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Direct Response Marketers get success in going multicultural - Part 2


A continuation of our article on direct response best practices for effectively marketing products to multiple segments and the U.S. Hispanic marketplace. 

Article Part 2 - to view article Part 1 read here >

Two-Faced Beauty: How to Successfully Market One Product to Multiple Segments


Form a Sturdy Foundation

With the demand of health and beauty products in mind, be sure to reflect core values and interests of your target audience to garner attention from customers. This is especially critical when targeting the US Hispanic and Latino market.  Research conducted by U.S.-based Bromley Communications finds that Hispanics are quickly replacing American moms as the dominant consumer targets from now to 2050. With that in mind, consider an example of how marketing and a need for segmenting can aid your campaign:

Fórmula Latina ™ is marketed as the only line of professional hair care products made exclusively for Hispanics sold at retail outlets. The first line launched in the U.S. with Spanish packaging and advertising.  This line of hair care was designed especially for Hispanics, but is marketed for anyone who requires the same hair care maintenance and has similar hair to Hispanic hair. Although this shampoo was designed with Hispanics in mind, it was made to be appropriate for all ethnicities. This, perhaps, is an example of how products seem to represent a culture of people but falsely do so. It is necessary to consider the specific needs of the Hispanic community and the background, interests, and tradition of the niche they are marketing to.

So, what are the specific needs of the Hispanic community, and how can one find out how to engage this market? Before answering that question, let’s look at how segmented the Hispanic population really is.  Jaurez & Associates Inc. stated that the increasing Hispanic population by no means represents a homogeneous group; rather they consist of people from many countries and regions who display their own cultural identity and idiosyncrasies. Then also found that this complex and dynamic population is as multifaceted and as segmented as any other major market and requires the same investment in sophisticated research and planning.  This requires understanding the cultural meanings throughout Latin American groups as well as the similarities and differences the exhibit.

How can this research be done to determine the specific needs of the Hispanic community? To effectively learn about your niche, holding panels and educational seminars with your targeted audience in attendance is an effective measure of a group’s buying power.

Siempre Mujer magazine for example hosted a panel in 2010 to get to the heart of U.S. Hispanic beauty habits.  They found that health and beauty trends in the Hispanic market do not fall in line with general health and beauty market trends. Daisy Fuentes, a speaker at the panel, found that “while the ‘natural look’ may be a prevailing trend in the beauty industry today, it’s lost on Latinas.” Another speaker, celebrity hair stylist Leonardo Rocco found that, “Latinas associate long hair with sex appeal,” and are interested in new trends when it comes to styling their hair.  

These points alone demonstrate that marketing your one product—shampoo for example—year round won’t produce formidable numbers in sales.  Kristyn Page, Director of Multicultural Marketing for Macy’s, found that to engage the Hispanic market, marketers should keep their beauty campaigns fresh, modern, and new, while engaging in a continuous conversation.  To state again, understand your consumers heritage, language and personal investment in beauty; recognize what motivates consumers, and show a consumers’ reflection in ads, and build their self-esteem.

Be At the Frontlines

Aside from being attractive, your products have to be known for what they are.  Keep in mind that while some brands differ across the border, a lot of Latin American countries will have brands from home. 

FPO, a Hispanic marketing agency was engaged to introduce Dove Body Wash to less acculturated U.S. Hispanics who were not effectively reached through General Market communications.  They went in with the insight that the only free time for family-centered Latinas is at the shower.  By indulging with Dove, Hispanics get to re-charge and be their best. They followed through with their study by partnering with Giselle Blondet—the Hispanic Katie Couric—as a trusted spokesperson adviser who represents Dove’s brand essence of honest, uncomplicated beauty.

With their assignment and objective in mind, they created a fully integrated campaign by utilizing Univison’s powerful media vehicles including TV, Radio, Print, Online, PR, Events, and PRN driving consumers all the way to the cash register. 

With this niche-centered study, the agency was able to increase sales for Dove Body Wash by 35% versus the general market.  An additional 40,000 samples were distributed during one-to-one interaction and one in four heard about the campaign through friends and family.  This sharing between individuals gave Dove brand a base for future communications with Hispanics about the complete line.   

Learning About Your Niche

Although four out of five U.S. manufacturers have a Hispanic spokesperson, the companies themselves should have a thorough grasp of the Hispanic Community. This knowledge will afford them insight into cultures that can be easily applied to marketing. Understanding cultures will help avoid advertising based on just a representation of how people look with no consideration to their background.

Juan Guillermo Tornoe of Hispanic Trending states, “there isn’t a simple turnkey solution to effectively reach ‘Hispanics’; it all depends on the specifics of each situation. It is the job of the advertiser and its advertising or marketing consultant to see the business and approach the situation in the best way possible.”

The same concept applies to beauty and health market trends within the Hispanic Community. A bottle of shampoo might be shelved right next to its identical twin, but disguised for men and marked in a different language. How then, do these similar but aesthetically misleading products produce any sales? These products differentiate themselves through marketing concepts that are relatable to their targeted audience.  This is done by understanding their culture, tradition, and in this case, beauty and healthcare needs.

Ironically, the market for ethnic-specific health and beauty products is stagnate and valued at $1.5 billion, a 1.3 percent decrease over 2002 sales. Purchases of general-use health and beauty products by ethnic consumers are valued at $6 billion, posting a slight increase of 1.1% over 2002 according to Packaged Facts. This slight increase and the acknowledgement of ethnic-specific health and beauty products is the start of a blossoming industry.

What can you do to reach this growing U.S. Hispanic market?  The formula includes knowing your product’s virtues specific to the market, doing your research, and utilizing a credible communicator capable of understanding the broad range of Hispanic cultures, traditions, and languages. Management at Spanish language call centers like Listen Up Español have found their agents to be the key to success. The agents who know the history behind Hispanic cultures and understand how to cross-sell, upsell, and form quick agent/customer relationships all while addressing the specific needs of U.S. Hispanics and product marketers are the most valuable to any advertising campaign targeting the U.S. Hispanic demographic.

So what can Direct Response marketers learn from this multicultural success?  If you are already marketing the same product to different demographics, or attempting to launch the same product into retail with different packaging, why wouldn’t you take it a step further and tap into the U.S. Hispanic market to generate additional revenue?


Tom Sheppard is a trusted 15 year Direct Response industry veteran and a highly respected leader with a unique combination of Spanish and English call center experience.  As Vice President of New Business Development for Direct Response at Listen Up Español, the industry’s leading Spanish language call center, Sheppard contributes to an energetic company culture that is focused on driving the highest levels of success possible for the company and its clients.  Sheppard has worked in executive level sales and management positions at LiveOps, SPExpress, Parcel Corporation of America (PCA), and United Parcel Service.

For more information about starting a DRTV campaign, contact Tom at or visit


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This article appeared in the 4-24-12 issue of D2C Coverage newsletter and is published in the ERA Knowledge Center where ERA members can access all of the Thought Leadership resources from the Electronic Retailing Association.



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