Meet Our Team: Alberto, Daily Commuter of Language and Culture
Welcome to Captura Group’s “Meet Our Team” series, a chance for us to profile a member of our team and give you a glimpse into the minds and backgrounds of the people that make Captura Group thrive.
For Alberto Navas, the daily commute between language and culture is literal. He lives in Tijuana, and every day he heads north via the busiest border crossing in the world to his job in San Diego, where he helps lead the content team at Captura Group.
It’s a fitting transition for someone who markets to Hispanics, a demographic that makes linguistic and cultural “commutes” a thousand times a day. Marketing to Hispanics is all about connecting with those experiences.
We sat down with our compañero to talk to him about how his personal and professional background helps shape the type of authentic content we create on behalf of our clients.
You’ve lived in and traveled through many countries. How do you answer the question, “Where are you from?”
It’s a combination of place of birth and countries where I’ve lived. To be technical, I was born in Nicaragua, but I’ve lived and travelled all over: Peru, Jamaica, Canada, Dominican Republic, Argentina, and the U.S. (California, Atlanta, Miami, Washington, DC), to name a few places. Now I live in Mexico and commute daily to our office in San Diego – I import and export myself every day!
What about your professional background, is it as diverse as your travels?
¡Sí! I started out in supply chain and software, during the technology boom of the 1990s. From the start of my working life language and culture have been key assets, as I managed international shipments to Mexico. After approximately seven years, and purely by chance, I walked into the U.S. Hispanic market as a freelance translator and interpreter in Washington, DC. After a few years freelancing and a stop at business school in Vancouver, I came to Captura Group, where I just celebrated my eighth anniversary as a member of the best Hispanic content team! Anecdote: in the span of a year I lived in all three NAFTA countries.
How do you use your personal and professional experiences at Captura Group?
My personal and professional experiences have been a great education for working with U.S. Hispanics. My background in software helps me understand the digital environment in which we work. The time I’ve spent living and traveling throughout the U.S. and Latin America are the foundation of the work I do every day for our clients. When developing content I rely on those personal and professional experiences to leverage the nuances of language and culture to connect with U.S. Hispanics. This can be in broad strokes when planning a content strategy, or granular, when analyzing what terminology achieves the objectives of a project.
Can you take us through an example?
I am often asked, usually at the start of a project, “what Spanish” we will use in our content. This is a reference to whether we will recommend regional or neutral terminology. It depends on the target audience and objectives of the project or client, there isn’t a catch-all answer. I’m a firm believer in having an approach rather than a solution when developing content for online U.S. Hispanics. I’ve even written about it for this blog, comparing it to the off-side rule in soccer. (Think about it – it applies!)
What’s your advice for marketers or brands looking to reach online U.S. Hispanics through content?
My advice is to think beyond language and resist the urge to translate. Think about culture and go below the surface to create content that connects with U.S. Hispanics – and know that not all Hispanics are the same. This requires nuanced knowledge of language and culture, and a pan-Hispanic team; these two components are the bridge between the right content and the right context for your customers.