Posted by Elena del Valle on November 18, 2008
By Aldo Quevedo,
President, Dieste, Inc.
Aldo Quevedo, president, Dieste Dallas
When the fit is right, a Hispanic agency can help brands grow their relationships with multicultural consumers for meaningful, powerful interactions that make sense and connect with consumers’ lives. But the wrong choice can put your efforts in question, since this savvy demographic is always on the watch for commitment and for brands that really speak and interact with them.
The pool of shops offering multicultural services has expanded in recent years, including general market agencies that have assembled small teams to offer this capability. But because of demographic trends and minorities fast becoming majorities in many key markets in the nation, agencies selected are much more than a consultant – they are key partners. And when the choice is right, these partners will stay with your brand for years to come and equip you to be ready for the fast changes in store as consumers become increasingly pan cultural, multicultural, millennials.
The process usually takes time – and it should. Here are 7 musts to keep in mind during the selection. Before you start your search, get your internal selection team ready as well. When looking for a Hispanic or multicultural shop, be sure to include any in-house experts in the process so they may help you navigate cultural clues.
• Start with a mix: Depending on your budget and goals, select 3-8 shops that fit your criteria: be it location, services, or other assets. Investigate how agencies treat their Hispanic and multicultural work and how well equipped they are to manage your account in-house.
• Consider size: The size of your agency should match the size of your business, your goals, and commitment to the market. A true partner should be able to complement and amplify your team, effectively delivering the strategic execution needed to win in your space.
• Culture counts: A deep connection to the Hispanic and multicultural culture is fundamental to any insightful and effective strategy. Ask about the senior talent and day-to-day contacts on the account and understand how they view the multicultural market, how they interpret it and how they participate in it. It is okay to learn about their heritage and background—the right team can help you break through and interpret your brand for consumers in any cultural system.
• Approach matters: Ask any multicultural agency to succinctly explain how they approach the market, how they speak to each demographic and what they recommend in terms of a media mix. The answer must make sense to your brand and case studies are an easy way to illustrate this. Also, watch for buzzwords. The 360-approach, all digital philosophy or language-based segmentation is almost never the right solution. Look for an agency that can deliver full solutions through the filter of seasoned brand leaders who will put your business needs at the center of all strategies.
• Be a critic: When presented with reels and capabilities that demonstrate award-winning campaigns, look for details and ask questions about what results were achieved, what communication challenges they sought to address and the longevity of any efforts. Not all integrations on Univision or big celeb driven efforts have the same impact, but they are great eye candy and we all know that. Look for variety too—consumers today don’t always respond to the 30-second TV spot. If you are presented with Spanish materials, ask for translations and for meaning interpretations.
• Look for the wow: The right agency will know how to market top brands and will pay special attention to theirs. Look for how the use the latest technologies or what innovations they have mastered, investigate their role in the industry and see how they talk about themselves.
• Understand access: Multicultural marketers know that reaching the Hispanic demographic requires experience, understanding, and passion. A team of experts committed to be your brand leaders will make your investment generate the desired results. When in the chemistry check process and while getting to know the team, be sure to understand how much access you will have to the senior talent discussing your issues and how engaged they will be with your brand. Look for an agency willing to commit to you, be a counselor and be willing to offer up senior people who best understand your brand.
Once these seven points have been addressed, you probably are well underway to choosing your agency. The right fit will be the foundation to successfully meet the needs of the multicultural consumer of today and of tomorrow. And always remember, your brand will evolve as consumers evolve, as they touch it—the right partner will help you develop strategies that sustain a relationship with your brand, no matter where consumer trends may shift.
Aldo Quevedo is the president of Dieste, Inc., one of the leading Hispanic advertising agencies. With Dieste for the last 13 years, Aldo oversees the strategic direction of the agency and has also served as the chief creative officer.