Wednesday, Ad Age started the online rumor that Target would put out a request for proposal for a Hispanic ad agency by the end of this week. Though the discount chain was very tight-lipped, an interview with Target senior VP of marketing Shawn Gensch gave readers a little insight into how this marketing powerhouse strategizes for the Hispanic shopper. First off, they don’t call them shoppers.“We’re in a position where we’re realizing the way our Hispanic guests are seeing advertising span Spanish language and English language, depending on where they’re consuming media. So it’s important there is one brand. Not two voices, two different marketing messages, really only one,” says Gensch.
This is good advice. There’s been no shortage of data this year stating that the majority of Latinos in America at this point in time are bilingual or English-dominant. Therefore marketers should cease thinking of separate campaigns for Spanish and English and adjust to thinking of general market campaigns that appeal to the ever Latinizing American populace.
Of course, there are special promotions a company can participate in to target (no pun) a specific audience. Target, for example, has sponsored the ALMA Awards and sent their bull terrier mascot Bullseye to greet red carpet walkers at a Festival in San Antonio sponsored People en Español.
Gensch goes on to say that it’s the small details in a spot or promotion that can make all the difference to a consumer.
“Last year’s holiday campaign is one example. In our Spanish-language spot, we were careful to make sure the situations portrayed were relevant, the products there were relevant. So the family was gathering together and the dessert was flan, because that was relevant. In the English-language spot, it might have been cookies or a cake. In markets where we see a larger demographic of Hispanic guests, guests are wanting additional product assortment or Spanish language store navigation. So we’re bringing in the right food or cleaning products that are relevant. Products like Goya or Fabuloso.”
While the idea that a Hispanic person would rather consume flan than chocolate cake may be a little unrealistic, there is something to be said for the verbal cue that the Mexican dessert can provide. Likewise with Latin aimed brands like Goya and Fabuloso.
When pushed to discuss what the company’s Hispanic marketing agency situation has been thus far, Gensch declined to give any detail saying, “We don’t disclose the specific agencies we work with. But we work with local and national Hispanic agencies. And we have internal teams here focused on that consumer too.”
Whatever they’re doing, Target is succeeding at carrying its unique brand of relevant and dynamic marketing to this burgeoning consumer group.
That, Gensch says, is because they look at the situation holistically.
“I hate to sound too simple, but the brand just has to come alive and be relevant from a media perspective wherever individual guests or families are consuming entertainment and looking for information that will influence a potential sale.”
Words to market by.