AdAge Continues to Neglect Hispanic Marketing
At first glance, it looks like AdAge.com recognizes the importance and bredth of Hispanic marketing since they have a button dedicated to it in their main navigation area on their homepage. However, go one click further and you see that they really drop the ball.
I’ve had my eye on this for well over a year and the same pattern persists: About once a month, AdAge published 3-4 articles under the Hispanic Marketing section of their website. Every other section of their websites get fresh content daily. There is certainly enough newsworthy content on which AdAge could report daily. Why, then, is this corner of their website still so bare? Furthermore, when many of their articles in the Hispanic marketing section emphasize how huge Â it is and how many people are missing out, why do they neglect to provide that valuable information to their readers?
It is possible that AdAge is stuck in a similar situation as many brands: they recognize the importance of Hispanic marketing, but do not take action on it. In fact, Walmart’sÂ Tony Rogers, senior VP-brand marketing and advertising, said exactly that in an article published (on AdAge) on November 8, 2011:
He described his own journey as a marketer over the last decade and said there are three levels of “getting” multicultural marketing. The first level of “getting it,” he said, “is not doing anything.” The second level is recognizing its importance, but keeping efforts pretty siloed, like spending some money during Black History Month and Hispanic Heritage Month and considering the multicultural box to be ticked off. “The next step is where we are — making multicultural part of everything we do,” he said.
There is clearly a pattern here. It seems as though the majority of brands fall into the first bucket of those who get it but do nothing. There are hurdles that keep them from forging ahead and warpping their arms around Hispanic marketing. Here are some of the main obstacles that I observe most often:
1. The Good Samaritan Law was highlighted in Seinfeld when the infamous squad of friends saw something bad happen but didn’t intervene in any way. People tend to be reluctant to do the same when it comes to Hispanic & multicultural marketing. Few people within general market agencies (or on the brand side) are equipped to take it on. Of those that are, how many go out of their way to say “let me take responsibility for this?” The fear that comes with that is often one that keeps people from raising their hand to spearhead this kind of endeavor.
2. Lack of knowledge Even if an employee recognizes the importance of Hispanic marketing, they may not know where to begin. A lot of people I meet (especially ones who don’t work at advertising agencies) do not even know that there are niche agencies that exist whose specialty is Hispanic marketing.
3. Fear of Results (or lack thereof) A lot of agencies and marketing teams are feeling the pressure to perform these days, and on smaller budgets than they may be accustomed. They are struggling with analytics and turning around solid, impressive quantitative data for their clients or bosses. However, there is so much opportunity in the Hispanic market and few competitors. Since so few brands are really getting serious about Hispanic and multicultural marketing, the competition is not that stiff. That is not to say that it is easy to be able to get impressive numbers when it comes to Hispanic marketing efforts, but the landscape is much more fertile than the general market arena.
4. Lack of resources In times when budgets are tight and employees have more than ever on their plates, adding a giant project to the mix is just not in the cards for most. However, this is one of the instances in which the higher-ups need to make the time, or find the resources. Hiring someone (or an agency) to take on Hispanic marketing is one of the strongest investments brands can make today. The investment made today will likely pay for itself much sooner than the company expects, and continue to bring in revenue afterwards. Best Buy is experiencing strong growth (in the double digits) every year when it comes to the traffic to their Spanish-language website. The site was launched in 2007 and continues to surprise them with the results it yields.
AdAge and brands need to do the same thing: take action. There may be hurdles and it may seem intimidating, but it is in their best interest to do so. While Hispanic marketing is a “niche” industry right now, that will soon be changing as the makeup of our country’s population becomes ever-more Hispanic.