Tapping the Potential of the Hispanic Market

What are you waiting for?

If there were a market segment steadily increasing in number and affluence wouldn’t you at least want to check it out? Well, there is and you can no longer afford to ignore…the U.S. Hispanic. Whether you simply haven’t recognized the value of this segment or you weren’t exactly sure how to best market to this group, it’s not too late to jump on the opportunity at hand. The Hispanic population is estimated to have hit 50 million in the U.S., with soon-to-be-issued 2010 Census results expected to confirm that figure. And this group is growing not only in number but also in earning and spending capability. With power like that you’d be a fool to continue to ignore the Hispanic audience.

A recently-published article penned by our own Barry Gilbert highlights the importance and diversity of the Hispanic market. A range of acculturation levels, language preferences, countries of origin, length of time in the U.S., etc., all contribute to the complexity of connecting with the U.S. Hispanic in his/her various forms. But many major brands are finding that this ‘hurdle’ is actually extremely useful data that can be used for pinpoint targeting. By combining this information with a tailored, well-branded and pertinent offer, brand marketers are utilizing today’s front door marketing strategies to hit the mark with their Hispanic targets.

Why are you waiting for official Census results? All the signs are there.  Shouldn’t you be diving in to reach the Hispanic audience with strategies that work before your competition does?

Renewed Focus on Shopper Marketing Looms for 2011

Marketers Emphasize the Art and Science of Reaching Shoppers All Along the Path to Purchase

Consumers have evolved – a not too surprising outcome of the recession and resulting lifestyle changes across the country.  Values, priorities and resources have shifted profoundly, reshaping shopping behaviors and motivations.  Marketers need to gain insight into this new mindset, finding ways to deliver value and connect with customers on the long and winding path to purchase.  According to excerpts from the Ad Age Insights Shopper Marketing Report, agencies are restructuring for enhanced shopper marketing – defining primary challenges, best practices and developing needs as an overall brand marketing priority. 

Booz & Co. states that manufacturer investment in shopper marketing has nearly doubled over the past five years, currently at $35 billion with 15 percent annual growth anticipated (based on funding reallocations from traditional media and trade promotion).  If that’s not convincing enough, the Booz data also notes that 83 percent of consumer-packaged goods companies surveyed expect to increase their shopper-marketing investment over the next three years. For 55 percent of those companies, investments in shopper marketing will exceed all other marketing spending, including internet and social media.

At the same time, consumer spending is more cautious with shoppers looking for deals, using coupons and actively focused on getting the most for their money.  Research from the Integer Group shows that 86 percent of respondents felt that coupons were at least somewhat influential in choosing a brand; as many as 70 percent used coupons to justify their brand choice.

These trends represent a significant marketing opportunity for direct response messages, going beyond the sole purpose of getting someone’s attention, and instead delivering usefulness and value.  Front door media is uniquely suited to this purpose, hand placing an impression of quality in a location where residents interact with the media and have a high percentage of response. The right message of value receives more consideration in the comfort of the home, where consumers are relaxed and more responsive.  Shopping decisions and lists are made in the home, and nearby phones and computers support the consumer’s ability to act on the message.

Are you bracing for enhanced shopper marketing? And what are your plans for reaching your best customers early on their path to purchase?

2010 Holiday Retail Sales End the Year with a Bang

What comes next?

It was a happy New Year, indeed, for U.S. retailers. After a stagnant 2009 holiday season, there was a great deal to celebrate. The latest report from MasterCard Advisors’ SpendingPulse™ shows a much better than expected holiday season for retailers with overall season-over-season growth of 5.5 percent.  Wonderful news for an industry that was holding its breath.

As retailers and shoppers recuperate from the frenzy, a little lull is to be expected. But savvy marketers are looking for innovative ways to get consumers back into stores. Post-Christmas clearance sales combined with gift returns and gift cards received are solid motivation for return traffic. In fact, with total holiday gift card spending estimated at $24.78 billion, there’s money burning a hole in the pockets of millions of Americans, and opportunities abound for retailers to increase sales beyond that initial gift card amount.

While TV and newspaper ads are logical channels to promote post-holiday deals, consumers are simply tired of the onslaught. To reach them where they live with offers they can’t resist, front door marketing can seal the deal. The tactic has been around for awhile but has recently been elevated to a science and a viable subcategory of the direct response discipline.  Previously considered less strategic, almost “untargeted” for a broad audience, today’s front door is ripe for the same precision targeting used in other marketing methods. Data research, analysis and application have significantly increased effectiveness, dramatically shifting industry perceptions of the channel. By using high-level data, major brands are placing the most relevant offer directly with the right customer to deliver a tangible competitive advantage. This decidedly updated and strategic approach bypasses a crowded field of messages and motivates consumers to respond. 

In the aftermath of a stellar holiday shopping season, what are you doing to get shoppers back to your store?