All my professional life I’ve been listening. Not just to the message, but also to the context, clarity and efficiency of it.

And now, a very important phenomenon is occurring which has me with my best listening ears in place. Recently, I conversed with Sergio Alcocer, president of LatinWorks, about the state of Hispanic advertising, and I learned a few things.

Advertising as a global industry is undergoing an enormous transformation. I think that we will not be able to recognize it in a few years. To think of Hispanic advertising as separate from global advertising implies a backtracking of sorts, an undermining of who we are.

With social media, the platforms to deliver a message have multiplied. As an advertiser, you have to contemplate the fact that your message can now transcend beyond the traditional platforms such as TV, radio and printed media. Now you are part of the brand’s biography. In some way, brands now live in terms of the personality people attach to them.

Another way in which the influence of these new mediums is evident and very significant, is the speed with which an advertiser has to be able to adapt to the changes in consumer trends. It’s indispensable that now the clients and the agencies have much more flexible and nimble structures that are less comfortable by having a niche. Now, more than ever, there is the need to switch from a service industry model to an industry of ideas. Thus, to generate ideas and solutions can’t be the sole responsibility of the creative department anymore. The whole agency has to become a company of ideas and solutions for its clients that are creative in all aspects.

If you have been paying attention to what’s happened in the industry over the last two years, you’ll know that the global obsession is in coming up with new work models.

We have also realized that TV, per se, is not going to die or that what is needed now is the new “Digital Agency.” I think that we are witnessing the triumph of what some call the “Tra-Digital Agency” which transcends the media barriers and can maintain, across all of them, a congruency with the story that the brand wants to communicate.

We have to be aware of how important it is for Hispanic agencies to transform, even faster, into a flexible partner who understands the needs of the ever-changing market we deal with. Hispanic agencies do have an advantage due to their flexibility to adapt rapidly.

What I consider to be the biggest challenge is that our industry has to stop relying on the Spanish language as their strategy or the justification for their existence as an agency.

In the first place, the immediate growth of the Hispanic market will not be due to immigration, but to birth. Then, the language has to stop being a strategy and become a simple tactic. We need to bring to the table solutions that have a point of view and a sensibility that are more diverse and ad-hoc with what is currently happening in the United States.

We are “Marketers” first and then “Hispanic Marketers.”

We have to bring to the table solutions that go beyond race. First we have to focus on understanding the brand and the client’s needs in depth. Then bring forward the ideas that succinctly generate solutions.

I don’t see what is happening in the industry so much as a problem, but as an opportunity to create the media, the programming and the platforms that will allow us to have a more effective dialogue with the bi-cultural, bilingual consumer. And with a little bit of luck, we will be able to get ahead of the trends.

SOURCE Juan Aceves/MediaPost

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