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The Hispanic Vote: How To Market To A Trillion Dollar Market

November 12, 2012

Politics and business often borrow and use the metaphor of war. A battle for the most votes or market share, leading to the glory of victory and profits, or the elimination into obscurity.

In business we even have a language of war such as general manager, market intelligence, expanding footprint, pull the trigger on a deal, sales strategy, and so on.

Regardless of your politics what can you learn from the past election in growing your business? With a budget of 2 billion dollars spent on this election, we saw some of the best minds in advertising and marketing at the helm of this ship. This will no doubt be a classroom lesson for years to come.

The first phase of war is FORMING a strategy. This means that one must have a dominant message that will stick with the consumer. The Obama campaign had a populist message that stayed consistent throughout the campaign, “fight against income inequality.”

While the Romney campaign had several messages that in the end failed to gain traction with the majority, “immigration, women, 47%, repeal of Dream Act, health care, taxes.”

The Obama camp identified early on that the previous election in 2008 was not going to win the election. They had to produce new voters. This lead to staking outposts or field offices in battleground states before the primaries!

That’s right these operatives opened up local branch offices to develop relationships with Spanish media. This earned free media led to capitalizing on every gaff Mr. Romney made in the campaign.

It’s framing the message of your opponent similar to what Verizon did with AT&T’s coverage. They had some terrific writers to churn out press releases that Spanish media picked up while the official field GOP spokespeople seldom returned calls from Spanish reporters.

The second phase of war is STORMING. Do you remember storming Norman? This is the time to give it all you got. Unfortunately for Mr. Romney when he stormed he was fighting on two theaters, 1. Defend his negative Bain Capital history and 2. Fight his opponent as a failed Promiser In Chief.

Unfortunately for conservatives the majority never quite bought this. They empathized with the Obama’s challenge to protect the country from going into a depression and  and killing Osama Bin Laden.

The third phase is NORMING. There will always be casualties in any war, and Obama had several. The worst was the no show first debate, the Benghazi controversy, “you didn’t build it, private sector doing fine”, and others.

Mitt, on the other hand, had, “I’m not concerned about the poor, Obama bankrupted Detroit, and he’s going to ship jobs to China, If I was born in Mexico”, and others. You will have your own gaffes either from your product not performing or employees making mistakes. You need to have your own internal PR point person or an ad agency you can call to rescue you. This is not for amateurs to handle.

The fourth and final phase is PERFORMING. This is when you can stay the course and reap all the spoils of war till your next ad campaign. It is essential that every business has this circular strategy ALL THE TIME. One thing media does is to create an editorial calendar to write stories related to that holiday, season or topic. They typically bundle special advertising offers to business to meet their budgets. Every small business needs to have a sales strategy to capitalize on the buying cycles of needs and wants from the consumer. For President Obama, his greatest challenge may now be the PERFORMING of pulling us out from this slow recovery.

Written by Victor Escalante in collaboration with Jose Monterrosa 

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