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NYC TV Week: Hispanic Nets Need Better Data

In the opening keynote of the Hispanic Television Summit, Gonzalo Del Fa, president, GroupM Multicultural, issued a plea for better data and understanding of Hispanic viewers to boost the value of Hispanic TV. 

“We are in good space in Hispanic TV because Hispanics have been growth engine of many brands,” Del Fa noted. 

But he also stressed that the ad business was rapidly changing. After starting his presentation with the first TV spot ever shown in 1941 and discussing the old assumptions that have long guided TV ad sales, he stressed that agencies and marketers now needed much better data and information. 

“We have been lucky selling on buying and selling based on huge assumptions,” he said. “That was good for 75 years but those time are over.

Today, brands and agencies want a much more detailed understanding of the behavior of individual consumers across multiple media, from TV to online and digital, and that this data has to be tightly tied into how those viewers respond to ads and their purchasing power. 

“We need to understand how they respond to a Spanish ad and an English ad…not in your office but in the real world,” he said. 

Getting this kind of understanding isn’t some kind of futuristic science project, he stressed. “I’m not talking about 2050,” he said. “We are doing it now.”

While Del Fa didn’t name specific digital media companies, he noted that Hispanic networks had to up their game and much better understand consumers to address competition from the digital world. 

“Some media vendors, know exactly what consumers are doing,” he said, and can hang all sort of information onto their users. “That is where TV needs to go.”

Del Fa also noted that networks needed to do a better job of developing content so that it can have greater commercial potential. 

“How much do we really know about our viewers?” he asked Hispanic network execs. “In today’s world, data is really raising the bar to a place where it hasn’t been before…And it not just about know the viewer… It goes further back down the road and thinking about what they put out [in terms of programming] and what kind of audience it will bring and what is the commercial opportunity of the show.” 

Unfortunately he added, “I haven’t seen that often.”

Del Fa admitted that this transition wouldn’t be easy or cheap. He noted that there are some 2,000 data sets available and admitted there was a cost to connecting all the dots between consumer behavior, TV ads and purchases. 

“If we put all information behind it and there is a cost,” in terms of high rates for ads, “that is good,” he said. “I’m good with that,” because it would boost sales of products.