ORLANDO, Fla. (AdAge.com) -- Economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman left marketers feeling a bit down when he suggested that the economy won't be turning around anytime soon -- a far cry from the "goodbye recession" message included in conference materials.
"History tells us that we should not count on any kind of recovery anytime soon," said Mr. Krugman, whose talk was called "The (Dire) State of the Economy." "The economy is depressed because people don't want to spend," he said.
For marketers, one way out could be tapping into the growing Hispanic market, which has a spending power of $1 trillion, said Graceiela Eleta, Univision Communication's senior VP-brand solutions, who talked about her company's work with Kraft.
The food giant is two years into putting a renewed focus on the market with an intensive effort that includes spending time in Hispanic homes.
"We discuss their hopes, their dreams and their fears," said Howard Friedman, Kraft's senior VP-marketing for cheese and dairy, who presented alongside Ms. Eleta.
The company discovered that Hispanics want real milk in their cheese, instead of oil and water, and launched a campaign touting that their cheese did not include "imitation oil and water." Sales, which had been slipping, recovered and are now growing, Mr. Friedman said.
The afternoon session also included former Dell Chief Marketing Officer Erin Nelson and her successor, Karen Quintos, who foreshadowed the company's "Power to Do More" campaign, which emphasizes the practical uses of Dell products.