September 09, 2017

  By: AHAA Chair Linda Lane Gonzalez

David Chitel’s article “Wake Up and Smell the Cafecito, the Despacito and The ‘Total’ U.S. Hispanic Market” provides an accurate and comprehensive history on the evolution of Hispanic Marketing. It is an exciting time to be a culture specialist, as demographics, technology and consumer behaviors are driving mainstream trends at unprecedented rates!

We agree with Chitel that many brands have used the myopic version of “Total Market,” where a top-down ‘one-size-fits-all’ strategy developed mostly by non-experts in multicultural marketing, is adopted,” ultimately cutting corners and failing to leverage deep cultural insights. When has that ever worked? Both  AHAA and the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) agree: a true Total Market strategy requires both a culturally nuanced mainstream campaign AND integrated, yet relevant, segment campaigns. According to AHAA Chair-Elect Isaac Mizrahi in his latest article from August 22, 2017, the Hispanic segment represents a disproportional source of incremental users across multiple categories, including automotive, credit card ownership and domestic travel. In fact, in shopping mall visits and cola soft-drink consumption, they represented 100% of the growth. It’s time marketers followed the growth and not only allocated the right percentage of their budgets commensurate with this enormous opportunity but also have the right experts at the table. Who better to advise you how than a culture specialist?

Specialists are very much valued in several aspects of our society — doctors, financial experts, engineers, to name a few. The same should apply when it comes to new mainstream and multicultural marketing. It is critical to understand the actionable consumer insights that drive ROI. More than ever, diverse Hispanic segments — from the bilingual/bicultural to the acculturated —require specialized strategies integrated into the entire marketing funnel to gain their awareness, engagement, and affinity… the same way general market campaigns evolved across decades to tailor messages to women, considering her profession, marital status, age, kids/no kids. Blanket approaches don’t work – you must dig deeper. Sure, a dentist can put on braces, but wouldn’t you rather go to an orthodontist?

Mizrahi put it best: “The Hispanic segment may be one of the best growth opportunities in the years to come, and marketing budgets could benefit from a growth-oriented allocation.” It’s time to not only smell the cafecito but drink it with your team of culture specialists!


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