The Latino Renaissance
December 1, 2000

Not since the days of the Spanish Empire—when armada galleons roamed the high seas and conquistadors traversed North America—has Spanish culture had such a pervasive influence on mainstream American culture. Consider some of the biggest names in entertainment today: former Menudo member Ricky Martin, Jennifer Lopez, Gloria Estefan, Mark Anthony, Enrique Isglesias … the list goes on. Also, Santana has made a huge comeback, and this year saw the prime time broadcast of the first annual Latin Grammy Awards. Underlying this fascination with the Latino culture is the size and anticipated growth rate of the U.S. Hispanic community, coupled with a saturated and

MBNA - Satisfying a Need (1,330 words)
January 1, 2000

One reason a company may choose to market its product or service internationally is to increase sales, particularly if it is a mature company with little or no room for expansion or growth in its domestic market. Such was the case for U.S. credit-card marketer MBNA, who in 1993 entered the U.K. market after identifying a need it could satisfy. Global Equals Growth In the early 1990s, MBNA was a leader in an increasingly competitive U.S. credit card market. The credit culture in the United Kingdom, however, was complacent and underdeveloped. Four major banks—Barclay's, NatWest, Lloyds and Midland—provided the lion's share of U.K.

The Power of When (1,434 words)
December 1, 1999

Timing is everything. For your direct marketing message to be successful, you need to make the right offer to the right person at the right time. So, when is a consumer most likely to buy? When will your offer have the most influence on a consumer's purchasing decision? One of the best predictors of a consumer's intent to buy goods and services is a lifestyle change such as a move, marriage or birth. This is a time in a person's life when not only is he or she likely to buy, but must buy. Movers demand new products and services such as landscaping,

Credit and Collections Issues for Bill-Me Offers (2,137 words)
December 1, 1999

The near-ubiquity of credit cards in the United States has lightened the burden of collection for non-financial-service direct marketers. The exception: Those who make bill-me offers are still at risk. This means that any marketer that ships merchandise before receiving payment—book clubs, music clubs, magazine publishers, collectible marketers and continuity clubs, including a burgeoning field of coffee, tea and wine clubs—runs the risk of not getting paid. Says Douglas Harpham, vice president of sales and marketing for North Shore Agency, a Great Neck, NY, collection agency, "Bill-mes are just as common as they ever were." Adding a bill-me payment option to a mailing

Bridge the Gap Between Online and Off-line Customer Profiling (
November 1, 1999

by Mark T. Hesler In targeted and one-to-one marketing today, the conversation always revolves around a few subjects. Mass customization is one of the main mantras. Companies are being compelled today to engage customers in unprecedented levels of personalization. The rise of the Internet as a viable marketing and sales channel raises the bar even higher. Companies that succeed will do so because they've done a better job of understanding and integrating their customers' buying habits and preferences across multiple channels. This will become increasingly important as customers shift back and forth between traditional marketing channels to Web-based activities. Some very exciting technology

Bang & Olufsen - A Great Dane Wises Up
March 1, 1998

Who are Bang & Olufsen buyers? In the mid-1990s, Bang & Olufsen began an aggressive campaign to expand its share of the audiophile market. When building a business, it's a good idea to (1) know who your customers are and (2) go where they are. At the time Bang & Olufsen was operating on the assumption that its typical buyer was a single professional male between the ages of 25 and 30 with an average income of $50,000. Wrong. For example, at the time we bought our first B&O rig, I was 42; when we bought the table model 15 years later I