The Arrival of English-language Dominant Hispanics: The Storm before the Calm
The “storm” we spoke of was the unnatural conditions that the rise of the English-language dominant (ELD) Hispanic segment has driven. Brands very used to media spends based on language alone are now somewhat tentative as to how to effectively target the segment. Just because the ELD Hispanic is, well, ELD, doesn’t mean that brands are reaching AND effectively connecting to their audience when they market to them via their general market advertising. Reaching AND touching are two distinct activities, yet, both must occur in order to drive a brand connection (and then beyond that as well, but that’s another blog).
Regarding the panel, we selected various industry folks that represented different perspectives of the marketing and media world: Manny Miravete, U.S. Hispanic Industry Manager for Google; Lucia Ballas-Traynor, EVP and co-founder of Mamas Latinas (Café Mom); Jeff Valdez, President of Max360 Entertainment and considered the “father” of English-language Latino programming; David Burgos, VP of Millward-Brown and Head of its Multicultural Practice; and last, but certainly not least, Jose Tillan, a Hispanic Millennial expert and, most recently, EVP and General Manager of MTV Tres.
All of the panelists share a passion for the Hispanic consumer segment. All are very knowledgeable of the Hispanic market, and all are very committed to ensuring that this multidimensional audience remains top-of-mind to advertisers, is validated via communication efforts, and is marketed to in a linguistically, culturally and intellectually relevant manner. All agree that perpetuating stereotypes of a monolithic Hispanic population (by certain media organizations that shall remain unnamed), as well as TV Household viewership measurement organizations (which shall remain unnamed) have set our industry back and painfully slowed the process of evolving the segment as quickly as the segment has evolved on its own.
If you missed the panel, a couple of key takeaways:
- Content is king, and terribly lacking for the bilingual/bicultural and English-language dominant Hispanic segments
- If content is king, relevance is queen: cultural; linguistic; intellectual
- This multidimensional consumer needs to be reached via a multimedia ad campaign
- Above the line
- Below the line
- The consumer is a brand influencer within the segment and across markets (including total market). Empowering them with tools to exercise their influence is critical to success
Now, we don’t know how long the storm will last. We do, however, know that it won’t subside until brands begin to realize that consumer segments are fluid, and not as easily parceled as in the past. Media organizations targeting these segments need to evolve – and yes, that may mean with content and advertising that includes more than one language (may be tough for some of the purists, but it’s our new reality). Measurement companies analyzing media engagements must adjust to a multidimensional, multimedia savvy consumer, and be clear as to who they are reporting on (not simply a dated model that was established when TV alone was king).
Isn’t that what a consumer-centric world is supposed to be about – centered on the consumer?
Here’s to the storm subsiding quickly!