Liz Arreaga, Mercury Mambo: Using experiential marketing to target Hispanic audiences

Liz Arreaga, co-founder of Mercury Mambo– experiential marketing agency- spoke at Mass Comm Week on Wednesday.

Arreaga shared what Mercury Mambo actually does, who some of her clients are, how she feels about the corporate world, what it took to start her own business and more.

Before founding Mercury Mambo in 2001, Arreaga worked as a Hispanic marketing executive for Coca-Cola. She was grateful that she chose to do marketing with a corporation before opening her own agency.

“I’m glad I went that route,” said Arreaga. “It gave me the foundation to open Mercury Mambo.”

Mercury Mambo is a marketing agency focused on experiential marketing focused on the Hispanic community.

Arreaga explained that experiential marketing is below-the-line marketing. Above-the-line marketing is the things you see on TV and hear on radio; it’s the branding of the product.

“Below-the-line marketing is where the customer can touch, feel, taste or smell the product,” said Arreaga.

She stressed the importance that experiential marketing and the branding of a product work together.

“We feel that below-the-line marketing isn’t to replace the branding; it’s to compliment it,” said Arreaga.

Kandace Fierro, employee of Mercury Mambo and graduate of Texas State, joined Arreaga on her trip to Mass Comm Week.

Fierro heads up a promotional project for Dr Pepper that Mercury Mambo does. She travels to different states where she locates mainly Hispanic areas. Fierro and a street team set up camp with attractions, coupons and free Dr Pepper.

“In L.A. I gave out approximately 120,000 Dr Peppers,” said Fierro.

Dr Pepper has found it challenging to connect with Hispanic audiences and get their product out there, so when Mercury Mambo takes Dr Pepper as one of their clients, they set up an experiential marketing campaign that targets Hispanic communities.

Arreaga mentioned that Mercury Mambo is really focused on consumer insights, so they can know what kinds of promotions the Hispanic community is particularly interested in.

In addition to experiential marketing, students were interested in Arreaga’s bold transition from the corporate world of marketing to starting her own agency.

Arreaga shared experience, advice and strategies for starting one’s own agency.

“Looking back, I’m really glad I had business partners,” said Arreaga. “If you can do it on your own, go for it, but if you need some support, don’t be afraid to bring in partners.”

Arreaga assured students that the most important thing when starting one’s own business is loving what you do.

“You’ve got to know in the pit of your stomach that this is what you really want to do,” said Arreaga.

The money seemed to be the last thing on Arreaga’s mind. She seemed like she was always confident that because she loves what she is doing, she would make it.

“If you want to do it, the money will follow,” said Arreaga. “I used to wonder how the rent would get paid, but somehow it was always paid.”

Both Arreaga and Fierro were very informative and helpful for students interested in either experiential marketing or entrepreneurship.

Arreaga is passionate about her choices and experience, whether it be marketing to the Hispanic community for Coca-Cola or experiential marketing campaigns for Dr Pepper.

By Ashleigh Mangum

Photos by Lesley Ornelas

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