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Marketing to U.S. Hispanics has become such big business that you can now get a college education in it. Florida State University is launching the country's first center for Hispanic marketing communication, directed by Felipe Korzenny, a specialist in Hispanic marketing and an FSU professor of advertising and marketing.

The new center in Tallahassee offers graduate certificate and undergraduate minor programs, conducts research, offers executive seminars and serves as a resource about the Hispanic market, FSU said.

The launch comes as Hispanics have emerged as the largest minority in the United States, with their purchasing power expected to reach $1 trillion by 2008, according to the Selig Center at the University of Georgia.

Already, the number of U.S. Hispanics tops 40 million, representing about 14 percent of the U.S. population. And that tally should more than double by 2050 to reach 24 percent of U.S. residents, said the U.S. Census Bureau.

But many marketing professionals don't understand how to reach U.S. Hispanics because they don't understand their culture and motivations, Korzenny said in an interview.

"For example, if you're marketing diapers to a Hispanic mother, the motivation for using the product may be different than simply something that prevents rashes," he said. "It may involve a compensation structure in which the mother feels that even though she had a humble background, she is giving the best start possible to the child."

Marketing professionals welcome the new center, too, agreeing there's a need for greater education about Hispanic consumers and the communications strategies that work best to reach them.

Read more at Hispanic Business

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