Beware the Professional Hispanic: Professional Hispanics are folks who are Hispanic and have chosen their ethnicity as their profession.

Beware the Professional Hispanic

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This is a post by Alberto Ferrer that I found to be so much along my lines of thought that I was compelled to post it on my blog. If you are interested in this subject you may read the article I authored: Finding the “right” Hispanic expertise for your company – May 2008

Thank you Alberto!!

Beware the Professional Hispanic: Professional Hispanics are folks who are Hispanic and have chosen their ethnicity as their profession.

Beware the Professional Hispanic: Professional Hispanics are folks who are Hispanic and have chosen their ethnicity as their profession.

In my previous post, I discussed the danger to clients of the mainstream agency’s Hispanic-acquisition practice of “poach the junior talent at Hispanic shops by promoting them beyond their capabilities.” Catchy, isn’t it? The point was that the same individual who a client might not have invited to planning meetings, for example, the next day might be in charge of that very planning.

A related practice exists in the client ranks and it is equally dangerous and even more pervasive in the industry. The practice is that of the Professional Hispanic vs. the Hispanic Professional.

Professional Hispanics have been around for a long time in the Hispanic Marketing world, but are becoming more widespread with the growth in importance and prevalence of Hispanic Marketing in organizations.

Professional Hispanic Defined

Professional Hispanics are folks who are Hispanic and have chosen their ethnicity as their profession. They have no specific expertise in Hispanic Marketing (or even marketing per se, for that matter) but rather ride the ethnicity of their name to define and build their career.

They can come from all walks of life in a client organization and from all levels. However, they are usually from junior levels because (a) the organizations that choose these folks to lead their Hispanic Marketing are usually companies that don’t value Hispanic that much and thus have these positions at relatively low levels in the organization, and (b) these same organizations are not those where Hispanics have reached high positions in the company.

Professional Hispanics usually see the market with very old-fashioned, traditional eyes (what they remember from growing up) rather than seeing it as the vibrant, ever-changing, dynamic, complex space it actually is. They tend to prefer things like street festivals and local radio. This is because they are not really marketers and thus do not continue learning about the market, changing with it, experimenting with it, etc. They continue using their personal experience as a filter, not realizing that their own selves 10 to 15 years ago are not the target.

Hispanic Professional Defined

Hispanic Professionals are good marketers who understand their target market, are experts in engaging with the target, exhibit savvy communications decision-making, etc. They just happen to be Hispanic and working in Hispanic Marketing at their organizations.

These folks have passion for what they do and believe in the potential of the Hispanic market. They usually come from marketing and communications backgrounds and have the experience and education of solid marketing professionals.

The key difference is that while Professional Hispanics ride their culture and ethnicity to career advancement, Hispanic Professionals leverage their efforts, experience and expertise. Do multicultural marketers have to belong to a particular ethnic group? That’s for another post.

I would defer to my fellow bloggers on this issue, but I would not be surprised if this issue was the same in terms of marketing to Black and Asian-American targets.

Appointing Professional Hispanics to these marketing posts is a risky proposition for clients. They are in effect putting a key portion of their marketing in the hands of unqualified people. They will end up with bland, ineffective, uninspired me-too marketing to Hispanics.

We all know how difficult it is to find good Hispanic Professionals in this tight talent environment. However, I strongly recommend to client organizations that they look harder and deeper for the right people, design the positions at the appropriate levels of responsibility and compensation, and monitor their performance more closely.

At our agency, when evaluating potential client relationships, this is one of the factors we consider. The multicultural markets are just too important to most companies’ bottom line to leave that up to folks whose only Hispanic expertise lies in their name or ethnicity. Invest in hiring the right people and enjoy the full benefits of the opportunity these markets have to offer

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Multicultural Marketing Technologist. Keynote speaker on culture, inbound marketing and Pinterest. Featured in CNN en Español, CNN, Adweek, AmEx Open Forum, Univision, Telemundo, HufPo, AARP Viva, among other media. Judge, Festival Iberoamericano Promociones (FIP)
9 replies
  1. Marcelo Di Franco
    Marcelo Di Franco says:

    Claudia, que tema!!!

    Things are changing FAST in our industry/market. The evident rising of Multicultural groups–especially Hispanics–is opening a few eyes, both in agencies and clients.

    This is good and bad:

    It’s GOOD because those marketers that have been ‘flirting’ with the Hispanic market for a while; now understand the need to assign real talent to this more-than-obvious-not-so-emerging segment of their businesses. In other words, organizations that did not value the importance of the Hispanic market in the past are beginning to move from hiring Professional Hispanics, to hiring Hispanic Professionals.

    It’s BAD, because as the market grows more and more businesses that are recently acknowledging the impact of the Hispanic market, have starting to hire Hispanics ‘like crazy.’
    There are General Market agencies that now understand that Millennials–the Boomers of tomorrow—are not white, or Hispanic or African American, but rather Multicultural: Tommy Hilfiger’s dream came true. There are also African American agencies that detected an opportunity to broad their Multicultural positioning and scope of business. And there are also small/medium clients which don’t want to miss the lucrative wave. All are adding Hispanics into their organizations; which–in most cases–are as Multicultural as having Irish and Italian last names in their payroll. So we can imagine the outcome…

    It won’t surprise me if the Professional Hispanic phenomenon still finds a place in payroll of these new players.

    Reply

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    RV>Target Latino- Beware the Professional Hispanic – [link to post] Good eye opener 4 those not fully versed. Good bite too. #latism

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    @ginaruiz @JaviervW Thanks for the RT! Beware the Professional Hispanic [link to post] #Latism via @TargetLatino

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    Good read RT @ginaruiz: RT @vistahispano: Excellent post by @TargetLatino on Beware the Professional Hispanic [link to post] #Latism

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    Excellent post by @TargetLatino on Beware the Professional Hispanic [link to post] #Latism

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    RT @vistahispano: Excellent post by @TargetLatino on Beware the Professional Hispanic [link to post] #Latism

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    Beware the Professional Hispanic | Hispanic Marketing Blog [link to post]

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    RT @TargetLatino: Beware the Professional Hispanic | Hispanic Marketing Blog [link to post]

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    RT @TargetLatino Beware the Professional Hispanic | Hispanic Marketing Blog [link to post] < Good resumes but no depth. #latism

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