marketer interview


Volaris, the low-cost Mexican airline that has an important presence in the U.S. Hispanic market, is one of the pioneers in Mexican online marketing. Approximately 60% of Volaris’ sales are done through online channels, a very high ratio for the Mexican and U.S. Hispanic market where it mostly targets Spanish-dominant  Hispanics. Ricardo Rivera, Head of Marketing, Volaris (watch Video in Spanish), one of the major brand marketers participating at #PortadaLat in Miami on June 8-9, spoke to Portada about what he has  learned in digital marketing and social marketing so far and what he recommends  companies to do to keep up with the latest  trends.

Interview conducted  by Ximena Cassab

Portada: How do you combine advertising with editorial content in social media?

Ricardo Rivera Alaniz_BW_100x100RR: “There are many points that help us keep balanced. The first one is the geotargeting of the messages. 85 per cent of our followers are actually interested in our sales promotions, and 54 per cent of them are only interested in the sales promotion. So it doesn’t feel intrusive to publish our special offers. What will feel intrusive is to publish offers that aren’t relevant to our followers. We can not ignore that people are looking for fares that make you travel, and that’s what we provide them.  On the other hand, there are some topics  that generate more engagement, and we are looking for them all the time. One example is social responsibility. People react very positive to this information and it also generates a lot of engagement. We have also found it very effective to talk about recommendations to travel for less money. People appreciate it.”

We have to get rid of the media manager who only compares media, and start having the one who analyzes performance.

Portada: Talking about geotargeting, in what ways do you segment your customer base?
RR: “Now, thanks to global pages, we have the possibility to conduct  a more segmented management of our audience. We need to do this to be more relevant. Our followers speak different languages; even those who speak Spanish don’t use the same expressions. We need managers responsible for each country and region so that our messages sound natural. We do not deal with the complexity of personalization. I am not worried about this. What we need to have very clear are the engagement success measures and the conversions of this into sales. As long as this is working out well, the complexity will be welcome.”

Portada: Is it more risky to adopt a generalist approach?
RR: “It is much more risky because you take the chance of being less relevant, by speaking in a language or a tone that isn’t used or won’t be understood in a certain country or region. You lose punch of what we call “reactvertising”; what is happening now in this country or in this city. You can’t lose real time advertising.”

Portada: With the development of digital marketing, what structural changes do the companies need?
RR: “We need a performance manager. Many industries today have media managers but this should end. They need someone who can measure each of the advertising channels with precision. We have to get rid of the media manager who only compare media, and start having managers  who analyze performance. The ideal professional for this would be a highly specialized mathematician, someone with curiosity regarding digital matters. We also need an engagement manager, who is in charge of social media, content strategy, sponsors. All this must be put together in the same channel, and with the main goal of generating engagement. This person should be a strategic thinker. It is easy to get lost, this is why you need someone with a market strategy, brand-building strategy, and customer understanding point of view. This way, you will be able to generate engagement with a cause. The challenge here is to manage a hybrid model between in-house and out-of house resources. These managers must have clarity about how their business works so that they can communicate their needs to an external expert agency.”

I recommend a hybrid model, where you keep the most strategic areas covered inside the company, and outsource those things where the agency will do a better job.

Portada: How do you choose the best agency?
RR: “There is no absolute recipe.To choose the right one, you have to pay attention to two things: the car and the driver. There are people who have amazing platforms but don’t know how to use it, and can’t even explain to you how it really works. Sometimes it is better to choose someone who might doesn’t have the newest technology but who is an expert in the subject and gives you an excellent customer service.”

Portada: What should any company take into notice when entering the Latin-American market?
RR: “The Latin-American market needs very simple messages. Irony, for example, doesn’t really work here. You might use it in a couple of twits but not in a whole campaign. People won’t understand nor like it. We are very simple.Also, the penetration of social media is still very low. There are places where Twitter doesn’t even exist. I would recommend having a very strong Facebook strategy if you want to enter this market; the other networks are still developing. And if you are trying to sell by e-commerce, take into notice that people here use their desktop computer at work most of the time. They will use smartphones to stay informed, but the final sale will be made on the computer and during working hours.”

Watch the below VIDEO (in Spanish), with Ricardo Rivera, Marketing Director of Volaris, taken at #PortadaMx this week.


Yussef Kuri, New Emerging Consumers, Marketing Manager at The Hershey Co. is going to be one of the many leading brand marketers speaking at  #Portada15  next week.  According to Kuri, to engage the tech-savvy multicultural Millennial it is critical that marketers are open and willing to learn. We conducted the below interview with Kuri. 

-Yussef KuriYussef Kuri, New Emerging Consumers, Marketing Manager at The Hershey Co.

Portada: What role does Marketing to Latina Millennials play in Hershey’s overall marketing?

Yussef Kuri: “Marketing to Latina Millennials is a core component of our overall Hispanic Marketing strategy, especially talking about young moms who are, usually, head of households.  For the Hispanic culture, women are the key decision-makers in selecting what products and brands are brought into the household, especially in the food and beverage category. They are equally, or even more important, in building traditions and habits among their family members. Having identified this, we saw a huge opportunity in targeting Latina moms to drive the business for some of our most important brands such as Hershey’s Milk Chocolate and Hershey’s Syrup.”

Portada: What role does Hispanic Marketing play in Hershey’s overall U.S. Marketing Strategy. Is it embedded in a total market approach or in a more specific Hispanic marketing effort or both?

Yussef Kuri: “We have a dedicated team to develop and implement strategy to build our brands with U.S. Hispanic consumers. However, the approach we take is defined on a case by case bases, depending on the brand development stage and the marketing objective. For example, in Jolly Rancher we’ve taken a Total Market approach where the advertising to U.S. Hispanics is an integral part of the total brand communications, no creative adaptations, no original developments, just translating the GM copy in Spanish has proven successful to generate trial. Hispanic specific efforts are also implemented on brands such as Hershey’s Milk Chocolate. The most important and iconic brand for the company currently shows an under-index in consumption among Hispanic consumers compared to the general market. Reason why a specific Hispanic approach is required in order to capitalize its full potential, and Hershey’s S’mores provided the perfect opportunity to drive trial trough a usage occasion that fit with U.S. Hispanic consumers in terms of flavors/palate and one of the core Hispanic values that is “sharing good times with the family”.

Hershey’s Milk Chocolate the most important and iconic brand for the company currently shows an under-index in consumption among Hispanic consumers compared to the general market.

Portada: Does Hershey have a Hispanic specific content marketing effort (e.g. a website or a custom publication?)
Yussef Kuri: “We currently have a US Hispanic  “Seasons” site called celebrahersheys.com, where consumers can find recipes, craft ideas and content related to the most important seasons for candy: Valentine, Easter, Halloween and Holiday. Additionally, there is cocinahersheys.com with contents that include recipes for desserts, baked goods and all sorts of treats using our great brands as ingredients.”

Portada: What attributes do you think a marketer targeting Millennials needs to have in order to be successful?
“He or she needs to be highly adaptive to the ever-changing environment in which this generation lives. They need to stay “in the know” of what is relevant and what is not. It is important to let go of the paradigm of using a “formula” for great marketing, because to reach this consumer successfully it is important to be open to learn and experiment.”

Yussef Kuri is a highly accomplished marketing professional with years of experience in the Consumer Goods industry. Accounted with progressive international and domestic business leadership, occupying roles of increased responsibility in corporations such as Cadbury Adams and The Hershey Co.Proven successful use of knowledge and insights in the creation and execution of strategies that lead to profitable business growth.

Join us at PORTADA Mexico!

AAEAAQAAAAAAAALYAAAAJGVmNTZiZmI0LTNiNmItNGYxYy05M2Y5LWM0MTE0Zjk0YjM4OQPriscila Stanton, Senior Marketing Manager, International Brands at Nestlé USA, was a key player in the just announced partnership between Nestle and BabyCenter.  Stanton is going to be a speaker at a panel on the all-important Latina Millennial at our upcoming #Portada15 Conference. We conducted the below interview with Stanton ahead of our annual event.

Portada:Do you continue to market La Lechera specifically or also other Nestle products?
P.S:  “I manage two global brands, La Lechera and NIDO in the U.S. targeting Hispanic consumers.  Our division at Nestle, International Brands Division, focuses on bringing global brands to the US consumer.”

Portada: What role does Marketing towards Hispanic woman play within Nestle’s overall marketing organization?
P.S: “Marketing to Hispanics is very important to Nestle.  There are many brands within the Nestle portfolio that are targeting Hispanics, including general market brands.  But my team focuses on Heritage brands that resonate with the Hispanic consumer.  For both La Lechera and NIDO, our target is the Hispanic mom.”

Our division focuses on bringing global brands to the US consumer.

Portada: How has marketing for El Mejor Nido.com evolved since the site was launched in 2011?
P.S: “El Mejor Nido is a multibrand site that caters towards providing recipes and how to’s to our consumers so that they can create traditional and more modern recipes using our wide range of products.  Separately, La Lechera and NIDO manage digital and social sites including Facebook and Twitter.  NIDO also has a stand-alone site –nestlenido.com.”

Portada: Is the Facebook El Mejor Nido site , currently closed?
P.S: “El Mejor Nido Facebook page is still active.”

Portada: What are, in your opinion, the key features of a successful brand marketer?
P.S: A successful brand marketer is someone who has a blend of insight, consumer empathy, curiosity, strategic thinking and marketplace and category knowledge.”

(Read a separate interview on the Millennial Mom with Julie Michaelson, Head of Global Sales BabyCenter.)

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