2014 just started and we say it’s going to be a banner year for Hispanic marketing. GroupM expects U.S. overall advertising expenditures to increase by 2.9% to US $161 billion. eMarketer expects a 3.8% increase to US$ 171.33 billion. We say that Hispanic advertising will grow substantially more than eMarketer’s and Group M projections for the general  market. Below 7 growth drivers, and some challenges, for marketing, advertising and media executives to take into account.

1. Total Market? Yes but with culturally “fluent” Messaging

Photo: Jens Rost – Creative Commons

One thing is clear by now, the “Total Market approach” has been adopted by the majority of Corporate America as the appropriate approach to target the U.S. consumer. The latest example of this is T2 or Total Toyota. The automaker just announced that its longtime ad agency Saatchi & Saatchi will take the lead over three other Public is Groupe agencies that currently handle multicultural marketing duties—Conill Advertising (Hispanic), Burrell Communications (African-American) and Zenith (Broadcast and out-of-home media buying), along with InterTrend Communications (Asian-American marketing). The new unit will be called T2 (Total Toyota). It is crucial though that the Total Market approach includes  culturally appropiate messaging that deeply resonates with a brands different constituencies. Carlos Saveedra, director of Multicultural Marketing at Pepsi, and a speaker at last year’s ANA Multicultural Marketing Conference uses the term Cultural Fluency:”Cultural Fluency means to market at intersection of interests (e.g. Fashion, Sports etc), rather than to one group in particular.” “It is about being inclusive about the entire texture of multicultural consumers.” Pepsi transitioned from having a multicultural team to have multicultural marketing objectives be included in each brand’s goals.  “Brand managers are accountable to connect with the multicultural consumer. They need to know the multicultural consumer as well as general market consumers.” Saavedra said and added that Hispanic focused executions are not necessarily wrong. But he said that by taking a cross cultural approach, Pepsi discovered that the NFL is very attractive to Hispanics. Before Pepsi obtained this insight, Hispanic campaigns only revolved around soccer.

Brand Managers are now accountable to connect with the Hispanic consumer.

2. The 2014 Soccer World Cup and the Conversation around it

Photo: Milas Page. Creative Commons.
Photo: Milas Page. Creative Commons.

Advertising related to the 2014 Soccer World Cup can increase ad-sales of major Hispanic media properties by up to 40% compared to a non-World Cup year, say executives of Hispanic media properties interviewed by Portada. World Cup right holders (English and Spanish-language TV, online and Radio) are working hard to monetize these rights. But the World Cup offers also other media properties plenty of opportunities (see for example special digital and print editions around World Cup matches and or non directly soccer oriented content such as culture and history content around World Cup host country Brazil.)
“World Cup is big, but I think what can be as important is the conversation around the World Cup – teams, players, host cities, stadiums, etc… We are really pushing to make sure that the brands we manage have a strong presence in these conversations and that these brands become fibers within organic conversation,” Yousef Kattan Fernández President/CEO at Dallas based TruMedia, tells Portada.
(Look out for “Portada’s 2014 Soccer Marketing Guide in partnership with Soccer.com” to be published on www.portada-online.com on January 28th!)

3. Focus on the scalability of digital channels

To Marla Skiko, SVP, Digital Innovation at SMG Multicultural, “the greatest challenge facing Hispanic media is to power the growth of digital media.  As those of us in the Hispanic media space are keenly aware, Hispanic consumers are at the forefront of technology and digital consumption.  We need to see growth in scale across channels from video to social to mobile.”

The greatest challenge facing Hispanic media is to power the growth of digital media.

…with programmatic helping to solve native’s scale issue

ALEMANIA TECNOLOGÍAProgrammatic digital advertising buys are an important tool to solve the scalability issue in digital marketing and advertising. A few months ago Skiko told us that the use of programmatic audience buying technologies can be very efficient, particularly when it comes to target segments of the Hispanic demographic.” Several players including Batanga, Alcance Media, Pulpo Media and in the video space Videology, Adap.tv., Yume and others are trying to capitalize on the catch up potential the Hispanic market has versus the general market in this regard.
(Watch out for “Portada’s Latin Audience Buying Guide“, a new custom branded section to be published on Portada’s English and Spanish-language sites in the next few weeks!).

Programmatic Trading can also help solve another important marketing challenge: How to scale native advertising. While the concept of native advertising, or branded content programs that take advantage of the interactivity of the digital medium (see The New York Times recent implementation),  has been the darling of the industry for the past two years, it has yet to truly take off due to its inability to scale. That is poised to change as native will start to be offered programmatically through new technologies that help publishers display sponsored content at scale. For the ‘right ad at the right time’ to finally become the ‘right content at the right time’, content marketing will need to become seamlessly integrated and distributed through advanced targeting technology via ad exchanges and RTB platforms.

Challenge: Finding ways for brands to stand out…

“One of the  greatest challenges marketers face  in 2014 is finding ways to help their brand stand out,”  TruMedia’s Kattan Fernández tells Portada.  “There are so many advertisers saying similar things in similar places. Messaging is important but understanding where your brand fits contextually is as important.  Finding creative media touch points, whether those be digital, social, mobile, offline are key to creating some sort of awareness and developing that engagement with viewers, listeners or online patrollers,” Kattan adds. He notes that “digital and social continues to be a big focus for our agency and growing those 1 to 1 consumer relationships where we can. ”

Understanding where your brand fits contextually is crucial

…it’s all about Content Marketing! (Driver 4)

Content Marketing

Finding the right context and context through digital and social media will continue to be key. In other words, it’s all about Content Marketing. Content Marketing strategies which succesfully integrate paid, owned and earned media are crucial for brand marketers.

Content marketing can particularly benefit brands who invest in creating culturally relevant content and scale it across screens and devices.

SMG’s Skiko says that “because Latinos are super users of technology and digital media, we expect to focus squarely on the digital space as we look to grow our clients’ business in 2014.” According to Skiko, “there is a strong opportunity to create engaging, socially powered experiences that are grounded in Hispanic consumer insights.  Another opportunity to make that connection is for marketers to develop content tailored to the Hispanic audience.  Content marketing is a growing arena and can particularly benefit brands who invest in creating culturally relevant content and scaling it across screens and devices. We see a strong opportunity to create engaging, socially powered experiences that are grounded in Hispanic consumer insights.”

…and here is where Data comes in (again). (Driver 5)

Customer Insights and Data represent another major driver for Hispanic marketing in the year that just started.  “I think the opportunity is about data. Not only to have it but actually to know how to find insights through it,” says Gonzalo del Fa, president of Group M Multicultural and Portada Editorial Board Member. (Big) Data can not only be used to substantially increase advertising effectiveness but also for content marketing purposes. For brands and agencies the issue is not so much about producing enough content but about creating enough usable content. That is where Data and dynamic content recommendation engines come in. They enable marketers and media to present the right content to the right visitor at the right time without the visitor having to discover it themselves. Machine learning does that discovery for them. The future of content marketing is all about data-driven content origination and curation that are optimized for organic SEO , highly relevant and targeted.

6. Mobile

In 2013 mobile marketing expenditures took off, although perhaps not as much in the Hispanic market. Experts interviewed by Portada note that 2014 will be a very important year for Latam and USH in the mobile industry. Gaston Bercun, Founder & Co-CEO at mobile ad network Hunt Mobile Ads, says  that “a lot of what is going on in the US and Europe will start to be seen in the Latin markets.”  Bercun adds that “we will start to see important growth of investment of brands in their mobile and mobile advertising strategies and this will push the market to a new level. Programmatic and new devices will also help in the process of increasing the smart phone and tablet penetration.” Major platforms like Google, YouTube and Facebook, provide advertisers
access to mobile and don’t need to recreate any mobile platform creative or invest in it. As Sylwia Makarewicz-Liszka, Mobile and Digital Planner at Starcom Media Vest, said during Portada’s 7th Annual Hispanic Advertising and Media Conference last September “not having mobile assets should not be an excuse for not making a mobile campaign.”

7. Digital Video continues to expand

Hispanic Online VideoRelated to the trend of digital expansion and content marketing is the almost explosive growth of digital video in the Hispanic market.  2014 will be the year of video in content marketing and Hispanic advertising. Platforms like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, are allowing or will soon allow video ads in consumer content feeds. With videos becoming cheaper to produce even small businesses can produce high quality videos. SMG’s Skiko notes that the increased focus on the Hispanic opportunity by mainstream digital publishers is a win for marketers.  Key players such as Google, Facebook and Twitter are ramping up their Hispanic capabilities with dedicated resources and a focus on content creation and improved targeting.  This should help develop more and richer audiovisual media including digital video.  (Join us on June 3rd in Miami when major marketers and digital video experts from the U.S. and Latin America will gather at Portada’s Latin Online Video Forum)

Back in July we wrote about MetroPCS expansion into 15 additional markets, now that the pre-paid Wireless service  is owned and operated by T-Mobile.  At the time we speculated who would be MetroPCS Hispanic agency (Conill is T-Mobile). Now we know: It is Dallas based TruMedia. We talked to Yousef Kattan Fernández President/CEO TruMedia and Rodrigo Vallejo, Managing Partner at the agency about their plans for MetroPCS.

We are in over 20 major Hispanic markets and are using TV, Radio, OOH, search and other types of guerrilla tactics and grassroots efforts

Dallas based TruMedia is the Hispanic media planning and buying agency of record for MetroPCS.  “We are focusing on not only retaining our current customer base but developing our base in our expanded footprint across key high dense Hispanic markets,”Rodrigo Vallejo, Managing Partner at TruMedia, tells Portada.  Vallejo adds that “We are using a number of tools to pinpoint and understand our core consumer, including but not limited to segmentation, language,  acculturation and crossing that with media usage tendencies and opportunities to stand out.” Regarding TruMedia’s current media plan for MetroPCS, Vallejo says that  “We are running a campaign and have been consistent throughout 2013 like 2012.  We are in over 20 major Hispanic markets and we are using TV, Radio, OOH, search and other types of guerrilla tactics and grassroots efforts,” Vallejo notes.

15 new Markets


In July MetroPCS announced it is expanding into 15 regions where it had never offered service before: Baltimore, MD, Birmingham, Ala., Cleveland and Akron, Ohio, Corpus Christi, Texas, Fresno, Calif.Houston, Texas, Memphis, Tenn., New Orleans, LA, Rio Grande Valley, Texas, San Antonio and Austin, Texas, San Diego, Calif. ,Seattle and Tacoma, WA., Tallahassee, FL, Toledo and Sandusky, OH and Washington, DC. Currently over 9 million people enjoy MetroPCS service nationwide.

“We are very familiar with a lot the new MetroPCS markets, having managed for different brands, regardless we’ve really tried to understand the market dynamic at greater length in this category specifically, and implement strategies and tactics that we think will help us win in these new markets,” says Yousef Kattan Fernández President/CEOTruMedia.

113 million Mexicans will be rooting for the “Tri” as Mexico plays the 2014 Soccer World Cup qualifying match tomorrow against New Zealand.   So will almost 42 million Mexican Americans in the U.S. and, without a doubt, almost everyone in the  Hispanic Marketing and Media sector. There is a lot of passion but also a strong economic rationale, the incentives for marketers to sponsor World  Cup and soccer related activities during 2014 will be much bigger if Mexico qualifies to Brazil 2014.(UPDATED with John Trainor and Marco Lopez comments).

SoccerThe possibility of not qualifying for the 2014 Soccer World Cup in Brazil deeply worries Mexico’s football association (FMF) and media, mainly television networks in Mexico and the United States which have broadcast rights, and companies who sponsor the national team and businesses who see a rise in sales throughout the year when the World Cup is held. Analysts have put the economic costs of a potential non World Cup qualification at US $650 million. “It’s huge for the country, for the economy, for media, for everyone, both in Mexico and the US. Big brands have World Cup media and marketing related budgets for 2014, so I believe it is critical,” Miguel Ramirez Lombana, founder of soccer news site Soccerly.com, comments on Portada’s Linked In Group. (Previously in his career, Lombana sold Mexican soccer site Mediotiempo.com to Time Inc’s Grupo Editorial Expansion.)

 Not having Mexico be part of the World Cup would lessen the impact of the tournament in the U.S. Both from an impression and business standpoint.

“We think media consumption will be high throughout the tournament because of the road Mexico has taken to get the tournament and the drama it has endured  (still have to qualify).  Also the time zone of the tournament and the host country should create an all time high in engagement across multiple platforms – broadcast, digital, social.  Not having Mexico be part of this would lessen the impact of the tournament in the U.S. Both from an impression and business standpoint,” says Yousef Kattan,  President.CEO of TruMedia, a Dallas based Hispanic advertising agency that plans and buys media for companies including Maseca and MetroPCS.

Not all experts think that a potential Mexico non-qualification would be a “Hispanic marketing dollars disaster.” “Honestly I believe the biggest impact would be for broadcasters and not print outlets as the interest level of watching a game live when your preferred national team is not playing most likely will drop,” says John Trainor, publisher of Hoy Chicago. On the consumer standpoint, our readers have become accustomed to find all about soccer within our pages and corresponding digital platforms and our unparalleled sports coverage will be just as strong even if Mexico does not make it. Hoy’s editorial philosophy will continue to include the coverage of the top soccer tournament in the planet and Hispanics in Chicago already know where they will find it.” To Marco Lopez, EVP Client Services at elemento -an  experiential marketing agency that has Coca Cola among its clients- much of  Coca-Cola’s strategy evolves around the World Cup and is aligned to the global strategy.  “Working together with Coca-Cola’s partner agencies we developed a strategy that is taking on the global assets and making them relevant for the U.S,.  The Mexican National Team is an important part of our strategy and it is a great connection with the core consumer, but we have a plan that will be executable with or without the Mexican National Team.  Coca-cola is a partner of FIFA and as such, the World Cup remains a very strong opportunity.”

We have a plan that will be executable with or without the Mexican National Team.

Not direct sponsors, but still part of the conversation

Many companies are not direct backers of the Fifa World Cup but sponsor the Mexican National Team for the matches it plays in the U.S. They include, Unilever Wells Fargo  and Allstate. Until recently Maseca was another sponsor of the Mexican National Soccer Team.  Many of these sponsorship deals rest on the assumption that Mexico will be participating in soccer’s biggest and most visible event. Rodrigo Vallejo, Managing Partner at TruMedia, manages the Maseca brands which used the be one of the official partners of the Mexican National team. ” Obviously, If we still were a sponsor partner then implications would be much greater, “Vallejo tells Portada.

But marketers may also want to invest in media and programs that cut the 2014 Soccer World Cup in more indirect ways. “We are not sponsoring the World Cup directly, but have placed strategies to make sure our brands are around the conversation and buzz that is the tournament, specifically the novela, that is the Mexican national team right now (coaches, players unhappy, qualifying).  We are creating strategies where our media can live with the World Cup without necessarily “sponsoring” it, ”  adds Yousef Kattan,  President.CEO of TruMedia. 

Univision and ESPN will broadcast Mexico – New Zealand

MÉXICO FÚTBOL CONCACAF SUB20 Communications will air both of the Mexican men’s national teams final World Cup Qualifiers against New Zealand tomorrow from Mexico City and the return match on November 20 in Wellington (New Zealand). ESPN, which has forged a partnership with Univision under which it has been televising the home matches of the Mexican men’s national team, will be televising both play-in matches in English, as will Watch ESPN.

Regarding the impact of Mexico’s possible on qualification on the Mexican advertising and media market alone,  Santiago Duran, Digital & Catalyst Director at Havas Media Mexico, noted at the recent Portada Mexico Forum  that a factor which could decrease 2014 Advertising volumes is Mexico’s classification to the 2014 Soccer World Cup. According to Duran, if Mexico does not classify to the World Cup, the impact on advertising activity as a result of the non qualification could amount to 2% of overall 2014 Mexican advertising expenditures.


Download Portada’s Special 2010 World Cup Issue for Marketers (free registration required). (Portada will be publishing the “2014 Soccer World Cup Guide for marketers in partnership with Soccer.com” on January 28, 2014)