Conference Review: Advertisers and Media Convene to Discuss Growth Strategies in the Digital Age

From Portada – October 14, 2008

Takeaways from a Day Full of Valuable Insights and New Connections

  • Digital and Print’s ROI justify increased expenditure particularly in tough economic times, but print entities must clearly demonstrate ROI to enhance credibility among advertisers.
  • Mobile advertising must be approached distinctly; you cannot just shrink-down your Web executions.
  • Content is important, but a publications zoning maybe more.
  • Flat is the New Up
  • Acculturation levels are not the only measures by which to segment audiences.
  • Digital Solution Providers can offer answers to increase Reach and Ad-revenues

Measurable integrated marketing approaches and asymmetrical consumer engagement strategies were front and center at Portada’s Second Annual Digital and Print Media Conference & Networking/Awards Dinner which was held in New York City this past Thursday. The event drew over 200 advertising and Media Executives from all over the U.S. and Latin America.

Craig Desens, Chief Development Officer of NSA Media, an agency that buys more than $1.6 billion worth of advertising in general market newspapers said that the allocation to Hispanic newspapers has been increasing over the last few years. Desens emphasized, however, how essential it is for all Hispanic publications to be audited to garner significant ad-investment. Efficient zoning of a publication’s editions can also be attractive and even trump content from an advertiser considerations.

Desens, moderated a candid panel on how to increase multicultural advertising budgets. Panelists Rick Marroquin, CMO of Batanga, , Daniel Villaroel, Director Multi-Ethnic Marketing, Maybelline & Garnier and Marcelo Salup, Media and Strategy Director Siboney USA, discussed the challenges presented by utilizing social media and agreed on the importance of tackling a multiplatform approach.

The day’s keynote presentation was presented by Avenue A/Razorfish’s Group Media Director Sacha Xavier, who expounded on the importance of using mobile advertising to target Hispanics and spoke about the mobile opportunity in the context of the broader media mix that a brand pursues.

Segmenting Audiences

Impremedia CEO John Paton gave a compelling presentation which highlighted results from an extensive new study that the company conducted, which drew upon the data produced by over 3,000 reader interviews, including many video interviews. One of the insights that emerged from the study is a new way of segmenting audiences, moving away from the traditional model based on acculturation and toward a model that targets the family unit over the individual and engages audiences on three core levels: heart, head and wallet.

During a panel on CPG marketing in which achieving the right media mix was emphasized, Andrea Slodowicz, Media Director for SMG-MV42, emphasized the value that print presents, "Whereas a commercial comes and goes, print is something that is tangible, that stays around."

Summing up the panel, Ruth Gaviria, Executive Editorial and Publishing Director of Meredith Hispanic Ventures noted, "Integrated marketing starts with the brand and is ultimately about the consumer."

In a discussion centered on monetizing offline content through digital media applications, sustaining ad-investment amid the economic downturn was stressed by Spencer Ewald, President of NxtBook Media as vitally important: "What we’ve seen in the past is that once economic conditions improve, those brands that maintained their ad-investment during the slowdown usually came out ahead of those that did not."

Chris Wagner, EVP NeuLion, which bought JumpTV earlier this year and own sports site Ya.com, held a breakout session on the Hispanic Online Video Market in which he gave an overview of the IPTV (Internet TV) business. Neulion runs the Web sites of many university and professional sports teams. The company also licenses many Latin American TV channels, particularly those that televise sporting events. Wagner spoke about how the company is layering other revenue opportunities to make the channels "Stickier" by enabling chat and other social networking functions. Neulion’s clients include CNN, FOX, CBS and ABC. The company also has a marketing partnership in place with ESPN Deportes.

Division of the Pie

“What keeps me up at night is how the pie gets divided up. As long as advertisers continue to divide the pie as they have been, with 90% of their budgets going to broadcast, and leaving the remaining 10% for us in print to fight over, we’re going to continue to be fighting over crumbs,” said Media Space Solutions’ VP Marketing Deb Armstrong, to raucous audience applause. “And until we all band together and show them that print does in fact move units, they will continue to divide the pie as they’ve been doing.” As a way to get more allocated to print, she suggested knowing a prospective client’s business as well as they do, and presenting them a detailed plan of how you would be able to grow it. Greg Anthony, SVP Multicultural Sales, Alloy Access and Scripps’ Javier Aldape agreed.

The afternoon also featured a panel on financing, buying and selling Hispanic media properties, a detailed breakout session on launching a mobile campaign and leveraging the medium to its full extent, and a presentation on healthcare advertising, featuring Beth Fidoten, Print Director of Initiative Media, who spoke about the boom in niche magazines.