Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Slow Week for Posting

This may be a slow week for postings. I’ve got my parents in town for my mother’s 60th birthday. They are going to do the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge train and then we’ll all do the Snowdown Follies.

Otherwise, I do want to add a little to the last video post. When you’re talking on camera largely unrehearsed you tend to forget a few things. Yes, overall I thought Tampico missed an opportunity to really leverage a touchpoint. And, while several of my critiques were universal and not specific to cultural marketing, I did forget to add that Tampico committed the cardinal sin of using a straight translation of the existing site into Spanish. They didn’t localize. Graphics are the same. Content is the same. Etc. At minimum, I thought that their Spanish language site should take into account the fact that it may serve a different demographic. As such, you’d think they’d use this to their advantage and provide an audience specific message.

Anyhow, I don’t have anything to really add today. If you’re in dire need of some content and interested, Durango was in a front page article on CNN: “Colorado's San Juan Mountains were socked with 30 inches of snow and wind gusts as high as 100 mph. In Durango, Colorado, about 340 miles southwest of Denver, even the sledding hills were at risk of avalanches after 18 inches of snow fell.” Needless to say, I’ve been snowboarding up at Purg all day.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Video Post on Tampico Case Study

Today I did a video post about the Tampico case study in Korzenny's book.

This is my first "real" video post so bear with me. In typical YouTube fashion, there's bad lighting, bad angles and an amateurish production. Yes, I also now know I say "umm" way too much. But, regardless, you have to start somewhere and this is a pretty good place to start. Enjoy.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Commonality of Accumulated Experiences Plus Market Size and Growth Potential

Today’s readings pick up where we left off last week – the idea that while the Hispanic market is ethnically and geographically diverse, there is a commonality of accumulated experiences. These experiences lend themselves to shared perceptions, motivations, beliefs and values that tend to be dominated the Spanish heritage, influence of Catholicism and common language.

Of those that are Hispanic, it’s interesting to learn that according to Korzenny 67% of all Hispanics in the US are of Mexican origin, followed by Puerto Ricans at 9%, Central Americans at 9%, South Americans at 5%, Cubans at 4% and Dominicans at 3%.

It's also important to point out that the Hispanic category can and should also be studied on the basis socioeconomic background (class, education, economic behavior) and immigration patterns (ie - initial immigration, geographic dispersion trends). While there is a commonality of experiences, distinguishing niches within the Hispanic market can obviously create opportunity in both the short term and long term.

As for market size and growth potential, I found this data from Entrepreneur.com to be pretty up to date: "According to HispanTelligence, Hispanic spending power has skyrocketed to $700 billion and is projected to reach as much as $1 trillion by 2010. The latest U.S. Census Bureau figures estimate the total U.S. Hispanic population at 42.7 million, making them the largest minority group in the country. They're also the fastest-growing group: From 2004 to 2005, the Hispanic population grew by 3.3 percent. By 2050, Hispanics are expected to reach 102.6 million and will constitute 24 percent of the nation's total population. Because of this intense growth, Kagan Research estimates that Hispanic advertising is expected to reach $5.5 billion in gross advertising revenue by 2010."

Lastly, I’d encourage everyone reading this to also reference the Census 2000 Special Reports We the People: Hispanics in the United States report by Roberto R. Ramirez. There are some extremely interesting facts available here for review.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Let's Dig In

Having set everything up and run through the nooks and crannies of implementing video, I’ve finally had a chance to sit down and crack open the book. I’m going to start off using Felipe Korzenny’s book.

Anyhow, I’ve been able to get into the reading a little bit. But, before we actually start talking about Hispanic marketing, I wanted to say that I received a blog comment from José in Buenos Aires. He informed me of and invited me to join the Latin Creations Facebook community. I’ve done so. Korzenny also mentioned the Asscociation of Hispanic Advertising Agencies. I’ve joined them as well.

Now, on to some of the topics worth discussing…

It makes sense that Korzenny would start off by talking about the importance of culture in marketing.

He does a great job of illustrating the idea of culture. I mean, what really is “culture”? Korzenny suggests that culture is the “cluster of intangible and tangible aspects of life that groups of humans pass to each other from generation to generation”. When you think about it, despite Anglo-America being a melting pot of nationalities, we are essentially socialized in a homogeneous environment due to the commonalities of our accumulated experiences. As such, our culture develops. In the same fashion, other cultures also develop in other communities and this certainly includes Hispanic culture. To illustrate the differences between Anglo culture and Hispanic culture, Korzenny gives a few really good examples. I’ll highlight one:

Red Dog, a beer popular among non-Hispanics, used a male dog that chased around the ladies in its advertisements. While the concept of a dog chasing the ladies was something most non-Hispanics could relate to, Hispanics didn’t connect. For Anglos, dogs are revered members of the family held in high regard. However, for Hispanics, dogs don’t have the same personal connection. More basic priorities take precedence to feeding and caring for a dog. Where the Anglo audience might think the ads were cool and leave with a positive impression of Red Dog beer, the Hispanic audience interpreted the ads totally different and didn’t find the intended meaning.

The next point I want to address, is why should we use a cultural approach to marketing? I mean, beyond the obvious answers of Hispanic market strength, market growth, etc., what is the value of a cultural approach to marketing? To me, quantifying and leveraging culture is another tool that helps me get to know my audience better and better enables me to deliver the best message possible. Furthermore, the beauty of online marketing is that we have the means to quantify. Analytics are such a precious resource that enables us to better understand markets. I not only know what country a person is from, I know tons of descriptors and even behaviors that ultimately give me insight into who this person is and also what this person wants. Armed with this information, I can customize messages down to city blocks and refine instantaneously based upon immediate feedback.

Anyhow, next week we'll continue moving forward. But, in closing for today, I simply wanted to provide a link to the AHAA’s research and rankings of total ad spend as measured by Hispanic spending. This is a great look at the percentage of Hispanic ad spend.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

First Video Post

So, for the purpose of doing this blog, I'm going to be trying to integrate in some video posts. The video post today is real basic - just a brief introduction such that I could test the process.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The First Post

First week of class. Shew. What a nice, long and well needed break from academics... Okay. Back to work.

In this first post for the class, I thought I’d lay out the framework for what I hope to accomplish and then offer some initial thoughts and concerns going into this independent study.

Obviously, from the title of the blog, I’ve chosen to do a class on Cultural Marketing and specifically focus on Hispanic Marketing Communication. I’ve modeled my class after Dr. Felipe Korzenny’s class at FSU titled Hispanic Marketing Communication: A Cultural Perspective. Dr. Korzenny is also an author of one of the books I'll be relying on. In addition to Dr. Korzenny's book, I'll be using Marketing to Hispanics by Terry Soto. Links to both of these books can be found on the right hand column of this page.

Anyhow, I'm simply going to answer some questions for this post.

Why study cultural marketing and why specifically the Hispanic market?

Over the course of the years, I've had several projects that included targeting an overall campaign to multiple geographies and multiple cultures. I'm sure I'll expand upon this more throughout the course of the semester; however, my experience lies largely in Asia with projects including Tata Young (Asia's Brittany Spears), the Art Institute's efforts to attract Asian students, Dusit Hotels and Resorts, JobDB, etc. What was interesting in doing each of these campaigns was how geography and cultures effect a marketing initiative. For instance, JobsDB's message wasn't merely translated from country to country, it was localized. Or, another pretty good example is how our Art Institute campaigns used significantly different messages for each location in America and then completely different messages abroad in the Asian markets we were targeting.

Therefore, while I have some experience in cultural marketing (or what we actually called geo-targeted marketing), I don't have experience in marketing to a Hispanic market.

Why the Hispanic market?

This is a question that answers itself. Obviously, the Hispanic market is the largest minority market in America. It's one of the fastest growing markets. And, the Hipanic market is one that particularly interests me.

What are my goals with this class?

That's a good question. I have a lot of goals but I think the following statement offers a pretty good summary: I want to begin to develop an understanding of the Hispanic market, its characteristics and how it is different from other cultural markets.

What are some concerns about Hispanic Marketing Communications?

Given that I have no formal training in cultural marketing (my experience was largely from trial and error), I'm interested in the academics of cultural marketing. I'm also interested to see good cultural marketing campaigns. However, what concerns me is that by targeting according to region, race, culture, etc, are we playing into stereotypes? What is our responsibility? For instance, should marketers be trying to reach unique ethnic markets without resulting to stereotypes and without producing a message that reinforces what some might consider stereotyping. Heck, at this point (first post), I don't even know that the above should be a consideration. However, I look at some ads aimed at certain ethnic markets and wonder if it is good business and morally acceptable that some of these ads often seem to perpetuate negative stereotypes.

Anyhow, with all concerns aside, I welcome all of you who might at some point read a post and I just wanted to say that I look forward to this blog and this semester. Hopefully, it will be as insightful as my Strategic Brand Management experience.