Stake Your Claim in the Multicultural Market (978 words)
Some principles to keep in mind when renting ethnic lists:
Do your research. Rent lists that have been generated from responses of individuals of the particular ethnicity you are looking to reach. This may sound obvious, but there are many lists that make claims of being ethnic, but are not what they appear to be.
In the Hispanic market, use Spanish-language generated lists when mailing in Spanish, and use English-language surname lists when mailing in English. Both types seem to work for bilingual mailings. However, the greatest responses are achieved with Spanish-language lists.
In the multicultural market, TV-generated lists work well, albeit, not as well as lists generated by direct mail.
Review your results geographically, as you may find differences in response rates due, in part, to where different nationalities have settled.
Proceed with a Plan
Now is the time to act, but more important, to act wisely. Do not take these markets for granted; there are many nuances. Ask specialists to help you develop ethnic marketing strategies, culturally relevant offers, and in-language copy and creative. Most of all, use a list specialist who has a thorough understanding of the ethnic markets, all the available lists/databases, and the differences between them. I don't have to tell you how important list selection is to the results of your mailing.
Direct marketers who are already marketing to one or more of these ethnic groups understand the need to get out there first. For those of you who are not, this is the time to start planting your seeds so you can reap the benefits in the near future and for years to come.
Rick Blume is vice president, multicultural marketing at list firm 21st Century Marketing. He specializes in building and marketing ethnic lists. In acknowledgement of his 15 years in ethnic marketing, Blume recently was named 2003 Hispanic Direct Marketer of the Year by the Direct Marketing Association's Directo Council. He can be reached at (631) 306-5264, or at email@example.com.