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The blog “Are Marketers Missing the Mark?” by Hispanic Market Weekly has stated that “An attitudes-based acculturation model provides a more focused lens for looking at Latinos and capturing the estimated $500 billion in purchasing power held by bicultural Hispanics” based on a report from Culturati Research & Consulting.
Let’s clarify that the largest percentage of bilingual Latinos/Hispanics do not need to acculturate; they enculturate instead. They acquire the culture in their first years of life through schooling and media in English. Acculturation is for people such as immigrants who move from one society or culture into another.
Ethnic marketing is prone to these wrong and misleading statements. Let’s also clarify that Hispanic marketers are not experts in cross-cultural theories or cultural anthropology and should not be haphazardly using terms that are outside their field or field-specific that they ignore. They need to either learn more about social sciences or leave such studies to the experts because they are “missing the mark.”
I am very please to have an echo on the fact that the more the number of Latinos/Hispanics in the U.S. increases, the more they need to be segmented because their complexity as well increases.
Last July, I submitted a research paper for possible publication at the Journal of Internationalisation and Localisation (JIAL) titled “Interactive Food & Beverage Marketing: Targeting Latino Youth in the Digital Age.” The study covered:
“Recent interest in the Latino/Hispanic population and culture has lead to fruitful research and increased attention on U.S. Latinos/Hispanics…. Marketing that targets Latino/Hispanic youth, has become promising, specialized, and lucrative. [This study] investigates the type of cultural knowledge marketing researchers are using to target Latino/Hispanic youth…. It explores how the ever-growing access to digital media changes the way the food and beverage companies do business with Latino/Hispanic youth” (Gonzalez, M.D., 2009, p. 4).
My findings show that Latinos/Hispanics specifically youth are creating a new “hybrid” culture which marketers need to take into account. They cannot effectively be reached by Spanish-only media nor are they being attracted to mainstream mass media because they do not culturally identify with it.
Marketers are loosing the mark of this large and continuously growing population of bicultural and bilingual digital media savvy generation if they do no pay attention to what matters to them. For instance, while they listen to the whole spectrum of music in English, from rock to hip pop, they also listen to “rancheras” (Mexican country music) by Vicente Fernandez.
The following information posted by Louis Pagan makes an interesting comparison on how Latinos/Hispanics continue to use their cultural strengths such as “being personal” and “sociable” while using media to network and advertise: http://louispagan.com/?p=453