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Carlos Saavedra

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In the last installment of our series on CONTENT MARKETING, presented by Skyword,  we look at how Pepsi translates its Cultural Fluency concept into concrete Content Marketing initiatives.

Javier Farfan, Latin Content Marketing ForumJavier Farfán, the Senior Director of Cultural Branding for Pepsi, talked about Pepsi’s Hispanic Content Marketing strategy at the Latin Content Marketing Forum that earlier this year was organized by Portada in Miami. Farfán introduced attendees to ‘Cultural Fluency’ and how Pepsi uses ‘cool content’ to engage audiences. Farfán reminded the audience that Pepsi (under his leadership) was the first to bring reggaetón to the U.S. “We discovered Daddy Yankee, Wisin & Yandel, etc. when many people thought U.S. Latinos didn’t want to be a part of it.”

Pepsi Co.’s insights are not only based on ‘coolness’ but on hard data as well: Based on current data, Latinos will be a definite force driving culture in the U.S. and the shift in population trends only means marketers have to rethink the way they connect, interact and respond.”We are going after millennials,” says Farfán.

And by ‘we’ I mean ‘we’ not me. We [marketers] must adopt a more dynamic cross-cultural mindset.

A Cross Cultural Mindset…

Photo: Xosé Castro. Under CC Licence.
Photo: Xosé Castro. Under CC Licence.

In presenting Pepsi’s new mindset, which has to do with avoiding separating consumers into “ethnic” groups, Farfán said “We must move from segregating ethnic groups to celebrating commonalities.”

Carlos Saveedra, director of Multicultural Marketing at Pepsi, and a speaker at the  ANA Multicultural Conference that finished yesterday in Los Angeles, expands on  the Cultural Fluency concept: “Cultural Fluency means to market at intersection of interests (e.g. Fashion, Sports etc), rather than to one group in particular.”  “It is about being inclusive about the entire texture of multicultural consumers.” Pepsi transitioned from having a multicultural team to have multicultural marketing objectives be included in each brand’s goals. “The former Multicultural team  is now the Culture and Music team,” Saavedra says. “Brand managers are accountable to connect with the multicultural consumer. They need to know the multicultural consumer as well as general market consumers.” Saavedra notes that  Hispanic focused executions are not necessarily wrong.  But he said that by taking a cross cultural approach , Pepsi discovered that the NFL is very attractive to Hispanics. Before Pepsi obtained this insight, Hispanic campaigns only revolved around soccer.

Be a platform for action and talk about people not products.

…and how it translates into Content Marketing executions

According to Farfán, “Cultural Fluency” enables brands to  create a really cool thing by diving in, and participating in it, not  only by sponsoring a program. Farfán recommends marketers to pay attention to the following to implement content marketing strategies:

  • Build an affordable, sustainable content strategy (focus on what you stand for as a brand, your point of view).
  • Be a platform for action (inspire people to do).
  • Be useful (curate content they really care about. Talk about people not products) get people to like, love and want to participate.
  • Meet audiences where they are (make sharing simple, syndicate, go mobile).

An example of a Pepsi content marketing initiative is Sierra Mist’s partnership with Mexican chef Aaron Sanchez to create content, in English and Spanish, that will drive audiences to a YouTube page featuring Sanchez cooking Mexican food.

Another, more recent example is Brisk Bodega, a program born in Los Angeles targeting Latino and urban youth featuring radio personality Chuey Martinez @Chueymartinez and filmed entirely in East Los Angeles.

Most of these content marketing initiatives are supported by traditional media buys (In-language and targeted media). Carlos Saveedra notes that what is crucial is to optimize the content marketing initiative and the media spend by amplifying it through social media.

This series of articles about “Content Marketing” is brought to you by Skyword. Skyword provides a wide range of services so that companies may connect with their audiences and generate a higher degree of engagement via top-quality contents for online search and social networking, currently the two main sources for content consumption.

Other articles of the CONTENT MARKETING SERIES:

CONTENT MARKETING: What do we mean when we talk about “content marketing”?

CONTENT MARKETING: Flying Through the Fog: A Marketer’s Guide to Navigating Search After Google Keywords Were Encrypted

CONTENT MARKETING: What we can learn from Iron Mountain, IBM and Autotrader

CONTENT MARKETING: Should Media Firms become Content Marketing Agencies?

CONTENT MARKETING: Spanish Language: What opportunities does it afford?

CONTENT MARKETING: How P&G, Clorox and Tampico engage Hispanic audiences

More than 800 marketing, advertising and media executives are gathering in Los Angeles for the Multicultural Marketing & Diversity Conference organized by the Association of National Advertisers (ANA). To include ethnic insights into overall (total) marketing strategies is crucial, many marketers noted. Pepsico’s Carlos Saavedra presented Pepsi’s cultural fluency marketing approach.

An overarching theme of Day 1 of the ANA Multicultural Conference taking place yesterday and today in Los Angeles, is that (multi)cultural relevant insights need to lead Corporate America’s marketing strategies.  “Our creative begins with a culturally relevant insight”, noted presenter Marlena Peleo-Lazar, Chief Creative Officer of McDonald’s Corporation. Peleo-Lazar highlighted the importance of integrating the main four elements of a marketing plan: Insights, Plan, Creative and Media.

Association of National Advertisers“You can not think about growing the US $2 billion Huggies business without leading with ethnic insights first,” said Lizette Williams, Senior Brand Manager, Kimberley-Clark Corporation. Williams, an AfroLatina, claimed that she has found success in implementing a total market strategy with strong multicultural elements by having CMO level support and elevating the conversation. Elevating the conversation means to transition from a silo-marketing situation in which marketing dollars are fought for, to discussing an overall total market company strategy. Williams added that a strong collaboration between multicultural and general market agencies is a strong prerequisite for a succesful total market strategy.

Jori Hartwig, CMO, Amway North America, noted that 54% of Amway U.S. based members are Hispanics. She stressed that direct sales, which Amway relies on, are not based on a door to door model anymore but a virtual communication network. Hartwig expects that more than half of Amway’s growth over the next decade will come from the Multicultural space.

The former Multicultural team is now the Culture and Music team.

 

Pepsi calls for a cross cultural mindset

Carlos Saavedra, director of Multicultural Marketing at Pepsi, gave a presentation about Pepsico’s Cross Cultural Marketing journey.
“By 2042 there will be a majority of minorities (Hispanics, African-Americans, Asians etc.) in the U.S. Minorities now account for USv$3.2 trillion dollars in spending power,” Saavedra noted. That is why  “brands must rethink the way they connect with consumers. Traditional multicultural marketing is not sustainable in the long-term. Ethnic culture is a part of how consumers identify themselves. A more dynamic cross cultural mindset is called for. It is called Cultural Fluency.”

Cultural Fluency means to market at intersection of interests (e.g. Fashion, Sports etc), rather than to one group in particular. “It is about being inclusive about the entire texture of multicultural consumers.” Pepsi transitioned from having a multicultural team to have multicultural marketing objectives be included in each brand’s goals. “The former Multicultural team  is now the Culture and Music team,” Saavedra said. “Brand managers are accountable to connect with the multicultural consumer. They need to know the multicultural consumer as well as general market consumers.”

Saavedra claimed that  Hispanic focused executions are not necessarily wrong.  But he said that by taking a cross cultural approach , Pepsi discovered that the NFL is attractive to Hispanics. Before, by having an only Hispanic approach, Hispanic campaigns only revolved around soccer,
Critical to the success of Pepsi’s Cultural Fluency project are the “Need to invest to build cross cultural insights and execution infrastructure as well as razor-sharp regional execution.”