Advertisers target Latinos on key Web sites

Specific channel placement isn't new, but it is a simple and effective way to market products or services at the exact moment when consumers are searching them out.

Visitors to MSN Latino.com's health and fitness section Salud can find a slew of news and information surrounding everything from asthma to depression, nutrition to heartburn.

If heartburn is their ailment, users can click on the "Problemas del estomago" (stomach problems) link in the "Centros de salud" section to learn more about their condition and how to do something about it. The health centers subsection provides news on such stomach matters as causes of gastrointestinal issues, the anatomy of a stomach ache and the relationship between spicy foods and indigestion.

Nexium ads surround the content, offering free seven-day samples of the purple pill designed, naturally, to treat stomach problems. Pharmaceutical giant AztraZeneca is the maker of Nexium.

Specific channel placement isn't new, but it is a simple and effective way to market products or services at the exact moment when consumers are searching them out. "Users who are suffering from heartburn and want to find out how to take care of it can do a search and be taken right to the health centers on MSN Latino," says Michael Iantosca, director of MSN Latino advertising. "It's really targeted content."

And that's what AztraZeneca hopes will give results in the Latino market. The company is the exclusive sponsor of the stomach problems section of MSN's health channel, running Nexium ads on the page, and also for the asthma section, with a microsite called NinosSaludablez providing information about asthma and respiratory issues.

Online portals such as MSN and MSN Latino increasingly are growing their content to cater to the vast interests and informational needs of today's consumers. Nearly every section of an online portal has multiple subsections, and each is relevant to a particular group of consumers -- whether it be car audio under an autos section, a mortgage calculator under finance or stomach problems under health.

By thinking creatively, marketers can avoid excessive spending on media where their ads will be ignored by consumers or, worse, be seen as intrusive and disconnected from the content.

While perhaps the user base is smaller and the cost per thousand higher, specific channel placement is highly effective, Iantosca says, adding that marketers sponsor specific channels and also advertise throughout the general site to build brand awareness.

He likens it to a funnel, where ads are placed in broad appeal areas of the site, then in areas for targeted demographics and finally in the specific target channel. "This enables marketers to build broad general awareness and then all the way down the funnel to the purchase point," says Iantosca.
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