Companies See Growing Potential in Hispanic Lists

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The potential of the Hispanic market is becoming apparent to direct marketers, and several list companies are developing properties to meet this increasing demand for Hispanic names.

Maurice Herrera, vice president of sales at Hugo Dunhill Mailing Lists, New York, was approached so many times about managing Hispanic lists that he convinced Dunhill to make those lists a priority and form a management division.

Herrera has been compiling a brochure called the "Hispanic Connection" for the past five years as a resource for mailers to reach the Hispanic market. The brochure is a directory of lists available for rental and is updated every three to four months. Tracking Hispanic lists weren't a problem 10 years ago when just two lists were available. With that many new lists now becoming available every week, Herrera has struggled to keep the directory up to date.

"I needed to have a vehicle to give people an idea of what's available," he said. "That is the purpose of the 'Hispanic Connection,' to educate people and let them know there is a wide diversity of lists available. It's not just in one sector. If you need financial, subscribers, mail-order buyers, there is a full gamut of lists available for each company to reach the Hispanic community, whether at home or at a business address."

American Student List Co. (ASLC), Jericho, NY, launched a list of multicultural individuals in May that already includes close to a half million Hispanic names. The list, a joint effort with parent company Snyder Communications, Bethesda, MD, will deliver 300,000 monthly hot-line names verifiable by telephone contact in the respondent's native language, about half in Spanish.

Andrew Belth, vice president of sales at ASLC, said developing a multicultural compiled file was a natural offshoot for the nation's largest compiler of student information. ASLC expects that the use of Snyder's teleservices arm for verification will make the Spanish segment of the file one of the largest and most up to date on the Hispanic community in the next three to six months.

ASLC and Snyder started the multicultural file as a vehicle to explore new ways of gathering hard-to-reach data.

"The foreign language market is being discovered as a new territory for traditional marketers," Belth said. "Certainly the telecommunications, energy and communications markets have tapped this market, and now others like catalogers and publishers are interested in finding markets not reached in traditional ways.''

Rick Blume, president of Database Management, the Hispanic and ethnic division of Stevens-Knox, New York, which manages 78 Spanish speaking lists and 26 lists of Hispanic English speakers, said marketers started to jump on the Hispanic bandwagon when universes reached a million names per list. The first such list was the Univision sweepstakes file that Database Management acquired in 1988. Within a couple years, marketers and the list brokers began paying attention to the Hispanic market.

The emphasis in list usage of late has come from English language marketers wanting to use the Hispanic lists. The current Hispanic population of close to 30 million in the United States is expected to grow to between 80 and 90 million in the next half century, and Blume affirmed that the market for Hispanic lists won't stop.

"The fresh audience aspect [of Hispanics] is just phenomenal, and that can't make a direct marketer happier," Blume said.

Herrera said the primary factor holding back list usage and new list managers is ignorance of the market. As companies become more educated on Hispanics, he expects a competitive marketplace for Hispanic lists much like the current marketplace for general lists.

"I'm seeing a lot more companies get involved in list management, I think that's good," Herrera said. "I think it's healthy to have more than a couple list managers."

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