latino lingo

All things related to effective Hispanic marketing, Hispanic advertising and Hispanic public relations.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Teaching the next generation of Hispanic marketers lacking

The AP ran a story covered in the Star-Telegram in TX about how only a handful of schools, in particular business schools, are offering courses on how to market to Latinos.

While this isn't earth-shattering news, as the push for marketing to Hispanics exploded with the release of the 2000 U.S. Census data and universities usually very slow to adapt their curriculum, it does raise a very valid point about the succession planning for the next generation of Hispanic marketer.

As I've written before, including in my "do you need to be Hispanic to Market to Hispanics" posting, being of Latino origin alone is not enough. But, that's often what is occurring. The AP article has a quote from Felipe Korzenny, advertising and marketing professor at Florida State University that validates my point: "Simply because there's a Hispanic on staff doesn't mean that person understands all Hispanics and can judge the market in an objective way."

I would take that sentence a step further and contend that you also need to know a little something about marketing. Hello ... after all, it is Hispanic marketing we are talking about, not Hispanic understanding or Hispanic judging. Marketing is art and science, and having a knack for it isn't determined simply by the color of your skin, your national origin or your last name.

John Fernandes, president of the Tampa, Fla.-based Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business says in the article that he thinks classes "should teach students to consider ethnic origins when coming up with marketing strategies. But he disagrees with having one class devoted entirely to one group of people."

He goes on to say in the article, "The university is supposed to be a place for everyone. When we start breaking down into ethnicity, who do we leave out?"

While this point is debatable and a bit kumbaya in my opinion, his argument on how we should teach about ethnicity's influence on purchasing decisions is valid. After all, this is the key mistake being made by many companies today who assume the only barrier to reaching Latinos is language.


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