Co-founded by David Wellisch and Michael Klein, the Latinum Network made its public debut at the end of 2009, with a report about spending habits of Hispanic consumers. In the entertainment sector, for example, Hispanic consumers spent 14% more from 2007 to 2008, compared to a 7% decline in entertainment spending by non-Hispanic consumers.
"As we start 2010 and companies are looking for leading growth platforms, the Hispanic opportunity is undoubtedly one of the most exciting ones," said Wellisch, who also co-founded and served as GM for AOL Latino. "We launched the Latinum Network as a way to help and support leading brands to take advantage of the market opportunity through collaboration, data, analytics, and research, and innovations."
More than 20 brands, including Clorox, H&R Block, Kraft Foods, and Nestlé, are members in the Latinum Network, with executives in marketing and communications, consumer insights, and more.
"I saw it as a potential for us to get smarter by leveraging what collectively the Network knows," said Juan Motta, head of emerging markets domestic for Nestlé USA. "At the end of the day, the work that the Network is doing is based on understanding insights about the consumer and trends. There is a world there where we can all learn from each other without it being something that will risk anything proprietary that the companies or brands are trying to do."
Klein, previously with the Corporate Executive Board, said the agenda of the Network is based on questions from its members and brands. Currently, major issues include acculturation and habits of bi-cultural consumers, and how the Hispanic market uses online media.
He added, "The opportunity we have is to use the analytics, data, and analysis to say, 'This is what is happening in the market and these are the kinds of communications strategies that are most effective.'"