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A Strategic Approach to Assessing and Planning Your Initiative by Terry J. Soto

Marketing to Hispanics: A Strategic Approach to Assessing and Planning Your Initiative

By Terry J. Soto
Kaplan Publishing, 2006

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4 stars: Thought-provoking and intellectually stimulating materialWith U.S. Hispanic purchasing power projected to hit one trillion dollars by 2010, Marketing to Hispanics is a timely guide on how to approach this market opportunity.

Soto points out that the full impact of U.S. Hispanic market growth has not been recognized as an important environmental force, which she believes is set to revolutionize the business environment. This includes Hispanics’ increasing buying power in the face of retiring baby boomers’ decreasing buying power, and the rising domestic and international competition for these consumers.

Marketing to Hispanics presents numerous case studies on companies that proactively and strategically entered the U.S. Hispanic market, as opposed to being reactive and tactical. The first part of the book focuses on getting into the mindset of this market. A key point offered is the difference between an acculturation and an assimilation attitude. Soto also takes pains to explain the different segments within this population and the unique behaviors of each.

From this point, Soto basically shows the reader how to develop a business plan to enter the Hispanic market successfully. She offers practical advice on how to analyze the environment at a macro and a micro level and how to segment the market demographically, geographically, psychographically, and behaviorally, providing resources for further research. However, at the foundation of all this analysis is the need for co-alignment with one’s organization. This last point is key. Many of the failures and costly mistakes made in this market appear to be directly contributable to organizations either not understanding what they are getting into or not wanting to do it right.

To this end, Soto devotes the second half of the book to guiding readers through an assessment of company readiness to enter the Hispanic market. Chapter seven focuses on the internal audit and the approach. Chapter eight discusses how to analyze the data and apply it to the assessment. Chapter nine takes the reader from the assessment and analysis phases to implementation, while chapter ten outlines the metrics that need to be put into place.

After reading this book, readers will realize that the question is not whether or not to target Hispanics, but whether they understand the market and their organizations well enough to do so. For those who are thinking about doing a Hispanic marketing campaign, Marketing to Hispanics is a must read. It will help readers take advantage of the opportunities within this big emerging market, without making some very costly mistakes.

Full Disclosure: Author Terry Soto holds an MBA from the Graziadio School of Business and Management at Pepperdine University.

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