USF multicultural marketing students try a tasty treat at a Bay Area Mi Pueblo grocery store, which specializes in popular items among Latinos.
With 103 million Asian American, African American, and Hispanic
American consumers driving $2.3 trillion worth of America’s $10 trillion consumer
market, interest in the University of San
School of Business and Professional Studies’ multi-cultural marketing courses has
Enrollment has tripled since USF began offering courses in multi-cultural
marketing in fall 2008. Led by business professors Mandy Ortiz – one of only
about a dozen Latina marketing professors with doctorates in the country – Ricardo
Villarreal, Sweta Thota, and Sonja Poole, the popular program has grown fast
enough that a separate multi-cultural marketing concentration is slated to launch
“The concentration focuses on reaching specific subgroups in
the U.S. – Asians Americans, African Americans, and Hispanics Americans – who
are not currently being adequately addressed by the general marketing media,”
The program of courses, six in all, goes beyond
demographics, consumption behavior, and psychographics – all areas covered in
most marketing programs – to incorporate country of origin practices,
generational differences, history, values, traditions, norms, media
preferences, and, importantly, language.
Drawing on USF’s long tradition of cultural engagement and its
location in one of America’s most demographically diverse cities the
multi-cultural marketing program will teach students how to address the rapidly
emerging needs of consumers and corporations in understanding, targeting, and
marketing to the growing number of multi-cultural consumers in California and
Ashley Romero, a USF junior double majoring in marketing and
international business, recently signed up for the multi-cultural concentration
after learning of the upcoming launch.
“Different subcultures relate and respond better to products
that they can understand,” said Romero, explaining her interest in the
multi-cultural concentration. “Therefore, marketers must be able to ‘speak’ the
language of the culture, meaning they must be able to fully understand what is
important to them, what attracts them, and what offends them.”
Romero is one of about 40 students already signed up for the
multi-cultural marketing course for the fall.