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Posted May 31, 2005 by publisher in Cuban American Business

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AdAge.com | By Kris Oser

In an intensive yearlong effort, Nextel, which had not previously targeted Hispanic consumers, has made so much headway that one in three of all its new customers are Hispanic.

Stacey Crespo told last week’s iMedia Agency summit here, “Until the first quarter of last year, Nextel had not done any marketing in this space.”

Nextel and Motorola

Ms. Crespo is the director of business development and partnership strategies at Motorola, which uses Nextel as its main service provider. She was instrumental in the cooperative effort of the two companies to reach out to the Hispanic market for its wireless phone products and services.

“The Hispanic population is a tough nut to crack because it is so diverse,” she said in a presentation to executives from advertising agencies serving the interactive market.

She said as an African-American and Hispanic woman she knows that from experience. A company does not want to target a campaign to Cuban-Americans in South Florida only to wind up offending Mexican-Americans in California, she said.

Family, music, sports
She said the companies solved the diversity problem by finding the common ground among Hispanic groups. “We came up with three commonalities,” she said, “family and culture, music and sports.”

Focusing the media on interactive audiences, the companies went straight to Yahoo en Espanol. Advertising there was wrapped around events that related to those commonalities. For example, one promotion related to the World Cup. Another effort reflected Telemundo’s Bachelorette reality program.

The results? “Now, one in three new handset customers is Hispanic,” Ms. Crespo said.

Russell Simmons
Ms. Crespo, who was also instrumental in a campaign aimed at making mobile phones popular as fashion accessories through a partnership with hip-hop designer and mogul Russell Simmons, said Motorola’s multicultural marketing strategy emphasizes individuality.

“Urban markets are not markets in need of penetration,” she said, adding that consumers in these markets “are buying our products. We just need to reach new customers.”

A marketer that wants to be successful targeting Hispanic consumers should identify a list of key partners that can reach the target group well. And hire someone like herself, Ms. Crespo told the audience, someone who is African-American or Hispanic—because they understand the audience and can judge what sort of marketing is authentic-sounding.

“Forget about thinking out of the box,” she said. “Create a new box.”

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