Time flies when you’re having fun.

Image17 years.

That’s how long I’ve been working in the Hispanic Market.

When I think about it, I can’t avoid paralleling that time with the life of my kids: Aldo (13), Andrés (11), Isabela and Natalia (both 8). Because when you have kids, you truly see time passing by:

From 0 to 13 in 60 seconds.

I can just imagine their embarrassment—a symptom of their short lives—when they see I included them here, by the way.

During my adolescent career in this amazing industry, there have been a lot of changes. Among the more obvious, the new ways to communicate with people, to get them to prefer our clients’ products or services. I say people because the word Consumer is so one-dimensional, isn’t it? But I’m not going to spend any time talking about the new digital world we are living in, etc.

The main point of this column is Time, more precisely, and how the relativity of it has affected the industry. We are in the middle of the Age of Instant Gratification. The Speed of Life has shaved a few seconds off Usain Bolt’s record, and it doesn’t seem like it’s going to slow down any time soon.

We demand immediate downloads for our music, movies, apps and even our Instagram pictures. We get frustrated waiting two minutes for our computer to reboot, so we can have all the knowledge of the world at our fingertips; or for our phones to connect to a satellite that is flying miles above us, so we can text a friend that we’re going to be ten minutes late.

These are “miracles” nobody expected to be possible twenty years ago, but now we take them for granted.

In advertising, we barely have time to see how a communication program is working when we need to start adjusting it to perform better. I read somewhere that the average tenure of a CMO is 18-24 months. That trickles down to agencies, having to show great results at a faster pace. There is little time to react to the new technology when the newest new technology is already here. And in my opinion this may lead to a lot of programs that have incredible tactics but not necessarily a platform to connect with people at a deeper level, in a long term-relationship.

Marketing to Hispanics has never been more exciting, though. We are living an incredible moment in history. More advertisers understand the power of this segment, and more ad agencies are taking it seriously.

The times when having a Latino last name was enough to get you in the door are no more. Now Results is the name of the game. Fast Results, mind you.

You have to show a deep understanding about the cultural differences and similarities. And then acknowledge that Latinos don’t live in a vacuum, that they are influencing everything, not only food and music.

The faster you get this as a marketer or agency, the more effective you will become in the long run, ironically.

I’ve had the time of my life these first 17 years living at this fast-paced rhythm. And also I can’t wait to see what we make of the next seventeen.

As you can imagine, I have learned many things along this amazing journey, but let me end with this one: in marketing, just as in love, fast is not always better.

14 thoughts on “Time flies when you’re having fun.

  1. 17 years – December 17 = sincronizado my friend! It has been my pleasure to collaborate with you through some of your 17 years in the Hispanic Market!!! I look forward to continue connected with yoU, as we all reinvent ourselves in the digital era of communicating and sharing online! Abrazotes Navideños desde Miami…Lynn 🙂

  2. Great article, I am wonder filled as well with the technology, I just hope people remember it is not about the medium, but the message and the emotion.

  3. Qué agradable lectura. Da gusto que nuestra industria cuente con autores y agentes del cambio tan indispensables como tú. Gracias por compartir tu artículo.

  4. Oh my gosh, I need your advice. I just launched a business a few months ago that has taken off very rapidly. I’m a painter and have already had 30 commissions in the past 3 months. Great, right? I grew up in Texas and subsequently have always had an affinity for Mexican style, folk art, etc. My style of painting reflects this affinity.

    Most of my commissions were generated by my Facebook page (www.facebook.com/robiniart). Get this: Around 95% of my Facebook fans are from Mexico, but 100% of my commissions have come from the United States. I have zero experience marketing to Hispanics, and they are the majority of my fans. I must be doing something REALLY dumb or missing something REALLY obvious to prevent them from purchasing from me. So, I posted in Spanish a lot and have my information and pricing in Spanish as well as English. Nope. No sales. So then, I started targeting my ads to Hispanics in the States. Nothing. No response.

    Any advice on selling to Mexican people in Mexico? They are seriously my best supporters, most enthusiastic fans, the most interactive with my Facebook page, etc. I’ve had a few commissions from Canadians and Americans who live in Mexico – but no Mexican citizens.

    I just stumbled upon this post and am so glad I did! Hopefully, I can get some insight here. You’ve already got me thinking that I’m being inpatient – wanting results too quickly in this fast-paced world.

    I’m going to forward this to my daughter, who is double majoring in advertising and anthropology and working at an ad agency already. I think your words will be very valuable to her as she progresses through her career.

    • Hi, thanks for the message. I took a look at your Facebook page and yes, you have a lot of fans and your work is great, congratulations!

      I am not an expert in social media marketing, but from what I know, maybe you could use the geo targeting ad units offered by Facebook to promote your paintings among Mexicans (living in Mexico) that have pets and like art. It can get that specific, and you can test if it works for you.

      Something else to consider is that although you have a lot of fans in Mex via FB, a big barrier could be that the international postal/courier services can get very expensive and might make them think twice before commissioning a piece.
      Social media interactions are free. A painting isn’t, and comes with some logistics and risks (damaged or lost goods in transit, etc.).

      You could think of a way to deliver your work digitally at a lower price. It’s not the same as a physical painting but it could be a good way to try something different to see if it gets traction.

      These are just some initial ideas without knowing more details about your business. I hope they help and best of luck!


      • Thanks, Aldo!

        I’ve been doing as you said with the Facebook ads for a while now and love the response from Mexico. They are really beefing up my Facebook numbers and are so supportive and encouraging. I bet you’re right about the postal service/shipping situation. I’ve thought of that, too. So, having thought about that, I started trying to market my work to Mexicans/HIspanics here in the United States but literally have gotten zero response from them. It’s just a mystery to me.

        But, like I said, I’m very new at this and likely being impatient. I’ll know more after I do some art shows this Spring and get to talk to customers, face to face.

        Thank you so much for your response!

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