As the voice of the Hispanic marketing industry, the HMC frequently supports or opposes initiatives affecting members’ businesses. Statements identifying the organization’s views and positions on issues from research methodology to immigration are released publicly to affect change and stimulate action or resolution.
In this time of social transformation, as national advertisers you have been thrust into a dialogue of diversity, equity and inclusion regarding multicultural sectors. While many of the corporate initiatives you’ve undertaken are laudable, in too many cases the DEI conversations and initiatives are being led by the very marketers that are slashing their multicultural ad dollars and using the cloak of DEI to cover the shifts that are taking place.
The bottom line is that only two to five percent of budgets are allocated to multicultural marketing, while the Hispanic segment alone represents 20 percent of the population. There is a vast and unacceptable gap between 5 and 20 percent, despite countless ROI studies showing that allocations of between 15 to 20 percent are needed to drive real bottom-line growth in just Hispanic alone. Brands have a social and business imperative to make Responsible and Intentional Investments in all multicultural audience segments in their marketing AND increase their investment to levels that are in line with the percentage of the business that these audiences represent.
We need to ensure that we are not just part of a shell game with brands moving money around their multicultural marketing budgets instead of allocating higher percentages to engage every multicultural consumer actively and intentionally. Too many brands are “robbing Peter to pay Paul” by shifting budgets from Hispanic to Black to Asian efforts without ever expanding the size of the investment. They also are hiding behind DEI initiatives as symbolic gestures, instead of allocating Responsible and Intentional Investments as a business imperative. If brands are serious about fostering effective business growth and meaningfully impacting multicultural communities, they must invest their budget where the growth resides instead of an outdated, homogeneous “general market,” which does not exist. Advertisers must understand the nature of a more fragmented consumer marketplace, with their own diverse cultures, habits, behaviors and idiosyncrasies.
The market doesn’t need another ROI study; what it needs is for brands to commit to Responsible and Intentional Investment that goes well beyond diverse storyboards and checking a DEI box. It is about a balanced scorecard that looks at investments in minority-owned media, endemic media, targeted non-endemic media and multicultural media. The scorecard also must look at advertisers use of culture specialists at minority-owned and minority-targeted agencies to drive effectiveness and allocate a higher investment to multicultural marketing.
We can’t accept the crumbs any longer and need to call out brands who are laggards or hiding behind DEI initiatives and pledges as a catch-all. There is no short-term fix to the long-standing inequities in marketing, and frankly, you can’t afford to look at just one segment or ignore them all together. There is $8 trillion of spending power depending on how you choose to allocate your efforts. The time is now! We already live in the most diverse and multicultural society America has ever seen, and for the 17 and under market segment, America is already “multicultural majority” and soon the whole country will be multicultural majority — the forthcoming Census will only underscore this.
Brands have a social, moral and business imperative to do the right thing. Do not use DEI as a cloak to raid your marketing budget. Stop moving money around and invest more in Responsible and Intentional ways. It will be a win-win for your bottom-line and the communities you want to support!
America is undergoing a process of social transformation. As a nation, this is impacting corporate America, the advertising and marketing industry and is encouraging dialogue of equity and inclusion regarding ethnic sectors. A recent initiative launched last week has prompted the Hispanic Marketing Council (HMC) to comment.
As a leading voice in Hispanic marketing, HMC has advocated for and worked with countless clients to understand that multicultural marketing is simply smart business and a key driver for bottom-line growth. Unfortunately, the advertising community is littered with countless projects that have not driven meaningful marketing value because they have not addressed the real equity and impact issues faced by our communities.
Over the past week, our industry witnessed a well-intentioned announcement, this time by dentsu for the creation of Project Booker, an effort that promises to steer media buys to minority-owned media, responding to the current political and social climate and do the right thing.
Unfortunately, this project is only considering Black-owned media and not Hispanic-owned (or other minority) media. Like so many others before them, dentsu has fallen into the same trap by developing a short-term, partial fix rather than creating a cohesive plan that is inclusive of key segments, such as Hispanic, to yield results for clients, while properly supporting communities.
The U.S. is rapidly becoming a multicultural majority, which is already a reality in Gen Z, and in just 8 years will be the reality for people under 35. This growth is fueled primarily by Hispanics. Shifting dollars to minority and independently owned media, while an important effort in these times, from a marketing standpoint, it doesn’t begin to capture the full power and extent of the multicultural market. Excluding other culture segments, like the Hispanic market, that slice is even tinier with minimal impact to the very communities that companies like dentsu are trying to impact.
We encourage our colleagues across the multicultural sector to join us in calling on brands and agencies to stop committing the same old errors of allocating small percentages of their budgets to multicultural marketing afterthoughts and mono-cultural one-offs. Instead, they need to invest in culture marketing specialists that can advise them how to properly support minority-owned media and all other targeted media, and our communities with long-lasting impact and positive business results for their clients. HMC stands ready to assist and advise dentsu or any other marketing organization striving to navigate America’s social transition.
The Department of Justice recently proposed the inclusion of a question about citizenship on the 2020 Census.
The HMC believes that the addition of the citizenship question will decrease census participation, causing the census to yield inaccurate results. We recently wrote a letter to the Department of Justice voicing our concerns on this matter that will affect our industry.
The Census Bureau is inviting the public to comment on proposed actions and has set up an online forum for your comments.
As an organization that represents the entire Hispanic marketing, communications, and media industry, issues such as this one are important to us. HMC is committed to keeping you up-to-date on relevant issues that may impact our members, and we are closely following the 2020 Census.
We hope you will make your voice heard on this important issue that may significantly impact our industry. Each of our voices matter, and if we take a stance on the issue, we’ll be able to make a positive difference.