ad:tech Miami Closes, Opens Eyes to Differences, Similarities.
The inaugural Miami ad:tech show, held at the Miami Beach Convention Center June 26-27 was a success by my metrics. It was well attended. It offered content not found at other ad:tech conferences and it opened the eyes of many to the burgeoning Latin American and Hispanic marketplaces. While many of the panelists and speakers agreed definitive research on the space is lacking, there is no doubt each demographic group has left its minority status behind and are fast becoming a major influence on the American scene. And "they" isn't even the proper word. After all, there's really no "we" and "they." There's just "us." Americans. The people that live together on this soil, fuel its multi-faceted culture and buy a lot of stuff.
It's that last part that both thrills us and keeps us up at night as we, the American corporation, continuously try to make, market and sell products the varied people living in this country will find interesting enough to buy. America is a melting pot as they say and new ingredients keep getting added to the soup. It's our job to find out what these ingredients have to offer, what they need to deliver their fullest potential and how each of these ingredients affects the soup when co-mingled with all the other ingredients.
It's not just America's melting pot and all that comes with it that concerns marketers but the many, and very different, Hispanic and Latin American countries, each distinct marketplaces unto themselves. There's a lot going on in those countries in terms of marketing. Some of it mirrors what is going on in America. Some of it is completely foreign to Americans. Differing cultures affect creative messaging. Varied adoption of new technology forces marketers to adapt to what's available in each country. Linguistics, even within the same basic language, pose challenges to marketers crossing geographic and cultural borders.
This multicultural marketing thing isn't easy. It's hard work. It's being open to different cultural norms and nuances. It's getting out of the cubical and opening one's eyes to the rest of the world whose inhabitants are, at the same time, very different and very much the same. Discerning the shades of gray between those differences and similarities are what make a great marketer and, more importantly, a human being.