Online coupon company CoolSavings on Tuesday announced the launch of a marketing program designed to target Hispanics, hoping itself to attract marketers trying to reach that increasingly important demographic.
By the end of the year, the Chicago-based company expects to identify and sign up more than 500,000 Hispanic customers for the program, which will allow marketers to tailor their messages for the group.
"There's an opportunity through the net and this self-selecting service to build a clean one-to-one database that you can target for ethnic-specific marketing," said Ken Treske, chief marketing officer at CoolSavings.
CoolSavings delivers email offers in the form of 17 industry-specific newsletters to consumers who sign up on its Web site. Since its launch in 1997, CoolSavings has registered 26.5 million consumers, who on average choose five newsletters and receive about a dozen email offers per month.
Treske said internal research estimated that about 7 percent of CoolSavings' customer base is Hispanic. According to comScore Media Metrix, 12.4 million Hispanics have Internet access.
The site now asks new customers if they wish to receive offers associated with Hispanic, black or Asian ethnic groups. Armed with this data, marketers can pitch ethnic-specific products or tap into a growing but under-penetrated demographic.
As an example, Treske pointed to research by the Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies that shows Hispanic families spend twice the amount the average U.S. household spends on diapers. A diaper manufacturer could tap into CoolSavings' Hispanic database to offer discounts.
"The CPG [consumer package goods] area has been a strong proponent of targeting," Treske said. "This is really an opportunity for CPGs to build their relationships with these growing families today."
Marketers have zeroed in on Hispanics as a key consumer demographic as the group has grown in size. In January, the U.S. Census Bureau released population estimates that showed for the first time Hispanics outnumbered blacks in the United States. With 37 million people, Hispanics ranked as the top minority in the country. Hispanic consumers are estimated to have a combined annual purchasing power of $450 billion, according to DRI/McGraw Hill.
On top of that, Hispanics, while lagging the overall population in Internet use, tend to be more receptive to Internet marketing offers, according to a survey completed by AOL and pollster RoperASW.
Treske said that while marketers try to reach Hispanics, most media options are inefficient. Marketers have already saturated Hispanic-focused television and magazines, and online coupons will give them a chance to precisely target a self-selected audience, he said.
"They're able to eliminate a huge amount of waste they might incur in any other medium," Treske said.
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