Los Angeles Times


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: Tribune Publishing board of directors rejected USA Today owner Gannett’s US$815 million offer to acquire the company. In addition, Tribune adopted a “limited duration Shareholder Rights Plan.” Under the plan, known as “Poison Pill” in financial circles,  Tribune’s shareholders can double their holdings in the event that another party — in this case Gannett — acquires more than 20 percent of the company.
Why it matters: Tribune Publisher, owner of Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and nine other daily newspapers, said Gannett’s “opportunistic” proposal understates the company’s true value and is not in the best interests of its shareholders. A potential acquisition, would make Gannett’s position, already the largest newspaper publisher in the U.S., even more hegemonic.

7slgoGr4_400x400 descargaTribune Publishing’s board of rejected USA Today owner Gannett’s US$815 million “opportunistic”offer to buy the company, arguing the proposal understates the company’s real value and is not in the best interests of its shareholders.

In addition, Tribune disclosed that its board has adopted a “limited duration Shareholder Rights Plan.” Under the plan, Tribune’s shareholders can double their holdings in the event that another party — in this case Gannett — acquires more than 20 percent of the company.In common corporate parlance, that’s a “poison pill,” a way to essentially protect corporate insiders from shareholder activism (like Gannett’s intent to buy Tribune).

Tribune publishing is the owner of  Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and nine other daily newspapers.Gannett wanted to buy Tribune Publishing with the view of expanding its Network and uniting USA Today with its more than 100 local daily newspapers.

Last month, Gannett offered US$12.25 in cash for each Tribune share plus the US$390 million Tribune’s debt, bringing the total value of the bid to us$815 million. The owner of USA Today publicly announced the proposal two weeks after unsuccessfully making a private offer.

On the other hand, Tribune  is in the midst of  an strategic plan that includes creating digital subscription services and expanding the LA Times brand globally, which will include opening seven international bureaus this year, including outposts in Hong Kong, Seoul and Mexico City..In addition, the publisher plans to break out the Times’ revenue and profit as a separate segment from the rest of the company, which could boost the sale price and put pressure on Gannett to raise its offer.

“Tribune Publishing is in the early stages of a compelling transformation, with a well-defined strategic plan to drive increasing monetization of our important brands, capitalize on the global potential of the LA Times and significantly accelerate our conversion of content to revenue through an enhanced digital strategy,” Dearborn said in a statement Wednesday.

“Tribune Publishing’s board has unanimously determined that Gannett’s opportunistic proposal understates the company’s true value and is not in the best interests of its shareholders,” Tribune said in a statement.



Below some major news in the marketing and media world.

Fox Buys Majority in National Geographic Magazine and Cable: Will Climate Change Deniers get a Shot in the Arm?

Rupert Murdoch
Rupert Murdoch, Executive Chairman of News Corporation

The 127-year-old nonprofit National Geographic Society has struck a $725 million deal that gives 21st Century Fox a majority stake in National Geographic magazine and other media properties, expanding an existing TV partnership. The agreement will give the company controlled by Rupert Murdoch’s family a 73 percent stake in the new National Geographic Partners venture. The National Geographic Society retains 27 percent ownership. The move shifts the longtime nonprofit flagship magazine into a for-profit venture. The arrangement brings together National Geographic’s magazine with its cable channels and other media businesses. This is the second major deal announced in the last 10 days which puts together TV and magazine assets, the other one being the acquisition of Meredith Corporation by Media General. National Geographic originally partnered with Fox in 1997 to launch the National Geographic Channel. Officials said aligning the various media brands will help fuel future growth. In the Hispanic market, NatGeo-MundoFox (now MundoMax) ad sales are operated by Fox Hispanic Media. “This expanded partnership, bringing together all of the media and consumer activities under the National Geographic umbrella creates vast opportunities and enables this business to be even more successful in a digital environment,” said James Murdoch, CEO of 21st Century Fox, in announcing the deal. Al Jazeera (Fox purchases National Geographic for Infotainment Synergyy) has another take: Rupert Murdoch’s high-profile purchase of National Geographic — perhaps the most esteemed remaining icon of middlebrow American print culture — has touched off alarms over how the swashbuckling Australian press lord may visit a Fox News makeover on the science monthly…Murdoch’s acquisition of a 73 percent share of National Geographic — for a cool $725 million — is especially troubling to the cause of climate science, since the National Geographic Society (founded as a nonprofit foundation for exploration and research) administers a $1 billion grant program to research scientists.”

Tribune Rejects Offer and Appoints new Publisher for LAT

Tribune Publishing has rejected an overture by Los Angeles philanthropist Eli Broad, a friend of the just ousted Los Angeles Times publisher Austin Beutner, to buy the Los Angeles Times from Tribune and take the paper private with Beutner in charge. The move which would have left Tribune Publishing as a much smaller company, was rejected by the board, which includes Eddy Hartenstein, the former Times publisher and Tribune CEO who brought Beutner into the paper, LA Observed reports. As a result of the failed attempt to buy the Los Angeles Times, Tribune Publishing CEO Jack Griffin ousted Beutner who will be replaced by Tim Ryan, until recently publisher of The Baltimore Sun. Tribune Publishing owns Spanish-language publications including Hoy Los Angeles, Hoy Chicago as well as San Diego’s Enlace.

Multiculti Production Firm Macro gets Funding

Macro, a media production and distribution venture launched earlier this year, announced a successful eight figure funding round backed by high profile investors including Laurene Powell-Jobs, widow of the late Apple CEO Steve Jobs, TheVideoInk reports. Other backers include Citibank investment chief and Macro advisor Raymond J. McGuire, tech entrepreneur/investor Justin Yoshimura, and Michael Kane of Caltius Capital. Introduced in early 2015 by former WME agent Charles King, Macro is focused on producing film, TV and digital content for African-American, Latino and other multicultural audiences. The funding round was led by The Emerson Collective, a venture group founded by Powell-Jobs to seek out and support social entrepreneurs. The Emerson Collective favors investments in companies and founders who are innovating ways to create avenues for social and economic mobility.

French|West|Vaughan acquires 50% Stake in Hispanic Shop

Raleigh-based French|West|Vaughan has acquired a 50 percent stake in RGAA PR, a Hispanic PR and marketing shop, to pave its way into that fast-growing category, according to O’Dwyer’s report. Staffers of the firm founded in 2011 by Raul Gonzalez will move into F|W|V’s Madison Ave. office. RGAA represents EA Sports, marketer of FIFA, Need for Speed and UFC video games; Sega Sports Interactive’s Football Manager franchise, and Major League Soccer’s New York Red Bulls. The firm’s Alexander Stuart, a former MLS staffer and executive for the American Chamber of Commerce in Singapore, will join F|W|V as head of its sports marketing practice. Stuart will report to Jack Glasure, president of F/W/V’s entertainment offering, while Gonzalez will coordinate with CEO Rick French.F|W|V also has scooped up the music and entertainment business of ex-Big Hassle Media publicist Seven Trachtenbroit. He becomes the shop’s artist & entertainment director and brings clients such as The Backstreet Boys, Danny Gokey (American Idol finalist), indie band The Dears, singer/songwriter Emily King, Colorado Springs-based CW Botanicals and its Charlotte’s Web line of hemp products and Uphoric TV digital network featuring coverage of the global music festival circuit.

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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.


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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