Ruder Finn’s acquisition of Comunicad strengthens Hispanic community driven work
The CEOs of both agencies spoke with AL DÍA about the significance of this merger, and the value of engaging the increasingly influential Hispanic population.
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For nearly 75 years, Ruder Finn, one of the world’s largest independent communication agencies, has focused on building bridges between people through insight, engagement, and innovation.
More importantly, however, is doing so while keeping demographic shifts and trends front of mind.
In more recent years, the goal has been to tap into the growing and increasingly influential Hispanic community.
In May 2022, it came to fruition when it was announced that Ruder Finn had acquired Hispanic marketing agency Comunicad, effectively merging the two companies.
Comunicad was founded by Gloria Rodriguez more than 30 years ago. A journalist by trade, with a focus on multicultural communications and public relations, her venture to launch the agency was sparked by a population shift.
“Understanding the demographic changes that were going on at that time — and even more now — I decided that this was a market that I wanted to concentrate on,” said Rodriguez, CEO of Comunicad.
The new Comunicad partnership with Ruder Finn reinforces the latter’s community-engagement work, but now with an added layer specifically within Hispanic communities.
This includes service-driven, social-impact, public affairs and community programs that leverage multimedia digital content for diverse Hispanic communities across Latin America and the Caribbean.
“I had been thinking for some time about the fact that the voice of the Hispanic community really didn’t have as much attention paid to it as was really matching the percentage of the population,” said Dr. Kathy Bloomgarden, CEO of Ruder Finn.
The Value of Cultural Intelligence
As a marketing agency, it is critically important to first understand the changing demographics of the population.
However, the next step in that process is working to understand the constant evolution of the demographics you are targeting.
Rodriguez often uses the term cultural intelligence as the way to help guide that approach.
“Hispanics are not a monolithic group,” said Rodriguez. “We are all very different, and we have to understand that expertise in cultural intelligence, meaningful-targeted campaigns, and community engagement are essential to building long-lasting relationships with Hispanic audiences.”
Community outreach and engagement are two other key elements of effective branding and marketing.
“Something that we’ve actually experimented a great deal with is to really find the new tools that can be used in order to generate this better understanding, which then cascades into developing outreach, programs, materials and content that’s much more tailored to what people are interested in,” said Bloomgarden.
A Digital Evolution
The population trends of the past several decades have also come with shifts in digital and technological usage.
With the goal of successful intergenerational branding and marketing, it is important to tap into most — if not all — platforms in existence.
“What we need to do is to make sure that we're maximizing traditional and digital platforms to craft original content that will engage our audiences,” said Rodriguez.
Leveraging that can go a long way toward building trust, something both agreed that is not won over easily within the Hispanic community.
The Hispanic community has grown exponentially in recent decades — comprising about 62 million individuals in the U.S. — and that growth is only expected to continue in the years and decades to come.
With that growth there will also come more and more economic influence.
Ruder Finn is getting out in front of that likely trend, a trend that Bloomgarden hopes other companies will soon follow and engage with, as well.
“I'm hopeful that large marketers and major global companies who are operating in the U.S. will pay much more attention and a higher priority to the Hispanic market,” said Bloomgarden. “Always include in their plans a section that touches on the needs and the interests and the values of Hispanic market.”
“It makes all the difference in the world,” added Rodriguez.