In the hub of Hispanic PR

The Hispanic market, the companies that serve it, and the PR agencies that help those companies, all add up to a huge, and sometimes daunting, market.

The Hispanic market, the companies that serve it, and the PR agencies that help those companies, all add up to a huge, and sometimes daunting, market.

PRWeek's Julia Hood  and Erica Iacono visited a key hub of Hispanic marketing, Miami, and convened a panel of experts who reach out to this diverse market from corporations and PR agencies , to discover the current trends in the area, the key issues, and who's doing it right.

Erica Iacono (PRWeek): Since the 2000 Census, communicating to Hispanic audiences has been a hot topic. Do you think companies responded adequately to the challenge of marketing to Hispanics?
Frank Trullenque (MAG Beauty):
Not enough. And not only that, but they also have a skewed perspective of what this Hispanic market is about. They see 41 million and they say, "Whoa, that's a huge number." But they don't realize that there's diversity within the Hispanic market and you deal with acculturation and a lot of issues that changes the perspective of how successful a campaign can be.

Martha Pantin (AmericanAirlines): But I do think that there is a much greater awareness. It might have taken 500 years since the Spaniards discovered Florida for people in PR and companies to realize the potential, but I think there is much greater awareness. I've seen commercials: there's Pepsi Si that's for general market, there is a Chevy commercial that says "caliente" so you see a lot of this penetration. I also think there is also something that in some markets people fail to recognize ?that the general market is also a Hispanic market. In Miami, that is the case. If you look at the ratings of Univision in Miami or you look at the ratings of Univision in LA, it's not the number one Hispanic station, it is the number one station. And those markets are very different. And I know that not only in PR, but in our marketing and sales efforts that's why in New York we have people that sell to the Brazilian market and they speak Portuguese. Because you really do have to realize that there are differences even within this general market.

Fernando Figueredo (Porter Novelli): Not only is Univision number one TV market in this market but Univision radio also has the top two stations, so it's become a major, major part of the market. I guess it wasn't really the 2000 census, it was 2002 that all of a sudden we were the number one ethic minority in the country that people realized the market was growing so fast and they had not really been paying attention. And over the past two years, we've seen a lot more attention to the market and many of the multinationals, many of the major companies, are starting to pay attention.

Jose Lopez-Varela, (abece): I think the census was a big catalyst. Obviously the numbers starting coming out around 2002. We're used to seeing that already in Miami but do you know that the number one station in Fort Meyers (Florida) is a Hispanic station? You're now starting to see it in other markets. Five years ago, two of my clients were doing absolutely nothing against Hispanics and the other was doing very, very little. So we've certainly seen that evolution. But the stereotypes play a big role- those thing hurt us a lot. I've seen issues with buyers for Marshall's in Puerto Rico. Buyers in Andover, MA were going to buy for Puerto Rican women. I saw buyers in lingerie who were only going to buy red lingerie, because they said Hispanics love red. So we had to sit with buyers and give them training.

Jorge Ortega (The Jeffrey Group): I think it's interesting the way the market had evolved. I still see four segments of marketers: the classics and committed, companies like Coca Cola, the beer companies, car companies, American, have always been there; the people that are new believers; there's the uncertain bunch, those that try some spot buys and event and do a donation but they're not really certain if there's an ROI; and then there are those, and we've all met them, the "not for me, not now" group. They can't sell it in because they haven't seen. I see those four. What has happened around those four segments is that you have a lot of media growing. The print is phenomenal-new newspapers popping up everywhere; radio stations- I grew up in Miami so to have seen a classic rock station converted into reggaeton... I think that even though the companies have evolved at different levels of intensities. Around them, and around their corporate headquarters is this incredible market that yes, the census had told us, but also other companies and investors are putting a lot of money against this market. So, I see it with optimism.

Manny Ruiz (Hispanic PRWire): As far as the multicultural market, especially led by the flagship Hispanic market, there was some doubt about the numbers. The census definitely said, "No, these are real numbers; in fact, you have been sleeping at the wheel." Corporations that are embracing this more are the ones that have said, "Not only do we need to have a focus that is international... but we have an opportunity to grow share in our own country." Those companies are going to do better. The other thing I notice is that a lot of companies come to us, and you can tell they really need someone to champion that Hispanic vision for them. There is a lack of talent to be able to articulate that vision. If we had more evangelists in these companies, I think you would see even better growth. Somehow we have to figure out how to get more Latinos and Latinas to be able to be those evangelists because they're going to do a great job of articulating that and showing that it's a real business opportunity and not just politically correct.

Armando Azarloza (The Axis Agency): Those of us who have been around for a while have seen we were knocking on doors for a while and now they're knocking on our doors. I think now it's really incumbent upon us to come up there with a vision. The days of spot marketing are gone. We need to be bolder; we need to be creative and much more innovative. I think it's incumbent upon us to really be the person that's going to draw that vision for [clients] and connect the dots. Whether it's branded entertainment or promotional programs or interactive things you do banking on the fact that more Hispanics are jumping online. These are the kinds of things that we have to bring to our clients. While there are clearly those who have been out there for years ? and I think American Airlines and General Motors are two good examples of that? there are so many others that are just tiptoeing but they're not going to jump in until we give them these bright, creative ideas. And when we give them to them, I've seen the light go off and the opportunities become obvious.

Christopher Perez (Euro RSCG Magnet): One thing that's becoming a big problem, because of the need for those evangelists is that we're seeing a split personality. They may be hiring our agencies more, but on the other hand, half of clients are non-Latino. They're not multicultural. Not only are we having to explain our programs and why they're strategically applicable, but we have to explain what the biculturalism is all about. We have to take one step backward because they don't have the [multicultural] talent. There are things that corporate America should be doing and can be doing to bring more talent into corporate America.

Karina Diehl (IBM): I think the agencies have it, [the need] is on the corporate side right now. They're not getting it. You may have one or two evangelists within there; they might hire the right agency and hire the right people to carry out the work for them but they have to take those programs that [agencies] are providing and say, "Can you fund this? It's going to work, I promise." But I think we're getting there; I'm optimistic.

Pantin (American Airlines): I think some companies are coming in the back door. We've had to be multicultural since 1941 because we started flying to Mexico. You have to do it for business reasons. As companies start going into Latin marketplaces outside the United States and they realize the potential of profit...all of sudden they start to realize that the other side of the Americas, the Hispanic market, is important. It's also important because what happens in places south of the border can also affect your market here.

Lopez-Varela (abece): I'm now starting to see it the other way too which is companies in Latin America are saying, "I already have the brand equity with these people so I'm going to go to the States to market my product." They may, in some industries, take the market before they even realize the market is here.

Figueredo (Porter Novelli): I wanted to go back to the lack of evangelists and that they don't understand the Hispanic market. I've always wondered if every CEO went to CMO and marketing VP and said, "I want to see plans to penetrate the Hispanic market," they really don't have it. It's an offshoot of some of the things that they're doing already. They don't understand, for example, my daughters are born in the United States: One of them is an award-winning writer in English, and yet she still watches the telenovelas. She lives in New York, gets home at 8pm, and can't wait to turn on the telenovelas. And she is fully acculturated: speaks English without an accent; can move from one market to the other with no issues and yet she's still watching Telemundo. And when there's a Hispanic festival in New York, she's there. So it's understanding that you don't have to do away with the general market strategies but you have to touch the Hispanic in his or her culture.

Frank Trullenque (MAG Beauty): My company is a $2 billion multinational company out of Barcelona and we found that the US market is really pretty much our growth potential, even though we're in five continents and 30 countries. But I found that the US is an international market when it comes to diversity in Hispanics. We leverage two brands- Maja and Heno de Pravia? which are very recognized globally, as being a synergetic brand for the United States, and to also help the American buyers understand that you can have one brand that actually works nationally and not necessarily have to regionalize everything. Is there a brand or a way to be able to market to Hispanics that's kind of like KFC--you know, chicken goes across the board?

Pantin (American Airlines): I think there are some generalities. We know that Hispanics travel more and we also know where they travel and that they travel in families. So that is applicable across the [board]. We also know that with the exception of Cubans, Hispanics like to travel home every year and a half. You can't go with your message and translate it. You have to understand that you have to do a Spanish message that is neutral.

Iacono (PRWeek): Do you think that there are any misconceptions the general market has about how to market to Hispanics?
Pantin (AA): A lot of time companies think that Hispanics don't have money. That's a total misconception. If anyone knows Miami they can tell you that's definitely not the case. I know that there are financial services companies that are now jumping on the bandwagon. There are a large number of Hispanic households that have incomes of over $100,000. So, I think that's something that is gradually changing. I do think that's why a lot times when you see marketers or PR in big events you see them in massive street festivals versus the art fair. They think that that's not the Hispanic market.

Lopez-Varela (abece): This is where the stereotypes take over. It's like, "No the Hispanic is my gardener" or "That's my nanny." And that's not reality.

Ortega (The Jeffrey Group): Well, it's supported by what happens on television and in movies. We're still seeing Hispanics in those stereotypical roles and there are a lot of great groups trying to fight against that. But I wanted to address the thing about the evangelists. I heard a presentation the other day from Procter and Gamble and I was really amazed about how much this guy shared since they're secretive about what they are doing or have done. One of the things they did is at the CEO level they made this multicultural business a global business unit. So they are up there with paper or detergents or whatever the case may be. And therefore it's treated that way; it's funded that way, it's staffed that way, it's given that level of respect, authority, and power within the organization. So when they're sitting around the table and talking strategy, the head of the unit is sitting there with either the head of a division or the head of a region. That elevation is really not seen in many companies. If we want to see big dollars, big commitments, and good ROI, it has to be at that level. It's a tough road. P&G used the 4 billion number, which ended up being units because when they did the math... they came out to a 4 billion number. They don't see the market just in terms of 40 million Hispanics or buying power, they see this 4 billion number. I think that that is an example of a company that has put their commitment at that level, has connected the dots with all of their integrated communications, and then is putting their money down and seeing a return on investment, because companies like P&G don't do this unless they are getting a return

Iacono (PRWeek): What other companies are leading the way in terms of Hispanic marketing?
Armano Azarloza (Axis): I think Disney is doing a very good job of coordinating all their different brands, from ABC to ESPN to the Disney empire. I think they're doing a very good job of marketing to Hispanics. Even when you go to the kiosks where they have the display hats, they'll have Pedro and Sophia next to Beth and Melissa. General Mills has a great guy, Rudy Rodriguez, that sits atop all these different discipline. So he talks to PR and promotions on a regular basis. Gil Davila at Disney does it; Rick Ramirez at Fox does it. So there are a lot of examples of companies doing that, but I think until they actually put dollars behind it in many ways they're not getting where they want to go. Davila has gotten money that he can put aside for specific initiatives and I think he's doing that. Until a company has actually put the money and the funds behind that... they're not going to get very far.

Figueredo (Porter Novelli): What Armando just said is very important. When you're talking about whether [companies] are doing a good job or not, it's really relative. What we're seeing is that they're doing more than before. Are they doing enough is the question that should be asked. In the advertising world they're only spending 2% of the total buy even though [Hispanics account] for 14% of the market. In the PR world, I'm not sure if there are figures about PR because a lot of it gets mixed in with what advertising companies are doing, but it's probably less than 2% of the total PR buy. You asked the question about whether there are any misconceptions and I usually go with language: they think that they can reach enough of the Hispanic market in English; and that they can market to all of us alike. You reach all with one campaign, and the issue of money? there's a major misconception of the buying power.

Chris Perez (Euro RSCG Magnet): I'd like to challenge one of those misconceptions, but let me go back the other way to the whole idea of language. There are just as many people who think that the only way to reach Hispanics is in Spanish language and that's not the case. I sometimes think that as marketers we're our own worst enemy in propagating that misinformation because it's part of our own survival. At least on the advertising want to convince as many corporate marketers that they must advertise and absolutely have to in Spanish if they're going to be successful. Well, I'm not taking away from the fact that there is a large portion of Hispanics who are, but I think more and more in PR we are having to be very conscious of the fact that a great deal of our audience is English preferred. Not just bilingual, but English preferred. And I think that's happening in print. Print is really started to segment between the acculturated Hispanic and the Spanish speaker.

Pantin (AA): While you may like your communications in English, but you may watch a place like Univision because they are going to offer you information about Latin America and you care about that. Even though you might prefer ABC Evening News since their focus is so different you go with [Univision]. I do think it's not only about translating the message if you're going into Spanish, but it's about translating the content and what it really means.

Diehl (IBM): I think it made it a lot easier in the beginning working with clients our way of telling them that we need to reach Hispanics was that it needed to be in Spanish because they speak Spanish. It was so much easier to convince them that this is how we reach them. Now it's taking an extra step to say, "Ok now we have to hit them with their culture. Yes, they speak Spanish but they prefer English and they liked to be talked to this way." How do we explain that?

Azarloza (Axis): I think every client is different. If you look at Nintendo ? which happens to be a client of mine ? the kids that are buying the games are 13-17 years old, and 13-17 year olds are the exact opposite of the language characteristics that we see in the Hispanic market. They're 60% English dominant. At home they speak Spanish, but they speak English with their friends on the playground, with their cousins, sisters and brothers. So the campaign that we rolled out for Nintendo was an English language campaign. It probably would've been a lot easier to go in and say that it was going to be in Spanish, but we went the extra step. We felt it was completely off target to do the campaign in Spanish. It's about in culture as opposed to language.

Trullenque (MAG Beauty): Fernando brought up a point when he was talking about his daughter, that she writes so well in English, but yet she goes from Hispanic to English to Hispanic. We see that in the universal brand of Dora the Explorer. Even in my kids I see that they are immersed in this back and forth; they appreciate the culture, they appreciate the language, but they also appreciate the fact that they're in America and they speak English and they also enjoy this culture.

Ortega (Jeffrey Group): There's this pressure. The media... is carrying the message that we have to speak Spanish; the agencies say that yes you do, but you have to also understand that the people that you are reaching also speak another language; you have the consumer that's saying if you speak to me in English with white people on the screen or in the photos... then you're not talking to me; and then you have the client who's trying to figure out all these forces and trying to fit in. It makes our job very exciting.

Azarloza (Axis): It's kind of a slippery slope. One think you also have to also realize is that different from the 1800s when you had Polish and German and Jewish [immigrants] there was a start and end to that immigration. There is not an end to Latin immigration in the United States.

Ortega (Jeffrey Group): We keep on coming!

Azarloza (Axis): It's always going to be there. There's always as regression of the language on a regular basis.

Ruiz (Hispanic PRWire): We've talked about things that are pretty overwhelming for corporate America. What's really good about reaching the Hispanic market is that geographically we're heavily clustered in certain markets. If you understand these nuances, you're to going to have to do this in every city across the United States because we're highly clustered in the top 20 markets. If you think about it, it's not as overwhelming when you think of it in terms of regional buys.

Trullenque (MAG Beauty): Karina brought up the acculturation issue. If you look at Microsoft and their Xbox campaign, they opted to use the fact that soccer or "futbol" is such a passionate thing to Hispanics and then used that as a comparison s to what the Xbox is about and how emotionally tied kids and even adults get into the Xbox. They made that comparison and I think it was something that transcended and went across the board.

Figueredo (Porter Novelli): Our job has become so difficult in identifying who is the decision maker, because in the [case of Nintendo] the decision maker is the kid, not the father or mother. When you start segmenting the markets are really difficult to segment... To sell them on a plan, we really have to careful about what we say; it's not all Spanish, it's not all English. It's not all the father, it's not all abuelita [grandmother]; it really depends on who the buyer is. When you were asking about clients that are doing a good job, HP launched a whole Web site geared to the Hispanic SMB [small to medium business]. Why? Because the fastest growing SMB segment in the market is the Hispanic market, and within that it is women. They figured that out and they launched this campaign with the entire Web site geared toward Hispanic SMB women. They're targeting women's magazines. Everywhere the women show up that are Hispanic, they're trying to target the SMB [audience].

Lopez-Varela (abece): That's s good point, but that's an industry I think has missed the whole boat. The computer [industry] from Apple to HP to Gateway, you name it. They missed it because it's, "No, no Hispanics don't have computers, they don't have Internet."

Perez (Euro RSCG Magnet): I will say that [IBM is] my example of a company that has really got it together and not just on the marketing. It's one thing to put up a Web site ? and plenty of companies have bilingual Web sites and know how to sell...What IBM, and even Home Depot, are doing is they're started at the high school level, targeting K-12 organizations and bringing in Latinos from that base because they know that's going to be their employee force, it's going to be their consumer. How many companies are doing that? Everyone here is familiar with HACER [Hispanic American Center for Economic Research]. Only 30 of the Fortune 100 companies participated in their annual survey that monitored whether companies were reaching out to the Hispanic market. Only 30. A lot of good companies were in that 30, but this is where the rubber meets the road because this is where you're finding whether or not a company is putting in the real money. Not just the money from the agencies; not just the money on the Univision buy. But are they willing to put the money into the schools? Are they willing to take an active role in developing the talent so they fill these ranks of executives that can make the subtle decisions we've been talking about?

Ortega (Jeffrey Group): If you leave Miami...and you go out into middle America, it's a very white world. I've sat in many, many meetings with very senior people in companies that look at us with the blank stare of "Is it really economically prosperous to reach that segment?" "Is it really that segmented?" "Is it really that attractive?" The 30 % is really sad news, the sadder news is that it gets much worse. Now I'm going back to your first question of have we seen more companies [reaching out]? Of course. Look at the number of advertisers, look at the number of money being spent. Of course those numbers have gone up since the census, but it's still such a small percentage of not just marketing spend, but just spend period in the Hispanic market. And that is because our country is the United States of America and we're Americans. The majority of decision makers and CEOs of these companies are clueless. We don't have time to go around about the things that clients ask us. But there is a lot of work for us around the table in this market. They need us. Most of our phone calls now are US Hispanic? from the small player to the Fortune 500 company. They've woken up- they're in one of those four clusters I spoke about earlier, but there still is so much work to be done. I don't believe in that concept of fair share; I just believe in smart share.

Diehl (IBM): In think there are two routes to take. While you were talking I was thinking about our K-12 outreach. There are more engineering degrees granted outside the US than in the US right now so IBM's big play is to inspire the innovators of tomorrow. So we're going out there and we're [targeting] kids in the 5th grade. We did a study with the Tomas Rivera Policy Institute and found 5th and 6th grade is when kids stop liking math and science. We really are really are hitting a crisis. If more degrees are being granted overseas than here, then that's a problem. We need to develop the talent pipeline. The other thing is SMB. IBM is working with magazines like Latina Style. The website in Spanish is imperative. That's the base; it needs to be there. We need to develop product and language to target these women entrepreneurs, but we need to do a little bit more. We need to have panels, we need to develop role models for these women. We need to not only give them the tools, but empower them. I think a lot of companies lack that empowering tactic. They got all the tools in place, but somebody has to come in to give them the wings to take off.

Pantin (AA): For my company I can say we're fortunate because for 35 years we've had one of the most senior executives in the United States who is from Uruguay. So we have a champion who has been a person and has shown results for 35 years. I don't think its people in the company who target Hispanics or target diversity, I think its people within the company that understand how this market really influences and can bring profit to the business.

Azarloza (Axis): That's a good point. If we're not talking to our clients about it, we should be talking about how the influence of the Hispanic market leads into general market as well? from fashion to food to sports. There is a tremendous amount of opportunity for that continual bleed over. And that's one of the points that I made earlier about integrating what you're doing. If it's an integrated campaign that you know has the opportunity to bleed into the general market, it's something that I think marketers and clients will see the ROI in. They'll recognize the value in that if it's more than just a customized program for the Hispanic market. We need to show them that on a regular basis.

Figueredo (Porter Novelli): The value can be measured in very different ways. Not just when the sales figure comes in, but when the crisis hits those companies who have put a lot of effort to reach the Hispanic market are buying loyalty from the Hispanic market. Hispanics in general have been shown to be very very loyal to their brands. And so when McDonald's, for example, has some of the issues that they're having...I saw a recent report out of LA where McDonald's was ranked number-one by Hispanics. The fact that they spend the money, they have the commitment, and they show the commitment when they don't really need it, you're buying that loyalty. We're willing to give them a chance.

Pantin (AA): In Hispanic marketing, whoever bats first bats twice.

Ortega (Jeffrey Group): We work with McDonald's and we have a concept called a trust bank. You make deposits into the trust bank, and McDonald's, as you know does charity, community programs, they make a lot of deposits to that trust account. When they have a crisis... they go in and make a withdrawal from that thing and they still have a very healthy balance. It really works. I talk to clients a lot about what do you do to make deposits into that trust accounts. This is not just about Hispanics, but what we have found in research is 72% of Hispanics will tell you that they're more apt to support companies that do that. And McDonald's is a great example of a company that is able to do that because they're able to get in trouble every once in a while.

Lopez-Varela (abece): I almost have a different perspective on that. It's almost like fewer brands are talking to me, of course I'm going to be more brand loyal because instead of having ten brands talking to me, there's one or two brands talking to me. So I'm more likely to gravitate toward that one because they're talking to me in my language and the medium that I'm seeing or in a culturally relevant way.

Ruiz (HPRW): With Hispanic organizations, especially those that have an empowerment theme, I think that really is effective. Because then you're building a second layer to that relationship; it's not just about reaching them with a message that might get them interested in a the product, but you're also showing them that you care, that you employ their parents or their grandparents. You're doing a lot of things at a community level that speaks to their needs. For Hispanics, something as basic as getting life insurance or any insurance is a big deal. So when you have companies that are helping you to understand that... you feel a deeper sense of belonging to that company because they were there for you.

Ortega (The Jeffrey Group): You go to these focus groups and it's amazing. They'll tell you those stories about when they first came here, the bank that gave them the bank account, the store that cashed their check, etc. And they will stay loyal.

Pantin (AA): And a lot of that loyalty for some of those brands comes from south of the border. It's the brand that you know in your country, whether it's for laundry detergent or for toothpaste, so how that brand did there carries over here? especially to the immigrant and to the first generation. Maybe that dissipates later as people become more acculturated to the United States, but that brand from South America or the Caribbean is very important.

Azarloza (Axis): There are companies that are jumping into the US Hispanic market. Bimbo bakeries, for example, has done a really good job of marketing themselves. I actually did some work for one of their competitors who tried to create a specific brand to market their product and they were trying to stave out the attack from Bimbo and they were unsuccessful because Bimbo had such brand equity with the Mexican Americans that they gravitated toward it.

Julia Hood (PRWeek):
Are there sectors that are under servicing the Hispanic market?
Lopez-Varela (abece): There are three that always get pointed to and that's technology, financial services, and pharma [but] they are the three that have been making the most inroads in the last three years. I think Bank of America is doing a very good job with the Hispanic market and that's one that almost got it from the beginning and they've been at it for a while. It may have come through some of the acquisitions, but because Bank of America was heavy West Coast I think they realized it was happening in their backyard. But as they moved across the country and became this national brand, they've embraced it. I'm a Bank of America customer so I would get the promo piece in English and then I wouldn't see the Spanish piece for another six to eight months. But now you're getting it at the same time.

Figueredo (PN): Talking about pharmacists and pharmaceutical firms, the Hispanic market has lots of healthcare issue: diabetes, asthma, obesity--there are about six or seven healthcare issues that Hispanics have much higher incidence than the general market. And yet for so many years, pharmaceutical firms were ignoring that market. Part of it is the Hispanic community does not go to the doctor as much as the general market. We go to the pharmacist. If you stand in almost any of the pharmacies in Little Havana, there are these long lines of little old ladies and little old men waiting to talk to the pharmacists. Not to put in a put in a prescription, but "I have this ailment, what do you recommend?"

Ortega (Jeffrey Group): I have sat in so many focus groups with pharmaceutical companies that even after a year of focus groups, these companies still weren't coming out with any marketing initiatives targeting the Hispanic market. There's the issue of compliance where even if they have insurance and they were prescribed the medicine, they didn't stay with the medicine. I've done focus groups with doctors where the Anglo doctor will say, "They understood me perfectly. They just didn't want to understand me." Then the patients in the second session say, "We really don't understand them. They think we do, but we don't"

Pantin (AA): It's also a thing culturally that you respect doctors and that you don't question them. But I do think that the sectors that you mention. I've seen Merrill Lynch going into specific markets with events that are geared to the Hispanic market. I think that maybe they're late in coming to the dance but they are recognizing.

Ortega (Jeffrey Group): The irony is, at least with pharma and financial services, is they have a lot of money. So when they're coming in, they're coming in strong.

Ruiz (HPRW): I would add luxury brands to the list. There's a saying that I heard in Cuba applying to the people in Havana, but I see it applying to all Latinos: Latinos will practically spend every penny they have just to look good, even it they're dirt poor. We actually spend everything that we have. We like to get good stuff.

Diehl (IBM): Some of the urban brands are targeting Latinos. But it's difficult.

Lopez-Varela (abece): I think you see it more here in Miami than in other markets, but you see Tiffany's and Mercedes.

Trullenque (MAG Beauty): Vanity in general is big. We do cosmetics and we target as young as 15.

Lopez-Varela (abece): I was with a client of ours that is a limited assortment grocery store and we were doing focus groups in LA and he wanted household income $15,000 or more. And the client literally stopped and said "Something is wrong. Look at these women--they're not $15,000 or more" They're coming to a focus group, this is their Sunday's best.

Pantin (AA): In any Hispanic market, manicures and pedicures are much more popular than you would you find in the general market.

Lopez-Varela (abece): To touch on something that Fernando said: One of our clients is CVS Pharmacy and the one of the things that we key on is the role that pharmacist plays. Yes, we do have a lower incidence of insurance, so the pharmacist plays an even more important role. And because some of the doctors they deal with don't speak the language, the pharmacist serves as almost a double check. They're used to in Latin America? the pharmacists down there prescribe, here they don't. So we really opened ourselves up. They had the little window for consultation that was hidden and we made an effort to open it up and lower the barrier. That's an example of a company that three years ago, they were doing absolutely no Hispanic. I sit in an interesting position because as Hill Holliday, I'm their agency of record for the general market and as Hill Holliday Hispanic I'm their agency of record for the Hispanic side. Sometimes you're on the team but you're not really on the team because you are competing with the general market agency that views you as a competitor. This is a perfect scenario because we are truly working for the client not for each other.

Perez (Euro RSCG Magnet): This is what's such a great example of what our role is. You came to CVS and told them that the role that the pharmacist plays is much more important than the pharma companies and even the doctors. We do work for the American Cancer Society. Here's an organization that has an important message to say and the hardest audience to reach is Spanish- speaking seniors that should be getting screened for cancer. No matter how much they talk to them in language, with media partners, they can't get senior Latinos to go get screened. We came at them and said forget about talking to them in Spanish. We'll talk to their kids; their kids are acculturated, they're adults, they get the message. They care because they want their parents to live longer, so we'll target them with the message that you better talk to you parents. So, here were are, the Latino agency talking to The American Cancer Society and telling them all this talking you're doing in language to reach this demographic isn't going to go anywhere. So, we have a campaign ?"For the Love of Your Parents"? all based on communicating in English to the adult children of Spanish-speaking parents to get them to get screened. That's where this bi-culturation is so important because a general market agency isn't going to know this.

Pantin (AA): For example, we know that Hispanics, especially in ethnic markets, are more apt to go to travel agency. They also want to pay in cash. These agencies have sort of become like community centers: they do translations, they're the notary public, and do everything. There's another airline that went into the market in New York and failed in the Santo Domingo market. And that's because they didn't understand that the agency [played such an important role]. They thought that they were just going to do everything online. We understand that you have to have that relationship with the agency and it's a relationship that you're constantly working with.

Ortega (Jeffrey Group): We had a similar example to one Chris made. We represent Laureate Education- the largest operator of private owned university in the world. They wanted to increase the numbers of Latinos who study abroad and Latinos index much lower on study abroad because of the family pressure. They came out with $800 in scholarships for Latinos to encourage them to study abroad. So we had bilingual communications: We had to talk to the parents in Spanish and talk to the students in English. And then the partnership with HACU? Hispanic Association Colleges and Universities ? we had communications going to the study abroad coordinators in Spanish and in English. You're talking to Latinos that are of course going to be English dominant -- you're talking to students ?but the parents here are very influential over whether that kid is going to study abroad. You really have to take it on a case-by-case, product-by-product, category-by-category basis. Some can do it, but it's quite difficult.

Ruiz (HPRW): And yet there are some themes that resonate across. Let's not intimidate corporate America here. You're talking about really expensive propositions when you talk about super segmenting something, even though that is the most effective way. We also have to come up with ideas occasionally that enough for someone to get their ABCs. You need to be able to have an ideal plan but also one that will generally be good.

Hood (PRWeek): What are some of the major media trends that are going out right now in Hispanic market?
Ruiz (HPRW):
The main trends going on right now are about Univision and Telemundo in the top 20 markets beating the local market stations to a pulp ? TV and radio. In terms of the newspaper industry, the only bright spot in the entire newspaper industry are Hispanic newspapers. Whereas general market newspapers are seeing declining readership, Hispanic newspapers are emerging and making money and actually becoming extremely valuable prospects for takeover by general market newspapers because they're seeing that that's growth market for them. So there's an explosion of media opportunities in terms of pitching; there's more media than there used to be. The other thing that is that a lot of Hispanic print media are becoming more and more [Internet savvy]. The Spanish language dominant Internet users are the fastest growing segment in all Internet. So there is more demand for content. The dynamic has become more intense for a lot of us in terms of controlling messages. They are several hundred newspapers and magazines that are publishing their stories in real time.

Figueredo (Porter Novelli): The Internet in the Hispanic community is growing extremely fast in all segments, not just the young, but up to the old. I saw a figure that in the last year that the number of Hispanics that say they use the internet five times a week has gone up 45 %. So now about 65% of the total market is using the Internet. I think that's critical because they're using it to research a product. That's why Ford last year launched a whole effort for the Hispanic side. They're using it for entertainment... and for product research. Now they're using it to communicate with the family. The Hispanic market is up to the same level as the general market. What does that mean? Technology companies haven't done a good job of going after the Hispanic market. They're seeing this research coming out that shows Hispanics use the Internet and now you're seeing the Dells, HPs, and Gateways of the world doing more. I'm receiving for the first time materials at home in Spanish. There was a delay factor. All of these companies are now starting to really get in. The interest from general companies in the Hispanic market didn't take off until after the 2002 update of the census, when all of a sudden the Hispanic market was the fastest growing.

Ortega (The Jeffrey Group): Twenty years ago, in the 80s, the census was the first one that actually defined the market. The original segment that marketed to Hispanics was beer companies and auto companies. And I think when they first came out, they saw the numbers, they had the pressure form the third parties so they had the token Hispanic in key positions in the company and that person was given a certain amount of budget and they partnered with the marketing people and started marketing. That went on for a good 10 or 15 years. Probably the Top 10 advertisers were spending 90 % of all the money that was going on, from an advertising standpoint. Then it all went away. Then, the 2000 numbers revealed all these phenomenal figures and at the same time you had the Latin boom? the entertainment, Ricky Martin, the Grammys. You had this incredible influx of external, non-product specific orientations coming out, and that woke up the market. So you had census numbers, you had more executives and senior levels in the companies that were being heard, you had the entertainment phenomenon going on. And then there is the growth in agencies. This maturity is the best way to describe it. But I think anyone will tell you, you can find enough of "us".

Pantin (AA): It's also difficult to find "us" that really speak Spanish. When we get a call from Venezuela or Univision we have to have someone that speaks Spanish. It's one thing to be working and pushing the agenda and being culturally sensitive, but another thing is putting the accent on the thing. Because if have the word ano and you don't put the [tilde] you're talking about very different things. I've interviewed people and say OK let's speak

Figueredo (Porter Novelli): I'm on the advisory board at FIU and the one thing we talked about the lack of writers in English and Hispanic market. We can't find good people to write.

Perez (Euro RSCG Magnet): Its hard enough finding bicultural/ bilingual, but it's been really hard to find marketing writers. We have to tap journalists. We're raiding the journalists.

Ortega (The Jeffrey Group): One of my clients is the Center for the Study of Hispanic Marketing and Communication at Florida State University...they created the center to groom Hispanic marketing communications talent. They have writing classes in Spanish, cultural classes in Spanish. I've met some of the people on the staff and it really is an incredible opportunity to develop the next generation of talent that we're going to be hiring.

Pantin (AA): That's why you see a lot of local market talent coming from Puerto Rico and Venezuela.

Azarloza (Axis): That's happening with our talent, too. You're having to go overseas to get that talent because it's not here.

Perez (Euro RSCG Magnet): I don't think there is a problem with the people speaking Spanish. It really comes down to they can't write.

Figueredo (Porter Novelli): Radio is really booming. Radio is easy to launch. Finding people who can speak Spanish, but you can't find the writers. The work we're seeing in the Carolinas and Georgia and Alabama, there is a fast-growing Hispanic community with no real print media. You can reach them using radio. Hispanic radio continues to grow. The number-one stations in many of the major markets are the Hispanic radio stations. In Miami we have number one, two, and three. The media is a major issue. Understanding how to target, how to reach it.

Trullenque (MAG Beauty): Just going back to why there was so much interest after the 2000 Census and the entertainment .The fact that entertainment is a big segment for the Hispanics market in how they reach their people. Not only that but the general market has taken an interest in Hispanic because it's exotic, it's hot. They think Ricky Martin is sexy and Jennifer Lopez is sexy. It even comes down to food. I think Goya has done a great job of bringing black beans to the American table. I know my wife's dad in born and bread in New Jersey and he loves black beans.

Ortega (Jeffrey Group): I think what's going to be really interesting to examine is when you go to other cities with pockets of Hispanics, both acculturated and that next generation, to see how the whole Hispanic thing is going to play. I have relatives in the Washington, DC area and there are a lot of Hispanics. One uncle sells mortgages to Latinos buying their first home and the other sells houses. I talk to their kids and ask them if they have a reggaeton station near them. And they'll tell you that it's kind of cool, but it's not quite like how we experience in the cities where we dominate the population. The dynamic of how this well take off in other cities, is going to be interesting. We're in the big cities. What happens when you leave those cities? How will those influences going to play out with that next generation?

Perez (Euro RSCG Magnet): I think there is going to be a shakeout of all this media explosion. I don't think this is here to stay. There are six Spanish language stations in Los Angeles. Maybe its consolidation, probably consolidation. But there are far too many radio stations; there are far too many magazines. I think what we have to be prepared for as marketers is the other side of the hill and realize that there will another side of the hill because everything in America works that way; what goes up comes down.

Ortega (Jeffrey Group): For those who have been doing business in Latin America for the last 25 or 30 years, it is a vicious cycle of challenges of corruption of so many issues. We see these cycles of migration- money migrations and non-money migrations. It is constant. In my lifetime, my kids probably will not see Latin America evolve and come out of the cycle. I hate to say it but the truth is today it's Chavez, tomorrow it's someone else. It's a constant cycle. And every time that happens the money taken out of the country and comes here, the people leave the country and come here. If the borders open up, then they're going to come even more. If they don't open up they're going to sneak across or get visas. So I think in our lifetime we're going to continue to see this explosion. The other thing that has changed is that this generation is a lot more embracing being Latin. Our kids think it's cool to speak Spanish sometimes around Americans that don't speak Spanish. As being Latino is being accepted and mainstream, the Hispanic market is going to flourish.



Jose Lopez-Varela, managing director, abece (formerly Hill Holliday Hispanic)

Karina Diehl, global diversity communication for IBM

Manny Ruiz, president/ CEO Hispanic PR Wire

Jorge Ortega, president, The Jeffrey Group

Christopher Perez, EVP and GM, Euro RSCG Magnet

Martha Pantin, director of corporate communications, Miami, Caribbean, Latin America, US Hispanic, American Airlines

Armando Azarloza, president, The Axis Agency

Frank Trullenque, VP of sales and marketing, MAG Beauty

Fernando Figueredo, partner and MD, Porter Novelli Latin America/Hispanic Markets

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Already registered?
Sign in