New York -- Despite increased media usage by U.S. Latinos, Hispanic advertising outlays continue to proportionately lag spending against the general market..
That was the consensus of an advertising panel here Wednesday afternoon at the sixth annual Broadcasting & Cable/Multichannel News Hispanic Television Summit, where executives discussed the opportunities and challenges to reach the diverse Latino community through different platforms.
Tom Maney, senior vice president ad sales, Fox Sports en Espanol, said Hispanic cable television accounts for about 14% of adult 18-to-49 U.S. Latino viewing on a total-day basis, but still only garners about a 6% share of this $1.5 billion ad market.
The officials, speaking on the panel entitled “How to target advertising to the diverse Hispanic audience in a multi-screen environment,” concurred that although the sector has attained a much higher profile in recent years, it's still not getting its fair of ad dollars, and, as such, the education process can’t stop.
“We have to continue to maximize opportunities in the marketplace. We must advocate this market to clients and agencies,” said Charlie Echeverry, senior vice president ad sales, Univision.com.
While Hispanic ad sales have slowed over the last couple of years, the panelists remained confident the segment would ride out the current economic crisis.
“The economy has not really hurt us,” said Stephen Shearin, vice president of East Coast Brand Sales, CPX Interactive. “We’ve seen nothing but growth.”
Added Phillip Woodie, director, multicultural sales, Comcast Spotlight: “Hispanic media has fared better during these economic scenarios. But education continues to be paramount. We have to keep going back to the client and talking about the opportunities that exist with a market as diverse as this, and get them to plan/buy accordingly.”
Return-on-investment was also a focal point of the discussion, with the panelists noting that accountability was now a given.
“ROI is a foregone conclusion today,” said Echeverry. “How you measure it, or define a category are the questions.”
Shearin welcomes measurement. “We love ROI and the opportunity to step up to it. We know that a certain number of [TV] eyeballs, a certain number of clicks equate to this number of [sales] conversions,” he said.
All agreed that the most effective campaigns run across various media. Gonzalo Del Fa, managing director, MEC Bravo, said the agency’s job involves matching budgets against the right media..
“TV is just one component,” he said. “To stretch the dollars, to get more efficient buys, we need opportunities across different platforms: online, radio and TV.”
Maney said Fox Sports en Espanol, through its partnership with Copa Alianza, was able to accommodate sponsors’ needs on-air, digitally, in print and on a local grass roots level with the 10-city, 70-day soccer event this summer.
“TV is still the driver, the dominant media, but when you can offer print, digital media and a grass roots element, you’re giving clients a total approach,” said Maney.
Del Fa, while noting he wasn’t going to “throw flowers to Univision,”said it's easier to gain efficiencies when you’re “not fighting” with different property holders for “more favorable ways to split budgets.”
To that end, he said the agency had a client interested in supporting a major fight at the MGM in Las Vegas, but the advertiser wanted something more than just “a half-hour of great programming on TV. The question was how could we get consumers engaged around the event,” he said. The deal never materialized, he said, because the various elements couldn’t be stitched together.
Mobile is one area that has yet to be tapped in a meaningful way in the Hispanic marketplace.
“Mobile is under-realized,” said Echeverry, stating that Hispanics over-index against cell phone ownership, advanced features on such, and content consumption thereunto. “It’s an incredibly complex ecosystem that not anyone has truly figured out yet. But at Univision, we’re trying to bring market solutions to the forefront.”
“Emerging media is a tough sell to clients,” countered Del Fa. “Mobile really is not in the space.”
Online, Shearin said advertisers shouldn’t be shy when it comes to trying new ideas to reach Hispanics.
“This is a group that says it enjoys advertising,” he said. “Don’t be subtle. If they like it, they buy it.”
For more coverage of the Hispanic Television Summit, click here.