April 22, 2017

by Roberto Siewczynski

As we near the most “archetypical” of Hispanic holidays, Cinco de Mayo, instead of getting into an exhausting explanation of why (or why not) the day is important, below are my “cinco” mega topics to keep in mind when activating Hispanic marketing.

Uno. The language debate continues to intensify. The importance of using Spanish vs. English, or both, in developing marketing communications is exceedingly relevant, with more publications and companies defending the need for in-culture communication. Whether or not clients will choose to agree with these arguments or have a clear language preference, remains to be seen. Strategic decisions by Univision to accept and broadcast more English is a strong signal that the language argument may be shifting. Keep in mind the argument is much more about strategy and culture than language but me parece that the debate on language is more heated than ever.

Dos. Consumption by Latino consumers could be shakier. There are great stats out there about Latinos fueling economic growth with new home mortgages, vehicle purchases and more product consumption. Yet, the Pew Hispanic Center recently showed that 32% of Hispanics say their group situation is worsening, double from the same survey in 2013. Pause for a minute now. This is important because it may have a direct impact on consumer confidence, which drives the economy. A less confident consumer will be harder to convert, and marketers will have to work harder to fight the down shift to private labels, value brands, used vehicles, as well as longer cycles on large ticket items (i.e., homes).

Tres. Continued migration to digital or first screen. We all know Hispanics over-index on smart phone and social media usage. This trend will accelerate in 2017 as marketers continue shifting more dollars from traditional broadcast to digital channels. Vendors continue to develop more targeted and content driven solutions that are scalable. Look for digital-first companies like Pandora, Spotify, Shazam, Facebook and MiTU to continue growing their revenue streams.

Cuatro. Hispanic agency paradigm shifts. The need for agency partners will remain but the structure will continue shifting to more flexible and integrated models. We will see more general market agencies integrating (or acquiring) multicultural talent into their service structures with the goals of capturing Hispanic dollars and offering SPOC (Single Point of Contact) platforms to clients. But, this effect also comes with the “Pac-Mac paradigm.” We will see increased wins of general market assignments by multicultural agencies, which operate at lower margins and with leaner staffing plans than traditional Madison Avenue companies.

Cinco. The metrics challenge will intensify. Given the great leaps in digital attribution tools, the bar will also be raised for multicultural marketing, to ensure proper attribution and links to sales. Unfortunately, the sophistication in attribution models (i.e., “closed loop” metrics) is not quite there in the multicultural space.

More blurred lines, more transformation, and more change is ahead. These are fascinating times in multicultural marketing. Don’t forget to think about these implications over a stiff drinko this upcoming cinco.

 

 

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