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March 19, 2008

Yes, it one of those again from me, but we have to get it our there to help elevate the discussion.

After having spent most of my career selling Hispanic media to clients and agencies, I hear more and more from season Spanish-Language media professionals the reoccurring sales obstacle their encounter at Hispanic agencies.

Clients and agencies have entrusted the planning & buying of Hispanic media to planners and buyers that do not consume the media, spend time with the media and do not visit the key US Hispanic Markets where the media serve the US Hispanic Consumer, (this approach is so unsophisticated I might add, maybe the agency folks are too cheap to educate their planning and buying teams with local knowledge. It is like me saying I know Italy, since I frequently have dinner in the Little Italy section in New York).

So, the media planners and buyers are planning and buying from a media kit and/or a rating book? (Yes, they are. So hope that there is a miss-print and your share on a buy will increase dramatically).

If you have ratings or any other type of measurement that definitively puts you at the top of the pile. Don’t worry, you are on the buy, (but that is where the clutter is in today’s Hispanic Market media environment).

But, if you are a non-rated market or non-ranking media entity. Worry ... (our get bold, aggressive, do not take no for an answer, call the client directly or maybe call your politicians if you are minority owned media. Maybe we need some political activism on behalf of minority owned agencies and media).

The time when you could present media, promotions and ideas that traditionally did not have the metrics, but counted on the unique ability of a client, an agency or a team of US Hispanic experts to bring forth ideas and plans that allowed the clients to break out of the traditional cookie cutter media mix might be gone, ( we are all one country, one people, mass marketing at its best, under one rating, we are not individuals, but part of a whole! Or close to being lost).

Why? Very simple, from a client and agency perspective it take too much time and energy to open your mind to new ideas, think outside of the box and maybe do something that will help increase your ROI, your shares or sales, (be direct, pro-active, disagree with your client’s monolingual approach and traditional media usage views, create change and affect consumer behavior. How uncivilized!)

Now with that said, the true innovators in the ad industry are bringing forth new ideas and non-traditional marketing and media programs that defy this simplistic and monotone approach to our Industry. It is the reason independent agencies are flourishing in the mainstream and US Hispanic Market that have unique abilities in specialty disciplines.

If I am wrong (I admit that I have been in the past and will be many more times in the future), our industry is dead.

The above view of Hispanic agencies is part of an overall agency philosophy that permeates through the whole agency (so if your planners and buyers are sticking to traditional cookie cutter media plans, it is because the management has not or unwilling to accepted new ideas for all the right and wrong reasons or have not sold them to the client. Regardless of how difficult a client is or unwilling to accept change, DO IT!. Being great requires you to work at it) .

How many times has an account executive, creative head or other key executive at an agency sat in your meeting to better understand your market, your medium, your ideas? (if you are one of the golden five media entities in the US Hispanic Market, odds are they are there hoping for an invite to one of the big events and maybe the presentation).

If you can’t find agencies that challenge your thinking, bring forth new ideas and truly want to help clients succeed in targeting US Hispanics. Give me a call, I have a list.

Comments

Saludos Gene, I agree 100%.......the cookie cutter effect is what continues to deliver mediocrity…….. This message needs to be in front of every company’s CEO that continues to make this mistake and more so, blaming Hispanic Media and the consumer for not being as responsive as they would have expected based on all the hype they have been fed. “Clients and agencies have entrusted the planning & buying of Hispanic media to planners and buyers that do not consume the media, spend time with the media and do not visit the key US Hispanic Markets where the media serve the US Hispanic Consumer, (this approach is so unsophisticated I might add, maybe the agency folks are too cheap to educate their planning and buying teams with local knowledge. It is like me saying I know Italy, since I frequently have dinner in the Little Italy section in New York).” I could have not said it any better. Companies need to invest in Ad Agencies who know and understand the market they are targeting and not assuming that their general market Agency has the capability to do that. General market Agencies are great at what they do and just like that, we are great at what we do (targeting Hispanics). Most importantly we have the resources and know how to better reach the different segments with in our community of consumers. I am a small town consultant in Fresno CA that has spent the last 6 years running print and TV sales teams selling and buying Hispanic and general market media and have faced all the challenges you discuss in your entry. I have been trying to educate local advertisers on investing in their efforts to improve on the ways they target the Hispanic market. I learned plenty from my mentors and continue to seek education on reaching the fastest growing market in the country. I currently work with general market agencies that are making every effort to better represent their clients in the Hispanic market. A great sign for our industry, though I have a lot of work to do in continuing to improve the ways these agencies think, the message is getting out………”if you are not talking to Hispanics your might as well close your shop” ( and with this I mean not in traditional ways, yet with out of the box ideas) Gene…….thank you for your insight and vision for our efforts. Sincerely, Francisco Villarreal Diverse Marketing Group, Fresno CA.

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