by Racialicious Special Correspondent Latoya Peterson
Fast Company recently profiled Alicia Morga, founder and CEO of online-marketing firm Consorte Media.
The opening paragraphs of the article reveal exactly what is wrong with the advertising industry:
Every marketer, pollster, and advertiser knows this much about Hispanics living in the United States: They are deeply family oriented, and their families are big. So when Alicia Morga, founder and CEO of the Hispanic-focused online-marketing firm Consorte Media, first started working with ad agencies on home-financing campaigns, she was told to use cheery images of happy, home-owning families. Problem: “The pictures of the big, brown family turned out to be the lowest-performing creative among Hispanics,” Morga says with a laugh. “By far.” What worked instead were simple shots of well-kept homes with white fences and lush lawns. “It’s aspirational,” she explains. Who knew?
Anyone who bothered to think outside the caja would know–and Morga does. In less than two years, she and Consorte Media have changed the thinking on how to find Hispanic Web surfers in the United States and convert them into customers, replacing the stereotypes that often typify minority-targeted marketing with insights gleaned from rigorous data collection and analysis. And she has built a business that’s already profitable, scored big-name clients including Best Buy and Monster.com, and completed two rounds of venture funding worth $10 million. Her secret: “Data works. There’s too much of the anecdotal in this marketplace.”
I am not sure why marketers want to overolook things that are fairly obvious. Perhaps it is the need for quantifiable, packaged data. I used to work for a market research aggregator and some of the reports that came across my desk for loading were sketchy, at best. Much of the research targeting specific ethnic/racial/gender/age demographics were heavily biased, used to essentially justify pre-existing stereotypes.
A coworker and I occassionally amused ourselves by opening some of the reports and laughing about what the researchers said our demographic wanted. Apparently, according to an older report targeting the African-American market, I am supposed to be single, very religious, overweight, and respond well to food images and church choirs. I guess that’s what the deal was with this Nivea ad. Read the Post Fast Company: Latina Marketing Maven Ignores Stereotypes, Turns Profit