For a preview of America’s multicultural future look no further than the Black Eyed Peas.

By Ralph E. Herrera is President of Lanza Group, LLC

It struck me last week while I and over 110 million fellow Americans watched “America’s Game” and the halftime show performance by the Black Eyed Peas.  They are a perfect example of what is to come as we unravel the US Census data that recently has started to become available.  The Black Eyed Peas are comprised of the following members:
Birth name:    William James Adams, Jr.
Birthplace:    Los Angeles, California
Ethnicity:    Afro-Caribbean, born to Jamaican parents of Afro-Caribbean descent

Birth name:    Stacy Ann Ferguson
Birthplace:    Hacienda Heights, California
Ethnicity:    Irish, Scottish and Mexican
Birth name:    Allan Pineda Lindo
Birthplace:    Sapang Bato, Angeles City, Pampanga, Philippines
Ethnicity:    African American, Filipino, born to an African American father and a
Filipino mother

Birth name:    Jaime Luis Gómez
Birthplace:    Los Angeles, California
Ethnicity:    Mexican and Shoshone, Shoshone is a Native American tribe originally located in the states of Idaho, Utah, Wyoming and Colorado


The New York Times has written extensively of late on the subject of ethnic and racial lines becoming blurred:

Counting by Race Can Throw Off Some Numbers

Black? White? Asian? More Young Americans Choose All of the Above

Census Figures Challenge Views of Race and Ethnicity

So what does this mean to Hispanic marketing professionals?

Preliminary state-by-state Census data indicates huge increases amongst Hispanics in Virginia, Louisiana, Maryland, Arkansas, Mississippi, Iowa, Vermont, Indiana and New Jersey…let alone the numbers from Texas, California, Florida and New York. It is expected that the Hispanic market will see increases across the country which will surpass the dramatic Latino Census increases we saw in 2000, bringing much needed attention back to our growing marketplace.  However, what will we uncover once we start digging deeper into the numbers?  How will the ethnic and racial lines become blurred?  As marketers, how will we decide which will be the best way to reach this Hispanic/crossover/Spanish dominant/bilingual/English dominant/multi-ethnic/blurred market?

Look no further than the Black Eyed Peas; they influence a huge swath of America: black, white, Hispanic, Asian, multigenerational. The Black Eyed Peas have fans in every demographic and socioeconomic group we can think of.  So how do we learn from these talented musicians?  Look at the diversity of the group itself, clearly a key contributor to the flow of ideas and to their phenomenal success.  We will be dissecting the Census numbers for years to come and debating how to best reach our target market, though one thing is certain today.  We can credit the Black Eyed Peas for making it blatantly obvious that a diverse team aids in the flow of ideas and innovation, and garners results by connecting with consumers in 2011 America…we should all learn from the successful formula of the Black Eyed Peas.

Ralph E. Herrera is President of Lanza Group, LLC an Atlanta-based Hispanic Marketing, PR & Events firm.  2011-02-17

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