Crowdsourcing & It’s Impact on Creatives

By Diego Cantu, SJG Vice President of Creative Content “Crowdsourcing” has become one of the most popular buzzwords of today. So what exactly is crowdsourcing? MacMillan Dictionary defines it as, “trying to find a way of completing a task, a solution to a problem, etc. by asking a wide range of people or organizations if they can help, typically by using the Internet.” Wikipedia says that “crowdsourcing is a neologistic compound of crowd and outsourcing for the act of taking tasks traditionally performed by an employee or contractor, and outsourcing them to a group of people or community, through an “open call” to a large group of people (a crowd) asking for contributions.” The main idea behind the concept is to outsource for the creative intelligence of other people, for free, if possible. With crowdsourcing, it is also about creating tools that can help companies listen to what their users want, or do not want, as well as to give people the opportunity to contribute to the brand. The Apple App store, for instance, is crowdsourcing at its best. Here, thousands of free developers voluntarily work on software exclusively for Apple products such as the iPhone, iPod and iPad. They do this without receiving any sort of compensation from Apple. Of course, these developers get their share of the sales, but at their own risk; the apps they’ve programmed either pay off or they don’t. Apart from that, each new app increases the value of the product and the company, and provides an additional reason for people to buy it. A lot of creatives freaked out with crowdsourcing and user-gen content because they thought, we thought, it was the silver bullet that would finally stop our insane howling under full-moon nights. Creative content in the sense of entertainment, advertisement and journalism is created by more than a small elitist circle of creatives behind closed doors during long brainstorming sessions. The Internet has opened the doors wide and all are invited to contribute and upload...

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In the New “Digital Age” another gap develops. This time, Hispanics and African-Americans are on the positive end of the spectrum.

Since the mass consumption of personal computers and access to the Internet, Hispanics and African Americans are yet again catching up to the mainstream… and this time surpassing it. Cell phone penetration among minority communities is higher than the mainstream where 87% of Hispanics and Non-Hispanic African Americans (NH African-Americans) own a mobile device compared to 80% of Non-Hispanic Whites, reported a recent research study conducted by the Pew Internet & American Life Project (PIP). In the marketing world, this creates a new portal of engagement for brands to reach multicultural segments more effectively. Additionally, with the advancements in mobile technology, both Hispanics (51%) and NH African-Americans (46%) are more likely than NH Whites (33%) to access the Internet through their handheld devices. What should be most attractive to marketers about these statistics is the active participation of these minority groups when it comes to using social networking sites, watching videos, and even purchasing products through their cell phones at a higher rate than the general market. The study also reported that 33% of Hispanics and 27% of NH African-Americans watch videos on their cell phones compared to 15% of NH Whites, which “provides a great medium to reach these population segments with advertising content as long as the message is relevant. If it is not relevant, you may run the risk of turning off audiences and being seen as intrusive,” shares George L. San Jose, president and COO of The San Jose Group, a multicultural marketing and advertising agency. In today’s age, cell phones have become such an integral part of people’s everyday lives. “At first glance, some may say it is just another communication device, but as layers are peeled back, it is clear that cell phones have become not only a personal assistant, and in some cases a personal diary, but also the hub between the virtual world and real world,” adds Martha Rivera, director of insights and planning at The San Jose Group. Consequently, when brands reach consumers on their mobile...

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Marketing to the Multicultural U.S. Population and Its Language Trends

In recent years, many industries have been confronted with downsizing, restructuring and financial setbacks, and there have been an increasing number of predictions for a 2011 economic rebound over the past few months. CNN Money reported that the Business Roundtable, an association of CEO’s at top U.S. companies, noted in its Q4 survey that “80 percent of its members expect sales to increase in 2011. Nearly one in six expects to invest more in their businesses.” These statistics beg the question, where and how will these funds be allocated? As companies plan to implement new strategies to generate revenue and increase bottom line results, The San Jose Group, an integrated multicultural marketing communications agency, sees a highly talked about yet underserved consumer segment that merits being addressed: the nation’s limited English speaking population. Statistics show that 76 percent of the U.S. Hispanic population speaks Spanish, yet “40 percent of companies say they do not understand the financial value of multicultural groups to their bottom lines”. According to the Selig Center for Economic Growth, “the combined buying power of the Hispanic, Black, Asian and Native American communities is already more than $1.5 trillion. One in every six Americans (46 million) in the country is Hispanic.” In terms of the language breakdown, while 71 percent of all Asians are foreign born, 86 percent speak a language other than English; the most prominent being Mandarin, Cantonese, Tagalog, Korean, and Vietnamese among foreign born Asians. Companies who ignore these multicultural segments in their 2011 budgets will be at a disadvantage, specifically when it comes to booming Latino population. Statistics show that of the 42 percent of U.S. Hispanics are who foreign born, 96 percent of them speak languages other than English. And if you think they prefer English, think again.  Market Segment Research found that “59 percent claim to speak Spanish all the time, with another third saying they speak Spanish at least half of the time. Only four percent of Hispanics claim to never speak Spanish”. With...

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