As part of our “Expert Interviews” series, we’re reaching out to industry professionals to get the story behind the company, and hear their insights regarding their industry and the future of marketing as they see it. This month’s interview is with Mary Rabago, President & CEO of Mary Rabago Productions.

Tell us a little bit about your background and how you got into this industry

I am the owner and CEO of MARY RABAGO PRODUCTIONS. I been in journalism for almost 25 years. I started in radio by accident but really had passion for it. I got in the industry by knocking on doors and following my passion and I got in! From there I was promoted to TV on a morning show and then news. I was a news anchor for 17 years and resigned from my job as main anchor on Univision Arizona to start my own company.

Mary Rabago - CEOWhen did you start your company?

I started my company in 2013. I was tired of giving headlines to the community when in reality they needed empowerment, education and information that can impacted their daily life. I knew I could be the one to provide that!  Through our daily social media and radio show, Con Mary Rabago, we provide our audience with the information they need to make the best possible decisions about their lives, their communities, and their societies. For businesses, we’re the bridge they need to connect to the Hispanic community.

Why would people want a service like this?

Being in communications and being recognized as a reliable source of information and education to the Hispanic community for a quarter century has also allow me to gain their trust and credibility.  With that being said, the community knows that anything I promote or recommend is because I have researched it and understand there is a benefit for them or have tried it myself. Trustworthiness is a very valuable commodity to have, especially in the close-knit Hispanic community, and I am blessed to have it. Actually, 25 years in the industry allowed me to earn it!  It’s not easy to earn the trust and credibility needed to penetrate the Hispanic community. Most companies fail because they don’t understand the language and culture, but I do.

What’s one of the best success stories you’ve had with your company? 

They been many success stories that I have had the honor to write along my clients; in particular this one is always fun to share. After only a month and a half of establishing our marketing campaign for a charter school that had lost almost half of its enrollment, they got over 200 new students. It is an amazing school doing great things for low income families that just did not had the right message to connect to the target market that they needed to reach. One more story that is dear to my heart is the one for this nonprofit bank that I presented to; one of the major financial institutions in the country, and started that presentation with one of our videos and instead of getting $60M from them, they got $120M! Our video was used to loop on display on their main offices because of the power of the story we told about their collaboration.

Why can’t people just handle their own outreach to the Hispanic community?

Our strength at Mary Rabago Productions is connecting businesses to the buying power of the Latino community locally and nationally. I can share with them too many horror stories of “Spanish marketing campaigns” going wrong because they were literally translated, the message was done thinking in English and writing it in Spanish. There was lack of knowledge on the cultural of the demographics of the Latino community that is their target market. Not all Latinos are Mexicans, even among Mexicans, depending on the area they are from in that country, express themselves differently and use the same words differently than even their neighboring state. Now add to that the difference in lingo or language used from Mexico to Central America, to South America and all Latin America. In other words, I would not write the same message for a campaign in Arizona to implemented in New York; two different backgrounds of Latinos, the first one mostly Mexican origin and the other one Caribbean. Now if you really want to complicate things by not doing your research, add to that second and third generation of Latinos in the United States. Missing this, not knowing the language to use in the message and particular the cultural implications, can be a high cost mistake for a business’ marketing.

On the other hand, knowing this and using the right firm to reach the Latino community in all platforms can guarantee a highly compensated response to your dipping toes into the Latino buying power in this country that is the growing sector of our economy. We are not only a bilingual marketing company but also a bicultural and we also have direct contact with this community on our daily show in multiple platforms. That is a formula for success for  initiatives as a collaboration for marketing. Companies needs someone to be that bridge to get the message and the marketing right.

Where do you see the future of Hispanic marketing going? 

Hispanic marketing is still in its infancy today. It is where the growth is for business to invest and it is an ever-evolving area. I am excited about the possibilities of creativity, the challenges of finding new ways to engage with this complex but reachable community that will be responsible in large part for the growth and future of the economy of this country. No matter what type of business, Hispanic marketing and outreach should be a part of their marketing strategy. Ignoring this sector of the population would be a costly mistake, the buying power of the Latino community is not only rich in revenue but also in loyalty. The future of Hispanic marketing is VERY promising!

Patty Hughes
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