We need innovation on all fronts

I was reading a post by Joe Marchese at his OnlineSPIN and found it fascinating that there are parallels in completely separate worlds. I have been working on multicultural advertising for the past 15 years and on digital advertising for the last 3 years and have identified similarities among the two sectors. They both are organic transformations that are changing the status quo in the market place. The Hispanic and Asian markets grew due to migration from Latin America and Asia while online marketing was a logical next step to the explosion of the Web. I will use the Hispanic market when referring to multicultural later in the article.

Since I started to work in multicultural media and in over two years of producing this column for ethosGROUP and an enzine for the California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, I have read, researched and presented to corporate marketers the need to change the double standard between general market advertising and Hispanic advertising. Marchese take on the double standard between offline and online advertising is quoted here: “It truly goes against the laws of marketing that the allocation of marketing efforts/dollars dedicated to a medium would not be in proportion to the amount of time people spend with that medium.”

The double standard for Hispanic marketing, it is the allocation of marketing efforts and dollars dedicated to the group that has the highest concentration in certain markets and that has produce the number one medium among all networks in those DMAs!

Hispanics account for 15% of the U.S. population and in New Mexico, Hispanics comprised the highest proportion of the total population (44 percent), with California and Texas (36 percent each) next in line. Still brand marketers only allocate about 3% of their budgets to Hispanic marketing. On the media front, Hispanic TV powerhouse Univision dominates ratings at prime time among all networks in cities like Los Angeles, Miami and New York.

Here I quote Joe’s argument for the online – offline take: “Sure there are reasons why some media just doesn’t work for advertising, but the highly engaging and personal experience that people have on the Internet isn’t one of them. It’s just that it takes more work and resetting of the metrics that define success to make advertising work on the Web. More work, because people will demand that advertising give something back to the experience of content consumption on the Internet, and that Internet advertising appropriately incorporate demands for an interactive, relevant and customized experience. Redefining the metrics that determine success will free marketers and their agencies to focus on what matters: Did we reach people? Did we tell them our story? Did they talk back – and, how will these impact sales? These would seem to be universal questions, regardless of medium, but for some reason on the Internet the rules have been established as being different.”

On the Hispanic front, successful advertising calls for messaging that is relevant to Hispanic consumers. In a general market campaign, we start with the entire U.S. population and segment it in different buckets to create targeted campaigns. We have a senior market, teens, women, families, etc. The same process should be applied to the Hispanic market. A disconnect in the communication process between the brand and the target market will not generate the desire results. And as Joe points out, the media mix needs to be adjusted to reflect media consumption or lifestyle. Once you are able to determine the optimum mix, the right creative and offer will give you the best ROI. What story are you telling, who are you reaching? These are again the universal questions and they apply to the Hispanic market too.

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About Ivan Cevallos

Blogger, entrepreneur, strategist, and digital producer. View all posts by Ivan Cevallos

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