Seeking to establish a foothold in the as-yet underdeveloped Hispanic consumer rewards market, L.A. based Puntismos has launched the first phase of a two step roll-out. As the company’s president Doug Lowell describes it, “Puntismos is a resource for all Spanish speakers. While we will initially be focusing on the U.S. market, we plan to expand into Mexico and beyond as things progress.”
Mr. Lowell says that there are two main components to the Puntismos site: There is the community section, which will offer content relating to music, movies, business and travel, and there is the rewards program. Lowell says the company plans to leverage the content-rich area of the site to attract people to the rewards program.
Lowell says that the content portion of the site will mirror other content driven websites, like Batanga, Terra, etc, with entertainment and job portals. The content will be Spanish only, while the rewards program will be bilingual to accommodate language preferences. “The content side is Spanish dominant b/c Puntismos is for all Spanish speaking persons not just US and since it's a "fresh" site it would be really hard to make it bilingual.
The rewards site is bilingual b/c it is "static" and so we can easily translate that section and not have to continuously do it. Moreover, many of our U.S. advertisers are going to be English-speaking and they may want to get a sense of the rewards components.
There are hundreds of reward programs aimed at the general market. Most are centered around particular companies, like airlines, retailers and financial institutions. “What’s different about Puntismos is that, as far as I’m aware, we’re the only one to specifically target the Spanish-speaking market.” Historically, marketers have been slow to target Hispanics, and Lowell says he hopes to be at the forefront of doing so through the rewards program vehicle.
The program works like this: A company, like Cingular for example, is seeking to broaden their Hispanic market base, so they’ll approach Puntismos and say, “We’ll give you X-amount of dollars to sign up X-amount of Hispanics.” Puntismos then sends out a mass email to its members offering X-amount of points to sign up for Cingular’s program. Once customers have accumulated a certain number of points, they may redeem them for gift certificates for 150 major retailers. “We don’t expect people to sign up for one of our programs just to get the points. Rather, we expect people who are already interested in the programs we offer to sign up through us to maximize the value of their purchase,” says Lowell.
Puntismos can offer clients targeted audiences owing to the detailed profiles users are required to complete before participating in its programs. The user provides information such as household income, level of education, how many cars s/he owns, etc. Consequently, an advertiser can say, “OK, we’re looking to target only college-educated Hispanics who make $45,000-$60,000 a year, and own two or more cars,” and Puntismos can match the advertiser’s requirements with the criteria contained in its database of user profiles.