Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Contract for Paper Topic

Having interned with Target Corporation for two years, I have become particularly interested in how companies target the Hispanic markets. I have always been fascinated by marketing and advertising efforts towards Hispanic men and women. Many of us have seen very effective commercials, but it is difficult to say which ethnicity they are targeting, if any. It is evident that a large majority of US retailers employ specific Hispanic marketing efforts, but these efforts can sometimes go unnoticed if the viewer can not pick up on them. Sometimes firms use Spanish at the wrong time or make the mistake of using the same strategies in Mexico as they do in Cuba, which are two separate Hispanic markets. I would also like to use my research to find out how the marketing efforts for targeting Hispanic men differ from that of Hispanic women and see what research is being used to seek insights of the Hispanic culture and their needs. I also hope that I will find a trend between many of the leading retailers in their successful Hispanic marketing strategies. My key focuses will include, but are not limited to, discovering success stories from various companies, looking at how much money different companies budget for the Hispanic markets, finding out if companies that are successful in targeting Hispanics are also successful in targeting other ethnicities, and researching how these companies track their success.

Looking at the history of the needs of Hispanics, it is easy to understand why Hispanics are a large part of the pie when it comes to consumer spending in the United States. We all know most Hispanic families are larger than the average family, and it’s no secret that Hispanics usually like to spend their money instead of save it. With that in mind, one would think that marketing to Hispanics would be a breeze because they are more likely to spend their money already. However, customer insights challenges remain in the Hispanic marketing departments of many companies. Sometimes these companies feel they know the needs of their Hispanic segment, but they are simply not addressing the need in a manner that Hispanics will respond to.

The book, Hispanic Marketing Grows Up by Juan Faura, compares Hispanic marketing to Occam’s Razor. When applying strategies to Hispanic marketing, the best approach is the simplest one according to Faura’s application of Occam’s Razor. Faura addresses the fact that many marketers today focus too much on the “Hispanicness” of their consumer instead of engaging the consumerism of the Hispanic culture. He believes that marketers are ready to move on to the next step in marketing Hispanic segments and shares primary information he attained while conducting interviews for his book. In order to understand the needs of the Hispanic market, we must also know where they came from and what kinds of challenges they are facing now. His book notes that mainstream America and assimilation are looked down upon in the Hispanic community, but many Hispanics know that some form of assimilation is necessary. Faura’s book also discusses why Hispanics often prefer advertisements to be in English and how to market to those bilingual individuals. As “the fastest growing, second largest, $600 billion-dollar buying power population in the United States1,” Hispanics are a large community to target and to discover new needs.

1Faura, J. (2006). Hispanic Marketing Grows Up: Exploring Perceptions and Facing

Realities. Paramount Market Publishing.

1 comment:

stephen said...

Tara - This looks great and totally fascinating. My only concern for you is that it might become too big. Feel free to scale back to specific topics as you go along and let me know if you want to meet at any point. Sounds great.