Marketing to Latinos at Live Music Events

luismendoza backstage 300For the last 15-plus years, I have been involved in the production and promotion of dozens of live music events in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond.  Many of the concerts have featured some of the biggest names in Latin music, including the late Celia Cruz, Don Omar, Daddy Yankee, La India, El Gran Combo, La Sonora Ponceña, El Cano Estremera, Grupo Niche, Oscar D'Leon, Tego Calderón, and Spanish Harlem Orchestra, amongst many others.

"Anticipation" and "Excitement" are the words that come to mind when I think about the fans who attend these events.  The feeling of "enhanced anticipation" starts the minute a concert featuring a fans-favorite artist is announced, as they tell other people and share the news about the event on social media.  They post comments about the artist and share music videos and promotional flyers.

"Two-thirds (68%) of Latino internet users say they use Facebook, Twitter or other social networking sites, according to the Pew Hispanic Center survey. By comparison, 58% of all U.S. internet users say they use Facebook, Twitter or other social networking sites."

I am not a singer, nor do I play any musical instruments (unfortunately), but I can't begin to describe the feeling one gets from watching thousands of fans from the stage, clamoring with excitement, as they enjoy the live performances of truly great artists.  I've experienced it from stages at the Cow Palace, the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, the San Francisco Gift Center, and many other venues, including some of the top San Francisco Bay Area Latin music nightclubs.


cinco de mayo 300Having also been involved in business consulting, advertising and marketing during the same period of time, I have often thought about how these live music events represented a great opportunity for businesses to connect with people (potential customers) and establish long-lasting relationships.  Long before I read my first article (or research paper) on experiential marketing, it became clear to me that there is no better time for businesses to reach and connect with people than during live music performances--when they are happy, excited, enjoying a great experience. There is plenty of research that confirms my anecdotal observations.  In the article "Live Events Are King for Getting People to Recommend and Buy Brands," ADWEEK reported on a research study that found that, when it comes to both recommending brands and making actual purchases, people were more inclined to do so after being exposed to (sponsoring) brands at live events.  In fact, the study found that marketing at live events is much more effective than any other type of advertising, including TV commercials.

In another report, "Brands and the Big Stage: Concert Goers Favor Brands that Engage Them through Music," Nielsen found that "Brands are using music as a way to connect with their consumers now more than ever. In fact, U.S. music fans actually feel more favorable toward brands that engage them through their favorite tunes, according to Nielsen’s Music 360 report."  When it comes to sponsorships, the report also found that "Seventy-six percent of festival attendees report feeling more favorable toward brands that sponsor a tour or concert, and 51 percent of all consumers feel this way."

"Brands are reaching out to Hispanics through other culturally relevant means, like music." -- Miami Herald

oscardleon rocca 300My experience working in traditional advertising media has also taught me that, because of the latest developments in information technology (social media, etc.), people now have much more control over what content they want to pay attention (or be exposed) to.  That means that they can easily ignore traditional forms of advertising, especially the "one-to-many" type where the message focuses on the brand instead of the audience.

For all these reasons, there is no doubt that advertising and marketing communication, if it is to be effective, needs to move away from the brand-centric, one-to-many approach, to a multidimensional, multichannel, personalized, hyper-targeting approach.  Again, current off-the-shelf customer relationship management (CRM) technology tools (including social media) allow for this type of marketing and branding shift.

Live music events, as the latest research shows, allow businesses to really connect with people, converting many of them into life-long customers, especially if the interaction takes place over a string of branded concerts and/or festivals.

So here's my proposition: Let's have fun!  Yes, I understand that we all need to take our jobs and responsibilities seriously; but in this case you and I can do both.  We'll address the serious stuff, of course, designing the campaign, having a clear understanding of the demographics (first- vs. second-generation, cultural affinity, education level, income, etc.), leveraging technology in order to help you customize your campaign, implement hyper-targeting strategies, and moving toward consumer-centric branding.  Those are some of the basic steps we need to take in order to help you gain a larger share of the Latino market.

"With skyrocketing spending power projected to reach $1.5 trillion by 2015, according to Nielsen, Hispanics are influencing companies’ marketing campaigns in myriad ways." -- Miami Herald

But, after that serious part of the business is taken care of, I want you to come up on stage with me (we'll stay in the back, away from the spotlight), and I want you to share in the excitement of watching thousands of people celebrating life, dancing to the rhythms of Latin music, knowing that you made it happen!  I guarantee you they will be very grateful.  And when you're ready to learn to dance salsa (if you haven't yet), I'll make sure you get the best teachers! 

I can be reached by phone/text at 510.586.3215 or via email.