Understanding Hispanic Culture: A Recent Marketing Conference Reveals the Need to Reach Multiple Acculturation Levels Instead of Targeting One Large Group

Article excerpt

To truly connect with the Hispanic culture, companies must understand the different levels of acculturation. The question no longer is as easy as whether to send marketing materials in English or Spanish, but how to be the most appropriate to each segment of the Hispanic population to keep things in culture. It is also important to reach people the way they want to be reached, according to a new study revealed during a recent Hispanic marketing conference hosted by the Direct Marketing Association.

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"At the end of the day, they have to be sure they're doing culturally relevant messages. That doesn't necessarily mean Spanish or English, it could be bilingual, it could be Spanglish," says Sonya Suarez-Hammond, director of Yankelovich Research. "Seasoned marketers already are looking at ways to step up their efforts to more targeting and eventually 1-to-1 marketing. [They] are able to develop more savvy marketing efforts."

Suarez-Hammond provided a sneak peek at Yankelovich's "MONITOR Multicultural Marketing Study 2005," the results of which are set for release in June. It revealed that seasoned marketers don't only look at Hispanics as one huge group, but as a segment of people continuously evolving through various acculturation levels. "As more immigrants come into the marketplace, there's never going to be the traditional level of assimilation," Suarez-Hammond says. …