Colgate's Martinez adds products to U.S. market

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As the new director of Colgate-Palmolive's Hispanic Marketing Development Organization, Ricardo Martinez, 38, is relaunching the department and bringing in new people from Mexico to promote more brands in the U.S.

"It is all part of what we see as the Latin explosion in the U.S.," said Mr. Martinez, who joined Colgate in 1989 in Panama as senior product manager for fabric care and household surface categories.

Since then, he has held posts with Colgate in Europe and the U.S. "We are looking for a more by-the-book marketing approach to get the brands from Latin America to the U.S."

He said Colgate has 80% share of the toothpaste market in Mexico and he'd like to use that bond here.

"We are looking to relaunch our Total toothpaste for the Hispanic market. The ads will come out in the fall if everything tests well," he said.

BEEFING UP ADVERTISING

The overall strategy will be to beef up advertising for all the products being sold in the Hispanic market and try to build sales.

"Caprice shampoo is the market leader in Mexico. We are in the process of developing that here," he said, noting the shampoo is available in Los Angeles, Texas, Miami, New York and Chicago. TV and print advertising support the product in Los Angeles and Texas. "It is a very Mexican brand, so we are concentrating on markets with high concentration of Mexican consumers."

He said he is looking at Colgate's leading products in Latin America that will bring something new and different to the U.S. market.

Siboney USA, Miami, handles Colgate's U.S. Hispanic marketing.

"I think we are going to announce some sort of partnership with one of the biggest Internet providers. We want to expand our reach," he said. "We want to have oral-care leadership. We want to make sure we can make a tighter bond with consumers.

"We see a huge expansion on the amount of usage of Internet by U.S. Hispanic consumers and we expect that to get bigger when Univision.com gets into play later this year."

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