Hispanic media bet on events to drive revenues

Marketers spent an estimated $166 billion on event marketing in 2004, up 9% over the prior year, according to PROMO magazine’s survey of event marketing executives. In another survey, individual marketers said they spent an average of $800,000 in 2005 on events, down from $900,000 in 2004. If the average company allocates about 2 to 3 % of that spending to Hispanic marketing, and assuming this translates down to event marketing, spending on Hispanic events would be about $240K/annually. According to Luis Montero of Jack Morton Latino, a new division of Jack Morton which focuses exclusively on Hispanic events, budgets for Hispanic events range from $80k up to $1.3 million, depending on the client. Enrique Turegano, COO and Director of Bumpercar Inc., a full service agency based in Los Angeles, says that as a percentage of overall ad spending, event marketing probably gets a bigger investment in the Hispanic market than in the general market. “Events have traditionally been a more integral part of Hispanic campaigns,” explains Turegano. 

National mags step up event marketing opportunities

Patty Oppenheimer, Marketing Director for Latina says the magazine will offer more broad based and general event opportunities. “In the past, many of our events had a very specific focus — music concerts, speed dating events, beauty makeovers, and fashion shows. We will still offer those, but will add more general events as well,” explains Oppenheimer. Latina has tapped Jack Morton Latino to help with events planning and management. Latina plans to hold 12 events this year, most in major cities with large Hispanic populations, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Miami.

“Each of the events is different,” explains Oppenheimer. “Events range from a cabaret style event in a nite-club to a high end beauty event in a NYC loft. Some are for subscribers only, while others will be used to build readership. Attendance ranges from a low of a couple of hundred to events that are projected to receive 5,000 visitors or more a day.”

National advertisers go local

It’s not just national magazines that are putting on more and different kinds of events. Ocean Drive en Español (Sobe News Inc., monthly, Spanish) plans to do between 20-25 events this year, a big increase from the 5 or 6 events it put on just 2 and a half years ago. Because of the success of its events, the high-end magazine targeting affluent Miami Hispanics has begun to offer different types of experiences. “Initially we offered events as an incentive for advertisers who were willing to make long term page commitments,” explains Associate Publisher Michelle Villalobos. “We still do that, but now we are also doing sponsorship events that are separate from ad buys.”

Ocean Drive en Español will hola three sponsored events this year, including a spring golf tournament, their “Power” issue release party and a 5th anniversary celebration. Ocean Drive en Español events range from 100-2000 attendees, depending on the client, venue and purpose of the event.

Villalobos says a typical Ocean Drive en Español event combines local venues and national advertisers to create an experience that connects advertisers with readers and local VIPs. “For example, we’ll hold the event at a hip, local restaurant or bar and feature drinks using Absolut Vodka,” explains Villalobos. Events are also used as a way to promote Ocean Drive en Español and hopefully gain new readers and subs18 criptions, which currently account for between 10-15% of Ocean Drive en Español sales. “We don’t make direct appeals to potential subscribers. We just make sure to have lots of magazines around and goody bags which include copies of the magazine,” says Villalobos.

Tu Ciudad (Emmis Publishing, circ. 110,000, bimonthly, English) a local lifestyle magazine targeting young educated LA Latinos, is also having success when it comes to event marketing. Tu Ciudad plans to put on three advertiser sponsored events this year in connection with specific issues of the magazine. The three main events include a Spring fashion show, a charity concert and their signature “Hip, Hot and Now” event, which celebrates 25 Latinos who are shaping the cultural scene in Los Angeles. In addition, Tu Ciudad puts on custom events and parties. In all, Publisher Jaime Gamboa says they will probably hold between 10 and 12 events this year. Gamboa says advertisers sponsor the events and that each sponsorship comes with a page commitment.

Incentive to buy print

Latina uses events primarily as a way to leverage in paging to the magazine. However, Oppenheimer says they can also generate additional revenue. Oftentimes there is a fee for larger, more expensive events.

Event marketing is just one more way for the advertiser to reach their target audience. “Sometimes events are planned completely separate from the media/print campaign—with funding coming out of promotional/PR agencies,” explains Oppenheimer, who says events shouldn’t take away from print advertising. “They usually come from different pools of money. Ideally they should complement each other.”

Sponsored events

Ocean Drive en Español has increased the number of sponsored events it does each year. Villalobos says that their sponsored events have attracted new advertisers, and even industries, to their pages. “Heineken had never advertised with us before, but they heard about our golf tournament and decided to become a sponsor last year. Now they advertise in the magazine as well,” explains Villalobos, who says national advertisers are increasingly interested in localizing their message. 

She says banks have also begun to show interest in sponsoring events. “They’re interested in our Power issue release party, which features some of the most influential people in South Florida. This year will be our third year and a lot of banks are coming on board,” says Villalobos. David Torres, Director of Hispanic event marketing agency Rossi Enterprises Inc. (REI), based in Chicago, has also seen an increase in business from financial institutions. “Mortgage companies and banks have expressed interest in almost doubling their 2005 budgets,” says Torres.

Newspaper publishers tap into existing events

La Opinion does special editions in connection with the annual auto show and other major trade shows in Los Angeles. Enrique Turegano of Bumpercar Inc, who buys ads in La Opinion on a weekly basis, sees this is a great way to narrow your target and offer advertisers a way to reach a very specific segment of the Hispanic market. “Developing products to match local events makes sense for newspapers because it allows them to inform readers about what’s happening around town and at the same time tap into extra ad revenue.” Turegano says that even national magazines could cover events of interest to Hispanics (e.g. Latino Film Festival) and offer advertisers a way to specifically target readers interested in that event. Turegano also sees an opportunity for Hispanic newspapers to sponsor educational events or seminars on subjects like personal finance or how to buy a car. “We’ve approached La Opinion about doing something like this. There is a definite interest on the advertiser side,” says Turegano. 

Industries that like events

Latina’s Oppenheimer has seen interest in event marketing grow tremendously over the past 10 years. Sponsors for upcoming Latina events come from a variety of ad categories, including Beauty, Automotive, Telecommunications, Digital Imaging, Fashion, Retail and Travel. “It used to be just the domain of automotive or cigarette companies – this – is no longer true.”

In general, Oppenheimer says that Automotive, Pharmaceutical, Beauty and Fashion categories have shown the most interest in event marketing. “Each category has different reasons — Automotive and Pharmaceutical because they are looking for additional branding opportunities and can usually afford it. Beauty and fashion naturally lend themselves to hands-on/experiential marketing.”

Measuring Success

In terms of measurement, Oppenheimer says that some advertisers look for specific ROI on events. “Examples of ROI that we’ve discussed with our client base include the number of consumers going to a local retailer, sales increase at retail during or right after an event, database of names collected from a sweeps or research survey at an event, attendance at the event, and publicity generated by an event.” 

Villalobos says ROI is hard to measure. “Some companies don’t have an ROI requirement. They are more interested in branding, image and PR.” Villalobos says different advertisers want different things from events. “Liquor companies are interested in numbers. They want to know how many people came to the event. Other companies want to drive store traffic, so they can measure how an event impacted the number of customers,” explains Villalobos.

On the publisher side, Oppenheimer says that Latina Magazine measures success by a number of criteria, including quality of consumer experience at the event, attendance, publicity/buzz, smooth execution for all advertiser participants, and profit and loss analysis.