Hispanics are the largest minority group in the U.S. and that population continues to grow year over year. Currently 59 million Hispanics reside in the U.S. and they account for $10 billion in health, wellness, prescription drugs and over-the-counter products. This represents a huge and untapped opportunity for healthcare marketers. To build a more effective Hispanic marketing strategy, healthcare marketers should have this in mind:
Hispanic Consumers Are Diverse
Many marketers look at Hispanics in aggregate, however, the Hispanic population is not homogeneous. It is a diverse group in age, psychographics, location, country of origin and language. Gone are the days where marketing to Hispanics meant defaulting advertising in Spanish and only in Spanish media. Hispanic households are multi-generational and the primary decision makers are usually the younger ones. For instance, when marketing to consumers ages 65 or older, older Hispanics are more likely to rely on their children than American-born Baby Boomers. Therefore, the marketing strategy would be different when targeting the Hispanic aged 65 or older. Defining the target group and understanding the local market is key in effectively reaching the desired consumer.
Mistrust in the Healthcare System
There is a growing mistrust in the system amid healthcare debates and rhetoric around cultural diversity. Hispanic consumers’ mistrust may be the lack of information available and brands need to demonstrate they are above the vitriol by investing in education and tools for consumers to start winning trust.
Digital is Necessary
Hispanics are adopting technology at a faster rate than their peers are. Therefore, healthcare providers and companies that can speak to this group online can bridge the gap.
- Hispanics increasingly turn to the internet for research and guidance, such as Telehealth. For many foreign born Hispanics, the family physician in Latino countries played a larger role in the lives of their patients.
- Hispanics feel comfortable communicating with doctors via email and text directly and mobile applications to make appointments. This patient-physician communication is key in building a relationship.
- Healthcare companies can engage Hispanics on the websites they are already visiting by providing culturally relevant content.
- Healthcare companies and brands can leverage well-known figures, personalities, and websites with social forums – virtual health panels with physicians and consumers.
Non-traditional health businesses may have an advantage reaching Hispanics. Perhaps more than any other consumer group as Hispanics are cost conscious and mobile savvy, and do not necessarily stay within the traditional U.S. healthcare system for their care. According Pew Research, less than 50% of Hispanics say they have a regular doctor, instead are relying more on quicker and more economical alternatives such as community health clinics, retail clinics and pharmacists.
Catering to Hispanic healthcare consumers does not mean offering the same products, services and messaging as done with the general market. The offerings should be different and if the marketing strategy is relevant and executed correctly, healthcare brands will gain trust and loyalty from the Hispanic consumer.