Edited by Lisa Yorgey Lester
When it comes to multicultural marketing, much ado has been made of front-end processes such as creative, and list and media selection. However, the back-end processes of direct marketing often get neglected. If you sell to the Hispanic market, is your database set up to handle multiple surnames? If customers respond to your Spanish-language offer via a toll-free number, are they greeted by a Spanish-speaking teleservices rep? As Gustovo Grüber of Banta Direct Marketing Group points out in "Shore Up Your Back-end," these all-important, but often ignored, back-end operational issues are key to solidifying customer relationships in ethnic markets, and are critical if you want to recoup the investment you've made in prospecting to these diverse audiences.
Because the Hispanic and Asian-American communities have large immigrant populations, language and acculturation are key issues that need to be addressed. As Global Telesourcing's Chris Purdy explains in "Tune In to Español," when airing a Spanish-language DRTV spot, you must plan for longer call times, as many callers need additional information about your company and product.
While most of this report focuses on offline media, it's also important to take another look at what you're communicating online. In "Web Culture," Target Marketing talks with Saul Gitlin to find out how direct marketers need to tweak their Web sites to attract and retain Asian-American customers.
The message is clear: If you're going to build relationships with ethnic communities, you need to pay attention to how you communicate with these prospects once they become customers.
—Lisa Yorgey Lester
Shore Up Your Back-end
How to build lasting relationships with Hispanic consumers
By Gustavo A. Grüber
More than 20 years ago, only a small group of very progressive companies and nonprofit organizations used direct mail to penetrate the Hispanic market. Most of these "pioneer" companies naively allocated the majority of their resources to the front-end processes of market identification, list selection, copy and creative, and print production, and paid little attention to back-end operations.