“I notice increasing reluctance on the part of marketing executives to use judgment; they are coming to rely too much on research, and they use it as a drunkard uses a lamp post for support, rather than for illumination.”
— David Ogilvy
Recently, the multicultural practice of a very large public relations agency, posted this tweet: “As a marketer the worst way to think about your customers is as your neighbors, friends and family. The market is MUCH more complex.”
In public relations, advertising and marketing we refer to groups of people in masses — “target demographics,” “regional markets,” “Spanish-language dominant Hispanics,” “biculturals,” etc. Of course, it’s absolutely necessary to identify the values, lifestyles, cultural and psychographic preferences that collective groups of individuals share. This is what makes our particular marketplace so uniquely layered. And undeniably, understanding this allows marketers to delve deeply into the complexities of different groups. A necessary component of any successful marketing and public relations effort.
However, one critical component is too often overlooked. The human connection.
While studying and defining your intended audience is critical, as a marketer, the worst way to think about your customer is as lab rats.
The tweet single-handedly dismissed:
- the very underpinning of Hispanic culture: friends, family and neighbors; and
- the informed perspective of a Hispanic public relations professional.
To many Hispanic PR professionals, thinking of customers as neighbors, friends and family is inherit in their thought process, and ingrained in their DNA.
That perspective is simply too rich and textured to be overlooked. It is crafted and informed over time, from daily interactions with people throughout a PR professional’s life. A smart PR Practice would seek to enhance a campaign’s multi-pronged approach BY harnessing the diverse perspectives of its own Hispanic professionals. Just as a skilled PR Practitioner leverages the insight gained through their interactions with family, friends and neighbors AND utilizes research to help navigate the complexities of the marketplace.
- Yes. Think of your customers as your neighbor from when you lived back home. What would get Robert, your scrappy 14 year-old friend, to become a brand ambassador for your client’s product?
- Yes! Think of your audience as your family. What would get Tia Berta to join an online community of 50+ Hispanics designed to educate them on issues relative to health and personal well-being
- YES! Think of your demographic as friends and consider how you would activate your own network to expand a grassroots movement and to build issue awareness.
As a marketer the BEST way to think about your customers IS as your neighbors, friends and family. They are your best focus group. And don’t ever lose sight of la conexión humana.
Today’s guest post is courtesy of Midy Aponte, President/CEO – The Sánchez Ricardo Agency