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Meet Jan. 12 on marketing to Hispanics

Love Communications and its sister agency, Hispanic Marketing and Consulting, will host a conference — the first of its kind on this scale in Utah — dedicated to teaching businesses to effectively market to the Latino community.

Sandra Plazas, vice president of HMC, said similar seminars have been held in other markets — in Texas and California, for example, where the Hispanic population continues to boom. The Utah conference, scheduled for Jan. 12, 2006, at the Salt Lake Hilton Hotel, is in response to similarly impressive growth locally, Plazas said, and similar consternation from local businesses about how to more effectively reach out to the Hispanic community.

"The buying power of the Hispanic community (in Utah) is $4 billion," she said. "There's a lot of people who are probably not aware of the growth of the Hispanic market, and we want to make them aware. Because if they're not aware, they're missing the boat."

In the past 15 years, the Hispanic population in Utah has grown 224 percent, now totaling nearly 300,000 people. Recently, that growth is reflected in the partnership of Love and HMC, and the launch of other agencies — including the Salt Lake market's first, DPR Communications (which is partly owned by W Communications) in November 2003, and Onda R7 at the Richter7 agency last month — focusing on the Hispanic market, as well as the growth of Hispanic-focused chambers of commerce and business groups.

"A lot of companies say they want to tap into that market, but they don't know how," Plazas said. "They ask, 'Where do we start? What is the best way? How do we do it?' "

Those are the topics on tap at the conference, "Embracing the Exploding Hispanic/Latino Market: Marketing & Human Resource Strategies to Grow Your Business," Plazas said. Designed for executives, marketing directors and human resources directors, the conference will provide information on recruiting and retaining Hispanic employees, minority human resources issues, marketing and sales strategies, and developing and implementing a marketing plan targeting the Hispanic community.

"A lot of companies make the huge mistake of thinking that they can just translate" marketing or other communication from English to Spanish, Plazas said. "But it's not just about translation. It's about adaptation."

Aaron Evans, public relations director at Love, said the conference isn't just for advertisers. The changing demographic landscape has or will affect all businesses, he said.

"Any retail-based company that is somewhat savvy about their marketing has recognized that they have to act and act early to take advantage of the growing Hispanic market," Evans said. That growth "translates into significant buying power, and a significant market that smart companies won't want to ignore."

Presenters will include Lupita Colmenero, president of the National Association of Hispanic Publications; Carl Kravetz, chairman-elect of the Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies; and Joe Reyna, president of Zions Bank Multicultural Region and president-elect of the Utah Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. For more information, or to register for the conference, visit www.hmc-ut.com.

The Deseret Morning News is among the sponsors for the event.


E-mail: jnii@desnews.com