studies verify that goods or services have greater probability of selling and fostering loyalty if they are promoted and supported in the customer’s language,” Provenzano said.

The number of immigrants more comfortable speaking their native language when buying has grown by 25 million U.S. residents in the past 35 years, and every 19 seconds, another immigrant enters the country with limited ability to speak English, according to the report.

According to the report, these numbers simply cannot be ignored. And yet many businesses are doing just that. This multicultural population that presents such great buying potential is the same population that is so vastly underserved.

Other findings from the AT&T/Language Line Services report on language include:

  • The U.S. immigrant population is expected to double from 25 million to 50 million between 2000 and 2050. At this rate today’s minority population will become the majority by 2050.
  • 60 percent of Asian Americans—which includes Chinese, Indian, Korean, Filipino, Vietnamese, and Japanese Americans—now earn an annual income of $60,000 or higher, and 44 percent over the age of 25 have college degrees. The projected 2014 buying power of Asian Americans is $697 billion.
  • Asian buying power also has the second-fastest projected rate of growth, slightly behind that of Hispanic purchasing clout.
  • Hispanics became the largest ethnic group in the U.S. six years earlier than initially projected. In 2009 the total Hispanic spending power reached $978 billion.
  • Multicultural marketing now enables organizations to reach the 23 percent of Hispanic households and 30 percent of Asian households across the nation that were previously considered “linguistically isolated.”

To view the full AT&T/Language Line Joint Report, visit http://www.languageline.com/wpmulticultural

*  AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc.

** 2009 ANA Multicultural Marketing & Diversity Conference presentation

About AT&T

AT&T Inc. is a premier communications holding company. Its subsidiaries and affiliates - AT&T operating companies - are the providers of AT&T services in the United States and around the world. With a powerful array of network resources that includes the nation’s fastest mobile broadband network, AT&T is a leading provider of wireless, Wi-Fi, high-speed Internet and voice services. A leader in mobile broadband, AT&T also offers the best wireless coverage worldwide, offering the most wireless phones that work in the most countries. It also offers advanced TV services under the AT&T U-verse® and AT&T | DIRECTV brands. The company’s suite of IP-based business communications services is one of the most advanced in the world. In domestic markets, AT&T Advertising Solutions and AT&T Interactive are known for their leadership in local search and advertising. In 2010, AT&T again ranked among the 50 Most Admired Companies by FORTUNE® magazine.

About Language Line Services

Language Line Services, the global leader in telephone interpreting and language solutions, serves clients in government, healthcare, telecommunications, financial services, utilities, insurance and many other industries by quickly connecting them to their customers, patients and sales prospects in more than 170 spoken languages as well as American Sign Language (ASL) and Mexican Sign Language (LSM). Growth of the language interpreting industry has soared with increased immigration and government regulatory policies mandating that organizations provide services to limited English speakers in their own languages. Language Line Services is recognized as a trusted partner to thousands of public and private organizations throughout the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, providing easy access to the industry’s fastest language interpreting service at highly competitive rates. For more information about Language Line Services’ suite of telephone, on-site and video interpreting, document translation, interpreter assessment and training programs, please call (800) 752-6096 or visit http://www.languageline.com.

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