Marketing to Hispanics - Part of the Fabric (379 words)
"Hispanics are more profitable customers," believes Fingerhut's vice president and general manager of Hispanic business, Rafael Saldaña. He reports that when solicited in Spanish, the cataloger's new Hispanic customer-acquisitions have 45-percent higher net orders than their mainstream counterparts. What's more, net sales per new Hispanic customer mailing are 50 percent higher. Even though its advertising costs to the Hispanic market are 22 percent higher, Fingerhut, a division of Federated Department Stores, still shows a profit.
The cataloger's success in the fastest-growing ethnic market goes beyond new customer acquisition. Its net sales per existing customer are 9 percent higher within the Hispanic community, and its average Hispanic customer places 5 percent more net orders per year.
These numbers explain why this year, Fingerhut mailed 9 million Spanish-language copies of 20 versions of its catalog to a segment that accounts for less than 12 percent of the U.S. national population. To Fingerhut, its Hispanic business is part of the fabric of its company, not just a side business. "It is a distinct customer segment, just like seniors or Generation X," Saldaña explains, which is also why the cataloger is continuing to expand the folio size of its Spanish-language catalogs, having recently mailed its first Spanish-language catalog with more than 100 pages. These mailings are supported with 240 bilingual order-takers and customer service reps in its Arizona-based customer service center and supplemented with 100 additional reps in an overflow call center located in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Fingerhut never mails a Spanish-language catalog to a prospect list unless it can verify the file was built using a Spanish-language offer. Existing Hispanic customers only receive a Spanish-language catalog if they have opted in to receive the Spanish version. Language preference is identified by a customer code ink-jetted on the back of the catalog cover. To date, 1.3 million households on Fingerhut's customer file have Spanish-speaking codes.