Growth by Leveraging Multicultural Insights

October 15, 2010

By Guest Blogger Telisa Yancy, American Family Insurance

Graciela Elata, Senior Vice President of Brand Solutions for Univision Communications and Howard Friedman, Kraft Foods' Vice President for Cheese and Dairy, combined to give the ANA Masters of Marketing attendees a jolting and inspiring look into the realities of 21st century marketing in the "Growth by Leveraging Multicultural Insights" presentation this afternoon. Note that I have purposely changed the title of this duo's presentation, because embracing the realities they discussed could be the catalyst that turn little known brands into scrappy up-starts and the fuel that helps historical powerhouse brands, like Kraft, maintain their dominance. 

If you don't already know these realities, ask the dynamic Ms. Elata, who, in true, "hot-blooded" latin flavor, owned the stage from the moment she stepped on it, and proceeded to rattle off fact and "gut check" statements as if she was jamming to the the Reggaeton beats of Calle 13, the ten time Latin Grammy winners. With the same power that the Latin rap sensations spit verse, she powerfully and authoritatively rolled off the following statements about the business imperative of multicultural marketing for the 21st century marketer:

  • there is no such thing as an "average american" household-the multicultural markets are already the majority
  • if you are looking for growth it will be difficult, if not impossible, to find it without embracing and courting Hispanics
  • ensuring that Hispanic marketing has both sufficient resources and consistent efforts to deliver results is the only choice
  • marketers must put the right focus, right research, right talent and right resources against this target and it will deliver results

Mr. Friedman then took the stage to tell how Kraft, with the help of this force of nature Ms. Elata, leveraged these questions and consumer insights to embark on a journey to authentically connect one of its great brands, Kraft Singles, to this consumer in 2009.  Authentic connections meant starting from scratch, giving up the use of short-cuts and embracing a willingness to adapt and evolve with Hispanic moms. Their efforts were deep and visceral, filled with hours of listening to consumers to develop insights versus asking generic questions about acculturation levels, demographic trends, and language preferences to "just get it done." In Mr. Friedman's words, "there are no quick hits when targeting Hispanic consumers." This commitment to excellence led to a 17% increase in volume and a three-point gain in market share. 

In the end, this presentation  was a brilliant mix of Hispanic marketing imperatives from Ms. Elata and practical, hard work and wisdom by the Kraft Singles team who worked hard to apply these insights in their quest to recognize and leverage the unique business opportunity found in the targeting the Hispanic consumer. In the words of Calle 13's Grammy Award winning song, "No Hay Nadie Como Tu," capturing the hearts, minds and revenue of the Hispanic consumers should not be an "accidental loss and failure" on the part of marketing.

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