Effective marketing to Hispanics? Yes, you can, Membiela tells audience.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2010 there were 50.5 million Hispanics in the United States, comprising 16 percent of the population, an increase of 43 percent since 2000.

If you assume that marketing to this growing segment simply requires translating English words into Spanish, you’re making a critical mistake, according to Roymi V. Membiela, corporate vice president of marketing and public relations at Baptist Health South Florida.

Membiela was the speaker at the first Marketing Roundtable Speaker Series event on September 1, 2011, presented by the Department of Marketing in the College of Business Administration at Florida International University (FIU) and the Dean’s Alumni Circle.

Roymi V. Membiela
Roymi V. Membiela

Ninety alumni, faculty, students and others attended her dynamic presentation entitled “Usted Si Puede (Yes You Can): Hispanic Marketing 2.0.”

“I learned a great deal about marketing to this significant group,” said Bill Duquette, CEO of Homestead Hospital, part of Baptist Health. “Roymi was an engaging speaker who showed us that one message doesn’t work for all cultures.”

Introduced by Jorge Diaz (BS ’83), Membiela gave insight into the Hispanic community, starting with understanding definitions and preferences.

“As a healthcare provider, I learned how to strengthen my role in reaching Hispanic people,” said physician Zulma Berrios who is also working on her Healthcare MBA at FIU. “She has so much experience that she was able to give us specific strategies that work.”

Event launches the Marketing Roundtable Speaker Series.

The new series resulted from discussions among Eduardo Lamazeres (MBA ’06, BS ’93) of the Dean’s Alumni Circle; Walfried M. Lassar, marketing department chair; and Monique Catoggio (EMBA ’03), director of advancement, alumni and corporate relations in FIU’s business school.

“This series increases the footprint of the marketing department by helping alumni keep current with marketing strategies and by giving extra value to students,” Lassar said.

The second Marketing Roundtable Speaker Series presentation, slated for December 1, 2011, will focus on effective customer relationship management through social media.


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