Where does time go… and when will things change?
Sixteen years ago I retired from Corporate America, not knowing what life would be like without devoting my days to marketing the most renowned trademark in the world, Coca-Cola.
Coming back home to San Antonio gave me time to reflect on the next chapter of my life. After stints in Detroit, Atlanta and Chicago, what I came home with was wealth … not so much financial, but a wealth of knowledge. I had corporate knowledge, of course, from having led Hispanic and field marketing for Coke. But I also was armed with a treasure-trove of knowledge about my two main passions: marketing and my culture.
After the boredom of retirement set in, I felt driven to find a way to pursue those dual passions. I set to work writing a business plan and launching MarketVision. My vision was simple: Even back then, I knew the consumer marketplace was going to continue to morph, with multicultural “minority” consumers becoming the majority in major markets across America. So, it wasn’t a stretch to come up with the name MarketVision.
As my mom used to say, “dicho y hecho” (say it and it will happen). In fact, it was already happening! I knew there was no stopping the Latino influx and influence in the US.
Latino / Multicultural Marketing
Over the span of my career at Coke and as CEO of MarketVision, I’ve seen not only the shift in multicultural consumer dynamics, but also more importantly, how manufacturers and retailers have dealt with these shifts. It amazes me that with all the demographic data and research available today, many companies are still in a quandary on what to do with it from a marketing perspective.
The answer is simple: A commitment to marketing to Hispanics as a business imperative, knowing that you cannot win in the total market without Latino consumers. No company and retailer across America can afford to continue to look at Hispanic marketing as an add-on, with its separate budget and plan. They cannot wait for the “General Market” agencies to develop plans and hand them to multicultural agencies to retrofit (“Will this work with Hispanics?”) Total market is just that — totally inclusive of multicultural consumers, with the majority of those, Hispanic.
Marketing plans should be inspired by the rich cultures that make America what it is today. All those amazing Latino agencies that have been sitting on the sidelines for years deserve to be in the game alongside “General Market” agency team members, providing the cultural insights that will make marketing plans inclusive and demonstrating how cultural insights can actually become the “keys to the kingdom” to even greater selling opportunities.
Since launching MarketVision 16 years ago, I’ve sat in a lot of conference rooms for a lot of marketing meetings with a lot of corporations. It’s my hope that I’ll continue to do so. However, I also sincerely hope that we Latinos don’t have to wait another 16 years before all the marketers in those conference rooms are “champions of culture.”–Yvonne “Bonnie” Garcia Founder and CEO MarketVision