The 2023 Hispanic Marketing Council (HMC) Summit
By: Barry Wade
The 2023 Hispanic Marketing Council (HMC) Summit represented a transformative moment for Hispanic marketing, offering a platform for industry leaders to discuss the role of media, culture, and creativity in connecting with the rapidly evolving Hispanic market. The Summit featured insightful sessions with TelevisaUnivision CEO Wade Davis, State Farm Marketing Director Susan Beige, and Margaret Barron, Global V.P. of Marketing for Circle K. Key themes included:
- The need for trust and transparency in marketing.
- The increasing influence of Hispanic creators.
- The evolution of video consumption.
- The importance of accurate audience measurement.
Three Key Takeaways
1. Diverse Representation: The Summit underscored the importance of diversity in marketing strategies. State Farm, for instance, revealed its commitment to hiring more diverse talent, recognizing the role of in-culture thinking in identifying and leveraging segmentation models. In addition, Hispanic first tactics and embracing culture as a priority were cited as key to driving results.
2. Influencer Power: The Summit shed light on the power of Hispanic influencers in driving social causes and promoting authentic advertiser-sponsored content. Latina creators were hailed for their role in shaping brand experiences and connecting with audiences on a deep, personal level.
3. Measurement Accuracy: The significance of accurate and representative audience data was a significant talking point. With the Hispanic economy now more extensive than the U.K.’s, there was a call to challenge the notion of the “general market” and recognize the vast economic opportunity within the Hispanic demographic.
The Hispanic Marketing Council (HMC) Annual Summit 2023 brought together industry leaders, marketers, and brands to explore the transformative landscape of Hispanic media and marketing. The event, held in New York City, showcased an impressive lineup of speakers, panel discussions, and fireside chats that delved into the challenges and opportunities marketers face in an advancing cultural world. This year’s Summit emphasized the importance of cultural relevance, providing attendees with the insights they need to navigate the ever-evolving Hispanic market.
The Hispanic Marketing Council, an organization with a mission to foster excellence in marketing to Hispanic consumers, strives to strengthen cultural understanding and to advocate for strategic priorities that will help marketers maximize their reach within the Hispanic community. As the only Hispanic-centric conference developed by industry leaders with multicultural expertise, the HMC Annual Summit is a vital platform for fostering collaboration and growth in the Hispanic marketing landscape.
The Summit’s key sessions, featuring industry heavyweights such as TelevisaUnivision’s CEO Wade Davis and State Farm’s marketing directors, presented compelling discussions on the evolution of the Hispanic media and marketing industry, the power of Hispanic influencer marketing, and the changing landscape of video consumption. These discussions testify to the HMC’s commitment to fostering a more inclusive industry.
A View from the Top: In Conversation with TelevisaUnivision CEO Wade Davis was a highlight of the Summit. Davis, who catapulted ViX to the top spot in Spanish-language streaming, engaged in a candid conversation with MediaLink Chairman & CEO Michael Kassan. Davis criticized the media industry’s structural underreporting and underrepresentation of Hispanic and Black audiences, calling it “outrageous” and “repressive.” Kassan concurred, emphasizing the need for “Trust, transparency, talent, transformation, and technology” in the media industry.
The fireside chat with State Farm’s Susan Beige and Baldwin Cunningham offered insights into how the company regained traction by refocusing on the Hispanic market. State Farm’s shift towards a culturally informed marketing strategy, including a ‘Hispanic-first’ approach and increased diversity in its team, has led to tangible results.
They confessed that the company had lost traction when it moved away from Hispanic-focused strategies. “We got wrapped up in the total market but [pivoted] by thinking in-culture to identify and leverage segmentation models,” Beige explained. The company has since shifted its focus, aiming to drive consideration for price and service at every touchpoint in a cultural marketplace. As a result, state Farm is now leading with Hispanic insights in its multicultural campaigns. In addition, they are focusing on hiring to diversify their team and evolving their structure to integrate executive sponsors. The goal is to evangelize the brand, help diversify messaging, and adopt Hispanic-first tactics.
The discussion Unleashing the Power of Hispanic Influencer Marketing underscored the potential of Latina creators in shaping brand experiences and driving social causes. The conversation noted the growing affinity of the Hispanic audience for authentic content, highlighting the role of creators in producing and transmitting such content directly to consumers. Despite the potential of influencer marketing, a disconnect persists between brands and creators. This disconnect often leads to missed opportunities, underlining the need for more collaborative efforts. “Hispanics are streaming 10% more than the general population,” according to Giovanna “Gigi” Gonzalez, TikTok Influencer, citing Nielsen data. This affinity for authentic content, news, and education on social media channels and platforms reaches the Hispanic audience’s heart, underlining the untapped potential of Hispanic influencers.
TelevisaUnivision CEO Wade Davis criticized the media industry’s structural underreporting and underrepresentation of Hispanic and Black audiences, calling it “outrageous” and “repressive.”
As the Summit ventured into the realm of video viewership, it shed light on the critical issues of viewer habits and content relevancy. The session The Evolution of Video Consumption touched upon the dichotomy of active watching versus background consumption. It highlighted potential “subscription fatigue” and the need to augment linear T.V. buys with streaming for increased ROI. The discussion emphasized the necessity of accurate and representative audience data across platforms, acknowledging the current shortcomings in measurement.
One notable insight emerged from the discussion: the Hispanic market is not a test market. This perspective challenged the prevailing mindset that views the ‘general market’ as primarily English-speaking white persons. Instead, it posited a shift towards recognizing the enormous economic opportunity the U.S. Hispanic market presents – an economy more significant than that of the U.K. The panelists also noted the need to navigate the intricacies of multi-generational Hispanic households with varying language preferences and content choices.
The Summit honored the exceptional work of marketers in the industry through the “HMC Marketer of the Year” award. This year’s recipient, MillerCoors CMO Sofia Colucci, was recognized for its efforts to authentically represent consumers as they exist in real life. As a result, the company has increased spending on Hispanic consumers by 30%, ensuring that all its major campaigns incorporate Hispanic consumer insights. “The aim is to create authentic partnerships,” stated Ms. Colucci, “that resonates with the Hispanic audience, proving that marketing success lies in understanding and representing the target audience accurately.”
Another event standout was a revealing “CMO Chat” featuring Circle K’s Global V.P. of Marketing, Margaret Barron. She emphasized the importance of brutal and honest analysis of customer and talent pathways, reminding participants that the actual consumers are not the CMO and CEO but the people they serve. Barron’s call for creative bravery reinforced the need for cultural cues and representation in successful marketing campaigns. She discussed the importance of over-indexing with opportunity customers and providing the right mix for the retail footprint customer at each location. Barron encouraged brands not to shy away from pushing representation and acting globally, emphasizing the power of data and customer feedback in driving effective marketing strategies.
The 2023 HMC Summit served as a potent reminder of the untapped potential of the Hispanic market. The Summit’s discussions and debates shed light on the urgent need for more inclusive and representative advertising in media. The event underscored the power and influence of Hispanic creators, highlighted the importance of cultural relevancy in content creation, and drew attention to the inequities of multicultural audience measurement.
As marketers navigate this transformative era, the lessons from the 2023 HMC Summit will serve as a compass, guiding them toward a future where every voice is heard, every culture is recognized, and every consumer is valued. The Summit has sowed the seeds for a more inclusive marketing industry, and now it is up to marketers to ensure these seeds bear fruit in the coming years. The journey towards a more inclusive future has just begun, but as the 2023 HMC Summit demonstrated, the road ahead is promising.
Barry Wade, OMD U.S. Managing Director, Cultural Partnerships & Identity