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Representatives from the world’s largest retailer, the world’s largest convenience store chain and the world’s largest consumer electronics superstore were among numerous Hispanic marketing experts who addressed a record crowd of more than 425 attendees at the sixth annual Hispanic Retail 360 Summit held recently in San Diego.
Multicultural marketing has never been more complex than it is now. And yet, at the same time, it’s more critical than ever for marketers to break the code, said Walmart’s director of multicultural marketing Carla Giovannetti Dodds , who delivered the opening address for this year’s summit, along with Steven Wolfe Pereira, SVP of MediaVest and managing director of MV42.
Walmart is focusing on three opportunities to strengthen its multicultural marketing:
-Ensuring that it has a total business and market approach
-Fully integrating community affairs into its marketing team
-Delivering a 360-degree shopping experience
“This is the time to make sure multicultural is at the forefront of everything we do,” Dodds said.
Prior to Dodd’s presentation, the summit kicked off on the morning of Sunday, Aug. 8, with an experiential tour. Guided by cultural marketing experts from XL Edge, the shopper marketing practice of the XL Alliance, three buses packed with executives from around the country went to three independent stores: Supermercado Murphy, Appletree Market and Northgate Market. Each store showcased its unique layout, approach and retail strategy. For a full report on the tour to these 99 percent Hispanic stores by XL Edge’s Lily Gill, go to www.csnews.com.
Sunday’s opening general session concluded with an informative panel featuring Irena Sibaja, senior director, multicultural marketing, 7-Eleven Corp., the world’s largest convenience store chain, along with Daniel Herrera, Hispanic marketing manager for Southeastern supermarket chain Food Lion, and Kevin Kilpatrick, publisher of Constru-Guia al Dia magazine, a publication that targets blue-collar Latino males.
Keynote speaker Soledad O’Brien, acclaimed special investigations correspondent for CNN and host of the network’s “In America” documentaries, drew conference attendees with her stories of growing up as a first-generation Latina, as well as the insights she’s gained from her years as a journalist.
O’Brien said one of the things she loves most about working in television news is that it allows her not only to affect one individual, but also an entire community, with the stories she chronicles. And she noted it’s not much different for retailers and marketers looking to connect with Hispanics -- both are about creating an authentic experience that accurately captures the community.
“If you’re looking for solutions, it’s a community question,” O’Brien said, stressing that authenticity can only come from truly understanding the community one is trying to reach. “There’s a tendency to cast a wide net, but where we go wrong is aiming at stereotypes instead of reality.”
The conference also featured speakers from Coca-Cola, Kimberly Clark, Kraft Foods, Univision, Telemundo, General Mills, Coors, Brown-Forman, Kum & Go, and Wells Fargo.
The final day of the conference, Wednesday, Aug. 11, was highlighted by a presentation of new Hispanic consumer research by The Nielsen Company’s Doug Darfield and Univision’s Ceril Shagrin, and a moving closing statement from co-emcee Armando Martin, principal at XL Edge.
SOURCE: Convenience Store News