Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Literature Insights for Hispanic Marketing

I am happy to announce that the Florida State University Center for Hispanic Marketing Communication released today a paper by Holly McGavock with my collaboration. This paper shows how insights from popular Latin American and US Hispanic literature can inspire marketing and advertising. This is an important first effort at systematizing the link between popular culture and marketing to US Hispanics. The full paper can be found at

In McGavock’s words “Marketing messages are designed to travel to the consumer‘s heart and mind. Today, marketing communication is found everywhere, from subway walls to cell phones to internet sites to the television programs and movies we see on a daily basis. Consumers have learned, for the most part, how to tune out messages which don‘t appeal to or connect with them. Marketing, then, is becoming a much more sophisticated practice which requires practitioners to have an intimate knowledge of their consumers in order to connect with them on a deeper level. This is further evidenced by the increased presence of account planners in advertising agencies, whose job it is to find the insights in market research which help creatives make advertising which breaks through the clutter to reach consumers.

The same concept also applies to Hispanic marketing. For many years advertisers were able to sell their products simply by translating ―general market‖1 advertisements into Spanish and advertising on Spanish-language television networks. However, as spending in Hispanic marketing has grown, this market too has grown cluttered with advertisements, leading Hispanics in the US to feel overwhelmed by the number marketing messages and available information sources. Account planners are now popping up in the major Hispanic advertising agencies across the US. Their goal, like the goal of those in the general market, is to understand consumers and translate that understanding into insightful communication with consumers.

Much research has been done regarding the character, values and beliefs of US Hispanics. However, the search for insights requires looking for new and non-traditional sources of information. The culture of a people manifests itself in many different areas, all of which are of interest to marketers looking to understand consumers. Culture manifests itself in, among other things, traditions, clothes, music and literature. A closer examination of the literature of a people can reveal much about its culture. Furthermore, literature has the advantage of allowing the reader to experience the story as if he or she were actually a part of it. “