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.

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