Lists help reach Hispanics across sectors

Hispanics now make up 15% of the US population, and this group is growing fast. Four industry experts discuss how to use mailing lists to target these powerful consumers in a variety of vertical sectors.

Amy Benicewicz
President, ListBargains

Some marketers will benefit by taking more than simply their target audience’s demographics and interests into account. For example, among the most expensive telecommunications services is international long-distance phone service. Consumers who would benefit the most from these ser­vices are those who have family and friends in other countries that they speak with often and for extended time periods. The best way for telecom marketers to identify these types of consumers is through multicultural list targeting, particularly Hispanic lists.

Marketing lists are available that identify consumers’ ethnicity, but additional infor­mation is needed to understand what their culture means to their way of life and what products they would most like to purchase. You can achieve this by using not only eth­nicity, but also country of origin, accultura­tion, and ethnic purchasing history.

For instance, if a person is identified as Hispanic from Mexico, with a low level of acculturation who has made purchases in Spanish, they are more likely to be a more recent immigrant to America, and to have relatives still in Mexico. Therefore, telecommunications companies can use Hispanic list targeting to identify those consumers most likely to make frequent international calls to speak with relatives. The companies can use this information to target plans just right for those consumers. This is a win for both the company and the multicultural consumer.

Hispanic lists that go beyond ethnicity can boost long-distance services targeting

David Schwartz
Executive director, multicultural group, Specialists Marketing Services

The Hispanic market in the US continues to grow in leaps and bounds, and direct marketers are realizing the potential of the Hispanic market. Savvy direct marketing fundraisers know that they need more than just a marketing strategy focused on Spanish language; they need a culturally relevant strategy. Hispanics are typically religious and supportive of charities, so they are also generous donors.

Spanish-language fundraisers mail mil­lions of names of those who speak Spanish in the home. And, while Hispanics remain far more responsive to offers received in Spanish, they have become ever more recep­tive of bilingual offers.

Fundraisers focus on three types of lists: the first and most responsive are Spanish language-generated, where individuals have actually responded to an offer in Spanish.

The second category is Spanish-speaking inferred lists, where individuals have been identified by surname, first name and an algorithm as likely to speak Spanish, includ­ing matching against Spanish speaking lists — this is often called multicultural identifica­tion. There are a number of such programs in the market, such as MIT and Etech.

The third category of Hispanic lists used by fundraisers are donor lists that are overlaid with Hispanic surname. With the application of proprietary ZIP models, both Spanish-inferred and surname lists will prove to be key components of a successful Spanish-language mailing campaign.

Hispanics are typically generous donors and very supportive of charitable causes

Eva Perretti
VP, new business development, Macromark

Although direct mail marketing to the Hispanic population has increased signifi­cantly over the past 10 years, many firms have yet to take advantage of its skyrocketing buying power. Marketers must be aware of this segment’s unique characteristics, yet keeping in mind that they must at times be treated just like the general population.

Should you decide to test the Hispanic market, you should employ the same dis­ciplines you use when mailing the non-Hispanic market. Recency, frequency and monetary value is just as important with these prospects — don’t settle on just His­panic or Spanish-speaking names.

Catalogers, for example, have seen wide swings in the amount spent per order from Hispanic buyers. Purchases are sometimes for themselves, but sometimes on behalf of families back home. Catalogers, therefore, should try multiple dollar amounts when testing new lists, rather than only $50-plus or $100-plus. Ask your list provider to thor­oughly explain its process or sources.

Finally, don’t forget that buyers and subscribers to Hispanic-oriented offers are interested in non-Hispanic offerings too. Too often, marketers mistakenly overlook such ethnic lists.

To one degree or another, direct market­ers must consider the untapped potential of Hispanic America. After all, you can’t afford not to pay special attention to this populous group, which currently receives 10 times less direct mail than non-Hispanics.

As with any list, catalogers should make sure to test Hispanic lists carefully

Zachary Wilhoit
CEO, EthnicTechnologies

Hispanics represent a significant oppor­tunity for marketers serving the healthcare vertical. More than eight in 10 Hispanics report receiving health information from direct mail, media or advertising sources, according to a recent Pew Hispanic Center survey of Hispanic adults, conducted in conjunction with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Not only are most Hispanics obtaining information from these sources, a sizeable portion — almost 80% — say they are acting on this information.

Marketers are better understanding the best ways to segment not just Hispanics with regard to other ethnicities, but also segmenting within the Hispanic demographic. Though 50% of Hispanics reside in just six major markets in the US, a Mexican-American in Los Angeles has different needs and responds very differently than a Cuban-American in Miami or a Puerto Rican in New York City.

Another key way that marketers can seg­ment Hispanics is based on their degree of assimilation within the US. One of the key variables that determines the degree to which an individual has assimilated from a native culture into a new culture is language. Hispanics who speak primarily Spanish report poorer health status, are less likely to have a regular doctor, and are more likely to lack insurance and rely on public or community clinics for their healthcare than Hispanics who speak primarily English or non-Hispanic Americans.

For healthcare marketers, degree of assimilation is a key Hispanic segment


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