Special Report on Multicultural Marketing:
ARA Media Solution’s Arlene Rosen on Insert Media for Niche Markets
Direct marketers interested in finding out if their products and services might appeal specifically to different multicultural audiences should consider insert media options. Although some firms drive all their direct sales through insert media, plenty of others turn to these media programs as a less expensive testing ground for offers, creative and niche markets.
Insert media expert Arlene Rosen, president of New York, N.Y.-based ARA Media Solutions, shares some insights on how to reach niche markets via various types of insert programs.
Target Marketing: What role does insert media play in helping marketers reach niche markets, such as Hispanics, Asian Americans and the GLBT segment? Do certain niches offer different types of insert opportunities?
Arlene Rosen: Insert media can play a significant role in these niche markets, even though the quantities are much smaller than in the general market. There are several insert programs targeting these different multicultural markets.
In the Hispanic arena, there is a music [ride-along], a Spanish book club [ride-along], Spanish one-shot book packages, statement programs for educational packs, door hangers targeting predominately Hispanic households, and Spanish FSIs running in Spanish-language newspapers and magazines.
For the GLBT market, there are many magazines and newspapers designed for people interested in reaching this audience.
Within the African American market, there are specific package insert programs generated by catalogs, door hangers, magazines and newspapers all targeting that demographic.
TM:What factors must marketers consider when selecting programs to reach any of these audiences?
AR:Matching the niche audience with the appropriate offer is important. Quantities are smaller, but responses may be higher since the offers are targeted to the specific audience. Many multicultural markets are underserved, and therefore consumers are more inclined to respond once an offer is presented.
For the newspapers and door hanger programs, they can accommodate large pieces, which can be up to 10˝ x 13˝ and more than 25 pages. Many of the newspapers are bought on newsstands or taken from designated locations, so weight is not an issue since they are not mailed.
For the ride-alongs or package inserts, the maximum size is usually 5.5˝ x 8.5˝, since inserts go into a 6˝ x 9˝ envelope. The FSIs are on-page in the Sunday coupon booklets, so the advertiser only submits creative and no printing of inserts is involved.
As with all direct marketing, these markets need to be tested—especially with newspapers where the circulation is staggering. In addition, many of these programs are audited or guarantee deliverability.
TM: For success, should marketers look to integrate their insert media efforts to these niches with campaigns in other channels?
AR: There is a strong connection between online and offline campaigns. In the newspaper world, an online banner or burst can alert readers to look for an insert, catalog, magalog or bookalog in an upcoming issue. Online campaigns can drive the consumer to the advertiser’s Web site.
We created a partnership with a Spanish lifestyle publication and a well-known Spanish gift site. Offers for the publication were on the gift site, and the magazine carried a print ad for the gift site. This is an example of multichannel partnership and shows how different channels can compliment one another.
TM: Are there any creative nuances that marketers should keep in mind when developing their inserts for specific niche audiences?
AR:Translations are key so the meaning of an advertiser’s message is properly transmitted. If one word is off, it could change the intention of the offer. Work with accomplished translators.
Color is very important when designing an offer for the Hispanic or GLBT market, in particular. An offer needs to connect to the target market by speaking their language and understanding their heritage, and models portrayed in the offer need to be of the same multicultural audience the advertiser is targeting.
Understanding the insights of the customers—including their preferences and sensitivities—may help the loyalty factor. Sometimes, there’s a need to combine ethnic and lifestyle preferences.
Marissa Fabris is a freelance writer in West Chester, Pa.