SBJ/July 18-22, 2011/In Depth
Tips for reaching Hispanics
Published July 18, 2011, Page 20
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“He has a personality that connects with everyone,” said Loretta Lucero, president of California-based Touch Point Marketing, which works with sponsors of Golden Boy Promotions. “He’s a cool surfer guy but he’s loyal to his Hispanic roots. He can sing with mariachis if he wants but also go surf with five guys off the Santa Barbara coast. That is the face. That’s the future.”
■ There is room in the basket for the familiar and the new. For years, MLS has wrestled to gain traction with Mexican Americans who followed soccer avidly, but paid little attention to what went on stateside. The league has found that its best chance is to seek inclusion, rather than conversion. “If your family soccer club was Cruz Azul and you live in Chicago, your family would get together and watch Cruz Azul,” said Russell Findlay, MLS CMO. “They would know when the games were on and support them endlessly and wear their colors. That doesn’t mean they can’t and won’t be supporters of the Chicago Fire. It doesn’t mean we want them to convert away from Cruz Azul. We want them to have a trial and adopt the local club.”
■ The future may be Spanish in English. “For now, people mostly think about Spanish language as a way to reach Spanish dominants, and around the right properties and the right athletes there is always going to be a business,” said Dario Brignole, a former IMG executive who now runs his own agency, Shine Entertainment, in Miami. “But bilingual, bicultural content, if you asked me, is the future. If I have $10 million to put in a new business, my business would be Latino sports content, but in English. That’s where I’d go.”
■ Use the Web to deliver original content that is relevant to bilinguals. This season, the Houston Astros launched a weekly Web series called “Contacto con los Astros,” which features the team’s Spanish-language radio crew hosting a
■ The smaller segments aren’t so small any more. The New York Mets know their Hispanic market is still mostly Caribbean and that’s where they place most bets. But now, they are broadening their attempts to attract Hispanics from nations where baseball is less popular. Later this month, Citi Field plays host to a soccer match between Club America of the Mexican Primera Division and Juventus of the Serie A Italian league. Mexicans now represent the third-largest segment of the Hispanic market in New York, at 12.4 percent. “We can have a new segment of the growing Latino population in the community come to Citi Field and experience how we provide service and see how welcoming we are,” said Dave Howard, executive vice president of business operations for the Mets. “Hopefully they’ll come back for baseball games.”
■ Hispanic is not a target. It’s many targets. Figure out which fits you and learn more. “Marketers are used to being lazy — and I’ll say that loud and clear,” said Chiqui Cartagena, vice president of corporate marketing for Univision. “They’re used to doing one big message that fits all. That hasn’t been working for at least 10 years. I have to define who my target is. More and more that opportunity to win and grow becomes very Hispanic. Do the homework, get the right insight, and then send a message — whether it’s in English or Spanish — that is culturally relevant.”
■ Think mobile and get social. You’ll see lots of discussion about Latinos overindexing on use of mobile devices and social networks. That’s true, but in pockets. Overall, Pew Hispanic Center research shows Hispanics are less likely than others to use the Internet or cellphones. Hispanics with more education are more similar to the general market in their digital usage. But that group — Latinos with high school diplomas or more — differs from others in the way they use their devices. They are less likely than others to have a home Internet connection and more likely to use their mobile device to access the Web and to text. Spanish Facebook and Twitter feeds are no-brainers.