"Latinos are changing the way the country looks, feels, and thinks, eats, dances, and votes. From teeming immigrant meccas to small-town America, they are filling churches, building businesses, and celebrating this Latin heritage.... In America, a country that constantly redefines itself, the rise of Latinos also raises questions about race, identity, and culture and whether the United States will ever truly be one nation." (Larmer, pg. 50) This passage aptly describes the dawning of a new enlightenment' era in the United States. Marketers are beginning to focus on an emerging market known as the Hispanic/Latino community. The sheer strength of the Hispanic market can no longer be avoided as marketers are realizing that traditional methods of reaching a generalized market segment do not apply to the complex Hispanic culture.
In the last half of the 20th century, the size of the Hispanic market in America grew exponentially. Traditional attempts to capitalize on the Hispanic market failed in large part to stereotypes and cultural myths. A new focus was necessary to attract, reach and retain the market. In order tackle this potentially lucrative market, marketers need to understand the cultural attributes that define the Hispanic market. Their primary focus is to understand the statistical values that characterize the group. Census figures over the last thirty years clearly illustrate a pattern of growth, not only in population, but in wealth and education as well. Clearly, this is becoming a stronger, savvier and better-educated market. As marketers become better acquainted with the Hispanic market, they have found several attributes that are typical of the Hispanic culture and influence in America. They first need to understand that the term "Hispanic" is a broad generalization of several cultures and races, each with distinct characteristics and values. Once an understanding that many subcultures encompass the Hispanic community, marketers can disseminate the target market and address those characteristics shared amongst the Hispanic community. Level of acculturation, brand loyalty, language, religion and a strong sense of family are those shared traits that need further study in order to properly understand what Hispanics believe, care for and personify. Once a deeper comprehension of the Hispanic culture and their philosophy is reached, marketers can use those tools to direct their efforts into winning strategies. By understanding that Hispanics have a deep devotion to family, strong religious ties and a shared language, marketers can focus their campaigns towards addressing those traits and tap into an enormous market that wants, needs and listens to those who address their culture. Time will only tell if their efforts will produce the desired results, but they have surely discovered a sound foundation to begin with.
"Today 50% of all bookings at Radio City Music Hall are
Hispanic artists. Salsa outsells ketchup in the Midwest.
Nachos beat hot-dogs at movies. What's happening?
Simple: A cultural and marketing phenomenon known
as the U.S. Hispanic market."
-Bromely Aguilar Associates, media kit, 1999
With the changing face of America and the proliferation of the cultural melting pot', it's more important than ever to accurately pinpoint your audience. While many leading scholars have acknowledged the fact that Hispanics would become a hyper market within the next 20 years, the Hispanic revolution in America was triggered from the most unlikely of sources: the entertainment industry. In 1999, the incredible success of Ricky Martin into the mainstream pop music industry sparked a nationwide interest in the size and purchasing power of the Hispanic market. That Hispanics are hot is not at all surprising, it is becoming increasingly common to see aspects of the Hispanic culture popularized in the mainstream culture, with salsa outselling...