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U.S. Latinos Offer Grande Target Market Opportunity Pt 2of2



Generic Value Chain Framework


by Kenneth Rudich

See Part 1 

Now that we’ve established the appeal of this target market, let’s look at the idea of actionable information as it relates to the Value Chain for Marketing. If you’ve been following us (and btw, thank you!), then you’ll know the Value Chain is a planning framework for developing a successful marketing strategy.

Let’s start with the basic relationship between the two bookends of the value chain. Since this is a target market opportunity, let’s assume the form and function of the core product component will remain the same. At the other end, let’s assume the total market for this product is either composed of several smaller target markets, or that this singling out of the Hispanic target market represents a first-time departure from what has otherwise been a strictly mass market approach. Either way, the fascination with the Hispanic market is a result of the work that was done in part 1.

The other components sandwiched in between the bookends – the distribution channels, marketing communications, and the transactions/operations functions – must each be analyzed separately in light of this decision. In each instance, you’ll be evaluating three possibilities as they pertain to achieving fulfillment in this target market:

  • Will this component work “as is?”
  • Is it presently underdeveloped?
  • Must something completely new be added, done or created to complement what currently exists for this component?

Small Business External Forces Analysis

Also notice the rectangular box titled “External Forces” that sits below the value chain. These are the contextual conditions that surround the value creation process. Because they can significantly influence an organization’s value chain strategy – sometimes favorably, other times not – it’s important to identify the external forces that are relevant to your particular circumstance for each component of the value chain.

Now I realize this may seem like a lot to digest all in one gulp, but bear in mind that the purpose of this assessment is to uncover any and all links or relationships that affect value creation. This is necessary, regardless of whether you’re a for-profit or a not-for-profit.

Luckily for now, we can make this a little easier to understand by biting off just one small chunk for illustrative purposes.

Marketing Communications

marketing communications tools

Though one or more value chain components may need attention under this scenario, the marketing communications component is the only one that’s almost certain to require it. So let’s drill down a little deeper into the assessment of it.

Three aspects in particular are of keen interest. They are: the Communications Channels, Product Information Needs, and Affinity Influencers.

Communications Channels

marketing communications chennels

This involves identifying the best physical means for reaching this target market audience. What types of media? What technologies? What delivery methodologies?

The External Forces/Technological Factors category of the Value Chain framework comes into play for this one. Using the infographic in Part 1, note the references near the bottom to technologies like the Internet, cell phones and social media.

If you’re already employing these tools (along with any others you might also be using), then it’s a matter of either continuing or improving this practice for achieving cross-channel target market integration. If not, then you’ve got something new to chew on – or at least consider.

Product Information Needs

Sales Funnel

This task entails identifying the target group’s product information needs. What’s relevant to them? Does their information needs differ in any way from what’s already being done?

The objective is twofold in purpose: avoid information gaps and eliminate underdeveloped potential.

You can start with the normal array of product information concerns such as product features, value fulfillment attributes, customer lifecycle stages, and/or product differentiation for competitive advantage (External Forces/Competition category). For instance, if this is a new opportunity, then establishing product/brand awareness will certainly rank as a priority item.

At the same time, never stop scanning for target market specific opportunities, in the event you’re able to latch onto something new and critically valuable. For example, years ago the National Football League offered seminars to get its then budding female audience up to speed about the game. This target market strategy ultimately became a notably successful initiative, both for expanding the fan base and building loyalty. And consider this: how many of those fans do you think probably passed on their knowledge and zeal to their daughters and friends?

Affinity Influencers

Latino market multiculturalism

This aspect strives to identify and tap the best ways to foster affinity and/or make the brand truly embraceable in the eyes of the target market audience. It’s part science, part art. Let’s start with the science.

A dominant concern here, which was revealed by the infographic in Part 1, involves the External Forces/Cultural Factors category.

By way of background, it’s important to recognize that the younger generation of this target market, the millennials, typically view their cultural identity through the lens of a multiculturalism perspective. Older generations of Hispanics/Latinos may lean more toward cultural pluralism. Few, if any, hold tight to the notion of cultural assimilation (Learn more about these three cultural perspectives and their implications in this short video).

For example, research by the Pew Hispanic Center found that young Hispanics born in the U.S. tend to identify themselves by where their families are from as follows:

  • 52% described themselves by their families’ country of origin
  • 24% as American
  • 20% as Hispanic or Latino

Graciela Eleta, senior vice president of brand solutions at Univision Communications, calls this approach “a la carte acculturation,” because they pick and choose which part of Latino culture they get to keep. She also notes that because of technology, the prevalence of Spanish-language media, frequent travel back and forth to their home countries, and sheer critical mass, the linear journey to full assimilation is no longer taking place.

And here’s the actionable takeaway.

Luis Miguel Messianu, president and chief creative officer of Alma DDB, which is McDonald’s U.S. Hispanic ad agency, refers to them as “fusionistas,” because they see themselves as 100% Hispanic or Latino and 100% American. He adds that they’re perfectly comfortable navigating both worlds, and that they have a sense of pride from back home even if they’re born in the U.S. He uses this as a preface for explaining why the same commercial or advertisement should be done in both Spanish and English. From a marketing standpoint, it has to do with maintaining the continuity and consistency of the message given to them, and it also demonstrates a sensitivity to their cultural perspective.

Can you see where this is going for your enterprise?

None too surprisingly, big companies with big marketing budgets, such as Proctor & Gamble and McDonald’s, do all their marketing communications in both Spanish and English for this target market.

The ability to faithfully re-produce the flavor and experience of their cultural identity breeds a greater sense of familiarity with the brand. From a psychological standpoint, it reinforces, reaffirms and validates them, which can translate into an affinity for the product/brand.

This is what we mean when we say reaching out to them in a recognizable way. If your competition isn’t doing this, then it may help give you a competitive advantage.

3 Translation Objectives

Celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month

If you intend to try this form of marketing communications, then a company like Smartling may be a good resource to have in your back pocket. They offer a wide range of content translation options for covering your back and helping you, even if (or especially when) you’re on a less than mega-sized budget like McDonald’s.

What do we mean by covering your back and helping? Well, here’s the “part art” aspect of this.

There are three objectives to making translation work in your favor with this target market. They are:

  1. Do no harm — avoid unintended consequences like inadvertently alienating them, offending them or appearing clueless. This can easily happen in the course of translating from one language to another. Remember, clumsiness never looks elegant under any circumstance – Microsoft CEO apologizes for suggesting women shouldn’t ask for raises 
  2. Be inviting and friendly by joining along with them in their everyday experience. Show them you can navigate both worlds, too.
  3. Seek to nurture an emotional connection with your product/brand. Learn more: Emoticons, Imagery, Metaphors, and Marketing Communication 

Social Networking Multiplier Effect

If you do this well and you’re interested in expanding beyond the U.S. boundaries, consider the benefits you can derive from the social networking multiplier effect (go back and reread the comment above made by Graciela Eleta, senior Vice President of brand solutions at Univision Communications, to appreciate the power of this potential).

There’s also re-use, joint-use and re-purposing benefits to be had, which typically result in gained cost efficiencies across the value chain. Thus, it’s conceivable to end up with a scenario where you’re generating higher revenues, reducing overall costs through greater efficiencies, and thereby producing an optimized profit margin (or surplus revenue for you not-for-profits).

Can you say Grande Opportunity?

Read: Mortgage Lender Aptly Pinpoints U.S. Hispanic Target Market


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