“Marketing professionals should identify cultural traditions within segments and use the traditions to connect their brand names with the target markets,” said Dr. Sindy Chapa in her abstract on ‘The Role Of Cultural Traditions on Branding and Word-Of-Mouth: Keeping Mother’s Recipes Alive.’ This is just one insight that can be taken away from her presentation at the Association of Marketing Theory and Practice (AMTP) Conference that was in St. Simon’s Island, Georgia at the Seal Palms Conference Center March 17th -19th. Dr. Chapa, and other marketing and industry related professionals, came together to commemorate the AMTP’s 25th anniversary and to present their works and insights. Mentioned in the abstract of her paper, Dr. Chapa’s study was created “to explore the impact a cultural tradition has on a perceived brand-relationship (PBR) and word-of-mouth (WOM) behavior- whether face-to-face or electronically.” As a result, this study provided both theoretical and practical implications that contributed to understanding brands and cultural traditions. Furthermore, this study was done in collaboration with a social media platform, Latina Mom Bloggers. They aided Chapa in her research by promoting the online survey to Hispanic mothers. In addition to Dr. Chapa, those who presented at the conference were predominately industry professionals and there were only a few student presenters.
“Out of four college student presenters, three were from FSU’s IMC program, and two were involved at the Center for Hispanic Marketing Communication,” said presenter Laicelis Haro, who is currently a graduate student and staff member at the center. Haro, who grew up in Miami, is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Integrated Marketing Communication and also pursuing a certificate in Multicultural Marketing Communication. Haro explains that since becoming a graduate student, she has become the website coordinator for the Center. The other graduate student who presented at the conference and also works at the center is Mackenzie Sawyer, the recipient of the HMC Leadership scholarship. Sawyer, who has done research at the Center, is also a board member for the Multicultural Marketing Association of Students. This FSU student organization is heavily involved with the center’s activities. She is also working on receiving her certificate in Multicultural Marketing Communication and will receive her Master’s degree in Integrated Marketing Communication when she graduates this spring.
Both Sawyer and Haro both became aware of the conference through Dr. Jaejin Lee, a professor who works in FSU’s School of Communication. When taking Dr. Lee’s course in Media Consumer Behavior this past fall, students were encouraged to get involved at the conference. “The MCB (media consumer behavior) course encourages students to conduct research on topics related to consumer behavior,” Haro added. While at the AMTP 2016 Conference, Haro presented ‘A Content Analysis: The Relationship Between Sentiment, Gender and Time of Day in eWOM.’ Haro described, “The content analysis allowed us to discover trends regarding gender-specific and time-of-day effects on the generation of eWOM (electronic word-of-mouth).” Sawyer presented two papers at the conference. One of her papers also focused on eWOM, but mainly in reference to online review sources. When describing her paper on eWOM, Sawyer notes, “We wanted to compare three different message sources – corporate, social, and independent – to see which source was deemed the most trustworthy or influential to consumers.” As for her other paper, she adds, “The second paper focused on using LGBT centered imagery in advertising. My specific purpose was to measure how personal relationships with those who are LGBT, influence attitudes toward LGBT centered advertising.” With this being said, her involvement at the center helped build support for research on the LGBT community. “The LGBT centered research was done under the leadership of Dr. Chapa. While it did not pertain to Hispanics specifically, it fell under the “multicultural” category… The center has greatly enhanced my time as a graduate student at FSU. I do not think I would have had nearly as much research experience without Dr. Chapa and the center. “ not pertain to Hispanics specifically, it fell under the “multicultural” category… The center has greatly enhanced my time as a graduate student at FSU. I do not think I would have had nearly as much research experience without Dr. Chapa and the center. “ Haro added, “The Center for HMC has helped me develop into an effective public speaker. With courses such as ‘Account Planning,’ ‘Hispanic Marketing’ and ‘Multicultural Marketing,’ students are consistently encouraged to present their work. Most importantly, working at the Center and acquiring my Certification in Multicultural Marketing I have learned to be culturally sensitive.” Furthermore, when discussing her experience at the conference, Dr. Chapa described that the conference was a “great opportunity to be exposed to other scholars,” and also having the opportunity to network, and talk about possible collaborations with other institutions. She also mentioned she enjoyed talking about her research, and having the center being recognized for the work that it does in marketing communication and in understanding Hispanic consumers. Haro expressed, “Attending the AMTP 2016 Conference was an amazing experience. Not only were the presenters knowledgeable on the subject of marketing, they were also very welcoming.” “From attending the conference I have learned that there is always a way to improve your research,” Sawyer explained, “While that might seem like common sense, bringing in outside perspectives to hear about what you have been working on, can lead to improvements and ideas that you never would have thought of on your own. People are willing to contribute in any way they can to make you the best version of yourself as an academic and a person.”
-by Shala Nettles