Hispan…er, Multicult…Does It Matter What We Call It?

May 29, 09 Hispan…er, Multicult…Does It Matter What We Call It?

We wanted to share some food for thought on a topic that may seem trivial on the surface, but in reality, can be quite meaningful, at least in our experience.  We would like to explore how we might open our minds and expand our vocabulary with regards to what we call marketing to the Hispanic consumer.  The end goal of this discussion is to get you thinking about how your organization, or an organization you are working with, views the Hispanic market and how some flexibility in your lexicon may help you become more effective in communicating and growing the Hispanic marketing opportunity.

Now, we realize that most of our faithful readers are working in organizations that are fully committed to the Hispanic marketing opportunity, and as such probably freely use terms like Multicultural Marketing or Hispanic Marketing.  These are the terms we tend to use most often, as they are very clear and succinct about what we are trying to accomplish – marketing to the Multicultural or Hispanic consumer.

In some cases, we have worked with organizations that could be categorized as “slower adopters” of the Hispanic opportunity.  In these instances, we have started the dialogue and peeled back the opportunity by referring to it as Emerging Markets.  Indeed, this is a term that we have found to be successful as it promotes the future opportunity, which is what some organizations are better able to embrace.

Alternatively, we also have found success by defining it as Segment Marketing.  Most organizations are quite sophisticated in their overall marketing strategies, often equipped with extensive information about various segment opportunities.  We have found that referring to the Hispanic market as a segment makes the conversation much more relatable to their current marketing practices.

In a few rare cases, we have found that being even more creative in the way that we refer to the opportunity can help start dialogues that otherwise wouldn’t have existed.  For example, we have rolled up the Hispanic market opportunity in conversations as Regional Marketing, taking advantage of the geographic concentration of the Hispanic consumer.

While there are certain to be “purists” out there that would find all of these definitions to be less than desirable, or maybe even downright disappointing, we wanted to share these ideas because it comes back to the fundamental principle of marketing – understanding your audience.  In these cases, understanding the internal audience and the corporate culture can ultimately help lead to successful marketing to the external audience of Hispanic consumers.

Looking ahead, as the market continues to evolve, and sub-segments develop into sizeable opportunities (think bicultural teens), it’s likely that we will see additional names emerge that address these new opportunities.  Are there other terms that have helped you have this conversation that weren’t covered here?  If so, we would love to hear from you.

Until then, happy “Multhispemermental” marketing!

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