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Eastern Philosophy

By Mar 01, 2007

Mounting a successful integrated marketing effort is difficult enough. Throw in the additional hurdle of targeting a segment with a unique language and culture, and you’ve multiplied that challenge. Direct recently talked about creating multichannel campaigns for the Asian-American market with Saul Gitlin, executive vice president for strategic services and new business at New York agency Kang & Lee.

DIRECT: Are you seeing many companies doing a good job of integrated marketing to the Asian-American market?

GITLIN: Yes. Integration is a mantra now, whether you’re in a multicultural or general market, because no single channel is going to deliver the brand relationship clients are seeking to foster. Companies that step into the Asian market are not expecting a solution driven by a single print ad or radio spot.

DIRECT: What types of media are popular?

GITLIN: Offline, Asian-language mass media is still a mainstay of news, information and entertainment. Print is probably still the bulwark, then radio and television. And third-party studies show this population has high levels of Internet use, so the Web is important (see


HOME > CHIEF MARKETER > EASTERN PHILOSOPHY
 

Eastern Philosophy

By Mar 01, 2007

(Direct) Mounting a successful integrated marketing effort is difficult enough. Throw in the additional hurdle of targeting a segment with a unique language and culture, and you’ve multiplied that challenge. “Direct” magazine recently talked about creating multichannel campaigns for the Asian-American market with Saul Gitlin, executive vice president for strategic services and new business at New York agency Kang & Lee.

DIRECT: Are you seeing many companies doing a good job of integrated marketing to the Asian-American market?

GITLIN: Yes. Integration is a mantra now, whether you’re in a multicultural or general market, because no single channel is going to deliver the brand relationship clients are seeking to foster. Companies that step into the Asian market are not expecting a solution driven by a single print ad or radio spot.

DIRECT: What types of media are popular?

GITLIN: Offline, Asian-language mass media is still a mainstay of news, information, and entertainment. Print is probably still the bulwark, then radio and television. And third-party studies show this population has high levels of Internet use, so the Web is important. Out-of-home advertising is great in the Asian market because these communities are so tightly concentrated. If you buy billboard space at a key intersection in Koreatown in Los Angeles or Chinatown in Manhattan everyone will see it.

The downside is that out-of-home advertising is more costly. Direct mail really came on the scene in the early 1990s, but there weren’t many sources of names. However, the quality of lists has improved dramatically, and many marketers have built up inhouse databases that they can mine continually. Still, only a minority of active clients in the Asian market actually get into direct mail, so it’s a fairly uncluttered environment.

DIRECT: Why do you think that’s the case?

GITLIN: It may be because we can’t pull a list that’s as narrowly defined as a client wants. But usually, clients stepping into the market are looking to significantly raise attention to their overarching brand, and a better vehicle to achieve that exposure is [mass media,] because you’re going to get more eyeballs vs. sending packages to [certain] households. Typically there are some first-time advertisers in the market that jump into direct mail, possibly because they’ve already identified an inhouse database of existing Asian users they want to start leveraging. Very often it’s not uncommon for direct mail to be a phase-two approach, when the client has the database in order and is going for a more targeted and monitored approach.

DIRECT: What’s the biggest challenge?

GITLIN: It’s not just about the right language, it’s about the right culture. Marketers often want to take mainstream creative and put it in the Asian market. More often than not, we say, We could simply translate this piece, but we don’t think it’s optimal. Could there be a better execution?