Cristina Lorenzo, Mattel LatAm, Talks Sector Challenges

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What: Cristina Lorenzo, marketing VP for Mattel Latin America, faces the latest marketing trends while adapting to the toy sector in Latin America.
Why It Matters: As one of the most important players in the toy sector on the global level, Mattel needs to position itself in alignment with marketing trends to keep the attention of the most honest consumers: children.

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Portada:
What marketing challenges is the toy industry currently facing in Latin America?

CL: "I think the most important marketing challenge in this industry is innovation. Marketing has never had clear formulas, and it's important to keep up with new trends and ways of communicating, incorporating the new possibilities into our brands to stay relevant without losing our essence.
Our main audience, children, represent an additional challenge because there is a new generation of them every three or four years, and because we must build our brand for each of them from scratch."

When we are interacting with children, we have a great responsibility and must be careful when using social media.

Portada: What specific challenges does Mattel face in the sector?

CL: "Our biggest challenge is to understand the context of our consumers, which is always evolving, and to satisfy the needs of our primary consumers, children, and their parents. For the former, we must offer relevant, safe and fun toys that stimulate their imagination. And then we have to give the parents the peace of mind that comes with knowing that the toys that we offer are of the highest quality on the market, and that they satisfy the expectations of their little ones."

Portada: In the last six months, the brand has made great efforts to promote its Barbie product through new models and a video blog on YouTube in English. Are there plans to extend this blog to Spanish for the Latin American audience?

CL: "At Mattel we develop different strategies for every market according to its maturity and context, and we constantly evaluate certain activities for different countries. When we decide to launch a new platform, we make the corresponding announcement in an official manner. Until then, we prefer not to speculate or generate expectations."

Portada: What social media strategies do you have and what are the challenges related to joining them?

CL: "We see that the current trend is toward generating content that is attractive to Internet users of all ages. This doesn't replace advertising; it's complementary.
For example, recently, Fisher-Price presented The Happy Factor, a studio with information about the priorities and interests of millennial moms from different countries. Since these mothers are constantly online, the brand published this studio through its portal as well as social media profiles.

Another current example is that of Fisher-Price, part of the initiative A Film by You in which the brand receives videos generated by mothers with their babies. Here, we reflect another important trend: involving the consumer so that he or she can participate in the creation of content.

The challenge is to find where the conversation is and that way, meet the needs of our audiences and consumers."

Portada: How complicated is it to reach your target audience (children) through social networks? Are you finding them there?

CL: "We understand that when we are interacting with children, we have a great responsibility and must be careful when using social media. We try to make sure that the content on our social networks reflects the same values that we have as a company, that is compatible with what parents look for for their children and expect of us."

Portada: What are the best advertising platforms for the toy sector and why?

CL: "Right now, all the platforms complement each other. Before betting on one or the other, we must understand how they interact, what we want to achieve, how we want to communicate and what our audience's interests are. As we understand all of that, we will optimize the right mix of media for our consumers. I reiterate that traditional media like television is still relevant."

Portada: What strategies work well for Latin America that don't work as well in other countries, and why?

CL: "Mattel adapts its building and positioning strategies for its brands to each market in which it is present. Each country or region has its own local commercial team in charge of understanding its context and making decisions that ensure the success of the business."

"That is why Mattel is the leading toy company in the world: its capacity to understand each market and know how to adapt: from its products to commercial strategy, promotions and advertisements."

Portada: What trends are you seeing in the toy sector in terms of marketing?

CL: "While we talk about globalization, the new generations are growing in a more diverse, tolerant and inclusive world in which new paradigms have come about that would have seemed impossible not long ago. This trend represents a great opportunity for the industry, since through our toys, we can contribute to the consolidation of a more humane world for the next generations."


Ximena Cassab @xcassab

Ximena is a Swiss-Mexican journalist based in Mexico City where she specialized in business, and travel topics. Graduated from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), she has worked as an editor at the magazines Expansión , Aire and Accent, from Expansion Group. Currently she is working with different media in Spanish and English independently. She is a passionate traveler who does not miss the opportunity to see a new place in the world.

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