Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Wellpoint to create Hispanic market insurance product
After researching the market for 2 years, the article states, a southern California office team in creating new products under the name "Nuestro Bien" (Our well-being) along with a new website and some "grass-roots techniques to reach Hispanics." Early 2008 is the launch time frame.
Specifically, according to the article, Wellpoint is:
-- Developing insurance policies that offer low co-pays for clinic care, but also give customers incentives to have a regular doctor-instead of using the emergency room.
-- Broadening its marketing efforts to reach all Hispanics.
-- Building up a network of insurance agents for more face-to-face interactions.
-- Setting up Nuestro Bien booths at Hispanic cultural and business fairs, where it conducts educational seminars and passes out marketing materials.
-- Going to churches to give talks about health topics.
Certainly an interesting approach. While I question why it took them 2 years of study to determine Hispanics prefer face-to-face interactions and prefer tangible v. intangible things (I could have told them that in 2 minutes) their approach is novel in the area of new insurance policies. The other areas are areas they (and all insurers) should be doing anyway.
Now, the proof is in the execution. This will be the tough part and will require a serious effort with serious resources behind it. Will Hispanics view a Wellpoint as "their" insurance company? If not, the "Nuestro Bien" will only be perceived as Wellpoint's "Bien."
Friday, August 24, 2007
Sex in Spanish -- the right way
Described as, "A place for Spanish-language students and native speakers to discuss culture, books, history and the Spanish language," the blog site takes you through discussions and examples of the Spanish language.
Beyond the funny, and educative, section on Sex in Spanish, the site is a wealth of information about the language, and you can ask Mr. Guerrero questions.
And, while marketing to Hispanics goes well beyond communicating in Spanish, as I've mentioned frequently, the proper use of Spanish when communicated to the broad Hispanic market is critical. One word or phrase can be interpreted differently by people from different countries. This site is a nice primer for those who want to learn, those that want to avoid mistakes, or those that think they already know but really don't.
Monday, August 20, 2007
There is no magic bullet
Second, I don't like giving the general market the impression that the Hispanic market is simple. In fact, the Hispanic market is very difficult and nuanced. Yes, there is a Latino Identity that I believe nearly all Hispanics have in their heart. However, it takes a skilled marketer to be able to communicate services and products to trigger a reaction based on that Latino Identity. As I've said, it takes more than being Hispanic to be a Hispanic marketer.
With that said, here is a "tree steps to the Hispanic market" article to share ... there are some going points made here. While the steps are simple (people, promotion and pachanga), the process to achieve them certainly are not ...
What about a call to serve?
Like most articles I read about this topic, it's chock full of the suggestions that the military is misleading people with its recruiting pitches. Certainly, with Hispanics, language is a consideration.
While I don't profess to defend any or all tactics the military might use to get people to recruit, there are 2 things I can say with certainty as an officer myself in the U.S. Air Force Reserve who served on active duty.
First, the issue of the military "misleading" people in their recruiting efforts is an allegation that is universal, and not Hispanic. I've heard this from white, black, brown, men, women, people from the south, people from the northeast, etc. To insinuate that somehow Hispanics are more prone to join for a false premise simply because of a language barrier is not a fact I've seen supported through data. As I like to say, we may speak with an accent, but we don't think with one. If your motivation for not joining is that you may go to war and die, I think that's a pretty universal fear, no?
Second, why don't these articles ever talk about a calling to serve as the reason many join? Believe it or not, some of us love this country that has opened so many doors for us and feel we should give back. As first generation immigrants, we are very grateful to be in the United States. My parents always instilled a sense of service in my brothers and me. The military is not for everyone. But, for those of us who were called to serve, there are things much greater for which to give our lives for than merely college scholarships or citizenship.
Monday, August 06, 2007
Hispanic middle class: Dramatic growth in next 10 years
As such, they recommend that financial institutions begin tapping the income and spending power of Hispanics, and prepare for the change by "adjusting their policies to attract and retain this expanding segment of the community."
Among the recommendations listed in the article are requiring lower minimum balances for checking and saving accounts, offering more cash-based services and new credit scoring methodologies.
Not easy recommendations to implement. But, the broader point is financial institutions need to create market-leading products of interest to Hispanics as well as develop community-based marketing strategies to recruit and retain them. Not to mention, to educate Hispanics as well, on financial topics.
Friday, August 03, 2007
Is country the next area for Hispanic music lovers?
The article also discusses a "debate" among industry insiders about whether country music should seek to attract Hispanic listeners with country songs in English or in Spanish.
An interesting question for sure. What the article doesn't really get into is what segment of the Hispanic population (remember, we came from more than 20 Spanish-speaking countries) is most interested in this genre. To me, clearly, it is Mexicans. Perhaps others like Colombians where cumbia and vallenato music is very popular. But, it must skew highly Mexican.
Just like country tends to attract folks in the U.S. from the south (although this is changing), they will have a heck of a time attracting, say, Dominicans or others from the Caribbean, who tend to listen to the more traditional genres.
I also don't think they would necessarily need to put country music in Spanish as it kinda' already exists, it's called banda or norteño music. So, going in Spanish competes head on with this genre.
The low hanging fruit here is Mexicans. They should start there and then seek to branch out versus taking an all encompassing or national approach, as they concede in the article is very expensive.