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The traditional approach to Hispanic shopper marketing has been turned on its head as the demographic has taken on the role of a “new majority” within the United States. Similarly, the rise of data analytics has created an unprecedented number of ways to target. As Hispanics have continued to over-index in almost every category, it has never been more important to reach this varied consumer base.

We spoke to Sandra Alvidrez, Director of Sales for Hoy Los Angeles at the Los Angeles Times Media Group, and a selection of the team at media and communications agency Butler/Till: Mike Davis, Director of Digital Media, Jill Curry, Associate Media Director for Direct Response, George Heisenberger, Senior Agent for Experience Management, and Carrie Riby, Strategic Planning Director, to get a better grasp on what effective Hispanic shopper marketing looks like today.

The Data Transformation

Data, both “big” and “small,” has turned Hispanic shopper marketing into a multi-layered practice in analytics and segmentation. The trials and tribulations of targeting this huge demographic are something that both agency Butler/Till and the Los Angeles Times Media Group know well: the former counts major Auto Insurance, Telecom and Financial companies and institutions among its clients, and the latter manages a portfolio that includes The Los Angeles Times, Hoy and six Times Community Newspapers across California.

The team at Butler/Till
The team at Butler/Till

Butler/Till’s Director of Digital Media Mike Davis summed it up: “There’s so much data out there that it’s provided an unprecedented number of ways to target.” Director of Sales at Hoy Sandra Alvidrez echoed that sentiment, arguing that thanks to data, “targeting to Latinos is limitless and has evolved into a science of sorts, all due to advancement of analytics.”

Before, Davis admitted, targeting efforts were often informed by “an educated guess” and census data, now replaced by geographic data, demographics, behavioral psychographics and first-party data. Alvidrez added that data has also “contributed to the development of new media placement offerings for marketers to take advantage of,” opening up a whole new avenue for brands looking to micro target Hispanics.

Brands and marketers need to dig deeper and reach Latinos at a granular level.

More than anything, data has revealed just how complex Hispanics are, and that marketers need to “dig deeper and reach Latinos at a granular level.” With data, brands have no excuse not to incorporate complex, varying layers of targeting into their marketing strategies, and making the effort to segment audiences into their sub-groups “allows us to be much more efficient, from a digital perspective, in targeting and optimizing,” Butler Till’s Senior Agent for Experience Management George Heisenberger said.

The key to success in Hispanic shopper marketing is participating in “multiple conversations with multiple Latino consumers groups,” Alvidrez explained. In the case of print media publishers like the Los Angeles Times Media Group, Alvidrez highlights that data allows them to “deliver advertisers the option to target Latino households solely around their brick and mortar locations or specific geographic areas, down to the zip code or give them a broad reach of strong Hispanic areas through-out Southern California, to the border towns of Mexico, Tijuana and Mexicali – where many residents enter the U.S. for the primary purpose of shopping.”

Data Is Black and White, but People Are Not

But there are limitations to data. Jill Curry, Associate Media Director for Direct Response at Butler/Till pointed out that “data tends to be very black and white. People are not.” While data can be “used directionally to figure out where to start with the campaign, you need to add insights by continually testing on creative, segments, to make sure that data holds true, and that if there are changes, those tests will catch everything and give the client the response level they want.”

 While data has generated a more nuanced view of today’s Hispanics, certain trends, like mobile and coupon use, and the effectiveness of free standing inserts, hold strong.

When data works, it’s almost like magic. But when it doesn’t, or when it leads to messaging or an offering that people don’t respond to as hoped, it won’t tell you why it misled you. “It’s not going to tell you everything you need to know,” said Curry.

The New Challenge: Engaging English-Dominant and Bilingual Hispanics

One of the segments within Hispanic consumers that data has made more accessible is the English-dominant/bilingual shopper. Spanish-dominant Hispanics are a different animal than the younger, English-dominant or bilingual crowd, and finding ways to engage them as a unique demographic has been an important challenge for the industry.

Alvidrez explained: “English-dominant Latinos were thought to be automatically reached via general market campaigns. The criteria of gender, age, fluency in English, bilingual, bicultural, immigrant or native born – was out of reach for many traditional media companies and marketers.”

Sandra Alvidrez, Director of National Sales, Hoy
Sandra Alvidrez, Director of National Sales, Hoy

Alvidrez asserted that the industry must meet the challenge to “continue to explore ideas and concepts that reach this elusive consumer in meaningful ways.”

Example A: Four years ago, Hoy crafted a creative strategy: reaching Spanish-dominant consumers with its core products, and English-dominant Hispanics with its sister-general market properties. But the challenge was reaching that bicultural and bilingual Latino that fit into neither of those categories. After researching, Hoy launched the Latinos de Hoy Awards and Gala, their annual celebration of Latino culture and community.

“The majority of the awards presentation is in English, and the talent is a diverse mix of successful artists from Latin America and the United States. With the support of our sister-publication, the Los Angeles Times, we’ve outgrown from our humble beginnings at our downtown Los Angeles building and we now hold the event at the Dolby Theater, home of the Academy Awards. Latinos de Hoy and other similar offerings, has really elevated our conversation with both consumers and marketers,” she explained.

Strategic Planning Director at Butler/Till Carrie Riby highlighted that marketers need to consider the “total market,” crafting messages that resonate across different demographics while speaking to each individually: “We need to embrace a more universal cross-cultural theme within all advertising. We need to reinforce that we are addressing their values, and that we want to take care of the Hispanic community.”

Hispanics Are Varied, but Demonstrate Clear Patterns 

While data has generated a more nuanced view of today’s different Hispanics, certain trends, like mobile and coupon use, and the effectiveness of free-standing inserts, hold strong.

Latinos continue to seek value when it comes to the purchases they are making, without compromising quality. Hispanic millennials are showing the same trajectory as well.

Hispanics out-index their general market counterparts in terms of mobile, and spend more on shopping trips. And a Valassis study found that 92 percent of Hispanics, versus 90 percent of the general population, use coupons. The same study found that 37 percent increased their use of mobile devices for securing coupons and deals since last year, compared to 28 percent of all respondents; 81 percent decide where to shop based on paperless discounts delivered via mobile devices, versus 66 percent of all respondents; 67 percent search for mobile discounts while shopping in-store, compared to 46 percent of all respondents; and 67 percent switched brands due to mobile discounts while shopping in-store, compared to 50 percent of all respondents.

All of this means that “marketers who are already taking advantage of mobile coupons are smart to engage with this audience via their mobile devices and provide them with an option that they can access while at the point of transaction,” Alvidrez explained. “Combining this with the effectiveness of a physical coupon found in a free-standing insert, that can be cut out and saved for later, can only compliment and increase ROI.”

Alvidrez affirmed that free-standing inserts and coupons continue to be an effective way to reach the Latino consumer, specifically for CPGs and retailers, regardless of language preference. Butler/Till also uses coupons regularly, but Davis warned that “in regards to coupons specifically, they do well, but it depends on the offer, not the medium. The consumer needs to feel that it’s a good benefit.” The key is to pull those layers, nuances and backgrounds together to “put the total puzzle together,” Heisenberger said.

Alvidrez maintains that in the end, it’s all about value. Latinos “continue to seek value when it comes to the purchases they are making, without compromising quality. Hispanic millennials are showing the same trajectory as well.”

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What: Last week Tribune Publishing, the owner of The Los Angeles Times, announced the acquisition of the San Diego Union-Tribune, paying US $85 million to entrepreneur Doug Manchester in a deal that also includes 9 weeklies and digital properties owned by the San Diego Union Tribune.
Why it matters: The US $85 million Tribune is spending amount to a relatively high valuation for print properties, reflecting the value of the Southern California print and digital franchise. While smaller than the English-language publications of the Union Tribune, Tribune is also adding the Spanish-language weekly Enlace as well as s a weekly Spanish language lifestyle and entertainment magazine, Vida Latina San Diego. Tribune Publishing now owns a substantial portfolio of Southern Californian properties targeting the Hispanic Population.

Tribune Publishing Company announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire MLIM, LLC, owner of the California State FlagSan Diego Union-Tribune, as well as nine community weeklies and related digital properties in San Diego County. The purchase price is US $85 million, which includes $73 million in cash and $12 million in Tribune Publishing common stock, plus the assumption of obligations for a single-employer pension plan. Tribune Publishing will not be taking possession of the seller’s real-estate assets. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2015, subject to customary closing conditions.

The acquisition substantially expands Tribune Publishing’s assets targeting the Southern Californian Hispanic population. The San Diego Union Tribune publishes a weekly newspaper called Enlace with a circulation of approximately 175,000, including an edition for the Southwest Riverside County. In addition, it publishes Vida Latina, a free glossy entertainment magazine available throughout the South Bay. Vida Latina has a circulation of 30,000 and mostly targets Hispanic Women in South San Diego County. Another Southern California/Mexican border property managed by Tribune is La Bolsa Azul, a polybag that is door-delivered in Tijuana and Mexicali on the Mexican-U.S. (California) border. In March last year, Tribune announced that Hoy Fin de Semana, the weekend home-delivered newspaper published by Hoy in Los Angeles, Chicago and Philadelphia, would also be distributed within La Bolsa Azul.

La Bolsa Azul, the polybagged door delivered product, is another Southern California/Mexican border property managed by Tribune.

Together with the Los Angeles Times Spanish-language properties (including Hoy and Hoy Deportes weeklies and home delivery saturation product Hoy Fin de Semana), Tribune now can offer advertisers a substantial Southern Californian footprint. Due to their heavy community newspaper element, many Hispanic newspapers have not gone through heavy circulation declines like the big metropolitan dailies, in fact some even have registered substantial circulation increases.

Hispanic NewspapersWhen the transaction closes, Austin Beutner will serve as Publisher & CEO of both the San Diego Union-Tribune and Los Angeles Times and as Publisher & CEO of the newly formed California News Group. “San Diego Union-Tribune will retain editorial independence, providing an authentic voice that reflects the diversity of the state and the distinct values of our communities,” Beutner said. “I also know the Los Angeles Times will benefit with a closer connection to its older sibling down south.” Roaldo Moran, publisher of Hoy Los Angeles, tells Portada that there are no news on any possible integration of the management of the Hispanic properties to report as those internal conversations have not started yet. “Tribune and the Los Angeles Times have a long history of supporting and working to deliver quality news and information to the Hispanic community. I am very familiar with their efforts, I worked for the Los Angeles Times back in 1990 when we were publishing “Nuestro Tiempo”. Tribune’s purchase of the San Diego Union Tribune will enhance and strengthen the Hispanic efforts of Enlace in San Diego. This is a very positive and big step forward for both companies as they work to serve the Hispanic community with quality content,” Hispanic newspaper veteran Mike Cano, now president of President AP&P Solutions tells Portada.

Tribune’s purchase of the San Diego Union Tribune will enhance and strengthen the Hispanic efforts of Enlace in San Diego.

Other companies targeting Hispanics in Southern California through digital and print properties, include impreMedia (La Opinion in Los Angeles). Freedom News Group through La Prensa and Excelsior, El Latino de San Diego and Long Beach’s Impacto USA which is owned by Los Angeles Newspaper Group (Digital First Media).

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The Tribune Co. today completed the spinoff of its newspaper business and changed its name to Tribune Media Company separating its broadcasting and entertainment assets from the Chicago Tribune,  Los Angeles Times , six other daily newspapers as well as the Spanish-language daily (Chicago) and weekly (Los Angeles) Hoy and associated Hispanic properties. The newspaper unit will be called Tribune Publishing and starts trading tomorrow at the New York Stock Exchange. Jack Griffin, CEO of Tribune Publishing, last week said that the “the overarching objective of his company “is to reestablish growth in the top line revenue”.  That includes acquiring newspapers.

Tribune Publishing In spite of all the rumors about a sale of Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times and/or the other Tribune dailies, Tribune Publishing Co. CEO Jack Griffin says he is not selling newspapers, on the contrary, he is interested on expanding the newspaper group by acquiring more newspapers to offer a larger footprint to national advertisers, Adage reported. The newspaper company is facing industry obstacles and drawbacks like annual revenue declines, cost-cutting and the steady loss of print subscribers.

Mr. Griffin will be leading what has been a shrinking print operation that boasts eight major papers, Chicago magazine and 150 niche publications, such as Hoy and the Jewish Journal. Tribune Publishing does carry a substantial level of debt which may limit its financial capacity to acquire other properties.  Hence, Mr. Griffin will have to content himself with minor acquisitions that may not bring much revenue to a newspaper company with US $1.8 billion in revenue last year.

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At the core of Mr. Griffin’s plans are initiatives to boost digital advertising and circulation revenues, including new websites; a metered digital paywall; native advertising; and expanding digital marketing services across all eight properties.
“We think there are more of these opportunities around the country that are geographically adjacent to where we run big papers and big brands, and that over time we can achieve similar kinds of consolidation and acquisition opportunities that are going to add meaningfully to our footprint and our revenue and our profit,” Mr. Griffin said.”The overarching objective of our company is to reestablish growth in the top line revenue,” he added.

My guess is that they probably will not acquire newspapers in  New York, but certainly both in Los Angeles and Chicago if the right opportunity presented itself.

Mr. Griffin claimed that an additional newspaper will not only strengthen the advertising base of the company’s larger publications but also help to set up its new digital products.The publishing group also includes some 60 digital properties, which are an increasingly important part of the strategy, he said.Tribune Publishing may buy more print publications in or near the company’s existing major markets, anchored by the company’s big papers, hoping to bolster its bid to attract national advertisers, as it did with its’ US $30 million acquisition of two Maryland newspapers in May — the Annapolis Capital and the Carroll County Times — to broaden the company’s footprint around in Baltimore Sun (the acquisitions increased its market penetration to 61% from 52%,.) In February, the company also purchased the Baltimore City Paper.

Where will Tribune buy Newspapers?

Owen Van Essen, president at Dirks, Van Essen & Murray in Santa Fe, New Mexico, talked to Portada about Tribune’s plans and possible acquisition of additional newspapers. When asked on the markets he sees stronger opportunities for Tribune to expand, he said: “I believe they would look to add on to any of their existing footprints. We have recently been involved with transactions where they have bought a group of weekly newspapers near their Hartford operation and another two transactions in the Baltimore area both with synergies to their Baltimore Sun. Regarding other major markets, my guess is probably not New York, but certainly both Los Angeles and Chicago if the right opportunity presented itself.”

Hispanic publications

Tribune has also a significant presence in the Hispanic market. Lead by its brand which is a weekly in Los Angeles that also has large sports and home delivered publications and a daily in Chicago. Tribune also publishes the weekly in Fort Lauderdale (part of the offerings of the Fort Lauderdale )., publisher of in Los Angeles tells Portada that is well positioned to grow. He adds that in addition to the print publications, he considers digital as an important growth area where distinctive products for the Hoy audience and its advertisers can be offered.
Tribune has also a significant presence in the Hispanic market. Lead by its Hoy brand which is a weekly in Los Angeles that also has large sports and home delivered publications and a daily in Chicago. Tribune also publishes the weekly El Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale (part of the offerings of the Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel). Roaldo Moran, publisher of Hoy in Los Angeles tells Portada that Hoy is well positioned to grow. He adds that in addition to the print publications, he considers digital as an important growth area where distinctive products for the Hoy audience and its advertisers can be offered.

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Hispanic print media is growing at a rate faster than that of the overall New York advertising market, and that the advertising market is having a good year compared to the U.S. market as a whole. Hispanic daily and weekly newspapers are mostly used by local advertisers. In numbers, national advertising amounts to less than 20% of total advertising revenues for most of New York’s Hispanic print media outlets. Local advertising amounts to approximately 33%, while classified advertising accounts for the largest part of revenues with a 50% share. Cultural diversity in the U.S. has made it difficult to do national campaigns, with more dollars going to the west, where the largest part of the Hispanic population is Méxican-Americans.

Due to the population growth and young average age, most consumer companies targeting New Yorkers are eager to include Hispanic media and newspapers in their media buying plans. According to Strategy Research Corporation, New York Hispanics (1.1 million households) have a buying power of US $39.3 billion.

Even in the current lukewarm advertising environment, New York’s Hispanic print media market is vibrant. According to Jorge Ayala, advertising sales director at el Diario/La Prensa, advertising sales in New York, Hispanic print media is growing at a much faster rate than the overall New York advertising market. “We are growing at a 10% rate compared to levels reached last year,” Ayala notes. Mildred Díaz, advertising sales manager at Hoy, says that “the Hispanic advertising market is having a good year compared to the U.S. market as a whole.” However, she claims that current lower economic growth “has clearly had an effect on advertising sales.” Diáz expects a good fourth quarter of 2002. “We see growth in finance, real estate, mortgage, as well as in health and classified ads.” Norma Segovia, account manager at Noticias del Mundo, explains that sales have been “decreasing slightly this year compared to last year.”

Hispanic daily and weekly newspapers are mostly used by local advertisers. National advertising amounts to less than 20% of total advertising revenues for most of New York’s Hispanic print media outlets. Local advertising amounts to approximately 33%, while classified advertising accounts for the largest part of revenues with a 50% share.

The cultural diversity and uneven distribution of Hispanics in the U.S. has usually made it difficult to do national campaigns. As a result of this, magazines – one of the media types with the most national character – have been underutilized as an advertising medium.

El Diario/La Prensa had advertising sales last year of around US $8-9 million. This is a 15% share of the US $57 million in overall advertising sales from the New York Hispanic print media market.

More dollars flow to the West
The largest part of advertising dollars usually flow to the Western U.S., where the largest part of the Hispanic population are Méxican-Americans. In the East, especially in New York, Hispanics are more diverse, making specific ethnic groups harder for advertisers to target. The brewing company Miller, for instance, spends less of its budget on advertising in New York newspapers than it does in Hispanic dailies in California or Texas.

What are the best ways to reach Hispanics through the fragmented New York print media market? Portada™ estimates that el Diario/La Prensa had advertising sales last year of around US $8-9 million. This is a 15% share of the US $57 million in overall advertising sales from the New York Hispanic print media market. According to income statements filed with the Securities and Exchanges Commission, total sales of el Diario/La Prensa were close to US $20 million in 2001.

El Diario/La Prensa is the only New York based Hispanic newspaper which charges US $0.50 per issue. Rival Hoy, has a newsstand price of US $0.25. Jorge Ayala, advertising sales director at el Diario/La Prensa, says that according to analysis done by Scarborough Research, el Diario/La Prensa is read daily by 287,000 readers compared to the 186,000 readers of Hoy.

Hoy, owned by The Tribune Company, has a daily circulation of 75,000 and a large readership in Queens and other parts of Long Island. Mildred Díaz, sales director at Hoy, explains that her newspaper recently launched its New Jersey edition. It has two pages dedicated to New Jersey’s local and cultural news. The New Jersey edition amounts to around 12% of Hoy‘s total circulation. Noticias del Mundo is another New York Hispanic daily with a strong circulation in New Jersey. Out of Noticias del Mundo‘s 50,000 total circulation, 13,500 are distributed in New Jersey, while 1,700 are distributed in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Connecticut, and over 34,000 in the New York metropolitan area.

Carrier newspapers
New York Hispanics can also be reached through carrier newspapers – Hispanic supplements carried by the Sunday editions of English newspapers throughout the United States. Vista Magazine, published by Hispanic Publishing Corporation in Coral Gables, Florida, is one of the main Hispanic print media platforms for the Sunday newspaper market. Last April, Vista Magazine shifted carriers in the New York area from el diario/La Prensa (48,000 issues carried Vista), New Jersey’s El Nuevo Hudson (24,000) and The Jersey Journal (25,000) to Hoy (160,000 including part of Newsday‘s circulation).

According to a study by Marist College, community newspapers reach 56.8% of the more than 6.5 million New Yorkers who do not read a daily newspaper.

Additionally, community newspapers play a big role in local media. According to a study by Marist College, community newspapers reach 56.8% of the more than 6.5 million New Yorkers who do not read a daily newspaper. The growth in suburban populations and the declining circulation of some dailies has also contributed to circulation gains for community newspapers. Most of the community newspapers addressed to Hispanics are weeklies and monthlies. La Voz Hispana is a weekly community newspaper, published by Casa Publications, with a circulation of 68,000. It is distributed throughout the five boroughs of New York City. La Voz advertisers include large retail stores (Macy’s and Sears) and telecommunication companies (Verizon), as well as travel agencies and airlines.

New York’s main Hispanic dailies publish special supplements to attract specific advertisers. El Diario/La Prensa‘s Jorge Ayala told Portada™ that his newspaper currently publishes two thematic supplements. Urban/Sofrito, co-produced by el Diario/La Prensa and Urban Latino Magazine, is a bilingual entertainment and cultural monthly supplement. It covers culture and music related to young Hispanics between the ages of 18 and 34. Besides being included as an insert in el Diario/La Prensa‘s 81,000 daily circulation, 5,000 additional copies are distributed at ATMs located in Hispanic neighborhoods. Music retailer Rincon Musical‘s 12 New York branches are used as additional points of distribution for Urban/Sofrito. Regarding CPMs charged by Urban/Sofrito, Ayala states that, on average, local advertisers are charged US $25 and national advertisers US $35.

Vivir, another supplement published twice a year (spring/summer and autumn/fall) by el Diario/La Prensa, targets home buyers. It is written in Spanish by el Diario/La Prensa’s team of 30 journalists and covers themes such as interior design and furniture for the home. In addition to being inserted in el Diario/La Prensa, Vivir is distributed at home-buyer fairs such as “Fannie Mae Home buyer.”

The nationality game
Many Hispanic newspapers try to differentiate themselves from New York’s mainstream newspapers by publishing supplements in connection with Latin American national holidays. In this way they can attract advertisers who produce goods and services targeted at Hispanics of specific nationalities. Hoy focuses most of its editorial and advertising efforts on the Puerto Rican Day Parade supplement and the Hispanic Day Parade issue. Both publications have a circulation of 315,000. The carrier of these supplements is Hoy‘s daily edition, which has a circulation of 120,000 during these Hispanic holidays. The remaining 195,000 are distributed in Newsday, Hoy‘s English language sister paper. Noticias del Mundo also has a wide array of supplements connected to the cultural identity of its readers (e.g. Puerto Rican Heritage Day). Additionally, it publishes supplements related to school & universities, real estate, education and health & wellness.

New York’s main dailies belong to national media companies. El Diario/La Prensa, which belongs to television, radio and outdoor advertising conglomerate Entravision, offers advertisers an interesting multiplatform package. Some advertisers, including retailer Best Buy and brewer Presidente Beer, buy packages that combine advertising space in el diario/La Prensa and billboards in Los Angeles. Jorge Ayala, advertising sales manager at el diario/La Prensa explains the offer with a 80%/20% formula. “The idea is that 80% of New York’s Hispanics will see the billboards and the remaining 20% will be exposed to the ads by reading el Diario/La Prensa.”

 

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