When I started to research marketing Latin Alternative music to consumers, the only two resources I utilized were the Internet and Billboard magazine. Yes, I was aware of some of the marketing basics regardless of the genre, but I wanted to customize my marketing strategy to Austria’s “Nada” album as best I could. The question that came to mind every time I began a research session was, “Why isn’t there a book or an instruction manual on how to market Latin music through the Internet?”

Fortunately, I began running a filtered search on Google covering anything and everything having to do with Latin pop music, and in one of those filters I found my Holy Grail: Marketing Latin Alternative Music Through Social Networking Sites. Finally, someone was asking the same questions I was – and then providing some of the answers. These answers, in the form of a thesis, came from San Jose State University graduate student, Vanessa Garcia.

Through various surveys and interviews, this information-packed paper directly addresses not only how independent artists market to music consumers, but how some of the Latin music industry markets to them, as well. It even reveals what goes through the minds of Latin music fans when looking for new music.

Not surprisingly, many of the tactics are similar to marketing to American rock and pop, such as keeping an artist’s website content fresh, updating fans on upcoming shows, etc., however, in her report, Garcia reveals where an artist should service its music, such as Al Borde, Remezcla, Pandora and others that are dialed into the Latin Alternative scene. Someone who does not know the Social Networking players in the industry could very easily find themselves crawling around in the dark, haphazardly sending links or discs to companies that are not necessarily where consumers are going to go to learn about new Latin Alternative music.

I could go on and on praising Garcia’s paper and the important information she brings to the surface, but it might be more effective simply to spend some time reading her paper and noting the passages that are key to you (artist, publisher, label, booking agent, publicist, marketing guru), as there is definitely something for everyone who is connected to the Latin Alternative arena to learn from this report.

As important as this paper is, Social Networking is evolving and new strategies and key companies will surface in the future, so it is my hope that Ms. Garcia will from time to time keep us informed on marketing Latin Alternative music through the Internet and its ever-changing world.