Daniel Villaroel


In today’s Sounding Off -Thought Leadership feature, Marketing and strategy professional Daniel Villarroel, until recently AVP Integrated Marketing at L’Oreal USA, talks about the need to rebrand “multicultural marketing” with the more modern terminology: “demographic targeting”.

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With the growing multicultural population in the USA, it’s time to “reimagine” how we reach these different targets because of short & long-term implications to the bottom line.

These efforts have traditionally been referred to as “multicultural marketing” but it needs to be rebranded with the more modern terminology: “demographic targeting”. This will allow it to be more easily understood to this next generation of workers (who are very multicultural) , better integrated into the marketing strategy and embraced by all from C-Suite on down.

Some facts:

  • 44% of Millennials (19-40 year olds) are Hispanic, African-American, Asian, Native American or other, i.e. mixed.
  • 49% of Generation Z (0-18 year olds) are also of varying ethnicities.
  • 50.2% of all new borns are now the minority-majority babies.
  • 12 of the top to US cities now have a minority-majority primarily driven by Hispanics.

Quite often, there are many arguments against demographic targeting that need to be examined. These may include:

  • It’s not necessary
  • Marketing teams nor agencies are staffed
  • It’s cost prohibitive
  • ROI cannot be measured

Let’s review each one:

It IS necessary for continued long-term brand growth:

  • The population statistics don’t lie (see above): the USA will continue to grow because of multicultural births in the USA.
  • Nielsen research shows multicultural consumers over-index on a vast array of products and services and in some cases they comprise a high percentage of super consumers: the top 10% of households who drive at least 30% of sales, 40% of growth and 50% of profit.
  • Nielsen research also shows that being different is interesting and cool, not something to be hidden as in past waves of immigration.
  • What stores are driving foot traffic and sales? (Ask your retailers.)

Marketing teams nor agencies are staffed for it:

descargaYour bottom-line is now dependent on finding, growing and retaining a diverse team, including (and especially) the marketing team.

  • Having a member of the marketing team designated as the multicultural guru was how it was handled in the past, if at all, but it’s now time for every marketing team member to be responsible for demographic targeting, from senior executives on down.
  • Recruitment is key to find diverse graduates and it should be easier than in the past, but some of the top business schools are still not reflective of the US population — consider schools you never considered before and make diversity of the student body a criteria to select schools where you recruit.
  • Consider mentoring programs to help diverse students acclimate and thrive in your company. They may be the first in their families to go to college and work in corporate America — they may need some friendly guidance.
  • Companies need to push their agency partners for a diverse team reflective of the US population, ESPECIALLY if targeting millennials and Generation Z.
  • The advertising world has been taken to task countless times for lack of diversity. Creative teams also need to be staffed with senior team members on down who can navigate and explain cultural insights.
  • If your media agency isn’t equipped to handle demographic targeting, find another agency.
  • Digital agencies are still evolving but this group especially must have the know-how to target demographically.

It’s cost prohibitive:

Have you or your agencies run the numbers?

It’s all in the approach: if you hire separate agencies to create a separate marketing strategy — creative (TV, print, digital, social), media planning & buying (TV, print digital) — then your overall strategy will be disjointed and cost more. Consolidate within your existing agencies and make demographic targeting a fundamental criteria in the briefing process.

Advertising (TV, print, digital) & Content: creative must be “inclusive” from ideation. If not, it will cost more to do additional creative work down the line.

The main shoot should accommodate all creative needs including other languages if needed.

Budget extra time; this and model costs are the additional costs on the shoot day. After the shoot day, editing and trafficking costs will be extra; however this is much less expensive than doing a completely different shoot.

Media: planning & buying teams must know all the nuances of all the partners that can help do specific targeting including the demographic composition of “general market” partners.


  • Most retailers know what doors attract specific demographic targets. What does the POS data tell you? These store locations are crucial for demographic targeting.
  • Nielsen and IRI can provide scan data by market, category, retailer and location.
  • Marketing Mix Analyses can help pinpoint which marketing levers are making the most impact.

A complete and reimagined effort starting in the C-Suite that cascades down across marketing, sales and research coupled with agency collaboration will provide the marketing nuances that will bring you higher engagement and brand loyalty across all targets. Guaranteed.

*data from US Census Data, Nielsen, Multicultural Edge: Rising Super Consumers March 18, 2015

Daniel Villarroel is an accomplished marketing and strategy professional having worked on powerhouse global CPG brands like Maybelline New York and Garnier in product development, advertising, digital, content creation, social media while additional expertise in demographic targeting as well as experiential and integrated marketing. He has also worked in the beauty business for other well-known companies like Revlon & Zotos International (div of Shiseido). Currently, he is a consultant for start up’s as well as established business and is also the pro bono Executive Director, Marketing & Social Media for Artz Cure Sarcoma.Villarroel received his MBA from the Thunderbird School of Global Management and BBA in International Marketing from Bernard M. Baruch College.  A born and raised New Yorker, Dan now resides in Madison, NJ.

Join us at PORTADA Mexico!

The use, or misuse, of Social Media by celebrities was at center stage during the opening panel at #Portada14.

From Left to Right: Manny Gonzalez, Daniel Villaroel,Marcelo Rodriguez, Chet Fenster.

Manny Gonzalez, Senior Director, Multicultural Moet Hennessy, noted he expects to see many more social media savvy celebrities within the next 5 years.

Marcelo Rodriguez, Managing Partner at Grupo Parada
Marcelo Rodriguez, Managing Partner at Grupo Parada

When asked who they expect to be a major Social Media Star in 5 years Marcelo Rodriguez, Managing Partner at Grupo Parada, predicted that it will be a politician.



Daniel Villaroel, AVP, Integrated Marketing, Multicultural Maybelline New York
Daniel Villaroel, AVP, Integrated Marketing, Multicultural Maybelline New York

While Daniel Villaroel, AVP, Integrated Marketing, Multicultural Maybelline New York said that a beauty blogger.

Content generation is a big challenge, particularly in the Hispanic marketplace.  The key question is how do you create relevant content that is integrated digitally and with mobile?

The panel was moderated by Chet Fenster, Managing Partner, Director of Content Creation, MEC Entertainment.  Regarding the choice of media partners, Moet Hennessy’s Manny Gonzalez noted that “you need to be very picky, you can never relinquish your role as a brand steward”. He added that “content generation is a big challenge, particularly in the Hispanic marketplace.  The key question is how do you create relevant content that is integrated digitally and with mobile?”


The jury about the viability/success of sites targeting Hispanic (women) in English is still out (e.g. see the recent closures of CNN Latino and NBC Latino). Portada asked  media buyers at corporations and agencies about their views. What media buyers at Maybelline, Rooms to Go and Haworth Marketing and Media have to say.

Acculturated Latinas

Moguldom Media Group just introduced LatinaMadre.com a bicultural site targeting acculturated Hispanic moms. The rationale for the launch  seems pretty understandable when explained by Moguldom Media Group Chief Revenue Officer Christian Gonzalez: “There is a lack of information  for US-based Latinos/Hispanics,  but more so in the useful/factual information arena – Information people can use in their day-to-day lives. As far as LatinaMadre.com is concerned, we have a fair amount of content targeting Hispanic women.”

Quite a few media properties have been betting on reaching and engaging acculturated Hispanic moms. Demographic facts support  their efforts: Hispanic women are the growth engine of the U.S. female population and are expected to represent 30% of the total female population by 2060, while the non-Hispanic white female population is expected to drop to 43% according to a recent Nielsen study. But what do media buyers have to say? Are acculturated sites reaching the Latino population good enough? Is English-language  content targeting Hispanics still too scarce?

When it comes to digital media reaching out to the bicultural Latina, very few sites update their content often enough, particularly if you compare it to general market sites.
Daisy Terrazas-Cole
Daisy Terrazas-Cole, Multicultural Media Strategist, Haworth Marketing and Media

Daisy Terrazas-Cole, is  a Multicultural Media Strategist working at Haworth Marketing and Media
in Minneapolis, MN. Terrazas-Cole works on the multicultural strategy for Target whose main objective is to reach bilingual Hispanic women  that are milennials and navigate between both cultures. Terrazas-Cole notes that some sites do a good job, including some Spanish-language sites who provide international news and sites targeting the general market in “pure” English,  but that “there seems to be a big gap when it comes to content targeting the bicultural Latina.”
Daniel Villaroel, Director Multiethnic Marketing at Maybelline New York and Garnier, says that “for the general market, there continues to be a growth trajectory for digital content. In comparison to the Hispanic market, some content produced in English is meeting the needs of some Latinas.  However, I think more content that’s of better quality is necessary for Latinas in both English and Spanish. I’m seeing a huge appetite for Spanish language/bilingual content.” (BTW: the data on the table at the end of this article supports Villaroel’s view). He adds that his brands “have fully robust Spanish language web and mobile sites.  We utilize a variety of tools at our disposal to reach Latinas digitally that include standard display, branded content and video among other tactics.”

Martha Kruse
Martha Kruse, Senior Director Multicultural Marketing, Rooms to Go

Martha Kruse, Senior Director Multicultural Marketing at Rooms to Go, notes that “there is a good amount of media content targeting women in my opinion. Depending on the category you can find from well-established publishing house to bloggers, etc. Now, in turn when it comes to targeting Hispanic women, digitally, I think no one owns it yet.”

As for targeting Hispanic women, digitally, I think no one owns it yet.

The costly need to update

“When it comes to digital media reaching out to the bicultural Latina, very few sites update their content often enough, particularly if you compare it to general market sites,” says Haworth’s Terrazas-Cole. It is a Catch 22 issue: If digital properties do not have enough good quality and frequently updated content they may not attract enough advertising dollars, which in turn are not sufficient to finance the editorial operation. Enedina Vega-Amaez ,Vice President/Publisher at Meredith Hispanic Ventures Group, contends that frequent updating  “is a question of resources and having the staff necessary to respond to what is current and trending since the web is so immediate.  In the magazine publishing world you are publishing for a monthly or a weekly, on the web it’s daily, if not hourly.”

The table below shows that English-language (general market)  sites in the beauty, lifestyle, fashion and style categories  are most visited by Hispanic women rather than sites that specifically target acculturated Latinas. It will be interesting to see if in the next 10 years this pecking order can be changed by new start-ups within media that exclusively targets acculturated Latinos.

General Market sites  lead when it comes to target acculturated Latinas



Total unique visitors (000)

Lifestyles – Beauty-Fashion/ Style


Glam Style


Stylelist Sites


TotallyHer – TheFashionSpot




Hearst Beauty & Fashion Network


Livingly: Style


Enfemenino.com Sites


POPSUGAR Fashion Beauty






Source: comScore – December 2013