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Why Target Should Be Your Role Model for Hispanic Marketing Strategy

Have you seen Target’s latest ad, Summer Prep?

With a catchy jingle by Argentinian musical duo, Illya Kuryaki & The Valderramas, it seamlessly integrates different ethnicities with Latin flare — and lots of summer season whimsy.   It’s also the second of Target’s multicultural ad campaigns for 2013.  The first, Clap Your Hands, aired earlier this year and was the retailer’s first bilingual baby campaign.

These ads are part of Target’s current strategy aimed at winning Hispanic consumer loyalty.  So far, Latina Magazine’s response has been favorable. And Target’s approach makes sense given the spending power of this fast growing demographic.

More and more marketers are focusing on Hispanics and how to reach them.  In fact, a recent Nielsen and AHAA study, identified an emerging segment within the Hispanic population that accounts for 37% of their spending powerUpscale Latinos.  They’re young, urban, sophisticated, and believed to become as lucrative to marketers as Boomers.

The future buying power of Hispanics was also discussed at the Marketing to Women Conference in Chicago, this past April.  Conill (part of Saatchi & Saatchi) spoke about the importance of marketing to Latinas.   These young, well-educated, affluent women are transforming their homes by redefining spousal roles, delaying motherhood, and prioritizing indulgences over household duties.  As a result, marketing tactics must evolve to meet their needs.

So it seems that Target’s strategy for Hispanic shoppers is right on track. And it’s likely they’ve gotten there with the help of rigorous, in-depth researchone-on-one conversations, observations, and quantitative measurement — to really get to know this demographic inside and out.

For marketers, this knowledge is crucial to success — which is why Shopper Insights Research is invaluable.  The fact is, engaging Hispanics goes beyond simply using their language.  To truly ‘speak’ to them, you must understand what they care about and how it affects their buying decisions.  And most importantly (based on these insights), how your brand fits (or can fit) into their lives.

Is In-Store Shopper Experience Delivering Your Brand’s Promise?

Many retailer ads are great at conveying what their brand is about and setting consumer expectations. But oftentimes, this doesn’t carry over to the actual shopper experience.  All that investment on a great ad with beautiful visuals– and the best mix of media spend– doesn’t always play out as shoppers hope, in-store.

Here’s some examples of ads I’ve seen recently that sparked my interest to investigate the in-store experience.   I went searching for the same excitement, sentiment and most of all, consistent brand promise that I’d seen on TV.

Here’s what I found…

Retailer Example #1: Target 

I recall first seeing this ad earlier this year, during award shows.  I anxiously awaited the release of the Prabal Gurung collection at Target stores in early February.  Given the high fashion designer name, I decided to seek it out at Chicago’s City Target on State Street (I previously mentioned that City Target here).

Wow… what a let down from Target on this one.  Here’s what I saw when I finally found the the Prabal Gurung section…

Prabal Gurung at Chicago City Target

I was disappointed by the lack of in-store promotion around the clothing.  It was mixed in with everything else and unless I looked closely, I would not have noticed that it was the Prabal Gurung collection.  It did NOT make me feel…Chic, Stylish, Romantic, or Breathtaking.  Just underwhelmed.

More importantly, I was not very inclined to buy since it did not seem…well, for lack of a better word…special (like in the TV ad).

…unlike the spectacular celebrity-infused New York launch party – which is what I was hoping to get a hint of at my City Target…

NYC Prabal Gurung Launch Party

Target really missed the opportunity to infuse some of the launch party ideas, in-store.  I realize that it can be investment, but if you live outside of NYC, it was difficult to find and/or distinguish this line from other clothing in the store.

Yet Target does a great job of delivering the experience of “Spring is near” — I’m hopeful as I write this post, ice pellets hitting my window in Chicago — with this fun, lighthearted TV ad…

Spring is definitely all over Target now, especially since Valentine’s Day is over and Easter comes early this year (March 31).  Target knows how to hit us at the right time to begin to think of the next season.

Target - Spring

Retailer Example #2: Crate & Barrel 

This ad from Crate & Barrel first aired in early Fall 2012. — and every season/holiday it’s reprised to touch upon current gathering moments and emotions.  This ad — with the renowned Crate & Barrel Helvetica font and a catchy song — makes you want to invite friends over for dinner and toast up S’mores in the fireplace.

And when I went into Crate & Barrel’s retail space, with this party in mind, I immediately saw interesting place settings, cocktail glassware, and other items for hosting a fun get-together.

C&B gets my gold star of approval for carrying their advertising message into the store; effectively providing a consistent shopper experience.

Crate & Barrel Chicago

The bottom line is…don’t be confusing…be CONSISTENT.  Make sure your brand message translates seamlessly across customer touch points — in-store and out. Today’s busy shopper expects a hassle-free experience — they don’t want to think too much or search too far for their desired merchandise.  Make it easy for them and set yourself apart from your competitors.

Can you think of retailers that do (or don’t do) a stellar job of translating their message to the in-store experience?  I’d love to hear from you.

 

Friends don’t let friends run ads like this

While sitting in traffic the other day, I noticed a bumper sticker on the car in front of me. It said:

“Friends don’t let friends drink Starbucks.” The name and address of a coffee shop was in smaller print below.

Since this coffee shop put its name and address on the bumper sticker, I have to believe that they intended it to promote their business and not just be funny. Unfortunately for this business, this ad fails on a number of levels.

The ad says absolutely nothing about why I should buy coffee from this business. Sure, the medium only allows for a few words. But that’s even more reason not to waste any. They could have said “Best coffee in Chicago.” Not great, but an improvement over what was there.

The name of the business was unreadble. I was directly behind this car in city traffic, so wasn’t more than 15 feet away. Even my 20/20 vision couldn’t make out the details of where the advertiser was located.

The most prominent brand name in the ad was that of the competition. Score another brand exposure for Starbucks. I wish I had competitors that promoted me!

It isn’t hard to see how this well-meaning but ill-equipped small business owner went wrong. They were just copying what they’ve been exposed to. It doesn’t take long to find any number of examples of ads from advertising professionals that are funny, cool, etc but don’t give the consumer any reason to buy the product.

How many beer commercials have you seen that were funny or clever, but you couldn’t remember what brand was being advertised?

The ultimate measure of good advertising isn’t a Clio award, it’s whether anyone bought anything. The question an agency client – or a small business who writes their own – should be asking before they sink lots of money into an ad is this:

Will this ad:

  • Tell people why I’m different or better than my competitors?
  • Get people into my store / onto my website?
  • Help strengthen a link between my brand name and my USP in people’s minds?
  • Convince people to give me their money?

This is where ad testing comes in. It’s a simple step that is often skipped because it “costs too much” or there isn’t time because the insertion deadline is tomorrow.

Ask yourself what its worth to you to avoid wasting potentially huge sums of money. Is it worth having the discipline to stick to a schedule that allows for testing? Is it worth diverting a tiny fraction of what you plan to spend on media to make sure what your putting out there works?

It’s your money.

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