We conducted an interview with Phillip Woodie, president of LER, a company that earlier this year was acquired in its totality by Entravision.

Most of the below interview with the veteran radio executive is about the Emerging Hispanic markets: those areas that are not part of the top 10 Hispanic markets but whose Hispanic population and purchasing power is skyrocketing. Portada is organizing the Emerging Hispanic Markets Forum on Sept. 21, just one day before our 5th Annual Hispanic Digital and Print Media Conference, to analyze the opportunities and challenges marketers face when targeting the Hispanic consumer in these often overlooked markets.

Below is what Phillip Woodie has to say:

Portada: We understand that you rep Adelante and other stations in many emerging Hispanic markets (e.g. Utah and Atlanta, Oregon, Nevada, Colorado). Can you explain whether the interest for these markets has increased over the years or not?

Phillip Woodie: “It is a shifting landscape. The larger markets and the more established Hispanic markets will always be important to advertisers based on their density and what they represent in terms of sales/volume to advertisers. Having said that, the growth which is taking place in many of these emerging markets is staggering and simply too compelling for agencies and advertisers to overlook. The list of emerging markets continues to evolve in concert with the migration patterns of Hispanics across the US. Markets like Denver, Salt Lake City, Milwaukee, Seattle, Atlanta and DC have gained some good traction. And as these markets progress through their growth curve, other markets like Boise and Minneapolis emerge as viable Hispanic markets of consequence. If advertisers are truly interested in growing their business, they will insist on including emerging Hispanic markets as part of their overall media plans.”   

Portada: “What is the big challenge when it comes to convince marketers to reach out to Emerging Hispanic markets?”  

Phillip Woodie: “It is a continuing education process and a story which has to be told at the client level as well as through the agency planning, account and buying teams. The challenge is keeping the emerging markets front and center in the client's and agency's mind and to continue to emphasize the amazing transformation and growth these emerging markets are experiencing. For the longest time, the emphasis has been on the top 15 Hispanic markets. Now, with clients wanting and needing to grow their business and their market share, they are realizing the huge potential emerging markets offer.  Also, we continue to educate marketers about the power of radio when it comes to reaching the Hispanic consumer…radio plays a very important role in the life of America's Latino population.  Usually, a Spanish-language radio station is the first sign that a significant Hispanic population exists in a city.  Radio continues to be the primary medium to reach the US Hispanic consumer – radio stations function as a trusted friend who brings news, sounds of home and information to their everyday life in the US – including ads about where to shop and which brands/retailers/services want their business.”    

Portada: We see that you are quite involved in sports marketing, do you represent stations in Emerging Markets that own interesting sports properties (e.g. sports teams?) if so which ones?  

Phillip Woodie: It is well documented Hispanics are passionate about their sports especially when it involves their home country and or home athletes. Yet, Hispanics as they have taken up residence in emerging markets have also embraced their local hometown teams. For example, our Seattle stations carry the Seattle Sounders (MLS); our Portland station carries the Portland Timbers (MLS) and Oregon State Football; our Atlanta stations carry the Atlanta Braves (MLB); our Washington, DC station carries the DC United (MLS); and our Yakima/Tri Cities/Wenatchee, WA stations carry the Seattle Sounders (MLS).  

Portada: What do you think is a good way to reach emerging markets via radio: Network or spot?  

Phillip Woodie: “I believe national spot and network platforms offer advertisers unique but complimentary vehicles and solutions. I feel strongly that it should not be an "either or" when it comes to advertisers' investing in the medium but rather a "balanced mix" of both platforms to effectively and efficiently reach the emerging markets. Moreover, you can't beat the effectiveness of a well planned spot radio campaign. Spot radio gives an advertiser the opportunity to zero in on a particular set of markets or a particular region – to fine tune their message; to activate at a grass roots level; to work with the stations in the market to maximize ROI.  So when it comes to emerging markets – spot radio offers the opportunity to impact the consumer on a very personal level.  Each radio station fosters a community of loyal listeners.  As such, radio stations can help and advertiser accelerate both their entrée into a market and their market share growth by turning their loyal listeners on to what that particular advertiser has to say.  While network offers reach at some very efficient CPPs/CPM's, spot radio offers some unique marketing opportunities to advertisers that allow them to engage and captivate the market – both emerging and mature markets.”

Portada: What is the ratio between your Top 10 Hispanic markets national sales /Emerging Market sales right now. How do you expect it to evolve over the next 10 years?  

Phillip Woodie: “We see great potential for the Hispanic advertising market going forward. While there have been tremendous strides made over the last ten to fifteen years, the reality is there are still hundreds of advertisers who do not have Hispanic media as part of their advertising plans or their investment levels do not match the percentage of population. Therein lies a huge opportunity and we believe emerging markets will be a driving force in growing the active advertisers in Hispanic media and increasing their expenditures against the segment.  The 2010 Census is a call to action – CMO's must review their budgets and strive to get in line with what the market population dictates…if the market is 20% Hispanic and they have no Hispanic budget, then their business will suffer.  The Hispanic consumer knows which advertisers are inviting them in; the Hispanic consumer will continue to do business with brands and business that have reached out. If an advertiser is doing business in Salt Lake City and they haven't allocated a portion of their budget to reach out to the SLC Hispanic community, then their competition will.  Their competition will cultivate the Hispanic consumer for long into the future. And as we all know, first one in wins.”



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