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Culture Code for Money: The Insider’s Guide

Hispanics represent over $1 trillion in household disposable income. It’s time to understand their culture code for Money. This article covers: the definition of culture codes and biculturalism; the code for money for American, Latin American and Hispanic American markets, its affect on marketing to financial and banking industry products; and a suggested segmentation of the U.S. Hispanic market for this particular industry.

Culture Code for Money - The Insider’s Guide

Culture Code for Money – The Insider’s Guide

Besides their sheer numbers and outstanding growth, the Hispanics’ over $1 trillion in household disposable income make them extremely appealing to Financial institutions. 14.5% of U.S. Hispanics can be considered affluent with incomes over $75,000. Still, many may perceive Hispanics to be mainly lower income even though approximately one in five Hispanics live in poverty. Hispanics bear noticeable differences from their non‐Hispanic white counterparts for financial products preferences. Further, Hispanic Americans lag behind with regard to breadth and depth of financial assets, particularly riskier but usually higher return asset classes. By the same token, the preferences for different financial products and services vary for Hispanic Americans based on their income level, education, country of origin, and number of years that they or their families have been in the U.S.

It’s time to understand their culture code for Money.

What is a Culture Code?

A culture code is the representation of our cultural understanding of a physical or abstract object. A full set of culture codes form the cultural unconscious, which is hidden from our own understanding, but is seen in our actions.

These culture codes or mental structures are formed at an early age and these strong imprints placed in people’s subconscious are determined by the culture in which they are raised. This is why people from different cultures have such different reactions to the same things.

American Culture Code for Money

First, let’s cover the definition of the culture code for money.

Dr. Clotaire Rapaille, the renowned anthropologist states that “the notion that we “come from nothing” pervades America. In a sense, we have the poorest rich people in the world, because even those who accumulate huge sums of money think like poor people. They continue to work hard, they continue to focus on cash flow and expenses, and they continue to struggle to earn more.”

But thinking of Americans as worried only about money is a misconception. To Americans money isn’t a goal in and of itself. It symbolizes a measure of how far they’ve come and how much was achieved. Money show us who the big winners are, therefore, the American Culture Code for money is PROOF.

Hispanic Culture Code for Money

Hispanics are risk averse. This changes with new generations being born in the U.S. You don’t talk about money and the risks associated with financial instruments and unstable economies.

Let’s examine the Latino culture in Latin America, where money is not proof of achievements or self-worth but a taboo. In Latin America, just like in Europe, there’s very little movement between economic classes. The children of professionals become professionals, the children of business owners become business owners and, for the most part, people stay within their class. Therefore money stops being proof to become something unpleasant you do not speak about.

In the United States speaking about money does not carry the same negative connotation than in Latin America, where doing so (speaking about money) in front of others or with others of same, higher or lower means is considered vulgar.

There is a also belief in Latin American culture that you can strike it rich with a fabulous (and easy to implement) idea. This notion is very much in line with the Hispanic fatalistic outlook in life where the belief is that things are predestined to be or to happen. The idea being that no matter what my origin or inherited resources, one can achieve financial success, not by hard work but by serendipitous means.

Therefore, the Latino culture code for money is LUCK. You got lucky to have been born into money, or lucky to have struck gold. Maybe you got lucky because you married somebody with money.

Among Latinos, the culturally accepted way to indicate wealth and material success is by owning the latest technology, wearing the latest fashion (designer, of course) or a high end luxury car. These are all symbols that enable people to demonstrate their wealth without having to talk about it. This is the exact opposite to the U.S. culture, where comfort rules and people wear what they prefer without worrying about being judged as successful or not for it.

US-born Hispanics Culture Code for Money

Let’s analyze the impact of both culture codes on U.S.-born Hispanics and highly acculturated ones. We will notice a dichotomy of thought that is accentuated the more the Latin and American culture codes are incorporated into their acculturation and enculturation process.

This process does not mean switching one cultural more for another. Changing mores would imply a process of assimilation whereas adopting and incorporating a new more implies a process of acculturation. What takes place inside of the bicultural persons’ brain is cultural frame-switching (CFS.) Cultural values switch, one taking prevalence over the other at different times to evaluate a message or situation. As a bicultural person, one can feel more comfortable speaking about money while looking at the situation from one’s culture perspective or feel less comfortable when perceiving and interpreting through the other culture, all thanks to cultural frame-switching.

The concept of cultural frame switching (CFS) or double consciousness was made popular by W.E.B Du Bois and focuses on how an individual switches between cultural frames of reference in response to a stimuli or to their environment.

“Individuals who integrate two cultures into their identity often attach cultural meaning systems to a framework that can be elicited by the language, icons, or stereotypes of that culture. Bilingual biculturals, when primed for a framework, may switch compatibly or incompatibly with the cultural frame elicited.” — Cultural frame switching and cognitive performance by Miriam Walsh, Ed.S., California Sate University, Fresno, 2011, 104 pages; 3458356

A good way to measure acculturation level for Latinos is how comfortable they become about speaking about money and less comfortably about sex.

American Hispanic Market Segments for the Financial Industry

While understanding the culture code for money pertaining to any culture is key for the marketing of any product and service, this need becomes heightened when we talk about the Financial and Banking industry.

We have identified 5 Hispanic market segments for Hispanics over 18 years of age who reside in the United States and are bicultural. It is important to highlight that biculturalism does not go hand in hand with bilingualism. Different strategies may have to be developed for these segments and for specific financial products or services these segments may have to be merged or split even further.

“Although the terms “bicultural” and “bilingual” are often seen together in the same text, there is very little work that attempts to encompass them into one reality, bicultural bilinguals. This paper takes up a number of themes that pertain to bicultural bilinguals, most notably how they are described in the literature, how they become both bilingual and bicultural, and how their languages and cultures wax and wane over time. Other aspects discussed are their linguistic and cultural behaviour as bicultural bilinguals, how they identify themselves both linguistically and culturally, as well as their personality as bicultural bilinguals. An effort is made whenever possible to bridge the gap between the two components that make up bicultural bilinguals – the linguistic and the cultural – and to show how the questions that interest linguists when studying bilinguals can be taken up and adapted by researchers examining cultural issues, and vice versa.” — François Grosjean, Université de Neuchâtel, Avenue du Premier-Mars 26, 2000 Neuchâtel, Switzerland.

These segments range from low-income Hispanics who can only access second-chance lending mortgages, prepaid or debit cards and basic savings accounts to high-income Hispanic Americans interested in more complex investments, mortgages and home equity loans.

In addition, language becomes a key factor in communicating and engaging with each segment. A large number  of Hispanics prefer to do business in English, particularly since the Spanish version of most financial literature existent in the U.S. misses out on detail and key disclosures that directly affect the financial transaction. Some companies make the horrible mistake of sending translated information to prospects and/or customers based only on whether their last name seems to be “Hispanic-like.”

Financial Industry Hispanic market Segments

Financial Industry Hispanic market Segments

To give you an idea of how attractive this market is, we think it’s worth mentioning the Underserved market. The “underserved” market represents more than 88 million individuals and nearly $1.3 trillion in wages.

Financial Industry Hispanic market segments characteristics and size

Financial Industry Hispanic market segments characteristics and size

It is important to highlight that biculturalism does not go hand in hand with bilingualism. Different strategies may have to be developed for the segments presented and, for specific financial products or services, these segments may have to be merged or split even further.

More about Hispanic Market Segmentation

————————————————

Target Latino has studied the U.S. Hispanic population, the Latin American and U.S. non-Hispanic, their online and offline behavior, for over 30 years, even before the Hispanic market was first “discovered.” As a result, we’ve developed proprietary methodologies that enable us to identify and segment Hispanics, online or offline, by age, gender, country and region of origin. We specialize in the identification of culture codes for the Hispanic market.

Cultural Insights & Cultural Differences


Uncovered Facts About Online Hispanic Women and their Media Usage
Hispanic Millennials
When it comes to a kid's television-viewing habits, the mom's language can matter.
Six out of 10 Hispanics are U.S.-born
Fannie Mae Launches New HomePath.com in Spanish Aimed at Helping More Hispanics Buy Homes

Be yourself. Sometimes it's easy to lose who we are... Once you get the real "you" back, happiness follows.

Be yourself. Sometimes it’s easy to lose who we are… Once you get the real “you” back, happiness follows.

Next Quote? funny inspirational quotes on every post!

Culture Code for Money: The Insider’s Guide

Hispanics represent over $1 trillion in household disposable income. It’s time to understand their culture code for Money. This article covers: the definition of culture codes and biculturalism; the code for money for American, Latin American and Hispanic American markets, its affect on marketing to financial and banking industry products; and a suggested segmentation of the U.S. Hispanic market for this particular industry.

Culture Code for Money - The Insider’s Guide

Culture Code for Money – The Insider’s Guide

Besides their sheer numbers and outstanding growth, the Hispanics’ over $1 trillion in household disposable income make them extremely appealing to Financial institutions. 14.5% of U.S. Hispanics can be considered affluent with incomes over $75,000. Still, many may perceive Hispanics to be mainly lower income even though approximately one in five Hispanics live in poverty. Hispanics bear noticeable differences from their non‐Hispanic white counterparts for financial products preferences. Further, Hispanic Americans lag behind with regard to breadth and depth of financial assets, particularly riskier but usually higher return asset classes. By the same token, the preferences for different financial products and services vary for Hispanic Americans based on their income level, education, country of origin, and number of years that they or their families have been in the U.S.

It’s time to understand their culture code for Money.

What is a Culture Code?

A culture code is the representation of our cultural understanding of a physical or abstract object. A full set of culture codes form the cultural unconscious, which is hidden from our own understanding, but is seen in our actions.

These culture codes or mental structures are formed at an early age and these strong imprints placed in people’s subconscious are determined by the culture in which they are raised. This is why people from different cultures have such different reactions to the same things.

American Culture Code for Money

First, let’s cover the definition of the culture code for money.

Dr. Clotaire Rapaille, the renowned anthropologist states that “the notion that we “come from nothing” pervades America. In a sense, we have the poorest rich people in the world, because even those who accumulate huge sums of money think like poor people. They continue to work hard, they continue to focus on cash flow and expenses, and they continue to struggle to earn more.”

But thinking of Americans as worried only about money is a misconception. To Americans money isn’t a goal in and of itself. It symbolizes a measure of how far they’ve come and how much was achieved. Money show us who the big winners are, therefore, the American Culture Code for money is PROOF.

Hispanic Culture Code for Money

Hispanics are risk averse. This changes with new generations being born in the U.S. You don’t talk about money and the risks associated with financial instruments and unstable economies.

Let’s examine the Latino culture in Latin America, where money is not proof of achievements or self-worth but a taboo. In Latin America, just like in Europe, there’s very little movement between economic classes. The children of professionals become professionals, the children of business owners become business owners and, for the most part, people stay within their class. Therefore money stops being proof to become something unpleasant you do not speak about.

In the United States speaking about money does not carry the same negative connotation than in Latin America, where doing so (speaking about money) in front of others or with others of same, higher or lower means is considered vulgar.

There is a also belief in Latin American culture that you can strike it rich with a fabulous (and easy to implement) idea. This notion is very much in line with the Hispanic fatalistic outlook in life where the belief is that things are predestined to be or to happen. The idea being that no matter what my origin or inherited resources, one can achieve financial success, not by hard work but by serendipitous means.

Therefore, the Latino culture code for money is LUCK. You got lucky to have been born into money, or lucky to have struck gold. Maybe you got lucky because you married somebody with money.

Among Latinos, the culturally accepted way to indicate wealth and material success is by owning the latest technology, wearing the latest fashion (designer, of course) or a high end luxury car. These are all symbols that enable people to demonstrate their wealth without having to talk about it. This is the exact opposite to the U.S. culture, where comfort rules and people wear what they prefer without worrying about being judged as successful or not for it.

US-born Hispanics Culture Code for Money

Let’s analyze the impact of both culture codes on U.S.-born Hispanics and highly acculturated ones. We will notice a dichotomy of thought that is accentuated the more the Latin and American culture codes are incorporated into their acculturation and enculturation process.

This process does not mean switching one cultural more for another. Changing mores would imply a process of assimilation whereas adopting and incorporating a new more implies a process of acculturation. What takes place inside of the bicultural persons’ brain is cultural frame-switching (CFS.) Cultural values switch, one taking prevalence over the other at different times to evaluate a message or situation. As a bicultural person, one can feel more comfortable speaking about money while looking at the situation from one’s culture perspective or feel less comfortable when perceiving and interpreting through the other culture, all thanks to cultural frame-switching.

The concept of cultural frame switching (CFS) or double consciousness was made popular by W.E.B Du Bois and focuses on how an individual switches between cultural frames of reference in response to a stimuli or to their environment.

“Individuals who integrate two cultures into their identity often attach cultural meaning systems to a framework that can be elicited by the language, icons, or stereotypes of that culture. Bilingual biculturals, when primed for a framework, may switch compatibly or incompatibly with the cultural frame elicited.” — Cultural frame switching and cognitive performance by Miriam Walsh, Ed.S., California Sate University, Fresno, 2011, 104 pages; 3458356

A good way to measure acculturation level for Latinos is how comfortable they become about speaking about money and less comfortably about sex.

American Hispanic Market Segments for the Financial Industry

While understanding the culture code for money pertaining to any culture is key for the marketing of any product and service, this need becomes heightened when we talk about the Financial and Banking industry.

We have identified 5 Hispanic market segments for Hispanics over 18 years of age who reside in the United States and are bicultural. It is important to highlight that biculturalism does not go hand in hand with bilingualism. Different strategies may have to be developed for these segments and for specific financial products or services these segments may have to be merged or split even further.

“Although the terms “bicultural” and “bilingual” are often seen together in the same text, there is very little work that attempts to encompass them into one reality, bicultural bilinguals. This paper takes up a number of themes that pertain to bicultural bilinguals, most notably how they are described in the literature, how they become both bilingual and bicultural, and how their languages and cultures wax and wane over time. Other aspects discussed are their linguistic and cultural behaviour as bicultural bilinguals, how they identify themselves both linguistically and culturally, as well as their personality as bicultural bilinguals. An effort is made whenever possible to bridge the gap between the two components that make up bicultural bilinguals – the linguistic and the cultural – and to show how the questions that interest linguists when studying bilinguals can be taken up and adapted by researchers examining cultural issues, and vice versa.” — François Grosjean, Université de Neuchâtel, Avenue du Premier-Mars 26, 2000 Neuchâtel, Switzerland.

These segments range from low-income Hispanics who can only access second-chance lending mortgages, prepaid or debit cards and basic savings accounts to high-income Hispanic Americans interested in more complex investments, mortgages and home equity loans.

In addition, language becomes a key factor in communicating and engaging with each segment. A large number  of Hispanics prefer to do business in English, particularly since the Spanish version of most financial literature existent in the U.S. misses out on detail and key disclosures that directly affect the financial transaction. Some companies make the horrible mistake of sending translated information to prospects and/or customers based only on whether their last name seems to be “Hispanic-like.”

Financial Industry Hispanic market Segments

Financial Industry Hispanic market Segments

To give you an idea of how attractive this market is, we think it’s worth mentioning the Underserved market. The “underserved” market represents more than 88 million individuals and nearly $1.3 trillion in wages.

Financial Industry Hispanic market segments characteristics and size

Financial Industry Hispanic market segments characteristics and size

It is important to highlight that biculturalism does not go hand in hand with bilingualism. Different strategies may have to be developed for the segments presented and, for specific financial products or services, these segments may have to be merged or split even further.

More about Hispanic Market Segmentation

————————————————

Target Latino has studied the U.S. Hispanic population, the Latin American and U.S. non-Hispanic, their online and offline behavior, for over 30 years, even before the Hispanic market was first “discovered.” As a result, we’ve developed proprietary methodologies that enable us to identify and segment Hispanics, online or offline, by age, gender, country and region of origin. We specialize in the identification of culture codes for the Hispanic market.

Cultural Insights & Cultural Differences


Uncovered Facts About Online Hispanic Women and their Media Usage
Hispanic Millennials
When it comes to a kid's television-viewing habits, the mom's language can matter.
Six out of 10 Hispanics are U.S.-born
Fannie Mae Launches New HomePath.com in Spanish Aimed at Helping More Hispanics Buy Homes

Be yourself. Sometimes it's easy to lose who we are... Once you get the real "you" back, happiness follows.

Be yourself. Sometimes it’s easy to lose who we are… Once you get the real “you” back, happiness follows.

Next Quote? funny inspirational quotes on every post!

Hispanic Acculturation Secrets Unveiled

At the Governor's Mansion Claudia Goffan with Gov. Sam Brownback after Hispanic Day on the Hill

At the Governor’s Mansion Claudia Goffan with Gov. Sam Brownback after Hispanic Day on the Hill

Hispanic Acculturation secrets were unveiled at the Keynote Speech given by Claudia Goffan, Hispanic Marketing expert and Target Latino CEO, at Hispanic Day on the Hill and she reveals some of them on this article.

As you may be aware, the Kansas Hispanic & Latino American Affairs Commission, with the office of Governor Sam Brownback, proclaimed Hispanic Day on the Hill at the Capitol in Topeka, Kansas that this year took place on April 1st- a day wherein Hispanics from Kansas come together to obtain updated information on key policy and meet with their legislators at the Capitol, and I was called to deliver a keynote speech on Hispanic marketing.

First of all, I’d like to thank the Kansas Hispanic and Latino American Affairs Commission with the office of Governor Sam Brownback for selecting me as their keynote speaker for such an important event for both their Latino and political communities. I was truly honored by the request.

I would also like to extend a special thanks to Adrienne Foster, Executive Director of KHLAAC and Mayor of Roeland Park, for organizing such an outstanding and highly attended event and for making me feel so welcome and introducing me to such a distinguished group of people.

I was positively impressed by Governor Sam Brownback who opened his home to us, for his eagerness to learn and understand the issues that concern the Kansas Latino community and Latinos in general.

I was overwhelmed by the impact my presentation made and the number of positive comments received from the audience. I hope the understanding of cultural differences and similarities continues as I see the impact it could exponentially have in the immediate future on the improvement of relationships with Latinos in Kansas and in the rest of the United States.

The audience was entertained and surprised when they found out that every 30 seconds a U.S. Hispanic turns 18 years old. Happy birthday!!! By the sheer numbers alone, the Hispanic market has become a key demographic, not just in states like California, Florida, Texas and New York but in Kansas as well.

The Kansas landscape has changed dramatically since the 2000 U.S. Census. The state’s Hispanic population grew by 59 percent over the past decade. There are over 301,000 Hispanics that reside in Kansas – the 17th largest Hispanic population share nationally- and more than 37% of them are eligible to vote (higher than North Carolina with only 24%). And while U.S. Hispanics have a purchasing power of $1.2 trillion as of 2012, Kansas Latinos purchasing power is $5.6 billion and Kansas Hispanic businesses generated $1.3 billion in 2012.

Hispanic households spend almost as much as general market households and they earn about 70% of what these earn. Therefore and in relative terms, Hispanic households spend more. (Hispanic households spend approximately $40,123 each year, compared to $46,409 for general U.S. households. This gap is shrinking at a very fast pace)

Unfortunately, many of America’s corporations – and it is definitely not limited to them – hang on to stereotypes instead of learning about the Hispanic culture and how it shapes the identity of Hispanic consumers and their communities. This disconnect makes it difficult for these companies to build trust, truly engage with, and begin to value U.S. Hispanics as viable consumers. After all, the ability to identify with an advertisement or a message is affected by identification with a society or the culture of that society.

And what is culture but a mental map which guides us in our relations to our surroundings and to other people? It may be tied to ethnicity on occasions but not necessarily so. Thus, the culture of people that live in the city will be different that the ones that live in a farm and so on. Understanding Hispanic acculturation becomes crucial to understanding the Hispanic culture tapestry that has been weaved in the U.S. and makes it different from the ones in their respective countries of origin.

Several years ago, I shared an article on the Hispanic Acculturation process and understanding segmentation on this same blog. Today, these circles still represent culture more than ever. Not segments. Not slices of the population. Cultures. Everybody in the Venn diagram below is Hispanic and depicting today’s reality that about 70% of Hispanics are bi-culturals (and bilinguals to a certain degree) why are we still debating on what language to address this population and not concentrating on what message will resonate better depending on the level of Hispanic Acculturation? Bi-culturals have two sets of cultures, two sets of maps with which to interpret behaviors, messages, thoughts and everything they do as members of a society.

Hispanic Acculturation Process

Hispanic Acculturation Process

Bi-cultural Hispanics have two sets of codes and they can switch between them just as they can switch languages but only one can be prevalent at a time. Culture works in the same way than language. It can even be mixed and matched, conjugated, re-invented. Understanding Hispanic acculturation is one of the elements to understanding U.S. Hispanics. But remember that no one knows their own culture fully and to understand culture, you have to understand other cultures and their similarities and differences.

Of course, these are just a few of the Hispanic acculturation secrets. I promise there will be more in the future. Meanwhile, I hope that what has begun here is a long lived effort and the example is followed by many others.

Thoughts of the Day

To be kind is more important than to be right

To be kind is more important than to be right

all the secrets in the world are contained in books

all the secrets in the world are contained in books

Next Quote? funny inspirational quotes on every post! | Latinos in Kansas to Have Hispanic Day on the Hill

Multicultural Is the New Mainstream

Multicultural is the New Mainstream

Multicultural is the New Mainstream

The U.S. population is becoming increasingly diverse, and while statistics aren’t really necessary to confirm the obvious, the soon-to-be-released 2010 U.S. Census figures likely will support the multicultural boom over the past decade.  Last week, national advertisers and marketers convened at a conference to discuss the implications of today’s broad and progressively more complex marketplace.  Identifying “best practices” for communicating with multicultural consumers, some presenters indicated that a singular insight focused on commonalities between cultural segments should drive marketing strategy; however, the voice of Hispanic-specialized agencies, the Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies (AHAA), disagrees with this one-size-fits-all approach.

“Trying to be all things to all consumers not only waters down the communication but also waters down the results,” says Jessica Pantanini, AHAA chair and COO of Bromley Communications.  “The population is definitely more multicultural but that only reinforces the need for customized, one-to-one communication.  It’s more impactful than mass marketing as evidenced by the obvious success of digital and social interactive media.  The growing diversity of the country requires even more insight and understanding of the cultural and ethnic nuances and differences that drive behavior and purchase, and connect with consumers in a unique way.”

AHAA is concerned that advertisers’ request for a holistic approach to marketing and advertising to all segments and the need for a single voice is possibly being misinterpreted to minimize the need for targeted and highly specialized communication. This type of cross-cultural approach lacks insight and understanding critical to the effectiveness of the strategy.  “If one-size-fits-all worked, then fashion designers would have it easy,” Pantanini says.  “Manufacturing costs would go way down, savings could be passed to the consumer and profitability would increase.  It’s great in theory, but it just doesn’t work in the marketplace.

The journey of a Latina Millennial mom is one example.  Her experience is very different from other cultures.  Rather than being the child who was given a trophy for every activity, which would lead her to become more ‘me’ focused; it was the hard work of her parents and the respect that she has for them that has driven her to succeed.

So, while the general market, cross-cultural approach might consider ‘me’-focused behavior the point of convergence for all Millenial moms and therefore execute one communication strategy, the approach won’t resonate with the Latina mom.  In fact, the more inspirational way of talking to Millennials may just be through the Latina insight.  “The goal should be to bring the insight to the strategy, and if the granularity demands a separate communication, so be it,” Pantanini says.  “If not, fine; but the cultural sensitivity must be part of the strategy.

“The U.S. is a salad bowl and not a mixing bowl.  Multicultural consumers are blended into the population but they retain their own unique cultural traits, behaviors and innate desires that influence their responses, purchasing and loyalty.  To ignore this in the name of cost-cutting and consolidation or leaving it to the agencies to figure it out will impact negatively advertisers’ return on investments.”

Multicultural Marketing

Multicultural Marketing

Inclusion, AHAA agrees with advertisers, is the answer; however, it requires bringing Hispanic-market or multicultural specialists in at the beginning of the marketing planning process as strategic thinkers and not just tactical implementers.  Consumer connection and cultural insight is integral to the strategy and helps build the bottom line for brands.

Savvy marketers like General Mills, McDonalds and Time Inc., understand the value of cultural marketing specialists and targeted communication, and have the profits to show for their decisions. Rudy Rodriguez, director, Multicultural Marketing for General Mills says the focus on Hispanic and African American market segments has driven growth for many of the company’s brands.  The packaged food manufacturer has increased investments in these segments progressively over the past four years and Rodriguez says they will continue to invest heavily.

AHAA agrees that the best marketing ideas should win clients’ approval, but the effectiveness of any agency — specialized or general market — relies on an environment conducive to the exchange of information and support for great ideas no matter where they emanate.  Unfortunately, some advertisers may be misguided in the approach and strategies that will achieve bottom line profits when reaching and connecting with multicultural consumers.  Targeted communication, rather than one-size-fits-all marketing, really works.  Finding a successful partnership with a quality Hispanic-specialized expert agency delivers results.

 

So very true

So very true

 

SOURCE Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies

Watch Out! Hispanics Rate Products Significantly Higher

I find it interesting that some market research agencies recently discovered what Hispanic marketers have known for quite some time. Give Hispanics a product to be rated, and you will get much better marks than with non-Hispanics. Ask them to tell you what is wrong with it, and you may end up getting a list longer than a mile! That is the reason many good Hispanic Market research specialists will add open-ended questions to help qualify the close-ended ones or take different approaches to research altogether.

Why the contradiction? It’s in the culture. Read more about it in the following article:

Results Could Have a Significant Effect on the Products Targeted to Hispanics in the Future.

Hispanics, especially those who are more recent arrivals, give higher ratings in product surveys than their non-Hispanic counterparts, according to a study designed by Jeffry Savitz, President of Savitz Research Companies and Professor of Marketing Research at the University of North Texas. The study found that Hispanics rate products significantly higher than what they may actually feel. In the study, Hispanics and non-Hispanics were asked to assign a numeric value to five rating labels using a scale of 0-100 with 100 being the best. The rating labels, “Excellent,” “Very good,” “Good,” “Neither Good nor Poor” and “Poor” are common in survey research. Hispanics consistently gave higher marks than their non-Hispanic counterparts to each label except “poor.” The average difference was 5.9 making it statistically significant.

In this landmark study, Professor Jeffry Savitz a graduate of Columbia University, found that Hispanics rated Tylenol 85.7, significantly higher than non-Hispanics at 80.6 implying Hispanics favor the brand. However, after the adjustment of 5.9 points, the ratings were at parity. Among cellular providers, ratings of Verizon, 65.4 and 68.1, were similar. After the adjustment was applied, however, the ratings indicated that Hispanics do not like this provider nearly as much, 59.5 versus 68.1. In the soft drink category, Hispanics rated Fanta 80.0 versus non-Hispanics at 57.6, a highly significant difference. Even after the adjustment the result was still significant implying Hispanics are more favorable toward Fanta.

Hispanics Rate Products Significantly Higher than non-Hispanics

The results of the study have significant implications on multicultural advertising and marketing as well as which products and services should be offered to Hispanics. “This study finally sheds light on the reason some Hispanic research ends up with faulty conclusions or results. This ‘cultural lift’ must be taken into account,” says Juan Faura, author of two books on Hispanic marketing. “Hispanics are taught from an early age that it is in poor taste or inappropriate to openly criticize or berate when asked their opinions.” Savitz says, “The article discusses levels of acculturation, consumption of Hispanic media and country of origin, but more research is needed to measure the effect of the ‘cultural lift’ on various categories and other factors.”

Uncovered Facts About Online Hispanic Women and their Media Usage
72 percent of Hispanics use their mobile devices for overall movie planning | Hispanic mobile Consumers Study
Estimates of the Unauthorized Immigrant Population 2010 - Pew Hispanic
Do you know about people from Ecuador?
Source: Savitz Research Companies

Hispanic girls face many obstacles to playing sports

Rosa Mendez and her mother share the same first name. In Spanish, it means “pink,” which also happens to be Rosa’s favorite color. She certainly plays it up. She pierced both ears with pink diamonds, she drives around with a pink Rosary hanging from her rearview mirror and she color-coordinates pink Nikes with her school clothes.

Hispanic women and Sports - Soccer or football

Hispanic women and Sports – Soccer or football

But hidden underneath all that girly-ness, her favorite sport — soccer — often leaves her body black and blue with bruises.

She would get so lost in playing the game she loves during her spring season at East High School in Kansas City that sometimes she had no idea how she got so beat up.

Soccer is Rosa’s passion. Or futbol, as it is called in the Mendez living room. In her home, as is the case in many traditional Latino families, futbol isn’t a sport played by girls named after delicate flowers.

“It was my idea to go play,” Rosa says, “but (my parents) would say, ‘Stay here with the kids.’ Because girls shouldn’t be playing aggressive things.”

Rosa is the daughter of a Mexican father who works 12 hours a day and a Nicaraguan mother who works on an assembly line packing boxes with bottles of salad dressing and seasoning salt. She recently completed her junior season — her first high school soccer season — as a goalkeeper for the East Bears varsity team. Largely made up of Latinas (girls of Latin-American or Spanish-speaking descent), East’s roster is similar to those at several other inner-city schools, including Renaissance Academy, Alta Vista Charter High School, Northeast and Harmon, a Kansas City, Kan., high school with a Latino student population of 54 percent.

These are daughters of northern Mexican immigrants, the first or second generation that has come here to build new lives. But while adapting to old-age American traditions, like playing for the home team, these teenage girls sometimes struggle to navigate between their own desire to compete and their family’s cultural customs.

“In the Hispanic community, girls are more likely to do something that we call ‘girly’ or art stuff,” says Antonia Saenz, whose daughter Vanessa played soccer for the Alta Vista Lady Aztecs. “Sports are mostly seen for guys. It’s aggressive. Girls are not looked upon to be strong physically. They’re actually not encouraged to.”

This isn’t simply machismo. Many community leaders suggest there are practical reasons why Latina girls are expected to stay home. Their parents may often work long hours for little pay and live in some of the poorest communities in the city. When a daughter becomes old enough, she is asked to help with the younger siblings in the house or take on a part-time job. So who really has time to play soccer when the family needs the help?

“A couple of girls miss practices because they need to baby-sit,” East co-head coach Mike Somodi says. “It’s unbelievable the things that have priorities. It’s hard to get them in the mode of thinking that (soccer) is important. They want to play…but a lot of them work.”

•••

Rosa gets more than her name from her mother. Her flowing brown hair and a smile that radiates her otherwise sad eyes, she believes, she gets from her mother as well.

“We really get along,” Rosa says. “She knows everything about me.”

But Mrs. Mendez doesn’t always understand this daughter of hers.

She’s perplexed about why Rosa is so faithful to soccer practice and to a team that didn’t win many games. She wonders why Rosa can’t stay home with her three younger siblings.

Hispanic women and Sports - Soccer or football

Hispanic women and Sports – Soccer or football

Instead of coming home after school this spring, Rosa spent five days out of the week with her East Bears. At practice, Rosa would split time barking commands and encouragements, then sacrificing her thin, 5-foot-6 1/2 -inch frame in front of a net while teammates practiced shots.

Midway through the spring season, the Bears’ starting goalkeeper — Zenadia Mendez, Rosa’s older sister — quit the team. East tried to fill the position with another player, and then Rosa got her opportunity during one game when the Bears fell behind 7-0.

“That was my first time ever, and that’s how we finished, trailing 7-0. I didn’t let anything by,” Rosa says proudly. “Nobody wanted to be goalie, so I didn’t want to pressure them to be in it. But then I got to liking it . . . I felt like I was making a difference.”

Yes, Rosa’s a tough one — and everyone on that soccer field knows it.

“During a tournament at Camdenton, she took three shots to her face,” Somodi says. “Knocked her down, but she got back up.”

Mama Mendez doesn’t exactly like her daughter getting slugged in the chops, especially in a losing effort. East lost that tournament game 2-1, by the way.

As she sits in her living room, Rosa’s mother expresses her opinions about her daughter in clear but unconfident English. “I think,” Mendez says slowly, then turns to Rosa for help in finding the right phrase. Rosa listens to her mother, who never sugarcoats her words, and interprets: “I give a lot, but I receive less.”

Rosa’s mother continues, and she needs no help to say…

“She tries very hard, she asks for shoes, she asks for permission to go to practice,” Rosa’s mother says. “And all she gets is bruises. She gets hurt sometimes. She gets frustrated. I’ve been to a couple of games and she lost, so I said, ‘It’s not worth it.’ You get hurt and you lose. Her dad, he feels the same way. But she says: ‘I like it.’ ”

•••

Rosa loves soccer because the game is her escape.

She loves her No. 4 jersey, washing it after every game and delicately hang-drying it for fear that the machine won’t get the wrinkles out just right. She loves being around her teammates, in the back of the bus, cracking jokes on the way to a game. She’d do anything for those girls and one day hopes to get matching soccer tattoos with teammate Brandi Roos.

She caught the soccer passion at a young age. When she wasn’t watching Mexican League games on the living room television, she was tagging along to Sheffield Park to watch her father, Arturo, play goalie on a team made up of friends and family. She remembers watching her father and thinking: I want to play, too.

Now that she’s playing again for the first time in three years, Rosa can’t decide whether it’s the game she loves so much or just the freedom it gives her.

She used to play all the time, in the streets and for a James Elementary school team.

“When in elementary school,” Rosa’s mother says, “she wanted to play and I let her play. I did.”

But as Rosa got older, she took on more responsibilities at home. It is this very role — burgeoning homemaker — that community member Raquel Daldalian has found common among young Latinas. Daldalian points out that not all Latino families can be lumped together, but in her talks with a group of Hispanic girls from Northeast High School, their stories are all too common.

“Generally, the girls in a Latino family are expected to know how to cook and clean; that’s their main objectives,” says Daldalian, a Project Safe Prevention specialist at the Rose Brooks Center. “They are told if they don’t do these things, they won’t find a man. They’re not expected to go to school, and sports are at the bottom of the barrel.”

In Nicaragua, Mendez did not play organized sports, but she enjoyed active days as a little girl. Mendez grew up playing made-up games around her neighborhood that constituted a lot of running and chasing. She smiles when recalling those days, when she was just a girl and the focus of her life was games the neighborhood kids would dream up.

But when her mother moved the family to America, Mendez had to put away her childhood.

Rosa will be 17 soon and, like most typical teenage girls, she cherishes her cell phone and boyfriend. At 17, her mother was working eight-hour days packing tomatoes in Kansas City, Kan.

These days, Rosa is looking forward to her senior year. But at that same age, Rosa’s mother already was a high school dropout. There was no escape with soccer, as there is now for her daughter.

“It wasn’t a sacrifice,” Rosa’s mother says of her five-day-a-week work schedule. “I just had to help my mom.”

She met Arturo Mendez in 1989, and the couple married six months later. They’re raising their six children in the same three-bedroom house on Wheeling Avenue that they’ve lived in since starting a family. Both Mom and Dad want to see their children leave this place and surpass them.

Mrs. Mendez has a simple goal for Rosa — stay in school.

“My husband and I never got to finish school,” Mendez says. “We know how hard it is. …Our jobs depend on how strong we are. Not how smart we are.”

Although Mendez wants the best for her daughter, she is hesitant to follow Rosa’s passion for soccer.

“Sometimes,” Mendez sighs. “I don’t understand.

“If she likes playing soccer and (can) handle school and sports, it’s all right. (But) in my country, I’ve never seen girls in sports. To be honest, I’ve never seen girls with a medal.”

•••

The lack of importance associated with organized sports is evident in the Latinas who do play. Their families often cannot afford to send their children to youth leagues that would develop their skills. As a result, varsity soccer at schools like East and Alta Vista can be a rough sketch of what the game is actually supposed to look like.

Alta Vista coach Greg Brenner, a Mexican American, took over the varsity squad this spring and inherited 17 Latinas. Many of them did not know how to properly kick a soccer ball.

“I saw them play, and they looked like they were playing in slow motion,” Brenner says. “I kind of expected that, ‘Hey, you’re Hispanic. Aren’t you born with a soccer ball attached to you?’ But I worked with a boys team and saw the same thing. Socioeconomics come in … they don’t have time or money to play soccer.”

The reality for Rosa Mendez is that she has better things to be doing right now. She could use the money from her part-time job at Wendy’s to offset some of the expenses of her upcoming senior year. And on her off days, she could find herself watching her three younger siblings run around the house during summer vacation. But she wants to keep playing soccer.

She’s found a street team named Hidalgo and minds the net this summer. When Rosa recently asked her mother whether she could play, this time ¿Por que? (Why?) was not the response.

Her parents have come to understand why Rosa wants to play this game. Even as she struggles to explain the love herself.

“I’m not sure if it’s because of my dad or just the feeling of the game — when you make a goal or when you have the ball and you’re taking it up the field. I don’t know if it’s just being out or, ya know, it’s soccer,” Rosa says. “Everything about soccer. Working as a team. Even in goal, just slapping the ball…it’s probably the adrenaline. Everything.”

Source: Candace Buckner – The Kansas City Star

‘Fast & Furious’ taps into hispanic movie audiences

Even though I don’t agree on the fact that Hispanic movie audiences are captured by using a sentence in Spanish, I think that  the article clearly shows the fact that Hispanics loooove movies (in Latin America and in the U.S.) and if you identify a theme that they like (like action movies) and advertise to them, they will respond. Since the first Fast & Furious to the very last, Hispanic movie audiences have been engaged with it. Let’s review it from the beginning.

Universal keeps targeting Hispanic movie audiences

But each time there’s more Spanglish added. I love this preview in Spanglish, especially because it was made for the Hispanic audience and with an understanding that it is becoming more and more a bilingual audience. I still believe that the content of “Fast Five” and the fact that it was filmed in Rio is what really drives these Hispanic movie audiences. Otherwise, why wouldn’t all the previews receive over 6 million views on their YouTube channel?

‘Fast & Furious’ taps into hispanic movie audiences

¿Como se dice “socko”?
Fast and Furious 2009The surprisingly strong opening of Universal’s “Fast and Furious” — $71 million over the April 3-5 weekend — was Hollywood’s latest reminder of the power of Hispanic moviegoers.
Though the U.S. census says Hispanics comprise 15% of the population, the group made up a whopping 46% of the “Fast”aud, according to exit polling data conducted by the studio.
While distribs have tried to woo Hispanic movie audiences with Spanish-language fare, the results have been unimpressive. But they’ve found amazing success not by offering material geared to Hispanic auds, but by catering their marketing of “mainstream” films to them.
“Fast” was just the latest Hollywood film to tailor marketing to that audience. U ran advertisements during a Mexico-U.S. World Cup match last winter; featured Spanish-language TV trailers on Univision and Telemundo; and used Spanish-lingo social-networking Websites.
It also used extensive outdoor campaigns in Latino neighborhoods (in both languages), and even separate press junkets for Spanish-language media. Stars Vin Diesel and Michelle Rodriguez traveled to Miami and Mexico to do promotion.
Other studios have found similar success with a diverse group of pictures, including Disney’s “Beverly Hills Chihuahua,”20th Century Fox’s “Alvin and the Chipmunks,” Paramount’s “Transformers,” Lionsgate’s Jackie Chan-Jet Li fantasy actioner “The Forbidden Kingdom” and U’s “The Incredible Hulk.”
Universal has been especially savvy. In 1999, the studio quickly realized that some of the box office success of “The Mummy” was due to a strong Hispanic turnout. Two years later, the first in the franchise, “The Fast and the Furious,” was released. As much as 24% of the audience was Latino. That figure shot up to 38% for the followup “2 Fast 2 Furious.”
Other U titles with the greatest proportion of Hispanic admissions on opening weekend include “The Unborn” (42%),”The Scorpion King” (40%) and “Empire” (51%). Yet never did U overtly peg these films as Hispanic-themed.

“With an African-American movie, you can have a hit just with African-American audiences, but so far, the answer has been no with Hispanics. They have more interest in assimilating,” Universal prexy of marketing and distribution Adam Fogelson says.

Fogelson said Universal made its biggest Hispanic marketing spend to date for the pic. There are an estimated 45 million people with Hispanic backgrounds in the U.S. For more than a decade, the Motion Picture Assn. of America has pegged Hispanics as the fastest-growing segment of the moviegoing audience. The box office saw 310 million admissions from Hispanic moviegoers in 2007, a full third of the number of Caucasians, according to the MPAA.
According to the Pew Hispanic Center, the median age of Hispanics living in the U.S. is 27 years, compared to the median age of 36 years for the overall population. That should be music to the ears of studios, since younger people are always heavier filmgoers.
Furthermore, Hispanic parents tend to take younger kids to the movies with them, instead of leaving them with babysitters, distribution execs say. That’s why animated family films, actioners, and action-adventure films with a fantasy twist tend to do particularly well with this demo.
For years, many in Hollywood — as well as in the entertainment press — have assumed that Latino moviegoers want to see Spanish-language films or films with specific Hispanic storylines. But the track record hasn’t borne that out. Fox Searchlight’s “Under the Same Moon” was a specialty hit with $12.3 million, but its “Chasing Papi” in 2003 earned half that. Lionsgate’s “La mujer de mi hermano” ($2.8 million) and “Ladron que roba ladron” ($4 million) were only moderate performers.
U has also seen “Fast & Furious” doing well in Latin American territories, bagging the biggest opening of 2009 in Mexico and Central America and accounting for 50% of the weekend box office in Mexico and Brazil, according to the studio.
Overture Films’ Peter Adee, former marketing topper at Universal, says the reason “Fast and Furious” did so well among Hispanic audiences is the appeal of the storyline.

“Universal has found a way to tap into this community authentically,” says Adee. “Their advertising was so confident and showcased the movie, saying to people, ‘you are going to love this movie. Oh, and by the way, we have Vin Diesel and the other cast.”

The topliners include two women with Hispanic roots, Jordana Brewster and Michelle Rodriguez, teamed with Diesel and Paul Walker for the first time since the original film.
U also cast Latino musical stars Don Omar and Tego Calderon. The pic’s action starts off in the Dominican Republic — where Diesel’s character is in exile — before shifting to Mexico and then Los Angeles.
Paramount co-chair Rob Moore says Hispanic auds clearly felt like “Fast and Furious” was for them, without feeling like U was pegging the film specifically for the demo. “On a lot of these movies, there will be an element to the campaign that is bilingual,” Moore says.

“They are a great and reliable moviegoing audience, and they have a lot of power that needs to be taken seriously,” Fogelson says. “Yet I think the industry is still struggling in how to reach them. But there’s no reason to be struggling.”

Quote of the Day

Mark Twain quotes

Mark Twain quotes

Next Quote? funny inspirational quotes on every post!

Source: Pamela McClintock – Variety Magazine

 

Cultural differences: its impact on Customer acquisition and retention

by Claudia Havi Goffan

A close look at how Cultural Differences impact Customer Acquisition and Retention Strategies.

When I arrived to the U.S., 18 years ago, I opened a checking Account with Bank of America. It was obvious. The name, Bank of America, carried in it a familiarity that no other bank did. I, too, was born in America, the continent of America. What people do not know is that in Latin American schools teach you that America is a single continent divided into three parts, North, Central and South America. This is the reason that you may have heard Latinos say: “we are American too.” Back to my story, Bank of America, one; other banks, zero.

It is essential for people in business to understand Cultural DifferencesA few months later, and having maintained what I thought was an excellent relationship with the bank, I decided to fill out an application for a credit card, “the Bank of America VISA.” After three long weeks, I received a letter stating that my application had been denied without a reason given. I got really upset and went to the bank to let hell loose. I had been a wonderful customer and had more than enough money in my account—and they knew it- in order to respond to whatever spending limit they could give me. The answer was: “You need to call Visa, we (Bank of America) don’t have anything to do with this.” I immediately called Visa and was told that my request had been denied because I didn’t exist. “Didn’t exist? But here I am, I exist,” was my response with utter disbelief. The lady explained that I didn’t have a credit history. Until then, I never knew a credit history existed. No such concept existed in my home country where people purchase a home with cash and they don’t pay their bills with checks, as they will get “lost” in the mail (but that’s a different story and the beginning of more cultural differences). In the end, I realized that I wasn’t going to get my credit card with Bank of America or VISA. What a disappointment. And, what an insult to tell me I didn’t exist.

I decided to fill out an application with American Express. Two weeks later, a person from American Express called me at home and wanted to know why they couldn’t find any credit history on me. Now, that’s service! I told her I had lived in the U.S. for just a few months. She replied: “Perfectly understandable. You will receive your card in the mail within 2 weeks.” Needless to say, I never forgot my experience with VISA or with American Express. I have been a loyal customer of American Express since 1991, always preferring to use my AMEX to any other credit card.

Lesson to be learned: Listen to your customers. Cultural differences may be found where you least expect them. You may get lucky the first time, the second time around, you’d better know what you are doing.

Customer Acquisition and Retention Efforts

A bit of background on the Latin American financial system

The concept of a credit history was introduced only a few years ago in Latin American countries.

There are financial infrastructure obstacles common to the Latin American region, such as uneven income distribution, low penetration of the banking system, low computer usage, and very famous “informal” economies that function only in cash. Remittances from family members abroad only increase the number of cash transactions.

The banking crisis of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Venezuela in the late 1990s enabled a large financial reform and the modernization of the financial infrastructure. One of the changes was the adoption of credit history.

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Hispanic women and Sports - Soccer or football

Thought of the day

you think you are smart until you try to turn on someone else's shower

you think you are smart until you try to turn on someone else’s shower

10% of the conflicts are due to difference in opinion and 90% to wrong tone of voice

10% of the conflicts are due to difference in opinion and 90% to wrong tone of voice