Marketer Inteview: Hector Vallejo: “Each brand will have its own marketing strategy…”

A year after Stanley Works merged with Black & Decker / Dewalt. Portada caught up with Hector Vallejo, Multicultural Marketing Manager, Stanley Black and Decker.

This is what Vallejo had to say about the marketing strategy of the merged company, multicultural marketing budgets, the 2010 Census and more.

Portada: Can you provide information about how the combined Stanley & Black Decker Hispanic marketing policy is going to be? 

Hector Vallejo: “Each one of our professional and consumer brands will continue to run business as usual.  Each brand will have its own marketing strategy but we will try to find synergies and leverage our investments for all the brands as much as we can when it comes to buying Spanish media, Relevant sponsorships or hire new bilingual talent for the corporation.  The Hispanic Marketing team will handle all the different Hispanic Marketing needs for all the brands to include promotion, creative, media, recruiting, sponsorships, collateral and strategy.”

Portada: What are the main factors behind the size of your Company’s Multicultural Marketing Budget?

Hector Vallejo: “The % of Hispanic Contractors in the industry is a major factor – by 2012, 40% of contractors in the US will be Hispanic so we need to make sure we are allocating the right resources to more effectively penetrate this market. The second factor is the lack of culturally relevant communication resources we currently have. We need to bring our communication elements up to par with the general market therefore you will see an investment in developing all the “fundamentals” first before we increase our advertising spend. Over the last 6 months, we have translated our entire tools lines into Spanish in our system, launched a full size Spanish Catalog and developed an entire line of culturally relevant POP (banners, posters, headers, premiums, etc.). The last factor is the need for bilingual employees that understand the cultural aspects of our target consumers, particularly in the field jobs where they interact with our consumers on a daily basis (retail sales, field and event marketing, service locations, consumer services, etc.).”

Portada: What do you think is in the way of increasing Multicultural Marketing Budgets in Corporate America?

Hector Vallejo: “The globalization of the economy plays a major factor for companies like ours who might see better opportunities outside of the US to invest in, especially with a down economy in the US. There are other markets that are doing better and the market share potential is higher than the US in many cases. Another factor is most companies struggle understanding what is the true profit potential of the Hispanic Market. What can this market deliver to their business? Companies that understand this, have increased the investment in this segment and are doing better than some of their competitors and will come out better after the economy recovers. I also think there is a lack of Hispanics in leadership positions that can be a part of the conversations that go behind closed doors when Senior Executives are deciding where the resources will go to. That’s where you have to fight the battle and as more Latinos get into those leadership positions I believe you will see budgets becoming more realistic.”

Portada: How do you try to convince your company’s leadership to increase multicultural marketing budgets?

Hector Vallejo: “First, the size and growth of the market in our industry makes it an undeniable proposition. Second, Having a comprehensive strategy outside of just promotions and marketing campaigns gives them more confidence in investing the resource: you gotta have a long term strategy that impacts all aspects of your business, not just one area. The dollars have to get stretched as much as you can, especially in this space. Put together a 3-5 year strategy that shows how you plan to grow and take share for your company and get a buy in on a long term plan and not a 1 year plan. Your strategy needs to show year after year growth when you present it. I think a lot of Senior Leaders get shocked when you try to swing for the fence asking for budgets. Lastly, you have to show results. Sometimes its better to do something small really well to show the impact those dollars can have if you amplify them (to more markets, to more people, to more promotions, to bigger sponsorships)."

Portada: How is Hispanic Marketing/Advertising embedded into your Company’s Sales and Marketing Organization.

Hector Vallejo: “We have a Hispanic Marketing Advertising Budget that supports all key activities (Promotions, New Product Launches, Key Retail Events). This is the first year that have this and it is now “fundamental” part of our business as we launch different marketing campaigns and new products.

Portada: What light do you expect the 2010 Census to shed on the particular audience segment your company targets?

Hector Vallejo: “That they are a much bigger part of our business than we thought and that they are a much bigger influencer in deciding what products to buy. I think the buying power within our industry will be much stronger coming out of this economy than going it.”