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E-Marketing and the Image of Middle Eastern Consumers

An E-marketing Strategy to Improve the Image of Middle Eastern

Introduction and Statement of Purpose

Since the terrorist attack on the United States on September 11, 2001, American attitudes regarding the presence of Middle Easterners in the country have been subject to dramatic changes. Arab-Americans (those individuals and groups of Arabic ethnicity and largely of the Islamic faith) and Arab or Middle Eastern students and businesspeople temporarily in the United States have become objects of suspicion and, in some instances, of outright fear and hatred (A year of living nervously, 2002). Concerns regarding the possibility that Arab-Americans and Middle Easterners in this country are connected to terrorist organizations or intent upon doing damage to the United States and its citizenry have been expressed in various media and by many different groups or organizations (A year of living nervously, 2002).

Nevertheless, the growing number of members of this minority group living permanently or temporarily in the United States represents an important (and, in many instances, relatively affluent) consumer market segment (Gallop-Goodman, 2001). Consequently, creating an e-marketing campaign to enhance or improve the image of this market segment is a task worthy of consideration. As Gerda Gallop-Goodman (2001) commented several months prior to 9/11, the approximately 3.2million people of Arab descent living in the U.S. as citizens (plus the hundreds of thousands more of Middle Eastern nationality who are temporary residents of the country) represent a significant ethnic minority, comparable to the nation's 4.2million Asians. Further, the Middle Eastern community in the U.S. is actually quite diverse; it contains Muslims as well as Christians, Arabs as well as non-Arabs (i.e., Persians), rich and poor, educated and uneducated, professionals and hourly wage workers (Gallop-Goodman, 2001).

The tendency that has emerged since...

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