Be Prepared Before Engaging In Hispanic Direct Marketing

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CHICAGO -- Is your company ready for Hispanic direct marketing?

Laritza Lopez, founder of Chicago-based Lopez Martin Associates, asked that question at the Chicago Association of Direct Marketing' 51st Annual DM Days & Expo at Navy Pier yesterday.

"We all become sales people when it comes to Hispanic or ethnic marketing," Lopez said.

She recommended several steps.

The discovery step starts with the hard and fair questions. Is the Hispanic market viable for your company? Is the research done? How does this market segment align itself with the company's current strategy and objectives? What are the different campaign tracking demands on this segment? Is this a company or an individual effort?

Also part of the discovery phase is an infrastructure review of human resources, customer contact points, call centers, customer service, fulfillment, payment options, tracking and benchmarks and legal concerns.

Step No. 2 is the strategy for HR, call centers, customer service, sales strategy and fulfillment as well as creating benchmarks for measurement.

The third step is the action plan. This should cover cultural priorities, recruiting, bilingual and bicultural sales and call center performance expectations.

The final step is implementation.

Lopez elaborated on several key factors for success in Hispanic direct marketing. Cultural alignment is essential as is the need to recognize language differences between different Hispanics. Equally important are segmentation and targeting as well as the pertinent channels and relevant offers.

Effective measurement and consistent tracking are vital, too.

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