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Hispanics’ View of Corporate Social Responsibility
Oct29

Hispanics’ View of Corporate Social Responsibility

In this exclusive piece, Aleena Astorga Roeschley, senior project manager and multicultural expert at Communicus, Inc., discusses Latinos’ perspectives on corporate philanthropy. Many brand marketers have developed corporate responsibility programs where they team up with consumers to help those in need–General Mills’ Box Tops for Education, for example, is one of the longest running and most visible initiatives. But while Hispanic consumers are generous and philanthropic by nature, it is worth questioning how well these type programs can engage them. Click HERE for...

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Will Your New Creative Approach Succeed In-Market?
Sep24

Will Your New Creative Approach Succeed In-Market?

A recent article in Ad Age discussed an issue that we’ve been hearing a lot of clients talking about lately – the problems with old copy testing methods in a changing world. The topic of copy testing has always been polarizing. One camp firmly believes in copy testing’s ability to pick the winners, provide actionable diagnostic feedback and thus mitigate risk and ensure advertising that works in-market. The other camp has always firmly believed that copy testing isn’t actually very successful at predicting winners, instead rewarding formulaic advertising and stifling creativity. Dramatic shifts in the world of advertising have created even more pressures on copy testing, with advertisers needing more rapid feedback in a fast-moving world, and the expansion of online branded content requiring ever more copy be produced, including copy that is highly customized for specific audience segments. Many campaigns that have been copy tested fail to produce in-market success, lending credence to the argument that copy testing doesn’t work all that well. (Of course, this begs the question of how much worse the overall advertising environment might be if copy testing didn’t exist…) On the other hand, there are countless non-tested approaches that crash and burn (or fizzle and die) when they hit the market, suggesting that not all brave anti-copy testing senior executives are all that prescient either. It would be great if all advertising decision makers had the intuition and foresight to identify the potential power of ‘Just Do It’ – to name just one of the countless, non-copy tested classics. This individual also needs to be able to identify with certainty those ideas that look good on paper but will fail to connect – either because they are actually small, non-breakthrough ideas or are clever but don’t speak effectively to the hearts and minds of the target audience. But, unfortunately, the kind of advertising wisdom and judgement that can make those calls – not to mention the senior management culture that’s okay with a no-copy testing scenario – isn’t found in many companies. I would suggest that the odds of launching a successful new campaign – or even of producing strong executions within an existing campaign – can be improved dramatically by advertisers who take a more disciplined approach to examining and learning from past in-market results – both successes and failures. Examining actual marketing results in an in-depth manner, and documenting the foundational learning that results, can lead to both dramatic and incremental improvements that are, in fact, highly predictive of both short term and long term advertising success. No, I’m not talking about simply re-executing what’s worked in the past. To the...

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Cord-Cutting, Tipping Points and Advertising
Aug20

Cord-Cutting, Tipping Points and Advertising

Recent reports confirm that the number of consumers who have decided that they don’t need cable companies anymore has increased dramatically lately. Clearly, Wall Street is worried about this trend, with the large media companies losing as much as $60 billion in value in a recent two-day period. When we listen to cord-cutters, and to those who haven’t cut the cord, it’s clear that the trend has reached a tipping point. Cord-cutters, comprised largely but not wholly of Millennials, are proud of their choice, and are advocating to their friends who haven’t made move. Many of those Millennials who haven’t cut the cord seem slightly embarrassed, feeling the need to explain why they too haven’t cut yet. And then, there’s that group of incoming consumers, the ‘cord-nevers’. These are young Millennials, and the soon-to-be adult group, Gen Z, who move into adulthood and household formation having never established a TV subscriber relationship and who feel no need to do so. Many experienced cord-free college dorm rooms, and learned early that there are many ways to view the content they need without a cable subscription. But what’s bad for the media companies may actually be good for advertisers – at least those who stay on top of consumer trends and have the agility to adapt to the changing environment. Sure, it was a lot easier to buy advertising impressions when everyone was just watching TV. But many of those impressions didn’t actually make any impression, because so many consumers were so disengaged with what they were tuned in to. In the new world of consumer as CEO of their own entertainment, advertisers can expect a much more engaged audience. The viewing environment used to be one in which the TV was often the ‘talking lamp’ in the room – constantly on, but often with little attention being paid on the screen. While Nielsen counted every household that had a set on as part of the viewing audience, advertisers had little hope that their target consumer would actually engage with the commercials that lit up the screen for :30 seconds or so. In contrast, today’s cord-cutters have taken control, becoming CEO of their content – what they watch and when they watch it. Sure, for some of the content, the commercials are optional. But the majority of these consumers say they’d prefer to have a few commercials sprinkled in rather than pay for the content. And they are actually watching what they have chosen – giving advertisers a better chance of holding their engagement during those commercial moments. Commercial content will still need to be captivating, well branded and persuasive to...

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Avoiding ‘Middle of the Road’ Brand Positioning
Jun05

Avoiding ‘Middle of the Road’ Brand Positioning

To effectively reach millennials, marketers must leverage research and its resulting consumer insights to identify and quantify new brand positionings as either cutting-edge or nostalgic. Just stay out of the middle lane. When researching and developing brand positioning, many marketers try to create a space in which they can appeal to as many consumers as possible, ideally striving to be the No. 1 brand in their category. Marketers and researchers often work to find the concept that the largest percentage of the target market will find appealing, but when it comes to marketing to millennials, this strategy isn’t going to cut it. In fact, an appeal to the masses can turn into the kiss of death for a brand. Click HERE for...

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Play Offense, Not Defense to Win Hispanic Engagement
May28

Play Offense, Not Defense to Win Hispanic Engagement

Everyone knows that Hispanics are a fast growing, key group of consumers in the marketplace, but do advertisers’ investments reflect that? In a recent Media Post article, Jose Villa writes about the visible trend of marketers increasing investments in the Hispanic Market as a defensive move. Advertisers are experiencing decreases in sales among their General Market target, so they then decide to invest money behind strategies that would specifically target Hispanics. Is leaving advertising to the Hispanic consumer as a “last resort” the right move to make? Probably not. Villa details how various elements, such as demographic, technological, and consumer preference shifts are creating headwinds for bigger brands in the marketplace and how these brands are responding by extending their advertising reach to Hispanics. Although it is good practice to create ads that specifically speak to the Hispanic consumer, it’s also known that Hispanics are engaging with your General Market targeted tactics as well. Which raises the question—why not try and target both markets from the very start? If marketers start their campaign with synergistic ads that employ slight differences in order to better reach General Market consumers versus Hispanics, there is a better chance that Hispanic consumers will engage with multiple touch points and, thus, a greater chance for persuasion. Lesson to be learned: don’t wait until your brand begins to take a downturn before you target Hispanics. If you know that engaging Hispanics is something you’re eventually going to do, reach out to this particular consumer group from the start in order to avoid having to execute defensive tactics to reverse declining...

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