With only two weeks left for the Multicultural Retail 360 Summit, we had the opportunity to have a one-on-one interview session with Tracy Galindo, Marketing Consultant at Jewel-Osco and Albertsons to learn more about her strategic multicultural retailers marketing and cross-cultural approach as well as to provide recommendations on how to get the most out of this year’s Summit.
Tracy is a passionate professional that enjoys embracing different cultures and languages through her work and lifestyle. She has been attending the Summit since its inception and we are so glad that we can share her perspective in multiculturalism and the MR360 Summit with you.
Nativa: What excites you the most about this year’s Summit?
Tracy Galindo: Between the Cultural Immersion tour that visits supermarkets in Hispanic, Middle Eastern and Filipino communities, a stellar lineup of speakers, and a Special Keynote from the always entertaining John Leguizamo, there’s certainly a lot to look forward to. However, one of my favorite parts of the summit has always been seeing how much fun brands have with their exhibits, and their sponsorship as a whole. Last year we tasted Tabasco-infused ice cream, immediately followed by a reception featuring the spiciest cocktails around. Look forward to seeing what lead sponsors like Coca-Cola, Kellogg’s and the Idaho Potato Commission bring to the table in terms of innovation!
Nativa: As a moderator for Wednesday’s ‘A Taste of Diversity,’ how well do you think the event will do in representing multiculturalism?
Tracy Galindo: While there are definitely a lot of “wrong” answers in terms of how to approach marketing to multicultural consumers (loved your piece about The Horrors of Cross-Cultural Advertising Translations by the way!) I’ve found it’s difficult to pinpoint just one “right” way to speak to diverse audiences. What we’re hoping to accomplish with “A Taste of Diversity” is to show just a few examples of how Jewel-Osco has ‘won’ in terms of advertising, merchandising and activating themed events at store level – both in nationally-celebrated holiday timeframes and throughout the entire year. And that’s the beauty of the conference as a whole…from panel discussions like mine, to general sessions, to hands-on workshops, to networking receptions, to the cultural immersion tour, this summit will open your eyes to new ideas, all backed by real experiences. Double-digit sales growth is within your reach, too!
Nativa: Having worked as a Marketing Retailers Consultant for Jewel-Osco/ Albertsons, how will attending this year’s Summit strengthen multicultural awareness for retailers?
Tracy Galindo: Having proudly attended the summit every year for a decade, I’ve found a simple, Four-Step Plan to #MR360Summit Success that can be implemented for retailers large and small:
- Before the summit, familiarize yourself with what efforts have been made at your organization to cater to diverse audiences – past, present and even future plans.
- During the cultural immersion tour and general sessions, make note of the top 5-10 action items, within reach, that you can take back to your teams for implementation.
- During the networking receptions, make a point to interact with the right professionals that can help you achieve your goal, be it a digital or experiential agency that specializes in reaching Hispanics, or a leading manufacturer that has a huge program they can activate in your stores, just in time for Las Posadas, Chinese New Year or Black History Month, for example.
- Following the summit, make an appointment with the key decision-makers in your Marketing/Advertising department that can help take the next steps in implementing your ideas at store level. Copies of most presentations are available online shortly after the summit, which greatly benefits all parties!
Nativa: As someone who has worked closely with multicultural communities, how crucial is it for brands and businesses to engage with them?
Tracy Galindo: From a retailer’s perspective, we’ve learned that the right products, the right assortment, at the right price, can be a lot more genuine and effective than a simple bilingual or Spanish-language welcome sign, for example. It’s more about knowing the community your store exists in, making the right hires at your store, putting on a local lens, and finding locally-owned and authentic products, and helping them shine through endcaps and special callouts. If 80% of the community is Latino in your store’s neighborhood, than make sure at least 80% of your employees speak Spanish…if shoppers can’t easily find the products they are looking for, they won’t always ask, they’ll simply walk out and shop somewhere that makes them feel more welcome.
Nativa: You identify yourself as a ‘Gringa Latina,’ could you share with us how your immersion with the Spanish language and Mexican culture has impacted your life?
Tracy Galindo: From that first Spanish class many, many years ago, I – Tracy Krogstie – was hooked. By the sound of my first teacher’s name, Sr. Snyder, sounds like he’s a fellow “Gringo Latino” now that I think about it. It seems every decision I made from that point on, always came back to, “How will the Spanish language be a part of my life?” I chose to study abroad in Spain my Junior year, and ended up majoring in Spanish at Indiana University. From there, I chose to move to San Diego and work for Univision Radio San Diego, so I could learn more about Mexico, be as close to the country as possible, listen to the music and immerse myself in the culture on a daily basis. After three years there, I moved back to my hometown of Chicago to accept a position with the Mexico Tourism Board as their Public Relations Liaison, taking journalists to explore and fall in love with Mexico, like I had years ago. And since then, I’ve been managing what was once just a Hispanic Marketing program for Jewel-Osco/Albertsons, and through the years has evolved into a broader multicultural and specialty marketing program. And I couldn’t be happier!
Personally, along the way, I met and married a gentleman who was born in Mexico and raised in Chicago, making me – orgullosamente I might add – Tracy Galindo. We now have two boys whom, you guessed it, we speak to in Spanish every day. We even moved to a school district where our oldest can attend a dual-language immersion program as he starts Kindergarten this year, and our one-year-old is in a home daycare that’s run by a woman from Argentina and another from Mexico. I am a firm believer in the benefits of knowing two, three or more languages, and the opportunities that will arise for the next generation as they become more and more culturally diverse. And don’t get me wrong, I’m proud of my own heritage as well – – from attending Irish American Heritage festivals to “El Grito” for Mexican Independence Day…from Norwegian Constitution Day parades to Día del Niño celebrations, our boys are experiencing the best of all worlds!
Nativa: What advice would you give to a brand or business looking to effectively engage with the multicultural community to better market themselves?
Tracy Galindo: Again, there’s no ‘one size fits all’ approach in effectively engaging with multicultural communities, though one of my favorite pieces of advice for brands that are looking to dip their toe in the proverbial water, is to pinpoint the community you most want to impact, identify a brand that is already recognized in that targeted community, and form a strategic alliance with them. For example, Post Foods’ Honey Bunches of Oats has long dominated the cereal category as it relates to Hispanics; however, for Post Foods’ subsidiary MOM Brands’ Frosted Mini Spooners or Tootie Fruities, teaming up with an authentic dairy partner like LALA for an IRC, purchase incentive, or digital offer can give MOM Brands an immediate edge and instinctive trust with their target demographic. Yes, data, data and more data from a trusted agency partner is needed to back up the offer to ensure its effectiveness; however, the key is to team up with a brand that is already winning in the target market.
Outside of that, for brands, I recommend they inquire as to what their key retail customers have in terms of a Multicultural Marketing program – Do they have targeted store lists? Ethnic ads, merchandising efforts or online offers to buy into? Sampling programs that demo in ethnic areas? Solid sales data, so brands can see their top selling items in key ethnic areas?
If you’re a retailer, see the above offerings to brands – whether you have some, or all of these strategies in play already, you should head to the summit, as there’s always more to learn and improve on. Forget about 2050 – – the future of multicultural America is already here.
Tracy Galindo, Marketing Consultant – Jewel-Osco/Albertsons
Tracy is the Managing Director of GT Universe, a boutique marketing, and event activation agency, whose mission is to get retailers and brands rediscovered through the use of targeted marketing, promotional and interactive programming. Tracy develops marketing, merchandising and advertising programs that have helped companies like Jewel-Osco, Albertsons, and more than 150 manufacturers achieve double-digit sales growth through strategic partnerships and positioning.
With the ongoing cross-culturalization of tastes and traditions, Tracy has published articles, hosted workshops, and led speaking engagements, all around the theme of helping brands overcome obstacles as they start crossing over to appeal to new, diverse markets. Her passion and personal experience surrounding this concept have allowed companies to reach new heights as they develop and execute multicultural marketing campaigns.
For inquiries about the agenda, contact Don Longo at firstname.lastname@example.org.