latino lingo

All things related to effective Hispanic marketing, Hispanic advertising and Hispanic public relations.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Hispanic outreach Kentucky style

A first is occurring in Kentucky on August 15 when the Richmond Register, circulation 6,280, becomes the first paper in the state to launch a bi-lingual column. This according to an article in Editor & Publisher Magazine, which goes on to report that the column will run every other week and be written by Alberto Sanz, a Mexican also who publishes a weekly Spanish paper in central Kentucky.

"Madison County's growing Hispanic population is evident in the number of Hispanic-owned businesses and Hispanic employees in the local work force," Richmond Register Editor Jim Todd Todd is quoted as saying in the article.

(Thanks to Rebecca Johnston, media buyer at Mason, Inc., for forwarding this article)

Monday, July 24, 2006

¿Como se dice "Recycling" en Español?

The city of Irving (Texas) is pushing a recycling program aimed at increase participation among the immigrant Hispanics, according to an article in the Dallas Morning News.

It's an interesting article in that the city has clearly understood that culture is a critical factor in getting their message, and better yet to generating action, to their Hispanic population. They are not solely focusing on language as the key barrier and thus not relying on translations.

Another smart move is that rather than going at it alone, the city has formed a community coalition to get the word out to the people. Alan Watts, recycling outreach coordinator for the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, says in the article, "The city of Irving has a tremendous amount of insight by attempting to reach the customers -- not only through the language barrier, but also by involving community groups."

The community coalition's tactics include building a team of bilingual and Spanish-speaking trainers to teach the importance of recycling, and in the future hosting community picnics, block parties, church meetings and educational workshops to promote recycling.

Seems like they are on the path to success.

The notion of culture as a barrier is one those of you who regularly read me will recognize. In environmental areas like recycling, energy conservation and energy efficiency culture is critically important as most immigrant groups come from countries that are not as far along with these matters as here in the states. We also don't have an Al Gore equivalentant scaring us that the polar ice caps are melting or blaming every weather phenomenon on global warming.

With energy prices continuing to go sky high, it is imperative that waste departments, electrical companies, natural gas companies, and other utilities engage Latinos is a culturally-relevant manner. In areas where Latinos make up at least 15% of the overall population, this has to be part of the overall solution to lowering costs for everyone.

But, you don't do this by translating your general market educational and marketing materials to Spanish or by including a translated bill stuffer every month. Marketing in this passive manner will only translate into assured failure. If you have questions on how to do it right, go to Irving.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Ad Age Releases "Hispanic Fact Pack"

Download the 52-page report here (5.7 meg PDF download from Ad Age WebSite)

Among other things, the 3rd annual Fact Pack reports has data about marketers' ad spending, demographic trends, language usage and rankings for the leading TV media. There are also charts on marketers' spending forecasts.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Marketing at the border

Marketing y Medios carries an article about Border Billboard, a company that specializes in billboards at the U.S.-Mexico border.

According to the article, the 2 billboards the company has at the Tijuana/San Diego border is "the single most trafficked border in the world," with 4.3 million passersby each month. These aren't run of the mill, they play video and offer audio via a radio frequency.

Current clients include Burger King, Circuit City, Coca Cola Co., Coors Light, McDonald's the the U.S. Postal Service, the article says.

Wonder if Taco Bell is the next one to "head for the border" ...

Thursday, July 13, 2006

BusinessWeek: How To Tap the Hispanic Market

BusinessWeek carries a story entitled, "How To Tap the Hispanic Market," that features a Q&A with Felipe Korzenny, director of the Center for the Study of Hispanic Marketing Communications at Florida State University.

Here's a summary of his main points:

On the misstep companies are making: "... they do not realize that understanding the culture is part of making a difference in the way in which you can connect with the consumer ... they are missing the opportunity to establish a closer relationship and making their brand more desirable or more wanted by Hispanic consumers by addressing them from a cultural perspective."

On the biggest mistake companies are making: Companies fall into two extremes, "being stereotypical" the ones "that just don't make an effort." "In between, there are categories like the ones who just take an ad and translate it ... that's the most primitive approach."

On what makes a successful approach: " ... the ones that either launch a new product or position it in the Hispanic market by talking to many consumers and finding out how to make the product relevant to them."

On how Hispanic businesses market to themselves: "Being Hispanic can help you, but it is no guarantee. Just by being Hispanic, you do not necessarily know how to market to Hispanics."

On the importance of bilingual marketing: "Bilingual marketing is the way of the future. I think in the past years there was an emphasis on using the Spanish language ... being bilingual is more effective and it is a way to emphasize culture."

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Online Marketing Campaign Pitfalls

DM News, a direct marketing media outlet, has an article about a session entitle, "The Opportunity: Tapping into U.S. Hispanics and Latin Americans via Search" that took place July 10 in Miami at the Search Engine Strategies Conference and Expo Latino '06.

The article outlines the millions of Latinos that use the Internet for searches. It states that Mexico, Argentina and Brazil account for 72% of search users in Latin America.

It also outlines the potential growth of the U.S. market as searching is the #2 reason that Hispanics in the United States and in Latin America use the Internet. The #1 reason was to check e-mail, the article says.

What it doesn't outline is that Hispanic Internet users in the U.S. are largely young. This is important because it affects the types of campaigns for which online marketing should be considered (though SEO is something that should always be considered). It also affects the type of onlincampaignng tactics that should be employed (i.e. mobile marketing).

Hispanics account for approximately 14% of the U.S. population, but only account for 7.1% of web users, according to the Pew Internet Project. The annual growth rate is estimated at 6.8%, according to e-Marketer. So, the potential today and in the future is certainly there. Proof positive is that 2005 online expenditures aimed at Hispanics were $100 million. This is a 33% increase from 2004, according to IAB.

The article also doesn't outline the major pitfall made with many U.S.-based online campaigns: the lack of follow through. By this I mean companies spend lots of money to get Hispanic to their websites or to a campaign micro-site, yet fail to offer relevant content. Worse, they sometimes lead you to Spanish landing page for essentially an English website, or to a translated website. (See my posting about the new Johnnie Walker campaign to see what I'm talking about)

So, certainly go forward and consider online marketing as a key discipline. However, know the demographic of your intended audience and their purchasing decision-making thought process, as well as make sure you follow through by providing them something relevant once they get there.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Mayor upset at Spanish-language billboard

Bogota (New Jersey, not Colombia) Mayor Steve Lonegan is offended that McDonald's has put up a Spanish language billboard to promote its iced-coffee to the area's growing Hispanic population. (According to the article, 21% of the residents are Latino)

According to the mayor in an article in The Record ,the billboard is offensive because, it sends the message that Spanish speakers and immigrants do not need to learn how to speak English.

He is quoted as saying, "This billboard says, 'You Hispanics can't learn English, so we're going to put up this sign.' It's really sending the wrong message."

He's not the only one upset. Carmen Morales, from "You Don't Speak for Me," a group that opposes illegal immigration says in the article. "I believe that McDonald's should be ashamed of themselves, assuming that Hispanics don't speak English ... I feel this is an insult to the Hispanic community. We the Hispanics know what a "Big Mac" is and we certainly CAN read English."

Well, I'm glad "You Don't Speak for Me" doesn't speak for me because I know my relatives who have immigrated to the U.S. from a mountain town in Colombia didn't know a Big Mac from a Whopper until they got here.

What bugs me most about this sentiment (and the cheesesteak guy in Philadelphia who put up an "English Only" sign) is that it assumes Hispanics come here and purposely don't want to learn English.

With Hispanic immigration booming, it's safe to assume -- like our European immigrant counterparts who came through Ellis Island -- that Hispanics don't necessarily arrive in the U.S. with a command of the English language ... or know that a Big Mac is composed of (sing along with me if you know the song) two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun.

We forget about European immigration in the early 1900s and how European immigrants also settled into ethnic communities where initially they spoke their native language. The Irish communities, Polish communities, German communities and Italian communities to name a few were ethnic-centers of culture, arts, food, music, etc.

We too naturally settle into communities where we are with our own and where we can survive by speaking our native languages until we learn English. So, how about giving us a chance to do so before saying we can't order something in Spanish? And, until we do, does it not make sense to allow us to contribute to the economy and buy an iced coffee from McDonalds?

I hope the good mayor doesn't ever drive through Chinatown by mistake, if he's offended by an iced coffee billboard, what would be think of all their signage and billboards in the many Chinese dialects?

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Back from vacation ...

Oh, the joys of south Florida ... I spent a week near Miami and the Independence Day weekend with the family new West Palm Beach.

I took our neighbors (an Anglo family) with us, and they were amazed at the prevelance of Hispanics and Spanish in that part of the country. I joked Amigo, down here everything is translated into English.