Hispanic TV Summit: In Competitive Market, Content Still Rules

As the race for customers heats up, finding what viewers want most important
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New
York -- In a time where the competition to not only attract new
consumers but also retain them is at a fever pitch, content will always be the X factor.

That
was according to the "Attracting Loyal Customers and Viewers: The Art
and Science of Acquisition, Retention and Tune-in Promotions" panel
moderated by Adrianna Waterson, VP of marketing & business
development at Horowitz Associates, during B&C/MCN's ninth annual Hispanic TV Summit here on Tuesday.

Laura
Dergal, VP, Univision On Demand, said a highly-competitive market
can actually be a good thing, because consumers can dictate what
they want, instead of the other way around. "We all need to look at this
as a huge opportunity to put the power in the hands of the consumer," Dergal said. "We're in a time for great diversification." Dergal later
explained that viewer empowerment is key to Univision's strategy.

Renata
Franco, senior manager of segmentation marketing at Cox Communications, said
this "new generation of consumers" is lot harder to engage with and get
a beat on. "It's the complexity of our audience that has changed," Franco said.

Karen Habib, director, Hispanic marketing & development, Eclipse Marketing (publisher of Nexos Latinos), added that satellite and telco services (such as Verizon
FiOS) have made it a "much more competitive landscape for everybody" as they woo potential customers with a variety of pricing options that are lower than cable's prices. But "offering good value" is the key to retaining customers, she said. Marisol
Martinez de Rodriguez, senior director, target marketing, Time Warner
Cable, echoed Habib, saying Time Warner focuses on
"giving our customers what they are passionate about."

Oscar
Madrid, director of multicultural marketing for Verizon, said the
difficulties his company faces when trying to get customers to switch to FiOS service, is that many consumers rely on their existing carrier for
multiple services (TV, Internet, phone).

"It's
not an easy sell to get people to pick up and move," Madrid said. He
stated that, while Hispanics who have FiOS like the service, Verizon has
yet to capitalize fully on that market. One way the company looks to do that is by transforming the FiOS website into a teaching tool. "The
digital space -- if we're not playing in that space today, we're not
going to win." Madrid said.

Habib
said she believes the best way to gain and retain customers is to make
sure what you offer has value. "You offer a product that's robust...at
competitive prices," she said. "Then you educate them on how to use
your products so they they derive the maximum value."

Franco explained another key to attracting and keeping viewers is to
differentiate the U.S. Hispanic market from the traditional
Spanish-speaking market, and said Cox tries to do that through marketing
and relating to the U.S Hispanic. "We are their friend," Franco said. "It's better to watch a Univision show on Cox."

She said that 25% of Cox's sub growth is emanating from the Hispanic market.

Hector
Placencia, senior director, DirecTV Mas and World Direct, sees
competition as a good thing. "You start to see the need for
[diversified] content," Placencia said, "but it has to be quality."

Martinez
de Rodriguez argued that in order to attract more Hispanic viewers, pay-TV providers should look no further than how other viewers are marketed.
"[The] Hispanic market is not brain surgery," she said. "We need to follow the same marketing principles we follow in
the general market."

"Young Latinos are more reformed, more discerning," Habib said. "They want value for their money."

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