business news in context, analysis with attitude

BusinessWeek has an interview with Graciela Eleta, Procter & Gamble's head of multicultural marketing, which addresses "why the company is ramping up efforts to capture the Hispanic market and whether Hispanics are changing the way America does business." This is a strategy that P&G takes very seriously; the US Hispanic population is approaching 39 million, and the company spent $90 million on Hispanic advertising last year.

Among her comments:

  • "We're looking at the multicultural arena as the wave of the future. Not participating in this growing demographic is no longer an option."

  • "You have to make sure you have availability and assortment at the store. You can do all the marketing you want, but if, at the moment of truth, the consumer doesn't find the right assortment, your efforts are wasted.
    Then, you make sure that you have the right message -- including the right language and copy. So, the process is: understanding, assortment, relevance."

  • "(Hispanics) are forcing companies to come to grips with marketing as we have known it in the past. The era of efficient marketing -- where you blanketed America with one, generic, white-bread message -- is gone. With fragmentation -- cable TV, the Internet, Hispanics, African Americans -- you really are faced with the challenge of how to touch that consumer in a cost-efficient, relevant, and timely way."

  • "Companies like ours are faced with adapting to this new world. We're being successful because we acknowledge that the world out there has changed. We're anticipating those changes and reacting to them."

KC's View:
Good piece…especially the reference to the ineffectiveness of "one, generic, white-bread message."