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Sprint’s Kymber Umaña “For Hispanics a mobile phone is the gateway to the content they desire”

There is no better way to start the year than to interview a major brand marketer like Sprint’s Hispanic Marketing Manager Kymber Umaña. Umaña focuses on marketing strategy for Sprint's national and targeted Hispanic campaigns as well as Public Relations. Sprint recently announced that it selected Deutsch LA as its new Agency of Record.


There is no better way to start the year than to interview a major brand marketer targeting the Hispanic population like Sprint’s Hispanic Marketing Manager Kymber Umaña.  Umaña focuses on marketing strategy for Sprint’s national and targeted Hispanic campaigns as well as public relations.  Kymber is based at Overland Park, Kansas, at Sprint’s World Headquarters and has been with the company since 1994. In 2013, Sprint spent $1.56 billion in U.S. advertising, according to Kantar Media. The company recently announced that it selected Deutsch LA as its new Agency of Record.

Portada: We hear that Sprint is hiring a substantial amount of bilingual Sales People. How did you determine that this was needed and how is Sprint’s Marketing and Advertising aligned with this increase in bilingual staff?
Kymber Umaña, Hispanic Marketing Manager, Sprint: “Sprint understands that for Hispanics, a mobile phone is their gateway to the content they desire but also a necessary means for staying connected to friends and family. In fact, Hispanics are much more likely to live in a mobile only household 53% vs 35% for non-Hispanic whites and about 49% will change their mobile phones within the next six months. A majority of our Sprint stores have bilingual staff and offer Spanish-language materials to meet the needs of the diverse Hispanic segment. Offering the best customer service experience to our Hispanic clients does not only make good business sense but also is part of our overall marketing and advertising strategy.”

How does the fact that your new CEO Marcelo Claure is “Hispanic” influence Sprint’s Marketing?

K.U.: “Supporting the Hispanic consumer with relevant product, messaging and engagement efforts has always been an area of importance for Sprint. Being that Marcelo is of Bolivian descent, of course, his ability to bring personal insights and experience to the needs of our Hispanic customers is invaluable. You will be seeing some of his bigger plans come to fruition in the next several months. Sprint remains committed to offering all of our consumers more mobile for their money.”

K.U.: Do you think mobile marketing makes sense for a company like Sprint, or are you targeting the consumers who do not yet have a mobile phone?
“Sprint has an aggressive mobile advertising initiative in place through Pinsight that focuses on using the Sprint customer base on behalf of other advertisers. We also have mobile marketing specific to Hispanics. Any normal digital advertising you might see on a PC (i.e. search, Facebook ads, third party banner ads, etc. we make sure is also mobile-optimized especially because Hispanics are much more likely to be “mobile first”(go online primarily from their mobile phone). Hispanics spend the most time on mobile compared to other segments…7 hours more a month than non-Hispanic whites. And 60% of Hispanics vs. 27% of non-Hispanic whites go online primarily via their mobile phone. Also, we have specific mobile oriented ad campaigns such as with Pandora (our Raíces Profundos with Enrique Iglesias) and on occasion do in –app advertising) On behalf of our portfolio of brands (Sprint, Boost Mobile, Virgin Mobile, and Assurance Wireless), we explore all appropriate platforms to share information about our value.

In the general market, Sprint spends approximately 60% of total Ad spend in TV? Is this ratio higher, same or lower for the Hispanic market and why?
K.U.:”We do not publicly disclose advertising strategies or details. You can be sure that Sprint is focused on engaging consumers where they live, work and play, and within the media outlets they watch, read and listen to.”

sprintWhat role does Content Marketing play in Sprint’s Hispanic marketing efforts?
K.U.:“All consumers love a great story. We are working at identifying more opportunities to help bring our brand values and brand story to life via more content creation, including an ongoing sponsorship with Terra for the Terra Live Music concert series with top Latino artists as well as a partnership with Pandora such as our previous Raíces Profundas campaign featuring Enrique Iglesias. You’ve seen the recent “Yo Soy Marcelo” ad featuring Marcelo talking directly to his fellow Hispanic-Americans. There’s definitely more to come. Stay tuned….”

Would you say that Sprint is using a Total Market approach, or does that not really define how Sprint markets to the general population and multicultural audiences?
“We have a combination approach that includes both total market and segment outreach, using each as appropriate. All consumers want a simplified message with information unique to their preferences and needs. Multicultural communities are the fastest growing consumer base in the country and naturally merit dedicated outreach to ensure for complete message penetration. Sprint has long been focused on segment marketing to help deepen our brand connection with this important community.”




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