By Terry Soto, Author and CEO, About Marketing Solutions, Inc.
Some of us use the terms infrastructure and organizational structure interchangeably. In this blog, I will use the word infrastructure to refer to technology platforms and digital assets. There is a myriad of technology, information systems and digital assets on which your companies rely to operate your businesses. However, given the diverse customer base which shop your products you must ask if your infrastructure is optimally aligned to support your goals across all customers Hispanic and non-Hispanic regardless of language preferences. Consider the various ways in which your company relies on its infrastructure and determine if your company has created the necessary alignment to:
- Generate reporting – For companies who target Hispanics, it’s important to ask if your company’s Information Systems are aligned to deliver on the company’s information needs on all your customer including your Hispanic customers. Are you able to track sales, segmentation, demographic, geographic, product categories, usage and other behavior your Hispanic customers may exhibit so appropriate decisions can be made in a manner that is relevant to your Hispanic customers and relevant to your business model?
- Communicate with customers – Ask if your Information Systems are set up to effectively communicate important information bilingually so your Hispanic customers understand your letters, forms, brochures, user guides, warranties, rebate forms, and statements the way your company intended. Ask if your current methods effectively communicate with Hispanic recipients and whether they truly understand your messages, the intended level of urgency, the action that is required of them, by when, and where and how the action needs to be taken.
- Drive cost away from your business by using technology to automate activities which would otherwise be handled by people – Ask if your company’s technology and digital assets support a quick and comfortable transition and adoption of automation so Hispanics grow less dependent on people and more dependent on your technology to shop your products, ask tech support questions, send emails, chat with customer service representatives and even make payments in automated ways. If Hispanic customers do not understand the purpose of that fabulous kiosk your company just installed in all your locations and can’t understand the screens, it might as well just be a fabulous piece of store décor as far as Spanish dependent Hispanics go and the phone will keep ringing for live support.
- Enhance the shopping experience for our customers and drive sales through the digital assets you have in your locations – If every piece of technology with which you want your consumers to interact to browse your products, and help customers fall in love with your experience so they ultimately buy is not understood by a proportion of your Hispanics customers, they simply won’t engage and your digital assets won’t work across those Hispanic customers who are excluded from utilizing and enjoying these digital experiences.
Take a few moments to assess the many ways in which your company relies on infrastructure to 1) understand your customers so you can make better decisions, 2) communicate with them, 3) drive cost away from the business and 4) enhance the shopping experience and ask if you are having the same effect on your current and potential Hispanic customers. If not, ask yourself why you’d want your infrastructure investment to perform at anything less than 100% and why you would want to deliver anything but a seamless customer experience.
Terry Soto is President and CEO of About Marketing Solutions, Inc., a Burbank, California – based strategy consulting firm specializing in helping her clients dramatically improve overall business performance by optimizing their strategies to succeed in the Hispanic market. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 818-842-9688.