AHAA Responding to Challenges

   In 1996, AHAA was founded to grow our marketplace and promote our member agencies. Today Hispanic marketing is more important, more challenging and more nuanced. Gene Bryan – CEO of HispanicAd.com last year challenged AHAA and the Industry with his opinion piece title “I Have High Hopes for AHAA”, with a call for renewed energy, fresh insights and smart collaboration between clients, media and agencies.  We at the volunteer-led AHAA board agree with Gene. Over the last six months, AHAA as The Voice of Hispanic Marketing has ramped up efforts across a broad range of issues in order to expand our scope and help re-energize our industry. Here are some of our initiatives since last October. Aggressive Advocacy Over the last six months we’ve been executing an aggressive PR strategy – in press releases tied to AHAA research and initiatives, that have garnered national attention from the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, NPR, Advertising Age and Adweek, and in quick response advocacy mode – setting the record straight in trade publications, boards and blogs, with last fall’s Big Tent piece on the front page of adage.com (Multicultural Marketing Is Very Much Alive: Hispanic Ad Industry Growing Faster Than Other Sectors, Says AHAA) as just one example. Research and Return on Hispanic Investment On the research front, AHHA has taken the lead with two compelling and widely-promoted studies: The 2010 AHAA Report on Hispanic Advertising Spending (released October 2011) made an undeniable connection between consistent and significant investment allocations of more than 14.2% in Hispanic marketing and higher top line revenue growth. This is the first time Hispanic marketing has been tied to total company sales growth.  And, the investment community took notice and added their voice to ours. The AHAA Consumer Packaged Goods and Retail Hispanic Allocation Study (March 2012) revealed a powerful positive connection between corporate Hispanic marketing and revenue growth for CPG and CPG-based retail companies, with significantly higher revenue growth for those companies with a consistent, integrated Hispanic focus. Over the next year, AHAA is committed to further tests, forums and research with more data partners, broadening the base of original variables in order to share more insights, statistics and best practices with member firms and marketers. Insightful Training for Members Since May 2011, AHAA has presented seven well-subscribed and much-applauded webinars – four of them in the last five months – where industry experts presented tactical and strategic insights into critical topics chosen at the request of our members, resulting in lively debate, positive takeaways, and continued growing interest from Wall Street analysts and key corporate marketing and PR contacts. Expanding Our Membership In February 2012, we announced an expansion of our membership beyond advertising agencies. Membership is now open to all Hispanic marketing firms including public relations, research, promotions, direct response, music, consulting, production, as well as media. Traditional advertising agencies are no longer alone in advocating for our industry.  Consequently, we want to promote and advocate for all industry areas that our clients are increasingly using. As a part of this initiative, we are expanding the Board of Directors and will invite executives reflecting this increasingly diverse membership to join our board.  We are looking for volunteers from multiple disciplines for board seats and for our multiple committees. This new direction reflects new energy within AHAA. Over the last six months, old and new members are actively engaging and re-engaging with AHAA, and membership is growing with new members including prestigious firms like Google and Geoscape. New Advisory Board An Advisory Board made up of senior industry leaders will be announced later this month.  The board will consist of leaders from client companies, advocacy groups and from multiple marketing disciplines.  The purpose of the Advisory Board will be to guide AHAA in developing its long-term strategy, as well as to act as a sounding board in determining priorities. Raising the Creative Bar We believe in the power of ideas, and we are committed to shining a light on our best creative work. In February, AHAA and CÃrculo Creativo announced our First Annual U.S. Hispanic Idea Awards. The inaugural award ceremony will take place on Friday, May 4 at The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami during AHAA’s Annual Conference. Meeting the Challenge It has been a busy and challenging six months for AHAA, and we are confident we are on the right track. That said, much still remains to be done in providing advantages for our members and in advocating for our industry. Only by working together with shared passion and shared ideas can we make the most of this historic opportunity. AHAA: The Voice of Hispanic Marketing is committed to maintaining a dynamic platform for information, collaboration and communication. We invite you to join us.      Roberto Orci – Chairman of AHAA

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