As EVP, Advertising Sales and Affiliate Marketing, Mike Rosen knows a thing or two about what Latinos want. How does he know? He asks them. And that, says this cable sales veteran who will be inducted into Cablefax’s Sales Hall of Fame on June 10 in NYC, is one of the keys to being a successful sales executive. With a powerful and growing demographic to serve up to advertisers and the vast resources of NBCUniversal at his disposal, Rosen knows he operates in an environment of high expectations. But as we found out in this exclusive Q&A, he’s pretty much got it covered. 

The Hispanic marketplace has exploded in both numbers and financial power. Does Madison Avenue finally get it? And if so, what took so long?

While there are some marketers who have fully embraced the role of the Hispanic consumer as a key driver of growth in Corporate America, there is still a lot of convincing to be done in our marketplace. The good news is that with every success story from those advertisers leading the way in their respective categories, others inevitably follow their path to success.

Obviously, the Latino market isn’t ubiquitous. Within the Hispanic demographic, how has psychographics played a role and how does Telemundo super-serve its various audiences with ads that matter to them?

There is an unfortunate tendency to paint the Hispanic marketplace with one brush, as if it was one single segment in the broader total market of U.S. consumers. But there is so much nuance to how to connect with key consumer segments within the 53 million Hispanics in this country, and we work closely with our clients to align their specific targets to the best prospects within our portfolio. And having the power of the full NBCU portfolio, reaching over 90% of U.S. Hispanics every month, means we are able, through Total Market Innovation, to create more varied and effective custom solutions for advertisers to precisely reach their Hispanic targets than any other media company in the industry, across both Spanish and English.

Latinos over-index on mobile. How has Telemundo approached the mobile marketplace from an advertising perspective? And to what degree have advertisers embraced this kind of 360 selling across platforms?

Hispanic consumers are leaders in the adoption, usage and influence of most new technologies, and mobile is no exception.  Mobile is both a first and second screen to so many Hispanic consumers, and we are producing every type of content to feed that need. And the geo-targeting, capabilities of mobile are allowing us to offer marketers the chance to reach Hispanic consumers while they are in physical reach of their products.

What’s your best advice for young sales execs trying to make a name for themselves?

Having been a media buyer for most of my career, and therefore the customer, my best advice is, in priority order: 1. Listen to your customer, 2. Listen to your customer, 3. Listen to your customer. Salespeople should not walk into a meeting thinking they know what they need to sell, but to find out what the customer wants to buy. Just like we do not walk into a clothing store only to have the salesperson walk up to us with the shirt and pants already picked out before you came in the door. We are most effective when we let the clients’ needs direct the conversation and the solutions.

What valuable lesson did you learn early in your career and that has since contributed to your success?

Be responsive. Everyone is busy, but nothing is appreciated more than the effort to respond in a timely fashion.

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