Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Segmentation by Level of Acculturation and Allstate Case Study

In picking up right where we left off last week, I wanted to start today’s discussion on the topic of segmentation by the level of one’s acculturation. Remember, acculturation is the process of acquiring a second culture. And, as marketers, acculturation provides a necessary way the segment the Hispanic market. Plus, in the process of acculturation, acculturating individuals are open to new inputs – products, services, ideas, etc. Anyhow, the most common and basic approach is to segment Hispanics based upon categories like Spanish dominant, transitional and English dominant. However, as the Allstate example from the book shows, a multidimensional segmentation based upon demographics, psychographics and behavioral data is often the best way to target.

Speaking of the Allstate case study, let’s take a quick look at it. In 1989, Allstate came to two realizations: the insurance industry as a whole was maturing but opportunity was present in the Hispanic market because the Hispanic population was growing quickly and underserved. As such, Allstate embarked upon an effort to develop a diversity strategy for the Hispanic market.

Allstate leveraged tv, radio, print and mail to target Hispanics. In turn, Allstate used each of these mediums to prompt a viewer or recipient to call into a special 1-800 number that was designed to route the caller to a bilingual agent. Each of these calls were tracked based upon conversion to sale and analytics were employed to quantify the market and market need. The result of these metrics enabled Allstate to evaluate and improve their whole process. For instance, on the marketing side, Allstate was able to gain a better understanding of the Hispanic market and was able to deliver better messages. On the sales side, Allstate was able to modify and create better sales support materials and improve the language capability of the agency support staff. As a whole, Allstate’s Hispanic strategy and their constant refinement allowed them to gain key insights into a prized market and yield a sales closure rate (8.8%) that were well above their target (6.0%)

Next, I’d like to jump in and state a few things from the internet marketing perspective. On the surface, it appears Allstate also does a good job of integrating its website into the overall diversity strategy. The Allstate Spanish site isn’t merely a translation of the English site. Allstate takes the opportunity to address this market segment with its own unique messaging and imagery. Plus, did you notice that the 1-800 numbers on both sites are different? On the English site they prompt you to call 1-866-621-6900 and on the Spanish site they prompt you to call 1-877-366-1607. I called the Spanish website number and sure enough Allstate continues the Spanish language experience. In the end, you have to give Allstate credit for recognizing the importance of Hispanic market and customizing the overall experience for the market.

Lastly, I found this article, Hispanic Media Remains Area of Growth, via José Calvo’s post on the Latin Creations Facebook group. This is a great article that just came out a week or so ago and does a good job of describing the current Hispanic market. One of the more interesting things I found in the article was the summation that the Hispanic market still remains in a growth phase, unlike the slowing of the English-language media market in the U.S.

No comments: