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What: H Code Founder & CEO Parker Morse spoke with Portada-Online about the challenges and benefits of marketing to Hispanics in the U.S. and Latin America.
Why it matters: H Code takes a digital approach to reaching Latinos, via media, social, creative and branded content. This is possible today on a large scale in ways not available just a few years ago.

Everything we do here at Portada focuses on how leagues and brands connect with Hispanic audiences through the lens of sports. One company with offices in five U.S. cities as well as San Salvador, El Salvador, that has the same obsession on a broad scale is H Code (@HCodeMedia), which looks for ways outside the broadcast space to help make those connections happen.

CEO Parker Morse, fresh off H Code’s announcement last week of its acquisition of digital lifestyle platform HipLatina, shared some of his thoughts on how his firm views the Hispanic marketplace and how it helps target them. He also talked about the future of marketing in a recent Portada interview.

… not only are [Hispanics] outperforming the general market when it comes to mobile, but that they’re more engaged – with higher than average performance metrics…
H Code Founder & CEO Parker Morse

Portada: What were some of your motivations in creating H Code?
Parker Morse: “We created H Code because we saw a need to bring general market best practices to the underserved US Hispanic marketplace. Outside of major broadcast Hispanic companies, there was not a single destination to reach US Hispanics digitally, at scale. Since our inception, our focus has always been on creating innovative digital approaches to reach this audience, whether that be through media, social, creative or branded content. We are the experts in digital US Hispanic, a one-stop-shop for agencies and brands looking to execute digitally.”

Portada: What are some of the factors that make marketing to Hispanics in the world of consumer mobile distinct from other segments?
P.M.: “Two things we know for sure about this audience: 1) They’re young 2) They’re mobile. What’s different about them is that they’re growing, so much so that US Hispanics account for about 56% of the population growth. When you combine these factors, you’ll find that not only are they outperforming the general market when it comes to mobile, but that they’re more engaged – with higher than average performance metrics when it comes to both media (high-impact) and social media engagement. Beyond that, they’re highly receptive to in-culture messaging. Companies that can get this unique set of factors right will stand to succeed with US Hispanics by extending a true connection between their marketing message and the US Hispanic audience.”

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Photo by Virgil Cayasa on Unsplash

Portada: How have companies leveraged interest in soccer in general and World Cup in particular in their multicultural marketing efforts?
P.M.: “We’ve seen companies run the gamut when it comes to their approaches in speaking to this audience. From digital ads, influencer campaigns and even video, companies have become quite savvy in their approaches when it comes to multicultural marketing. The key is to reach the right person, on the right platform at the right time. We strongly believe that in-culture marketing always works best, so we work with companies to ensure that the messaging that they’re putting forth makes sense and is guaranteed to resonate.”

Portada: What are some examples of initiatives from H Code’s partners that have been effective?
P.M.: “We recently ran a campaign that capitalized on US Hispanics’ love of soccer. The campaign included content creation, end-to-end production including talent vetting, selection and management, custom creative, high impact media, amplification of all content and distribution within our family of over 300 publisher sites. This type of intricate activation really helps brands connect with audiences in a way that they haven’t been able to until recent years.

For the first time, we’re able to link the right people with the right message at the right time across all platforms and devices. Our proprietary data set of over 23MM allows us to target and reach the right audience aligning the brand’s goals and creating unique, memorable experiences for users. In all, these types of fully integrated marketing experiences are the best approach when it comes to reaching US Hispanics.”

Cover Photo by Fauzan Saari on Unsplash

What: Alberto Pardo, Parker Morse, and Cesar M. Melgoza, founding partners of Portada’s Council System, gave us their views on how technology will help the evolution of marketing in the near future.
Why it matters: AI is already impacting the media buying industry and it is expected to revolutionize the space with the automation of simultaneous processes.

Artificial Intelligence Will Increase Efficiency

According to a recent Salesforce study, 51% of the world’s marketing leaders (3500 participants answered the survey) are already using Artificial Intelligence in their organizations, and the technology has an anticipated YoY-growth of 53%. Moreover, 64% of these marketers agree that AI has “greatly or substantially increased their overall marketing efficiency”, and this technology is expected to grow more than any other.

“Everything will be about utilizing more technology, more data, more AI to be able to do things more efficiently,” asserts Parker Morse, founder & CEO of H Code, and member of Portada’s Agency Star Committee. “But it still needs to have people and the artistic touch of creating a creative experience that really engages the user, and machines can’t do everything. It’s about trying to find the balance between utilizing data and machines and the human element of creating the emotional connection with the user.”

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5G Networks Will Bring a Mobile Explosion

Alberto Pardo, founder & CEO of Adsmovil, is pretty certain that “The future of marketing will absolutely be focused in three or four things: first, AI is going to change the way everything is done, everything we know is going to change in the near future because of the erosion or explosion of big data. Data is going to be more and more relevant and AI is going to be a very important part of it.”

Further, the member of Portada’s Council of the Americas asserts: “Second, mobile will have an impact everywhere. It’ll explode because of the 5G networks that are coming maybe this year or the next to Latin America and of course the U.S., so this’ll have a huge impact in the way we interact with mobile devices. I think video is also going to be very relevant in terms of investment, in the advertising industry, and there’s also going to be a big change in people’s roles, what people do today is going to change dramatically in the next 5-6 years.”

Data Helps Connect to Consumers

“What’s next is actually what I like to say is ‘back to the future’,” comments Brand Star Committee member Cesar M. Melgoza, founder & CEO of Geoscape, which was acquired by Claritas at the beginning of this year. “Connecting with consumers, engaging in very relevant, impactful ways will never go out of style, the question is how you do it, through which screen, at what time of day, in which context, and what that engagement results in.”

Connecting with consumers will never go out of style, the question is how you do it.

The amount of data will grow with every passing day, but marketers will need to increase the sensitivity that is needed to interpret it and make good use of it. To be effective, you need to create an emotional connection with consumers, which is impossible without the human touch, as other executives have expressed in previous marketer interviews. AI and big data are already shaping how marketing is done, the question is not “what will happen”, but as Melgoza says, how.

What: H Code has announced the acquisition of HipLatina, a digital lifestyle platform for Hispanic women.
Why it matters: HipLatina will help H Code expand its insights into the Latina category.

H Code has announced the acquisition of HipLatina, a digital lifestyle platform for Hispanic women that reaches more than four million consumers per month via email, web, social media, and mobile apps.

Commenting on the acquisition news, Tony Gonzalez, President of H Code, stated: “We are excited to welcome and integrate HipLatina into H Code. HipLatina provides us with a building block for an owned and operated strategy that supplements our publisher network.”

H Code’s CEO and founder Parker Morse stated: “The HipLatina acquisition demonstrates our commitment to expanding our digital-first marketing platform utilizing media, content and social to help brands reach the US Hispanic audience, and allows us to leverage our core capabilities on our partners’ behalf to get deeper insights into the Latina category.”

This acquisition further complements H Code’s continued focus on quality digital publishers. In the past year, H Code signed 6 exclusive publisher monetization deals with Grupo Milenio, Grupo Imagen, La Prensa Gráfica, Radio Programas del Peru and Webconsultas.

Gonzalez concluded: “We believe that the best way to reach the US Hispanic audience is by creating meaningful, relevant and engaging content, which is precisely what HipLatina does. H Code will ensure the content is effectively distributed across the right channels with seamless integration and unparalleled monetization opportunities. We are actively looking for additional growth opportunities to assist brands in telling their stories through the Hispanic cultural lens.”

HipLatina’s platform educates and inspires consumers online through a team of experienced journalists, lifestyle bloggers and influencers who create and deliver content across the web and through social media.

“We are thrilled to join H Code to accomplish our goal of building out HipLatina and further engaging our audience,” said HipLatina Founder Lisa Cavalli. “We view H Code as the best home for our audience.”

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