A Conversation with Nestlé on the ROI of Inclusivity

group of multicultural people

By Roberto Ruiz, Executive Vice President of Research, Insights & Analytics at Univision

As we look back at 2021 and prepare to welcome in the new year, it’s exciting to see more and more brands finally recognizing the importance of diversity and inclusion in their marketing efforts—not only because it’s the right thing to do, but because it is good business. But there is still more convincing that needs to be done, and therefore more unrealized opportunity for brands.

According to the U.S. Census, the Hispanic population accounted for more than half of the U.S. population growth. The emergence of Hispanics into the American mainstream is the biggest business growth opportunity of our time, and the effectiveness of engaging this group in-culture and in-language has never been more important.

In fact, a recent Nielsen study called The ROI of Inclusivity, which measures advertising performance among CPG brands, shows that brands that did not spend actively in Spanish language received a lower return on ad spend than brands that did. This means brands that are not advertising in Spanish are missing out on the Hispanic growth opportunity. Yet still, less than 500 advertisers invest in Spanish-language network television, compared to 1900 who advertise in English, leaving Americans who prefer to consume content and ads in Spanish without access to the same targeted brand communications.

One CPG brand that has been at the forefront of this change is Nestlé, thanks to their ongoing commitment to holding a leadership position in the Hispanic market, across its brand portfolios. I was fortunate enough to sit down with Nestlé’s CMO Alicia Enciso to talk about the topic of inclusivity and Nestlé’s journey in winning with Hispanics during Advertising Week New York’s DE&I Track. Here are some key takeaways:

Hispanics = Growth

When looking back at the past decade and Nestlé’s journey in becoming a key player in multicultural advertising, Alicia shared some intel on what that journey entailed. She says, “Hispanics have represented up to 30% of our growth. We had to internally convince ourselves of the opportunity and then enable the whole organization to be able to capitalize on it. This has been a very important strategy for us in terms of accelerating our overall performance and growth.”

Understand the diversity within the Hispanic segment

When it comes to authentically engaging with the Hispanic segment, Alicia emphasizes the importance for marketers to embrace the full scope of Hispanics’ multiculturalism. “Many folks who think about multicultural marketing don’t go deep enough to understand the diversity that there is within the segment. Often, people just have an overall understanding of the Hispanic market and they bucket all Hispanics as if they are the same. While we do share many cultural traits, there are also really important opportunities which generate the need for us to go deeper.”

An example of how Nestlé has been embracing this insight is through a platform they call “El Mejor Nido” (The Best Nest) which houses Hispanic recipes from all regions. “It’s a melting pot of all the different culinary richness that there is throughout the different regions.”

Consistency is key

It’s clear that, now more than ever, brands need to go beyond a one-time effort that aligns with a holiday, such as Hispanic Heritage Month. While that can be a great place to start, it’s important to focus on continuous campaigns and long-term commitment to win with Hispanics. According to Alicia, “You get back what you invest. We believe in long term and sustainable commitment to any growth opportunity, and of course when we are thinking about Hispanics, we have been investing sustainably for over ten years. Why? Because it requires deep understanding of the consumers’ needs and being able to address those. If you are just doing it because it’s the “flavor of the month” then you won’t get very far.”

To learn more about why Hispanics are the fastest path to your brand’s growth, download Nielsen’s The ROI of Inclusivity whitepaper here.