Tuesday, July 12

Telecom Providers Focus on Ethnic Marketing

Telecommunications companies will drastically increase their focus on the Hispanic market this year, according to a new report released by research company In-Stat.

Among recent telecom initiatives following this trend are Qwest’s low-cost long-distance calling plan to Mexico and a nationwide mobile service geared to Hispanics from Movida Communications, which is allied with Sprint PCS.

The report, Culture Shock: Trends in Ethnic Marketing, predicts that there will be a decrease in revenue from all ethnic subscribers, but Hispanics and Pacific Islanders will experience the smallest decrease because of their steady population growth.

In-Stat, which is owned by Reed Business Information, the parent company of Hispanic TV Update, also predicted that although 40.4 million white customers will subscribe to broadband by 2009, the growth rate of Hispanics and Pacific Islander subscribers will be much greater.

"In-Stat has also found that some ethnic groups react better to specific types of advertising and marketing and are influenced by different sources," Amy Cravens, In-Stat analyst said in a statement. "In better understanding these differences, providers may be able to more fully realize the potential subscribership of what may be under-subscribing ethnic groups."

Some MSOs and phone companies are already thinking along those lines. For example, Cox is trying to lure Hispanic customers with free long-distance minutes to select countries, such as Mexico.

Similarly, Cablevision ramped up its telephony offerings by cutting a wireless deal with Sprint PCS and offering unlimited calls to Puerto Rico as part of its VoIP product.