Everyone has a story to tell. It’s part of what makes us unique. Our personal backgrounds shape the way we are and how we live our lives. We learn from past mistakes, we fondly remember moments spent with loved ones, and we spend many hours looking back through old pictures and scrapbooks.
As an agency, our story is no different. We love to tell our story every chance we get. We believe that where we came from is an integral part of who we are today, how we run our agency and what we want our agency to be in the future. UMG’s story is one built on family, entrepreneurship and a desire to enhance our culture.
In 2009, my brother Ramón approached me with the idea of an advertising agency that specialized in helping brands reach the Hispanic consumer. The idea stemmed from our involvement with the SC Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Through conversations with Chamber members and corporate partners, Ramón came to the realization that brands in South Carolina had a strong interest in reaching the growing Hispanic population in our state. But at the same time, those same companies expressed frustration over inconsistent results and even failed attempts at marketing to the Hispanic community.
Like any good entrepreneur, we recognized that the ingredients for a successful startup were there:
- Brands in South Carolina had a desire to reach Hispanic consumers effectively
- Hispanics in South Carolina were growing at a rate faster than most states in the US
- In most cases, companies throughout the state had not been able to achieve consistently positive results in the Hispanic community
After giving the idea some thought, Ramón and I decided to go for it. We had never run an ad agency before. Prior to UMG, I had owned a computer repairs business and had been heavily involved in a web startup. Ramón had owned a landscaping business and a home inspections business. However, we knew we had all the tools to start an ad agency that would help brands reach Hispanic consumers. My brother had a degree in marketing and an MBA under his belt. At the time, I was studying accounting and had a strong interest in operations management. Between the two of us, we also had what many in the entrepreneurial world call “the X factor”: a passion for creating marketing campaigns that worked and a desire to enhance the culture around us through our work.
The concept was simple: create an agency that could help companies target the Hispanic community strategically and creatively.
In practice, the concept proved to be more challenging than we anticipated.