Hispanic Event Marketing – Hitting Community Hot Buttons

Jan 26, 2005

Editorial by Terry Soto

A recent article on HispanicAd.com presents tips on how to “hit the mark” through Hispanic event marketing. An increasing number of marketers have been jumping on the event bandwagon to celebrate typical “hallmark” events, like Cinco de Mayo, Chinese New Year, and Kwanzaa. These “packaged” events are easy and turnkey. So why not, right?

Well, I guess that depends on your objectives. I would agree that, as stated in the article, event marketing is not about advertising or about sampling, it is about connecting with the communities that you want doing business with your company. Taking that a step further; I like to say that it is about establishing a relationship of trust and reciprocity through “efforts” that truly convey corporate responsibility and commitment to the communities in which you do business, either directly or through retail partners.

So when I think about the words “trust, responsibility, commitment, and effort,” I often question the value of “packaged” street events and festivals as valid ways of achieving relationship building and ultimately loyalty. And isn’t that our final destination? In my view, packaged events are far too generic to be seen as anything but a run-of-the-mill street event or festival – with little association to “effort” on behalf of any particular brand.

I would suggest that if relationship building is what a marketer seeks, then creating an event program that will resonate with the target community is the way to go. However, be warned that creating an event program that hits on community hot buttons requires work — it requires an understanding of the issues and challenges affecting your target communities.

Execution can be simple and straightforward. Consider that even simple parking lot events, if you have retail locations or are partnering with retail partners, can be more meaningful than larger, more commercial ones. Additionally, events centered around the needs of children — like building a local playground, or supporting a local school program or inner city arts event — are particularly meaningful to ethnic consumers as are other grassroots events and projects developed in conjunction with local, community-based organizations. Successful marketers also play into the everyday lifestyles and attitudes of the consumers they target. They explore the daily routines, the family dynamics, and the types of activities engaged in by individuals and groups, and they work to become a part of these.

Moderator’s Comment: Is customized event marketing a realistic proposition for marketers?
Terry Soto – Moderator

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