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To meet Verizonís mission of deepening their relationship with this key customer segment, the La Plaza program needed to deliver more targeted, creative offerings than typical loyalty programs that award customers points based on purchases. MotivAction kicked off the effort by conducting extensive research within the Hispanic marketplace to identify the core needs and interests of the community. Rooted in primary research, including valuable focus group feedback, La Plaza was structured to ensure that all incentives and communications were built around the core values of interest: education, job enrichment and standard of living, and personal safety and security.
The La Plaza program integrated several components to address customer interests and meet Verizonís goals of customer retention and recruitment: magazine subscriptions, gifts for new and high volume customers, and sweepstakes that awarded travel and tickets to major cultural events.
In order to deliver cultural information to its Hispanic customer base, Verizon and MotivAction teamed up to produce La Voz magazine, which is distributed quarterly to all Hispanic customers. In line with La Plazaís research findings, La Vozís editorial content focuses on education and career development and provides cultural insights and resources to its readership. The magazine has proven to be quite successful with 75 percent of customers citing it as an important factor in their loyalty to Verizon. La Voz has become the second largest Spanish specialty magazine in the US, with distribution growing from 80,000 copies to 450,000 copies with the Spring 2002 issue.
To ensure authenticity, all La Plaza communications, including the writing and design of La Voz, are created and produced by native Spanish speakers, not translated from English to Spanish. Verizon and MotivAction also made the strategic decision to minimize product and service promotion to better convey Verizonís intention of true partnership with the community rather than just as a purveyor of products.
The La Plaza program includes an initial welcome mailing to all new customers that features a value-added key chain that addresses customersí personal safety and security interest. Imprinted with a unique code, any lost key chain can be dropped in the US mail to be returned to its owner. The key chain will be sent to MotivAction, tracked through the customer database by its code and returned to the rightful owner. High volume customers are also rewarded to help drive customer retention. T h o s e enrolled in the La Plaza Milenio Gift Program and spend $25 or more each month receive three items of their choosing from an educational gift series that includes books, tapes, childrenís educational materials, and retail gift cards.
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