People of color are interested in buying and using cable’s advanced services, according to research firms like Frank Magid Associates and Horowitz Associates. So what’s the best way to get them to actually buy them? First, here’s what could be the worst way: blanketing a market with a universal campaign. Kneko Burney, chief telecommunications market strategist at In-Stat/MDR, believes operators should take a case-by-case approach with each service and with each ethnic audience. "Going after the Latino market or the Asian-American market is huge, but each has so many different subcultures," she says. "The Latino subculture situation is complicated, but at least there’s one language spoken. The Asian segment is more complicated because each subculture speaks a different language." Operators need to deliver focused, concise marketing messages in the appropriate language, Burney says. At a VoIP panel held during the NAMIC Conference in New York, she stressed a simple promotion point for VoIP: It’s a less costly communications tool with "control of who calls you." For DVRs, MSOs should stress control and customization of the viewing experience. The selling points for high-speed Internet access should be its fast information access and the ability to give kids an edge in learning. For interactive TV, it’s personalized experiences; for VOD, choice. "There’s a lot of movies in other languages that never make it on TV. That’s where VOD becomes extremely valuable for people of color," she says. Burney recommends guerrilla street marketing, and says operators should demo advanced services at minority business summits and local chamber of commerce functions. Campaigns such as NBC Cable/Telemundo’s "M�s" digital cable/high-speed access push and International Channel’s "Get More, Get Cable" affiliate drive are a great first steps, Burney says. "You’ll see more efforts like this."

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The college football Bowl Season is getting closer, but first we have to make it through conference championships.

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