Multicultural Special Report: Shore Up Your Back-end
Another key piece of marketing intelligence is a prospect’s or customer’s level of acculturation. This information is important because an offer addressed to a person who is highly acculturated must be quite different from one addressing a person who is less acculturated. For example, a financial institution offering a credit card to the Hispanic community will be more effective if it develops at least two versions: One version that highlights no annual fees and low interest rates can be used to target more acculturated Hispanics, while another version that focuses on credit education and the benefits of using credit wisely can be sent to less acculturated prospects.
Address Back-end Challenges
The single most important element responsible for the long-term success of companies in the Hispanic market is the commitment of the CEO and other high-level executives. This support is critical to the success of ongoing direct marketing programs because in addition to building relationships with customers, marketing personnel need to work with many different departments to properly upsell, cross-sell and renew Hispanic customers. Some of the processes and procedures that need to be worked out include:
• The training of data entry personnel and modifications to database fields. Many of the mistakes made addressing customers in follow-up communications begin in the data entry process. Hispanic names can be confusing, and data entry personnel must be able to clearly differentiate between first and last names. For example, María de Jesús is a first name, but it may be misconstrued as a first and last name. In addition, María de Jesús may have a last name formed by her father’s last name, Fernández, followed by her mother’s maiden name, García. So, her full name could be María de Jesús Fernández García. Although many Hispanics now use a single first and last name, not all do. Data entry personnel should clearly understand the differences.