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Best Pr ac tices in Multicultur al Marke ting

Pranab Shah

Vice President and Managing Director, Global Business

United States Postal Service (USPS)

Headquarters: Washington, D.C. Web site: www.usps.com Primary Business: Federal Government

The U.S. Postal Service embraces multicultural marketing as a natural part of fulfilling its universal service mandate. Beyond that, the USPS has continued to expand its reach to better serve the unique needs of the diverse U.S. population, and has had numerous multicultural marketing and outreach strategies through the decades. Examples include the Black Heritage stamp series, now in its 33rd year, and the annual Lunar New Year stamp series. For each commemorative stamp issued, a national dedication ceremony is held that heightens social awareness, while bringing together community and business leaders. We also have product fact sheets available in 10 languages, and provide in-language customer brochures. We partner with national and local multicultural organizations, and have Spanish-speaking customer care agents available 24-7 through our toll-free information line. We’re facilitating global commerce and helping businesses grow globally, by using USPS products and services to ship internationally.

How does your organization use ethnic insights to drive growth?

The USPS is in the process of deploying GrowGlobal!™ (GG!), a multicultural, smallmedium business strategy across 30 USPS districts selected through market research for their demographic profiles and business growth potential. In FY 2009, the pilot GG! initiative launched in 10 USPS districts, resulting in nearly 10% growth in multicultural business revenue. GG! is a broad collaborative business initiative involving both national and local organizational teamwork. Support from USPS Headquarters is provided through market intelligence, while a locally-based cross-functional collaboration model for relationshipbuilding with the Asian and Hispanic SME market is developed at the community level to focus on participating with key multicultural business organizations. How is your organization’s senior management engaged or involved in the multicultural marketing process?

the relationships we develop with our business partners. The model focuses on building relationships within the multicultural business community through market research, country visits, communication with strategic partners overseas, trade show visits, membership in civic organizations, and multicultural recruiting practices. We also participate in joint marketing efforts with foreign posts both in the U.S. and abroad. List the various ways your organization begins to understand the culture of the groups it wants to reach.

Understanding the diverse cultures of our business customers starts when the Headquarters marketing team provides cultural insight training and research resources to help employees understand the differences and unique values of various ethnicities. This guidance spurs greater cultural awareness and improvements to listening skills, which are key ingredients for building successful business relationships in a global business environment. How does your organization show how your products or services will benefit and/or meet the needs of different groups targeted?

The USPS customizes products to the needs of diverse audiences, including bilingual sales collateral at one-on-one meetings or Senior leadership is actively engaged a national dedic ation ceremony is specific in-culture events. The Postal Service in multicultural activities throughout also identifies opportunities to better serve the organization. Our vice president of held that heightens social awareness, the diverse needs of communities, such as Employee Development and Diversity while bringing together communit y offering the Dinero Seguro money transfer is instrumental in ensuring cultural service in retail office locations with high awareness programs are integrated into and b usiness leaders. Hispanic foreign-born population densities; the approaches used by the Global ensuring appropriate promotional efforts Business team as it identifies areas where convey product options to the right audience; and promoting USPS business opportunities may exist. online shipping solutions through online media and search engines to The GrowGlobal! (GG!) initiative is an example of how Hispanic and Asian business customers. Benefits to targeted groups multicultural marketing initiatives are planned, approved and include access to a variety of shipping options at competitive prices. implemented by senior management across numerous functional areas within the organization. The Postmaster General and CEO authorized Is it important for the marketing team and front-line sales force to reflect the the Headquarters team to deploy GG! nationwide. The initiative target market? If so, why? is being championed by senior leadership, including the USPS We have found it is beneficial for the marketing team to have some Chief Operating Officer and officers representing Sales, Corporate representation of the culture being addressed. Ensuring all team Communications, Mailing and Shipping Services, Operations, and members honor cultural differences when working with different Customer Relations. ethnicities is critical to establishing successful relationships. Collateral

For each commemor ative stamp issued,

Do you engage ethnic business partners in your multicultural marketing process? If you do, how?

The key to the success of our multicultural marketing programs is

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Profiles in Diversit y Journal

March/April 2010

materials reflect cultural sensitivity as well. Utilitizing the diversity within our organization allows us to make strong business connections with communities across the nation and around the world. PDJ

Diversity Journal - Mar/Apr 2010  

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