Analysis: It’s all about Local! (On Univision’s Interactive Recent Move)

Yesterday, Univision Interactive Media, Inc. announced the launch of 72 new online and mobile TV and Radio sites in 20 top Hispanic markets nationwide. This is part of Univision’s ongoing effort to drive growth on the local level. The move reflects a renewed emphasis in the media and advertising sector to reach local audiences and deliver them to advertisers.

National Advertisers are increasingly focusing on local media to target Hispanic consumers. Technological developments, a wide array of media offerings, and the high audience engagement of local media newspapers, local radio, local TV and digital including local search- are the main reasons behind this trend.

“From a retailers perspective it is really about understanding the 5 mile radius to the store”, Kristyn Page, Multicultural Marketing Director at Macy's tells Portada.

“We are currently witnessing the mass-localization of media and marketing, with the consumer in the driver's seat. The challenge for marketers will be tapping into the huge data potential that exists and making the best decisions accordingly. That will require a more fluid media mix, adaptable down to the neighborhood level, with demographics, shopping patterns and media usage habits playing a major role in altering that mix”, Randy Novak, Director of Newspaper Strategy at NSA Media, recently told Portada.

A successful connection with local Hispanic audiences is going to be one of the main drivers of Corporate America's sales over the next decade, particularly after the 2010 Census results show the growth of the   Hispanic population. This is why Portada is dedicating its flagship Hispanic Advertising and Media Conference this year to the theme “Connecting National Brands to Local Audiences”, Sept. 30 NYC, Scholastic Auditorium and Greenhouse Terrace. (See special supplement inside last Portada's issue).

One example of the mass-segmentation of marketing described by NSA Media's Novak is how national retailer Macy's mails out its catalogue. Macy's mails 7,000 different versions of its catalogue. The editorial content of each of the 7,000 different versions mailed out adapts to each consumer individually far exceeding broad ethnic categories.

“If they are Hispanic, they will have Hispanic food included, but if the research shows that they like organic food, this will also be included so it is really about appealing to each individual”, says Krystin Page, Multicultural Marketing Director at Macy's.

The National - Local Pendulum

Of course, national branding still has its place and is often incorporated in an overall company's marketing strategy. One important aspect for Hispanic marketers in major corporations is to make sure that the Hispanic consumer is taken into account within the overall marketing approach. At best, general market campaigns get permeated by Hispanic marketing considerations. Marketing Media Manager, at Volkswagen Group of America, Inc, says that one of the main reasons Volkswagen embraced soccer as a marketing theme is the fact that Hispanic audiences love soccer. Last year, Volkswagen signed a four year deal with Major League Soccer. The agreement includes a commitment to media buys with MLS broadcasters ESPN, Univision and Fox Soccer Channel. One of the main challenges for retailers is to create a national program that still affects stores at a local level.

Out of its approximately 1,000 stores nationwide, Best Buy has identified between 280 and 300 stores that are “Hispanic”, because they have a significant Hispanic customer base, Teresa Iglesias Solomon, Director of Multicultural Marketing Initiatives at Best Buy tells Portada. Best Buy has a customer database of approximately 50 million people. In the Hispanic market, the challenge is to get customer specific data, as Hispanics are more prone to pay with cash and not use credit cards. Best Buy does between 60-80 overlays to identify what part of its customer base is most prone to buy its products in the short and medium term. These results then are the basis for its marketing and local and  national advertising plan. Hispanic media companies are rapidly adapting to the new trend of localized advertising increasingly demanded by advertisers. Media behemoth Univision recently introduced a new division which reflects the realignment of all operations and sales for Univision's local television stations, Univision Radio and local interactive properties into one division. In online advertising targeting is becoming a major opportunity. By applying the geotargeting layer, advertisers can direct online advertising to very specific users (e.g. Chicago residents who read Latin American newspaper websites).

Another subsector of interactive media that is enabling national and regional advertisers to connect with consumers is Local Search. Ginger Neal SVP at ImpreMedia Digital, defines Local Search as “a technology used to sort through information while online, classified ads are the information being sorted —they go hand in hand. As you look at the continuum you see that directories are also a database and part of the shopping value chain to be searched because it expands into the advertiser's detailed information and takes the user closer to the transaction.”

Neal, adds that “for media business partners it is critical, especially in this economy, to ensure they market as effectively as possible and search is a key component of the media mix.”

While horizontal search engines like Google and Yahoo, capture local search advertising, their inventory is limited. In addition, horizontal search engines tend to provide better answers to people who know what they are looking for (e.g. Search Query: Pizzeria in San Antonio, TX), while local search engines, e.g. Yellow Page publishers or Hispanic focused start ups like Yasabe.com and Guiaslocal.com, tend to be better for users who do not know exactly what they are looking for (e.g. “Dining in San Antonio, TX). Yellow Page publishers and local search engines enable users to enter a “discovery process” by providing search refinements (e.g. “Italian Restaurants in San Antonio”).

Related articles:

Univision Launches 72 Online, Mobile TV and Radio Sites

Peter Walker Named President of Univision Local Media

Univision Launches New Digital Advertising and Publishing Network

Verizon will Stream Univision Interactive Media's Spanish-language broadcasts of the World Cup


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