Women at NBCU Event Focuses on Reaching the Female Hispanic Consumer

“The Latino population are not immigrants. They’re here, right here, right now.”

So said Iman, the former fashion model, makeup mogul, The Fashion Show Ultimate Collection hostess, and keynote speaker at the latest Women at NBCU Power of the Purse breakfast. Today’s theme was “The New Majority: Marketing to the Multicultural Female Consumer,” however much of the time was spent talking specifically about the Hispanic female consumer, with the recent Census numbers certainly not far from anyone’s mind.

“Ethnic is outdated,” Iman, who is Somali, said towards the end of her speech. Rather, the key is to think about inclusion, presenting images and messaging that multicultural audiences can relate to. “The mothers now and young girls coming up will have the spending power and it’s all up for grabs.”

To that end, the panel discussion that followed discussed ways to succeed in grabbing some of that consumer power for your clients and brands.

All panelists talked about the need to relate to the Hispanic audience, which has some traits in common with mass culture, and others that are specific to the Latino culture. Members of the panel as well as audience members noted the attempts by some to take content that has been used in Latin America or English-language content that’s been translated to Spanish for the American Hispanic audience.

Miriam Muley, founder and CEO of The 85% Niche, emphasized the “nuance” necessary to reach this target and the “due diligence” that brands have to execute before they even try. For instance, targeting women doesn’t mean you’re reaching multicultural women. Nor does targeting multicultural audiences mean that you’re reaching everyone all over.

“You have to connect with the passion points of consumers around the world,” said Reinaldo Padua, AVP Hispanic marketing Coca-Cola North America.

Antonio Ruiz, partner & strategic officer at Vidal Partnership noted that decision makers must be held accountable for the steps, and missteps, that are taken to reach this lucrative market. “Until everyone is responsible, things won’t change,” he said. Measurement and the appropriate metrics become critical other panel members noted.

According to Jacqueline Hernandez, COO of Telemundo Communications Group, 62 percent of Hispanics are American-born. Padua described a “vertical” lifestyle for Latin Americans, where people grow up with family in the house or nearby.

“Here, you try to build that network, which is why social media is so developed,” among Hispanic audiences, he continued.

A lot of social media use, including social networking and text messaging, is done via smartphones, Ruiz continued, something we’ve written about here and marketers should be mindful of when planning their strategies.

And these social aspects can extend to the actual point of purchase, with Hernandez using an auto sale as an example of where a Hispanic family will involve many members rather than just one consumer.

Finally, today’s event coincided with NBCU’s launch of Hispanics at NBCU, which will create custom marketing efforts to reach viewers of its properties such as Telemundo and USA. (According to the press release, NBCUniversal can reach 91 percent of the Hispanic audience, which has a buying power of $1 trillion.) And there was a story in today’s NY Times that highlights a Telemundo partnership with L’OrĂ©al that was mentioned during the event that pivots on the network’s telenovelas.

[Image above from left to right:  Antonio Ruiz, partner & strategic officer, Vidal Partnership; Jacqueline Hernandez, COO, Telemundo Communications Group; Iman; Lauren Zalaznick, chairman, NBCUniversal Entertainment & Digital Networks and Integrated Media; Michelle Caruso-Cabrera, CNBC anchor & reporter; Miriam Muley, founder and CEO of The 85% Niche, LLC; Reinaldo Padua, AVP Hispanic marketing Coca-Cola North America.]