Innovator Insights: TelevisaUnivision’s Sarah Squiers

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It happened more than a dozen years ago, when Sarah Squiers first joined Univision, but it was a lesson she’s taken with her ever since.

It happened more than a dozen years ago, when Sarah Squiers first joined Univision, but it was a lesson she’s taken with her ever since.

The now-EVP of business development for the world's largest Spanish-language media and content company was sitting in a meeting with the company’s strategy and insights team, discussing the beauty category. At one point during the discussion, which she recalled at Brand Innovators’ Spring 2022 Media Buying Summit, Squiers applied some lipstick, and was almost immediately asked which brand produced it. She said she didn’t remember. The group giggled, as her response affirmed their insight that while non-Latina women tend to keep brands they like to themselves, Latina women have the opposite tendency. They share what they love with everybody they know.

For Squiers, who is half Irish and half African American but, as she puts it, celebrates her “inner Latina” every day – it was an insight well worth remembering.

TelevisaUnivision, undoubtedly provides a key platform where marketers can reach Hispanics. Yet it’s not a community that’s always top of mind as brands consider their efforts to design more inclusive advertising campaigns. The natural question for someone like Squiers is, why?

Squiers said approximately 90% of her role involves helping educate marketers about the opportunities they’re overlooking. This means leveraging TelevisaUnivision’s research and insights team to not only break down what Hispanics are spending as consumers, but what drives them and motivates them. Of course in the case of some brands, this could require reevaluating perceptions that have been systemic for years.

As Squiers mentions, “If you look at the U.S. marketplace, and where the growth is coming from, and lead your brand towards positive change, then there should be no hesitation. There should be no bias. It should just be a natural evolution of how a company operates, to lean into vital audiences that ultimately will help drive business results.”

Squiers provided more details on what this could look like for brands who want to lean into the importance of engaging the Hispanic community:

Understand The Difference Between Reaching And Engaging And Converting

Squiers points out that while much of the marketplace offers bilingual content, brands should be wary of assuming they will achieve their goals by simply marketing to them solely in English. In fact, according to Nielsen, brands that advertise in Spanish see 4x higher return on ad spend vs. brands with no Spanish language investment. 

“They want original content, steeped in their culture and in their language,” she said. “Understanding how to reach that audience where they are highly interested and engaged is imperative.”

You Don’t Need A ‘Hispanic Strategy.’ Build Upon Your Existing Marketing Plan Instead

Squiers is well aware that most organizations are limited in terms of budget and other resources, which may perpetuate the problem of overlooking the Hispanic community based on concerns related to bandwidth. She argues for a more holistic, evolutionary approach that keeps growth and brand strategy at the core.

“There shouldn't be some vastly different strategy for Hispanic or African American or Asian communities,” she said. “If you want to amplify your growth strategy, the first step is to ensure you’re including  people in the conversation who have not previously been included. If you do that, your strategy can stay the same. Your tactics remain the same. The act of being inclusive and additive will in turn make those audiences much more robust.

The Most Successful Journeys Begin By Taking A First Step

TelevisaUnivision is more than ready to help brands develop meaningful integrations into its most-watched programming, including sports or major events like the Latin GRAMMYs, Squiers said. They can help marketers create highly immersive campaigns that engage Hispanic audiences well beyond the traditional spots and dots. The company also invests in third-party measurement to help demonstrate return on investment metrics such as sales results.

Squiers emphasized that it’s ok to start with inclusion of paid media, and that brands still can see ROI.  

“We understand that every dollar matters. We understand there’s a need to prove that the decisions being made are the right decisions to the highest ranks of the company,” she said. “My advice to marketers is just start. The first step is just inviting people into your conversations and giving them a seat at your table. It’s amazing what that simple step can accomplish, as it has been proven by Kantar Futures and other organizations that inclusivity is good business.

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