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Hispanic TV Summit: Content, Communications Are Key To Attracting Subscribers

New York--Key pillars for attracting customers to Hispanic television not only involve having relevant products and services, but reacting to subscribers' needs by communicating the message in a way that is based on insights about their community.

Those were among the take-aways from Wednesday's "Attracting Customers & Audiences for Hispanic TV" session at B&C/Multichannel News's eighth annual Hispanic Television Summit here at the New York Hilton.

Panel moderator Kent Gibbons, executive editor of Multichannel News, kicked things off by asking how each panelist is driving brand differentiation at their company.

"As programmers, at the end of the day it's about providing good content that can generate loyalty to the channel and helps in retention," said Jose Antonio Espinal, COO of SomosTV.

"Our focus is on providing a superior product, looking at the benefits of it, and creating informed messaging that brings relevance to those benefits," said Kim Taylor, vice president of multicultural marketing for Comcast.

The top MSO did that last summer when it leveraged its robust on-demand platform with Univision's coverage of the 2010 FIFA World Cup -- programming Hispanics are clearly passionate about -- into great usage numbers, she said.

As for communicating content messaging, much was made of the fact that Latinos are tech-savvy and the importance that social media plays in reaching that audience.

"We love talking; we're a social community," said Marisol Martinez de Rodriguez, director of multicultural marketing for Time Warner Cable.

She pointed to the recent announcement of Jennifer Lopez as an American Idol judge, which generated a lot of discussion on the No. 2 cable operator's Facebook page, as proof that interest extends beyond Spanish-language content. "It's about driving engagement and connecting with customers on higher emotional level."

"Hispanics are early adopters of technology, they value things that connect them," noted Victor Garcia Bory, director of multicultural strategy and management for Cablevision Systems. "So when you put it in your marketing plan, they respond to it."

Acknowledging the changing nature of TV marketing, he added later, "We see our mobile and online tactics rendering better results than three or five years back."

Karen Habib, director of Hispanic marketing and development at Eclipse marketing, summed up the potential for MSOs when she said, "Cable operators have more to offer to Hispanic market than ever before, they have a great story to tell. It's a matter of staying out there, having frequency. Cable is at a crossroads, and how they manage marketing going forward is going to be key."