October 01, 2009

   For many of you that do not remember the early years of our industry, we lived them and can tell you that there were intuitive strategic initiatives that help establish credibility and trust in our pioneers and allowed us to rise through the marketing hierarchy at the client level.

Interesting enough, through our involvement with the Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies(AHAA) and managing the HispanicAd.com Account Planning Excelencia Awards (HAPE) for the last four years, we have come to realize how important ‘El Insight’ about Hispanic Consumers can help differentiate ad agency versus your media planning & buying or creative skills-set.

My intent is not to diminish the importance of media planning & buying and the creative skill-sets, but to highlight another discipline that could determine your ability to compete with an unfair advantage.

According to UK based Account Planning Group the following relationship ownership occurs in advertising:

Client says:     “ My Product”
Account Director says:     “My Client”
Creative Director says:     “My Ad”
Account Planner says:   “My CONSUMER”

We thought about this and have come up with three phases our Industry has gone through or will be required to for survival since we have commoditisized some many of our skills-sets that we have very tricks up our sleeve to differentiate ourselves from our mainstream counterparts.

We submit to you .......

“The Intuitive Account Planner Phase” - In the 60’s, 70’s & 80’s our US Hispanic agency professionals were unsuspecting account planners by necessity to create ROI.

“We’re For Sale Phase" - In the 90’s & beyond, our need to be seamless with our mainstream agency counterparts set forth a phase of commoditization of our Industry.

“La Reconquista Phase” - We are rediscovering a skill-set that once again empowers us with understanding, ideas, creative and executions that uniquely differentiates us and generates ROI.

At end of the day ‘El Insight’ specifically about our ‘Tribu’ (our tribe) that comes from a deep understanding and dominance of culture and language skill-sets defines your unique ability to offer insight is the core competence that sets our Hispanic focused agency apart from mainstream agencies competitors that say they can do Hispanic work.

Knowledge of our Tribu, El Insight and account planning skill-sets will be a TOOL to regain once again our legitimate position in the Marketing Hierarchy requiring a unique Hispanic focused skill-set that cannot be commoditisized.  Media planning & buying, along with creative are by-products of the process.

El Insight about our Tribu adds context, a wider perspective, guidance and opinion to the complexity of Hispanic advertising development.

If we had just created more value and sold our ‘Insight’ as our currency, instead of our media planning & buying or creative skill-sets.  We would not be under the current competitive attacks by mainstream agencies for our over $5 Billion dollar Industry.

Watch the movie ART & Copy.  It's about creative, but stresses that for great creative there must be 'El Insight of the Tribu'.

GeneBryan - CEO - HispanicAd.com


Great Points Gene, Creativity and insights, I believe are not required only when creating a great copy for a tv spot or a print ad. Creativity and insights are everyhting we, as experts on this market, need to know to make a difference. Otherwise, our value is none.

Insights are valuable when they are right and it takes excellent people to recognize and leverage them into a communication platform. Insights (or in this case, pseudo-insights?) can be mortal if they are wrong. I personally don't see how one discipline might demean the others. Insights, like everything else, need to be tested, even if only be a "common sense" filter. Account planning --the voice of the consumer inside the agency-- is definitely what we need as we begin integrating first, second and third generation Hispanics.

Right on, Gene. Que viva la diferencia! It's all about 'El Insight'. It's the one and only thing the GMKT mainstream client or agency can't decipher--they can identify it, perhaps, but not interpret it, because they don't have the context. To a great extent, our industry has tried to become everything to all people. 360. Multicultural. Soup to nuts. From specialists to generalists, like all the rest. The new frontier is using 'El Insight' and social marketing to engage brands with a new breed of Latinos that live and play in their new cross-cultural communities, online and off. How totally exciting!

Cuidado with believing that our deep experience with our consumers, not to mention being our consumers, equals El Insight. Our being our market and having spent decades selling to it does not automatically enable us to deliver spot-on communications platforms today. The development of unassailable strategy in a volatile marketplace requires us to set aside who we are and what we've learned in the past and listen to our target without biases. Whether inherent in our personal heritage or inherited from our past Hispanic marketing experiences, bias stealthily affects how we interpret and apply all insights feeding campaign, product and brand strategy. There's no doubt that who we are can (finally!) get us to table, but true differentiation comes from a world-class strategy development process, integrating El Insight we uniquely intuit as merely one rich factor in what today must be a multi-variate solution. And finally, strong thinkers are strong thinkers, no matter what silo they live in -- media, creative, or the mailroom. The best strategy incorporates Los Insights they all can bring to the table.

We all talk about "El insight," and it seems it is a term we use vaguely without truly understanding what it is. We all have opinions and our definitions of insight will vary greatly and more likely than not, we will fail to define it correctly. The reason is that we do not separate insights from facts or cultural nuances.

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