NIELSEN REPORTS THAT ENGAGING THE HISPANIC MARKET IS AN IMPERATIVE FOR FUTURE SUCCESS: THIS MEANS YEAR ROUND NOT JUST ON CINCO DE MAYO

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THE HISPANIC BLOG IS THE LATEST HISPANIC NEWS BY JESSICA MARIE GUTIERREZ

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Cinco de Mayo is around the corner, and some brands are leveraging the holiday to roll out special promotions and discounts. (For example, Tyson Foods, Tabasco brand and Jose Cuervo’s nonalcoholic margarita mix have teamed up on a “Fiesta of Flavor” retail savings promotion.)
While I love the idea of engaging consumers around special events like holidays (and this Fiesta of Flavor campaigns seems like an innovative, multi-channel winner), I also want to add a few words of caution. If you’re a brand that wants to be more relevant to Hispanics (and you should be), it’s time to start thinking beyond Cinco de Mayo alone. These days, Hispanic marketing campaigns need to be comprehensive, consistent and year-round.
Why do you need to start focusing on the Hispanic market? A recent Nielsen report doesn’t mince words. From State of the Hispanic Consumer: The Hispanic Market Imperative:
“The U.S. Hispanic population is the largest minority segment and is growing at a dramatic rate towards ethnic plurality, which has already occurred in the most populous states and is beginning to occur among the U.S. baby population. Ethnic plurality refers to the coexistence of numerous ethnicities and races with no one segment in the majority. If the present U.S. economy substantially benefits from Hispanics, the future U.S. economy will depend on Hispanics by virtue of demographic change and the social and cultural shifts expected to accompany their continued growth.”
“The Hispanic market’s size, sheer size, growing clout, and buying power of $1 trillion in 2010 and $1.5 trillion by 2015 require thoughtful understanding about what the market represents to a company’s bottom line.”

“Hispanics are a primary driver of growth and change in the American marketplace, and marketers must recognize that engaging the Hispanic market is now an imperative for future success.”

How can you make an authentic connection to Hispanics so that you can start truly engaging them and provide a relevant and personalized customer experience? Execute, evaluate, evolve.

The biggest mistake you can make in marketing to Hispanics is relying on a one-hit-wonder campaign centered around Cinco de Mayo.  Today’s Hispanic population is diverse, discerning and engaged –as such, it demands your consistent, thoughtful attention year-round.

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HOW DO HISPANIC AMERICANS IDENTIFY THEMSELVES?

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THE HISPANIC BLOG IS THE LATEST HISPANIC NEWS BY JESSICA MARIE GUTIERREZ

Just over half of Americans of Spanish-speaking origin have no preference between the terms “Hispanic” and “Latino,” according to new data from the Pew Hispanic Center. Of those with a preference, 33 percent preferred “Hispanic,” versus the 14 percent who said “Latino” better describes them.

How Hispanic-Americans identify themselves is only one aspect of the detailed picture provided by the Pew study released Wednesday. The Pew Center asked a sampling of the 50 million Latinos around the country questions about culture, social attitudes and life in the U.S.

The survey began with a simple question: “What do you call yourself?”

When it comes to identity, Mark Hugo Lopez, associate director of the Pew Hispanic Center, says it’s not the name that counts, but where you’re from.

“More than half of Hispanics overall say it’s the name of the country of origin of their families or their ancestors — names like Mexican, Dominican or Cuban, for example,” Lopez says, that matters most.

And that association with country of origin is highest among immigrant Hispanics.

But whether respondents were first-generation immigrants or third-generation descendants of immigrants, there was agreement on one thing: the importance of language.

“We found that virtually all Hispanics think that U.S. Hispanic immigrant adults should learn English,” Lopez says.

But researchers “also found that when we asked Hispanics about the importance of Spanish, virtually all of them say it’s important that future generations speak Spanish.”

In other words, English fluency should not come at the expense of that important cultural link to their country of origin.

Marketing expert Laura Martinez writes and blogs about Hispanic consumer interests. She says one of the biggest misconceptions among marketers involves language.

“Still, a lot of people think all Hispanics speak Spanish, or all Hispanics speak Spanish only,” Martinez says.

In an effort to reach out to that population, that assumption has led many companies to make marketing missteps, Martinez says — like the very popular “Yo quiero Taco Bell” ads, featuring a hungry Chihuahua.

To Taco Bell’s credit, Martinez says, the fast-food chain’s marketing philosophy has evolved. The current campaign is offering everyone “mas for their money” — more for their money.

The blending of cultures is a strong theme throughout the Pew study results. Lopez points to data that younger Hispanics are marrying outside their ethnicity at rates higher than the general population.

“We’re seeing, in many respects, Hispanics who are newlyweds marrying someone who is not Hispanic,” Lopez says. “And that Hispanics and Asian-Americans are the ones most likely to do that, compared to any other group.”

photo source: 30minute.weebly.com

More than 80 percent of Hispanics interviewed said they’d have no problem if their children married someone from a different heritage, whether or not that person was Hispanic.

That openness to other cultures is also reflected in popular culture, as in ABC’s Modern FamilyIn the sitcom, a Colombian-born character, portrayed by actress Sofia Vegara, is married to non-Hispanic Ed O’Neill. The cross-cultural lines often become tangled as the two interact on screen.

In the end, says Martinez, it’s all about inclusion. She says marketers like Nike and Apple are successful because they don’t lean on ethnicity, but rather show a mosaic of races and ethnicities using their products.

Businesses that don’t figure out how to approach Hispanics correctly may find that’s an expensive mistake, Martinez says.

“Think about it,” she says. “We’re talking about a population of 50 million people. This is a market that’s growing. They’re buying cars, they’re getting mortgages, they’re sending their kids to school,” she says.

And they’re doing it with companies and services that understand their myriad interests and cultures.

READ MORE: NPR

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powered by Influential Access – “Transforming the Ordinary to EXTRAordinary!” – CEO – Jessica Marie Gutierrez – Creator of The Hispanic Blog #thehispanicblog

HOW TO BEGIN MARKETING TO HISPANICS

photo source: courtesy of the Little in the Middle denim brand. The leader in denim for Latinos. http://www.littleinthemiddle.com

THE HISPANIC BLOG IS THE LATEST HISPANIC NEWS BY JESSICA MARIE GUTIERREZ

Hispanic Consumer Research: A Beginner’s Guide to Spotting and Seizing Opportunity

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THE MANDATE

It is a very common situation – marketers who had never gotten around to establishing a specialized Hispanic program are suddenly faced with a corporate mandate – “Go after the Hispanic market!” Other companies and brands are clearly benefiting from having done so and may appear to be very far down this road – but you are just taking your first steps.

DON’T BE DISCOURAGED

There’s no need to be intimidated; in fact, by starting now you can benefit from the best practices established by others and avoid the pitfalls (and the bumps and bruises) they encountered.

Before you get going, you need to do your homework – to understand what you should do, could do and need to avoid at all costs. Most advertisers begin with research, both internal and with a partner who intimately understands the Hispanic market. You can be wiser than those who may appear to be further along by relying on expert research that has much more refined tools and methods – that recognizes that the “Hispanic market” is heterogeneous and ever-changing.

Syndicated data has its place in this process, yet often falls short by having no Hispanic data view. To properly identify the Hispanic opportunities for your products in your categories, you need to develop a tailored program – one that reflects both your needs and your budget.

Of course, there is no one singular way to go about this process of discovery – but here is a general guide, based on years of experience with clients in dozens of CPG categories.

SECONDARY COMES FIRST

Start with some secondary research to quantify basic information about your company categories, to see which are the lowest hanging fruit – the ones in which Hispanics over-index. For this you would use shopper data or syndicated studies that show market activity and incidence levels by market (and ethnicity).

There may, however, be bigger opportunities in categories in which Hispanics under-index; here you can examine why there is a lack of interest, possibly “introduce” the category, present your brand as the solution, and own it. But tougher categories are best taken on when you have a better idea of what you are doing; it’s best to start with the simplest tasks.

To make this effort more than an activity you need a filter. The bottom line is to ask yourself the following questions as you examine the secondary data:

  • What are my objectives in targeting the Hispanic population?
  • What can I learn from competitive brands that target Hispanics?
  • What has my company done that has succeeded or failed?
  • What holes in my discovery need to be filled with custom research in order to have a solid strategy and activate tactics?

WHERE CONSULTANTS AND AGENCIES FIT IN

At some point, if it has not been done already, the group will consider hiring an ad agency and/or a strategic consultant that specializes in the multi-cultural or Hispanic-specific market. This can be done at any point, but the strategic consultant is often brought in to lead the secondary data search. An ad agency typically comes on board after the secondary research phase but before the start of custom research; this way, the agency can be part of the learning and benefit from the insights and consumer input (as well as contribute to the process from their own unique perspective).

Because hiring an ad agency can be a long and involved process, this is sometimes done after the client has figured out what categories, brands and products they will be focusing on. The client might pick a very different agency depending on their starting point, as they will be looking for teams with certain types of experience. At the very least, sub-optimally, the agency people can then be exposed to the video tapes and transcripts of the earlier qual work.

CUSTOM RESEARCH STARTS WITH QUALITATIVE

Most companies start with exploratory qualitative, just to get the lay of the land. Likely areas to explore include:

  • key issues
  • views of the competitive set
  • category drivers for Hispanics
  • usage occasions for the category and brands
  • histories with the category and brands in Latin America

If you have the budget and need to find out more based on the qual results, you may want to consider ethnographic research – shop-alongs, home visits, groups of “comadres” or “compadres” who will gather at someone’s home and talk informally or go out together to partake in the retail experience.

GETTING QUANTITATIVE

photo source: courtesy of the Little in the Middle denim brand. The leader in denim for Latinos. http://www.littleinthemiddle.com

Your quantitative research path will depend on your objectives in targeting the Hispanic population. For instance: Are you targeting within the existing brand portfolio? Are you thinking about a separate ad campaign, with or without specific in-store activation? Or, are you launching a new brand? With quantitative research, you can test the hypotheses that well-executed secondary and qual has developed.

Many clients simply start with an Attitude and Usage study to quantify the opportunities raised in the qual and ethnographic work, and to get a clear idea of where an existing brand is positioned in the market. Yet, an A&U could fall very short of providing the information you need if you are talking about messages and/or new product launches. For these, you need to undertake more comprehensive research.

With a solid A&U in your pocket, you can confidently pick a category to start with, a brand to focus on, make projections for ROI, establish budgets – and really get going. You can also use the A&U as a benchmark wave for any future tracking or brand health monitoring.

MORE CUSTOM RESEARCH AS NEEDED

Clients often try to simply adapt their general market strategy to the Hispanic market. This can be problematic, as needs/priorities can be very different among Hispanics – especially when the issue is messaging and ad creative.

This is why, as part of the ad development process, clients will often commission more Hispanic-focused quant research to test the positioning concepts or messaging before picking one to be produced. The client may then set up some test markets (and a control or two) to monitor the progress for the brand and the quality of the campaign. After two or three waves of a pre/post tracker, the client can decide to go national with the effort or to roll out regional approaches if deemed best for the category.

After a campaign has proven its potential, other elements are added, such as in-store promotions and co-op marketing like store flyers, events, online, and promotions – all of which can and should be researched prior to launch.

MATURITY ENSUES

As the effort matures, additional categories can be tackled, and ultimately you reach the holy grail of marketing to Hispanics – marketing not just your products, but your Master Brand. This is one of the more effective ways of building a deep, abiding relationship with Hispanic consumers, one based on confidence that the brand will be there for them.

Eventually, doing solid Hispanic research and marketing will become a standard part of every company’s everyday business. You will have integrated your Hispanic effort into your mainstream campaigns, so it will be seamless and synergistic. For the moment, however, adoption of Hispanic marketing into the mainstream is inconsistent – which means that untapped opportunities still abound; so don’t feel bad you’re getting a late jump. Start the process of finding your Hispanic-market-fueled profit growth today!

READ MORE: KNOWLEDGE NETWORKS

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powered by Influential Access – “Transforming the Ordinary to EXTRAordinary!” – CEO – Jessica Marie Gutierrez – Creator of The Hispanic Blog #thehispanicblog

HOW ACCULTURATION AFFECTS TWO GENERATIONS OF HISPANICS

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THE HISPANIC BLOG IS THE LATEST HISPANIC NEWS BY JESSICA MARIE GUTIERREZ

According to the study, developed by Yahoo, Mindshare, and Added Value, marketers must understand the nuances between the two generations of Hispanics, and how acculturation affects their preferences. The findings stress the notion of how the majority of the Latino population is second generationAmerican born, and bilingual/English speaking.

ac·cul·tur·a·tion

noun \ə-ˌkəl-chə-ˈrā-shən, a-\

1: cultural modification of an individual, group, or people by adapting to or borrowing traits from another culture; also : a merging of cultures as a result of prolonged contact
2: the process by which a human being acquires the culture of a particular society from infancy

Latinos do nurture ethnicity more than other segments. This is manifested through a series of behaviors like exposing their children to their Latino background, trying to get in touch with their Hispanic identity, feeling very comfortable as it relates to their ethnicity, and being part of activities/traditions that celebrate their heritage.

The Generational Latino Gap

When it comes to generation breakdown, there are some differences that marketers need to consider. Let’s take identity and values, for example.

First-generation Latino behavior is much more influenced by ethnicity. Their Latino background plays a major role when it comes to feelings about their individuality, religion, and values. It also affects how they socialize (neighborhoods, close circle of friends, etc.) and other behaviors (eating habits, celebrations, vacations, etc.). For second-generation Latinos, ethnicity is more about outward expression and bicultural in nature.

Content plays an important yet different role. First-generation Hispanics seek content that is in Spanish language and speaks to their ethnicity for topics like news, entertainment, and food. Second-generation Hispanics are more sensitive to how their ethnicity is portrayed in the media.

Second-generation Latinos have a stronger civic commitment. They care about the role Latinos are playing in today’s American society. They are very involved in discussions about Latinos’ role in the elections, immigration debates, etc. They want to play a major (influential) role and want to make sure that they are taken into consideration.

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The Common Thread: Authenticity

For both first- and second-generations, ethnicity is an important part of the past and the present. Both segments agreed: it influences “who I am” and both feel very proud of “how I grew up” as well as “my ethnic identity.”

Ethnicity plays a significant part of the Latino identity. As David Iudica, a bicultural Latino himself, said to me: “I have my feet firmly planted in both worlds, it’s an important part of my identity.”

Overall, it seems that marketers have a long way to go in order to better impact Latino audiences. For different reasons, both first- and second-generations feel they aren’t being represented or spoken to in the right way.

1st-generation

2ndgeneration

This reminds me of a controversy that happened a couple of weeks ago around a proposal to recreate a mural on the walls of the Mission Drive-In Theater in San Antonio, Texas. The images, one of a Mexican sitting asleep against the wall with his sombrero covering his face and another with a stereotypical Mexican posing with a burro, backfired. Sometimes marketers, in trying to connect with Latinos, get hooked with their own stereotypes and generate negative reactions rather than relevance.

The (Right) Approach When Marketing to Latinos

A successful Latino marketing strategy should be built on a common thread: what are the attitudes and behaviors – related to your product category – that bring Latinos together?

A sense of pride, identity, and authenticity (the world I live in) are important for all Latinos.

Authenticity is key. Choosing an authentic Hispanic spokesperson, rather than a well-known spokesperson, is relevant to all Latinos.

Latinos crave ethnic-specific marketing messages, yet portraying an appropriate level of diversity in advertising is critical.

If done right, Hispanics will talk about advertising positively, but they will also be quick to call out negative portrayals.

Messaging should be customized to speak to the individual needs of each generation:

  • For first-generation Hispanics: speak in their language and make sure to authentically represent their ethnicity.
  • For second-generation Hispanics, you need to portray them as part of a bigger whole: represent diversity in general messaging and show how Latinos are influencing the mainstream. Don’t address them simply as Latinos: talk to their whole bicultural identity.

First-generations want Latino content, second-generations want mainstream content but with a Latino flavor.

Authentic Bobbleheads

Will Ferrell’s “Casa de mi Padre” seemed to connect with the Latino audience and is set to be a box office success. But, when it comes to how brands “talk” to Latinos, not all are successful stories. Think of Jaime Jarrin, a Hall of Fame broadcaster, who has not been included in the Dodger’s 50th-anniversary bobbleheads. Jaime is Latino and broadcasts in Spanish and, according to The Los Angeles Times, that’s why he was left out. As the article says, “Jaime Jarrin’s primary language has always been Dodger. It’s a shame that, in this case, the Dodgers seem to be the only ones who don’t understand.”

Ask second-generation Latinos. See if they find this kind of behavior to be authentic.

READ MORE: CLICK Z

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LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION: CALLING FOR “LIGHT SKINNED HISPANICS”

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THE HISPANIC BLOG IS THE LATEST HISPANIC NEWS BY JESSICA MARIE GUTIERREZ

Casting call asking for "Caucasian or light skinned Hispanic" extras in New Mexico's tourism campaignCasting call asking for “Caucasian or light skinned Hispanic” extras in New Mexico’s tourism campaign. (On Location Casting, Facebook Inc. / March 23, 2012)
New Mexico was planning to celebrate its statehood centennial by inviting tourists to come experience the state’s rich culture, take in its extraordinary views and have epic outdoor adventures.

But the Land of Enchantment‘s promotion hit a snag, raising questions about who exactly is being represented in the celebration — and reviving  historical insecurities.

It all started when the New Mexico Department of Tourism began planning  a $2-million marketing campaign to attract outsiders to the state, which  had observed its statehood centennial Jan. 6.

The department had learned that the state ranked 38th in a poll ranking tourists’ preferred destinations — and wanted to do something about that.

“We really want to move that needle up,” said Veronica Valencia, director of marketing and communications for the department.

Focus groups in Chicago and Los Angeles assessed the public’s perception of New Mexico, and “the feedback was that it was a dry, barren wasteland with nothing to do,” Valencia said. “So [the state] set on a course to change this misconception.”

Austin, Texas-based marketing agency Vendor Inc. was hired in January to handle the campaign, titled “Adventures Steeped in Rich Culture.” The agency soon contracted with On Location Casting to assign roles in the ad, which was to be filmed in March.

Soon a casting call went out on Facebook seeking “Caucasian or light-skinned Hispanic” people.

The specificity of that call has caused quite a stir, prompting a critical editorial last week in the Santa Fe New Mexican and an even harsher reaction from the state’s Democratic Party chairman.

“Hearing that term brings to mind a vision of casting agents holding up paper bags next to people’s faces to ensure they can pass,” the New Mexican wrote. “We don’t know, of course, who made it into the shoot and how New Mexico will be presented to the world once the campaign is unveiled. But really, light-skinned only? What were they thinking?”

The request seemed ironically appropriate to at least one historian, who noted the territory’s long-ago efforts to attract more light-skinned residents.

“New Mexico’s population in the 1900 census was 70% Nuevomexicanos [today called Hispanic] and 7% American Indian. In the quest for statehood, each group followed many of their traditions in language, dress, religion… all of which alarmed a few hardcore opponents of statehood in the U.S. Congress,” David Holtby, a research scholar of regional studies at the University of New Mexico, wrote in an email to The Times.

Perhaps New Mexico could have been celebrating more than 100 years of statehood by now if it could have proved to Congress that a significant percentage of light-skinned people inhabited the area at the time.

Holtby added: “Now we have the newest ‘tourism message’ being revised to ‘lighten’ the color of people. This can be seen as an example of a throw-back to racial bias of a century ago.”

The hubbub, however, is all an unfortunate misconception, Valencia said.

“We were casting for the role of ‘tourist,’ ” she said. “It was never our intention to make any of this about race. It was more to focus on the experiences and adventures that someone could have in New Mexico rather than the background of the people having them.”

Valencia said the concept for the shoot came from a collaborative effort between the state, Vendor Inc. and On Location Casting, but the specific wording for the casting call was developed by people in the industry, she said.

Tina Kerr, a casting director for On Location Casting, said the request was filed by Vendor Inc. That company didn’t respond to repeated attempts for comment.

“We believe that people from all backgrounds visit New Mexico and it is not a place for any one type of visitor,” Valencia said.

The first ads will be launched April 16 in regional markets near New Mexico, and the state is developing more spots.

This time, Valencia said, industry standards will be shunned when casting the next adventurer.

Read More: LA TIMES

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God Bless and may you have a fabulous day!

powered by Influential Access – “Transforming the Ordinary to EXTRAordinary!” – CEO – Jessica Marie Gutierrez – Creator of The Hispanic Blog #thehispanicblog

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