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4 Keys to Leading Change: Convincing your Organization that Hispanic Matters

Do you ever feel like a lone wolf trying to drive change in your organization, with the right idea on Hispanic marketing but little support? You’re certainly not alone. From our annual Leading the Change marketing forum, here are 4 key pillars to being a change agent within your organization. Because as futurist J. Walker Smith boldly stated, “The old ways of doing business simply aren’t going to work anymore.”

#1 Today’s consumers have the power – understand what drives them.

Marshal Cohen, Chief Industry Analyst from NPD Group said it best: In this rapidly-changing consumption landscape, consumers are in the driver’s seat—buying what they want, when they want it, where they like to get it, and even how much they want to pay.

Finding success means understanding what drives your consumers and in turn, which consumers are driving your growth. Currently and increasingly, consumers want brands to give them what they want in a way that is extremely personalized. In fact, 60% wish they had even more opportunities to customize products to their lifestyle, a number that is even higher among Hispanics (76%).

In fact, Hispanics are frequently the bellwether for coming consumer trends, often reshaping the way the general market approaches consumption. For example, Coca-Cola found that Hispanics, and more specifically Hispanic millennials, are reshaping how we eat, where we eat, and what we eat, so they set out to create a campaign that would appeal to the hearts and stomachs of these cultural trendsetters. Sr. Brand Manager Tavia Pitts shared the results: A significant lift was realized when the campaign was running versus flat results when it wasn’t.

Are consumer growth segments in your plans? Futurist J. Walker Smith from Kantar Futures made it abundantly clear that moving forward, inclusivity is the ONLY way to grow your brand, which leads us to #2…

 #2 Brands are facing an inclusivity imperative – it’s the only way to grow.

The inclusivity imperative is two-fold: not only will messaging to and investing in consumer growth segments fuel brand growth, but additionally, consumers value brands that are inclusive. Unfortunately, 70% of Hispanics feel frustrated by brands that treat them as an afterthought.

However, based on their $1.4 trillion of spending power—up 181% from the year 2000—Hispanics should be anything but an afterthought.  Not developing a Hispanic strategy ignores an enormous (and growing) opportunity, like the one discovered by Acura. Gina Jorge, Head of National Advertising at Acura, told our forum that 100% of their luxury sales growth was coming from Hispanics.  Yes, 100%.

If you choose a total market approach to up your inclusivity, beware of a common trap: Roberto Ruiz, EVP of Strategy, Research and Analytics at UCI warned us of the danger of misconstruing total market as a single spot with a Hispanic-looking actor. For an example of a successful and truly inclusive total market strategy, watch this Honey Maid spot, presented to us by Gary Osifchin, VP of Global Brand Equity at Mondelēz. As both Honey Maid and Acura found, Spanish-language and culture matter (even for luxury consumers!)

#3 Creative heavily impacts ROI – language and cultural-relevancy matter.

Once you’ve decided to invest in reaching Hispanics, how do you do that in an effective way that ensures that your investment pays off? According to Matt Krepsik from Nielsen, creative remains the largest differentiator for advertising performance, their recent study shows.

Among Spanish-language ads with ROI greater than $1, non-negotiable creative elements are Spanish dialogue and content that is culturally relatable. But on top of those two things, the real differentiators among top performers among Hispanics are humor and a narrative story.

That said, it’s crucial to recognize what does and doesn’t translate. For example, humor isn’t portable culture to culture, which is why it’s important to test your creative with native speakers to confirm cultural relevance.

“People say, ‘I developed this campaign with my global agency. How is it not Hispanic?’ But the stories are found within culture,” explained Luis Miguel Messianu, CEO and Creative Chairman of Hispanic agency, Alma.

That’s why the most successful campaigns are built using cultural insights. Just ask Walgreens’ VP of Brand Marketing Strategy, Mark Sciortino, who says the brand’s culturally-tailored campaigns see a “disproportionate response from Hispanic shoppers” in terms of ROI.

However, a brief disclaimer: Nielsen also says that if your brand is new to communicating to Hispanic consumers, ROI should not be your measurement. First, take the time to develop the upper funnel. And though that initial period may be uncomfortable, that likely means you’re heading in the right direction, because…

#4 Driving creative change means embracing what feels uncomfortable – but it’s worth it.

You may be in an organization where pushing for a Hispanic strategy is considered a bold and creative idea. But as we learned from Jennifer Mueller, our keynote speaker and author of Creative Change, most of us are secretly biased against creative ideas even though learning to recognize them is key to future success.

We often reject creative ideas because of how they make us feel. Mueller explained it’s what she calls the “ick” feeling… caused by wanting to be right, being afraid of saying “I don’t know” or losing status.

But embracing creative ideas means switching your mindset from ‘best‘ to ‘potential.’ Remove the pressure of finding the perfect solution and instead, look at an idea for the potential it holds… and try it!

Mueller gave us two great pieces of advice to consider while on this journey of creative change and discovery. First, metrics cannot tell you the future, but they can tell you what the journey should be. Use them wisely, but don’t rely on them solely. Secondly, though undergoing change, remember to remain authentic to your brand.  That’s where your creative success lies.

We know it’s not easy, but UCI is here to help each step of the way. With sixty years under our belt speaking to and serving the Hispanic community, we have the insights, measurement, and creative services necessary to help make your Hispanic strategy come to life. For more info, email

Source: 1) Kantar Futures 2017 Global MONITOR (U.S. data) 2) Kantar Futures 2017 U.S. MONITOR 3) 2017 Selig Center for Economic Growth Multicultural Economy Report; Kantar Futures 2017 U.S. MONITOR; Bloomberg News 7/20/16

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