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Blame it on our youth.

by Gus Razzetti on May 26, 2010

The Hispanic market is no longer in diapers. Now it’s facing the most fascinating yet challenging stage of its lifecycle: Adolescence. Struggling to balance the body (or size) of an adult with some habits and mindset typical of a child. From being totally dependent and protected; it’s now proud of being bigger, acting on its own and thinking independently of what’s going within both the mainstream market and other multicultural segments.

We, the Hispanic agencies, have been responsible for nurturing that small child and letting him grow spoiled and protected. Based on differences, language barriers and the “that won’t work on the Hispanic market” syndrome, we contributed to building the wall: Hispanic versus General Market.

We can blame it on our youth or we could start growing up, because if we want the market to mature, we should be the first to move in that direction.

At GlobalHue Latino, we realize that we need to help drive our market to a new stage of maturity; a balance between dependence and independence: interdependence. Having the ability to combine both differences and similarities. At the end of the day, they are two sides of the same coin.

Moving forward toward a mature role implies rethinking the way we drive the conversation around the Hispanic consumer and culture. Let’s start with some tips.

1. Let’s change the way we approach our target. Acculturation level, generation, language preference classifying the market into rigid segments without providing a clear understanding of our audience. A realistic up to date, more granular, face-to-face interaction with Latino consumers will help us move from stereotypes to deeper, realistic, thought provoking insights.

2. Being culturally relevant is not enough. As agencies, we are paid to provide effective solutions not simply to connect with multicultural segments. We are to provide results amongst Latino consumers.

3. Open the search beyond the Hispanic market. If the Latino segment interacts on a daily basis with the mainstream population why limit our conversation to simply Hispanic professionals. Let’s bring the best specialists in every field and let them interact with our experts and specialists.

4. Understand the environment of our consumer in the multicultural arena. What role is Hispanic playing in the changing face of America? What kind of interaction are we having with other segments like African American, Asian, Indian, etc? How can we leverage learnings from working with other multicultural segments and apply them to the Latino segment.

5. Let’s invite professionals and experts from other fields. Journalists, artists, psychologists, doctors, chefs. All of them interact with Latino at different levels and can provide eye opening insights and ideas. If we keep seeing the market through the same lens, we’ll continue seeing the same picture over and over.

6. Hispanic market isn’t what it used to be. We need to start questioning our own paradigm. Are we born into culture or do we choose culture? What does being Latino mean? Does being Latino impact the way we see our world? Do Latino artists (or marketing) get inspiration from Latino culture? Or does their art inspire culture? What’s the new shape of a segment that blends without blending?

This project we call Latinminds is our contribution to igniting a more open and mature conversation around the DNA of culture, trends and ideas. Let’s meet at the intersection between curiosity and passion. Join us on this journey.

Gustavo Razzetti

President @GlobalHue Latino

published in http://latinminds.wordpress.com

July 24th, 2009

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