October 17, 2008

Understanding the rapid shifts in the customer landscape is essential for any business that wants to compete successfully in today's increasingly diverse economy. The most successful companies have integrated multicultural awareness and marketing as a core corporate strategy.

Through its multicultural marketing strategy, Qwest continues to address its diverse community of customers. Did you know:

o Overall more than 24 percent of the people living in the 14-state area are from diverse races and ethnicities*

o 14.5 percent of the people living in the 14-state area are Hispanic

o Hispanics currently comprise approximately 11 percent of Qwest's customer base

Qwest's end-to-end multicultural marketing approach - through retail, e-commerce, indirect sales, Community Developer Group (CDG), bilingual El Centro Sales and Service Centers in Phoenix and Salt Lake City, and online - includes increasing local marketing events and activities within this growing customer base. The goal of these efforts: to provide a near-perfect customer experience and grow business with these customers.

Qwest has a 25-year legacy of providing support in a customer's preferred language. By nurturing a customer-focused relationship and promoting a family-oriented culture among Qwest employees that serve the needs of Qwest's diverse customer base, Qwest is able to perfect the customer experience across culture and language.

This approach encompasses both acculturated Spanish-speaking customers (those who are bilingual and prefer English-language contacts and materials), and Spanish-preferred customers (those who prefer to do business with Qwest in Spanish).

Successfully serving customers in the Hispanic market segment requires a thorough understanding of cultural characteristics and how they relate to communications and entertainment-buying decisions. Some recent Hispanic marketing initiatives include:

o Qwest Plan Latino, a product that targets customers in this market segment. Plan Latino is a long-distance calling plan with reduced rates to Mexico and Latin American countries.

o Qwest's Spanish-language Get in the Loop campaign, “Entra en Onda,” focuses on staying connected to loved ones and friends.

o The Spanish-language Qwest product Web site (ñol) provides a purchasing experience in a customer's preferred language if desired.

o DIRECTV Mas through Qwest ensures that popular Mexican and Latin American channels are available to customers who prefer Spanish.

o In the newest opportunity to offer Verizon Wireless through Qwest, Qwest's multicultural marketing team is working closely with Verizon Wireless to create efficiencies by leveraging marketing efforts.

Qwest's marketing efforts clearly are paying off. There has been strong growth in sales of strategic products, especially high-speed Internet.

Looking forward Qwest's marketing in 2009 will include Hispanic-focused advertising, in English, that appeals directly to the Hispanic community. Qwest already has Hispanic spokespeople in place in the areas of sports and media.

Within Qwest's multicultural marketing strategy, the bilingual El Centro Sales and Service Centers in Phoenix and Salt Lake City provide employment and great customer service to the Spanish-speaking community. Here are a few specifics:

o The two centers have grown from four to more than 400 employees, and 14 Latin countries are represented by employees in those locations.

o The Phoenix center will celebrate its 25th anniversary in July 2009.

o Phoenix El Centro is used as a best-practice example by other companies in Arizona.

o Recently, the Salt Lake City El Centro center captured the spotlight in Mundo Hispano, a Utah-based newspaper. “People who work there are polite, attentive and friendly,” the story said of bilingual sales associates. Quoted in the report, Centro sales manager Mauricio Díaz de León explained how without bilingual employees, Qwest wouldn't be able to “satisfy our clients with the Spirit of Service.”

Importantly, Qwest's Hispanic marketing takes into account the unique cultural characteristics of Latin cultures, in particular, the deep sense of family. For example:

o The El Centro centers employ multiple family members on teams.

o El Centro employees are trained to think of the customers on the other end of the phone as if they could be their relatives, and thus always be advocates for customers.

In 2007, Qwest launched Motivate.Educate.Elevate, a comprehensive Spanish-language program that highlights information and opportunities made available by Qwest. A Spanish-language Web site at is the focal point of the program.

Meanwhile, Qwest continues its commitment to recognizing and preserving Hispanic culture and activities. Qwest participates in Fiestas Patrias, which features festivals in several markets. And Hispanic organizations receive grants from the Qwest Foundation. A recent example: a $10,000 grant to Arte los Martes, an outreach initiative of the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque, which is dedicated to the preservation, promotion and advancement of Hispanic culture, arts and humanities.

Collectively, Qwest's multicultural efforts result in positive and measurable performance results and they serve as the cornerstone of Qwest's strong relationship with Hispanic customers.

By Cruz Flores, Senior Manager, Multicultural Markets for Qwest Communications

Photo 1-Pat Quinn, retired Qwest Arizona president and Alex Juarez, Hispanic Marketing Director, present the AGUILAR Youth Leadership Institute with a $5,000 donation check at the Phoenix Cinco de Mayo event last May.

Photo 2- Alex Juarez, Spanish-language spokesperson for Qwest Communications speaks to members of the audience at the Motívate.Edúcate.Elévate. press conference launch last fall in Denver.

Photo 3- Students at Castro Elementary School in Denver received backpacks courtesy of Qwest as part of the Motívate.Edúcate.Elévate. program launch event last fall.

Cruz Flores

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