Equitable Reaching African Americans Through Co-Branded Site

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Equitable Corp., New York, is marketing its insurance and asset management products to African Americans by co-sponsoring a new Web site with Cox Interactive Media, www.blackfamilies.com.

By clicking on the family finance icon or a button advertisement on the home page, visitors are linked to a personal finance page with stock market information and links to other resources including the Equitable site, www.equitable.com. Equitable also will perform employment recruiting on the site.

Equitable will collect demographic data and e-mail addresses of site visitors through registration for financial portfolios and surveys on college planning and other financial topics, said Mary McElrath Jones, assistant vice president for market strategies. That information will be used to market financial services and educational products.

Education is the biggest challenge for financial marketers targeting minority groups, Jones said. "The financial services community has not targeted this group, they were not getting direct mail and are just now getting up to speed with education [on products and services]," she said. "Now it becomes a matter of building trust and confidence."

Equitable is building that trust through its Web sponsorship and local community events.

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