'Total Market' Still Escaping Definition

“Total Market” strategies have been the theme of Engage: Hispanics in Miami this morning, but what does it even mean?

Last year, AHAA: The Voice of Hispanic Marketing, the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) and the Asian American Advertising Federation (3AF) came together to develop a definition of “Total Market.” Their definition:

“A marketing approach followed by corporations with their trusted internal and external partners which proactively integrates diverse segment considerations. This is done from inception through the entire strategic process and execution, with the goal of enhancing value and growth effectiveness. In marketing communications, this could lead to either one fully integrated cross-cultural approach, individual segment approaches, or both in many cases, but always aligned under one overarching strategy.”

Yet panelists still don’t seem to agree on the definition.

Speaking on the “What is a ‘Total Market’ Anyway?” panel, Stephen Palacios, EVP of Added Value, called fleshing out what Total Market means is a “a messy, messy endeavor.”

“If you can’t define it, how can you measure it?” he quipped.

Mike Valdes-Fauli president and CEO of Pinta, thinks Total Market strategies are three-pronged. He asserts that marketers must give “everyone a seat at the table” to ensure that no demographics are left out, that the creative must be cohesive across all markets, and that the campaigns must be executed with “cultural nuance.”

“It behooves a lot of brands to come up with one strategy,” Valdes-Fauli said, “but you can’t expect one agency, strategy or partner to have success when it comes to [nuanced] execution” across all segments.

Added panelist Carlos Guzman, EVP and CMO of Republica: “I think that it approaches that question mark of, for some brands: Do you want to be all things to all people? Can you be all things to all people? It’s also a question of budget, and how serious [of a] financial commitment [you can make].”

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