En Español: 5 Keys to Choosing the Right U.S. Hispanic Partner1 Apr, 2011 By: Alex Agurcia Response
What any successful direct response marketer should expect of a service provider when reaching the U.S. Hispanic population.
As recent Census data has shown that U.S. Hispanic population growth rates are higher than expected, a flood of companies are preparing to enter the U.S. Hispanic market as service providers — which is a wise move on their parts, considering there is much to be gained from marketing to this segment. Our own data have proven, in fact, that running U.S. English and Hispanic campaigns simultaneously can increase overall sales results up to 50 percent.
To reach the U.S. Hispanic population and achieve the best results, however, it is imperative that direct response marketers choose the right service provider. Following are five “musts” we think any marketer should expect of the partner he or she has chosen for a U.S. Hispanic expansion.
1. Speak the language; know the culture. We wouldn’t ask an airplane pilot to command a ship. So why would we think it is acceptable to have a partner that does not speak the language or know the culture to execute a Hispanic campaign?
2. U.S. Hispanic market and direct response core competencies. The right partner should truly understand the nuances of both the U.S. Hispanic and DR markets, including recent trends, current and emerging media landscapes, competitor activity and inbound strategies. In addition, clients should benefit from their partner’s connections. The right service providers should know the players in all relevant markets and be able to identify best-fit vendors and — in turn — obtain the best media and other service deals for their clients.
3. Analytical know-how. Your partner should know how to do the math, quickly. The best partners will have the knowledge and experience to apply necessary analytical skills for success and to recognize and correct problems as soon as they occur. They will be able to tap into the data and results of past campaigns in product categories, perform analyses, and recommend strategies with the best chance of success moving forward.
4. The ability to execute a well-rounded marketing and media plan. It isn’t too much to ask that your partner be able to do it all. A well-thought-out marketing and media plan is a must. Your partner must be able to look at all the moving parts of a campaign and identify critical success factors. Media strategy, inbound script, creative messages, channel strategies, customer service, and back-end sales strategies should all be aligned and complementary. An agency that is unilaterally buying media or providing other services (and cannot provide the client with insight into other aspects of a multi-cultural campaign) will miss critical elements that could inevitably optimize campaign results.
5. Proven experience. The right provider should have a proven track record delivering successful campaigns across an array of categories. Experience counts. Ask the right questions. How many hits have they rolled out in the U.S. Hispanic market? In what categories? What percentage of their business is Hispanic-based? And what percentage of their media buyer’s time is spent dealing with U.S. Hispanic media?
The bottom line is: It is critical to the success of your campaign that you take the time to find out — from the start — whether or not the service provider you are choosing is really as experienced and skilled as they claim to be. The U.S. Hispanic market is undoubtedly flourishing, but the only way to reap the rewards is to choose a partner who knows the ropes.
Alex Agurcia is founder and president of Miami-based Omni Direct. He has more than 20 years experience in direct response marketing and can be reached via E-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.