Segmentation: A lesson advertisers and journalists can master together

Dec16

Posted by Victor Soares

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It’s hard to be everything for everyone these days, especially in the communications field. It’s the Internet’s greatest paradox: the more connected we are, the more individual we want to feel.

We want to learn about developing events fast and all the time, but we prefer news alerts on our favorite topics and advertising that interests us. We want to feel like we’re unique – that ads and stories are crafted for us only.

Journalists learned in the 90s, when blogs got real traction, that creating online communities matter. Blogs were the first steps to building much of what social media is today: a place where people can exchange ideas about anything, especially topics they like, without depending on the press.

Blogs granted the public independence from journalism and advertising. Anyone can review a product. You a like a product, you praise it in a blog post. You hate a product, you bash it in a blog post. It felt like “Power to the People” – now in the 90s.

But what does journalism have to do with advertising?

Today, advertisers, like news agencies, are shuffling as they try to differentiate themselves from everyone else. Two ways ad agencies have done it: creating niche communities and calling themselves “cross-cultural, multicultural, and/or total market.”

In brief: ad agencies are shifting from one-size-fits-all model to targeting niche audiences.

Newspapers have done the same since the crisis hit newsrooms in 2008. Instead of writing to everyone online, major papers like The New York Times and The Washington Post have adopted blogs to create niche communities.

Magazines haven’t suffered as much as newspapers because magazines have niche audiences. The good news is that, with the Internet, newspapers can have their print product every morning for everyone and target niche audiences online at the same time.

Doesn’t that apply to how advertisers are doing, or should be, doing businesses? Social media and blogs allow advertisers to advertise to everyone on TV or on OOH and still target niche audiences online.

Advertising faces an extra hurdle than journalism does though. Journalists need to figure out what different groups like to read, while advertisers need to understand the complexity of different groups and how they like to be approached.

Take as example the Hispanic market: as Adam Raymond writes for Vulture, the Latino market is “a diverse collection of many different nationalities, as opposed to the single bloc that it is often portrayed.”

Simply acknowledging that Hispanics share the same language is not enough. Dividing the market between Hispanics and non-Hispanics is simply not enough for advertisers – while for journalists, it can be.

Like Hernan Tagliani writes in the Orlando Business Journal, “if you take a shortcut like this and try to tap into the Hispanic market using a straight translation of your Anglo campaign into Spanish, it’s basically like serving a burger with every Anglo topping imaginable and then adding beans, rice, sofrito, mofongo and havanero pepper. You simply cannot be effective trying to please so many people at once with the one approach.”

In the same article, Tagliani goes further to say that Hispanic markets are not the same, even within the U.S. market. And “make sure every campaign respects the overall brand positioning from the general market,” Tagliani advises.

The Washington Post reporter Lenny Bernstein once told me that bloggers who work for a news company can be provocative and have their own voice, but they still should adhere to the ethos of the news organization they work for. Does that sound similar to Tagliani’s advertising tip above?

Another tip Tagliani gives: Be relevant by showing true intent to earn an authentic relationship. Isn’t this what newspapers have done by creating blogs to cover specific beats and form communities rather than publishing stories about, let’s say tech gadgets, just often enough?

And be loyal, Tagliani finally advises. “Make them feel that you appreciate their business and you care about them.” As newspapers encourage journalists to more often interact with readers via blogs and social media not only for the sake of interaction but also to show that readers’ opinions matter – isn’t that a way of “making readers feel appreciated for their business?”

Right now, it seems like journalism and advertising are following similar paths.

Whether segmentation is the definite future of advertising, only time will tell.

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What happens to advertising when Latino consumers align with Anglos?

Dec11

Posted by Javier San Miguel

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There’s one sentence that Hispanic ad agencies fear most during a pitch. It’s actually a question. And it’s being asked by increasingly skeptical CMOs under pressure to justify major dollar spends in ethnic-specific ad campaigns: “What’s Hispanic about it?” Nothing else deflates Hispanic agencies more, because it calls their very existence into question. As Latinos [...]

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Why Atlanta Is the Hottest Hispanic Market

Dec05

Posted by Jose Villa

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Atlanta seldom comes to mind when most marketers think about the future of Hispanic marketing or the dynamic Hispanic millennial segment. It’s usually far down the list in discussions of the growing Hispanic population. However, it shouldn’t be.   The Fastest Hispanic Population Growth in the U.S. Is Happening in Emerging Markets Like Atlanta. Atlanta [...]

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¿Y Qué? It Matters That Biculturalism is Not News in Puerto Rico

Nov14

Posted by Javier San Miguel

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What’s in a jelly doughnut? Nothing special. Even if it’s a Krispy Kreme doughnut filled with queso and guava. Yet if this flavor were promoted in Los Angeles, it would carry some form of eye-rolling publicity predictably touting its Latino cultural mix. Thank goodness Krispy Kreme already sells this tasty confection in the one region [...]

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Why cultural awareness can begin with ‘hello’

Nov13

Posted by Victor Soares

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Hola. Ola. Como estas. Como esta. Estoy bien. Estou bem. Pretty similar, right? But if you speak either Spanish or Portuguese, you’ll notice these are different languages.   Although Portuguese speakers can get by with Spanish oftentimes–and vice-versa for Spanish speakers–, assuming someone speaks either language based on their appearance can be offensive.   What’s [...]

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Why Most Marketers Are Not Ready to Go Total Market or “Cross-cultural”

Nov09

Posted by Jose Villa

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Most marketers are behind when it comes to investing in the Hispanic market. Of the $171 billion spent on paid media in 2013 (according to eMarketer), Hispanic media spending totaled just $8.3 billion (according to Kantar and AdAge). Hispanic media spending represents less than 5 percent of total paid media spending, while Hispanics represent 17.1 [...]

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Why the Hispanic Millennial Project is Coming to Atlanta

Oct13

Posted by Jose Villa

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This week the team behind the Hispanic Millennial Project - Sensis and ThinkNow Research – will be presenting an in-depth overview of the first two waves of this groundbreaking research into Hispanic Millennials. But this presentation won’t be taking place in Miami, New York, or even our home base of Los Angeles. Instead, it will be taking place in Atlanta, GA. [...]

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Applying “Total Market” to Digital

Oct02

Posted by Jose Villa

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Do a Google search for “total market approach” and you’ll quickly see that this relatively new marketing concept continues to generate buzz, excitement and confusion within the U.S. marketing world. There are at least three different associations putting out “official” definitions; countless other organizations articulating best practices; and a great deal of experimentation taking place [...]

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Hispanic Millennials and Health Care

Sep05

Posted by Jose Villa

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As we enter the second open enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act this fall, attention will inevitably turn to driving enrollment among the so-called “young and healthy” segment of 18- to 34-year-old consumers, many of whom are Hispanics. It has been well documented that the initial rollout of the ACA in the fall of [...]

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Sensis Poised for The New “Total Market”

Aug26

Posted by Rosemary Kimani

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  On August 7th, 2014 I had the opportunity to represent Sensis and attend REFRAME: THE SUMMIT – The 2nd Annual Total Market Summit & Awards Event in New York City. Jeff Bownan, the founder in response to the emerging new marketplace describes REFRAME as an event that prepares brands and marketers for the new [...]

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