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General Mills, Clorox target Hispanic mobile shoppers via bilingual promotions app

With Hispanic consumers overindexing on mobile, brands such as General Mills and Clorox are looking to reach these valuable consumers through the bilingual shopping application Veo.

Veo is a new bilingual shopping app by Latinum Network that connects brands with the Hispanic market by engaging them in their native language with free product samples, recipes and giveaways. While Hispanic communities are the most digitally engaged of all consumers, many brands have failed to access this surging market.

?Veo fills a need in the market that helps both brands and consumers alike,? said David Wellisch, cofounder of Latinum Network, Bethesda, MD.

?For brands, it leverages a common platform with a built-in audience, and helps them build brand equity among the Latino community on their preferred device ? their smartphone,? he said.

?For consumers, all of their favorite brands are in one place, where deals come to them.?

Purchasing power
Veo is a new bilingual promotions and advertising app meant to eliminate the middle man between companies and Latino consumers. It is a free Android and iPhone app and enables users to access free products, brand promotions, recipes and giveaways.

Brands are also able to send direct messages with targeted product samples and trials, as well as requests for participation in sweepstakes.

The curated deals offer Hispanic audiences products and services that are of both interest and value to consumers in the modern multicultural economy.

?All content within the app is written to be culturally relevant and engaging to the Latino community,? Mr. Wellisch said.

?In addition to special offers, Veo's editors curate daily deals, which we call ?cositas buenas,? retail items that we think will resonate with a Latino audience,? he said.

?What's more, we are building Veo on social media, so our users also feel a sense of community on Facebook and Twitter. The outpouring of responses from the Veo community has been amazing.?

The app features brands such as NBA, Comida Kraft, Daisy Brand , Discovery en Español, General Mills, H&R Block, Knorr, Clorox, Nestlé, American Family Insurance and McCormick.

Latinum Network reports that Hispanics are known to over-index their use of mobile, and Veo allows brands to engage with consumers they may not previously have had the opportunity of reaching.

Lost in translation
Hispanic purchasing power is expected to reach $1.5 trillion by 2015.

For the telecommunications industry, Hispanic marketing strategies should be of interest, as 1 in 5 teens in the U.S. is Hispanic, and by 2020 their numbers are foreseen to increase 62 percent, compared to the lowly 10 percent of non-Hispanic teens. This means marketers must find ways to tap the tech-savvy Hispanic community.

A recent study by YouGov said 45 percent of fluent Spanish speakers aged 18-34 said they felt brands aren?t making enough effort to offer bilingual content.

Among the 500 Hispanics surveyed, one out of four ? 22 percent ? said they would be much more interested in learning about a brand and its offerings if that brand offered an app in Spanish.

An analysis by Experian revealed that Hispanic smartphone owners are twice as likely as non-Hispanics to say they are interested in receiving advertisements on their phones, and are 58 percent more likely to purchase products they see advertised on their phones.

Hispanic smartphone owners also spend more time visiting shopping sites from their phones each month. The average Hispanic spends 18.2 minutes compared to 16.7 minutes for non-Hispanics owning smartphones.

Growing marketing spend
It is no surprise that CPG marketers are interested in targeting mobile consumers based on past marketing spend.

Ian Friendly, chief operating officer and executive vice president of United States retail at General Mills, Golden Valley, MN, said at the Consumer Analysts Group of New York in 2010 that the CPG brand spends more money than any other food company on communications directed towards Hispanics, specifically with its Que Rica Vida (What a Good Life) program.

After deeply investigating how Latinos clean their homes, Clorox unveiled a line products targeted at the Hispanic consumer, called Clorox Fraganzia.

Learning that Hispanics tend to clean in layers ? cleaning, disinfecting and aromatizing ? Clorox created a multipurpose dilutable cleaner to use on floors and other surfaces, an aerosol freshener for the air, and a toilet-bowl rim hanger reminiscent of the canastillas, or little baskets, commonly used for that purpose in Latin America.

Veo is excited to bring brands such as General Mills and Clorox directly into the homes of its users.

?Veo is among the few apps in the market that use the language of the OS serve the app experience in English and Spanish accordingly, but the difference with Veo is that all content is dual-published in both languages,? Mr. Wellisch said.

?We'd love to see more apps in the market take this approach,? he said. ?But really, apps that are built with Hispanics in mind is what we'd like to see more of. Because while language preference is important, even more important is cultural relevance.?

Final Take:
Michelle is editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York