Selling It Latin Style
19 Dec, 2011
Why did you decide to start your own agency?
The Hispanic market and community were undeniably underserved and ‘undercommunicated’ to. Our size, buying power, and potential were also undeniable. The opportunity was extraordinarily obvious. In addition, crafting our own destiny and building our own future through creating our own company was something we very much desired, and we felt the time had come for us to give it a shot.
For our readers who are not familiar with advertising/marketing/PR agencies, can you tell us a bit about how your agency is set up and organized?
We are a full-service marketing agency. While our structure is one of a classic ad agency, our capabilities and resources are uncommon. We have fully-staffed departments in the areas of creative services, production, account service, research, account planning, media services, interactive marketing, promotions, direct mail and direct response, and, of course, public relations. We provide our clients the full spectrum of disciplines in a fully integrated manner. We are now 140 employees serving clients in all industry segments.
How did you engineer such phenomenal growth for your agency since its inception in 1985 to today?
When you have the right concept fueled by passion, the right talent, and an intent that is pure at heart, it’s not so much a matter of ‘engineering’ that growth as much as it is managing and channeling it. Truly, what makes our agency unique is the passion and extraordinary professionalism of our people.
We have historically pursued clients who are a cultural match with our own, and clients who really appreciate and understand the enormous potential the Hispanic consumer segment represents to their bottom line —clients that are as passionate about the opportunity as we are. And, as such, this is the kind of team member we tend to have here at Lopez Negrete. This kind of alignment is rare—and important.
Our reputation, over time, has been one of being an agency that is an absolute strategic partner with its clients, and of an agency that builds initiatives that produce results, above and beyond being creative and award-winning. Hard work, dedication, insights, knowledge, preparation, and exemplary service are the hallmarks of our agency. This has undoubtedly gone a long way toward our growing our client base over the past two decades, along with being able to attract the right talent to service it.
How do you go about finding the talent that you credit for your agency’s success?
Talent continues to be one of the greatest challenges we face as an agency and as an industry. Folks who have the deep marketing skill set, a working knowledge of the unique U.S. Hispanic consumer, the linguistic skill set, and the work ethic we look for are few and far between. Despite this, we have been able to grow our ranks to 140.
I believe there are several factors that have contributed toward making us a very attractive agency to work for. First, our culture. Lopez Negrete is very much a corporate family. The ties that bind this team together are strong. There is not one person who works at or has worked at this agency who won’t tell you that this place is unique from a cultural and emotional standpoint. We all understand that what we do is bigger than just advertising, but empowering a community to partake in the American Dream. There is a strong sense of mission, without question. And we also, individually and collectively, know, feel, and understand that, together, there is nothing we can’t achieve or overcome. The result? We have impressive tenure with many LNC family members. In fact, we still have our first employee who is now our vice president/ senior creative director, Javier Gonzalez-Herba; we have our first business manager, Howard Brown, who now serves as our vice president/general manager, and so on. When people stick with you for a couple of decades, you’re doing something right. And this comes with a great responsibility, of course. The greatest creative project is when you create careers and opportunities. Cathy and I never lose sight of that.