According to the latest US Census, there are 50.5 million Hispanics in the US (1 in 6 adults, 1 in 4 children). The influence and buying power of the Hispanic/Latino population will continue to grow in the years to come.
Are you losing money by not engaging this large untapped market?
Much of Hispanics’ spending power will be going to healthcare expenses. Some by choice (wellness), and some not necessarily by choice. This presents opportunities for doctors, nurses, dentists, therapists, others, and especially pharmaceuticals.
In 2009, US pharmaceutical companies spent $4.2 billion on DTC (Direct to Consumer Advertising).1 This is in addition to Direct to Patient (DTP) programs, which are more educational in nature. Of that amount, $38 million was spent on Spanish language advertising via traditional media (print, radio, TV), in addition to some electronic (New) media.2
Two of the biggest Hispanic health issues are diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Type 2 diabetes is 2.4 times greater than for non-Hispanic Whites.3 What do both of these say about obesity rates? How about cholesterol levels, sleep disorders, etc.?
Where do you fit in?
Much of the time, Hispanics are diagnosed and treated at lower rates. Reasons for this include a lack of awareness and disease state literacy. Often, the lack of information specifically targeting Hispanic patients can create obstacles to getting treatment.
Are health care professionals assuming that all that is necessary is translation? Or if Hispanic patients are fully fluent in English, that there is no need to back things up a little bit to educate and explain?
If you’re trying to reach Hispanics with generic messaging and translated materials, don’t waste your time. Make sure your materials include images of them. Speak to them on an emotional level that resonates. Educate.
It’s about communicating a culturally relevant message to people. You may have to change how you say something. What resonates with mainstream audiences may not resonate the same with Hispanics.
Also, it’s important to know that Hispanics generally have a perception of illness/disease that varies from the mainstream.
Where do you fit in?
Next up: Overall Characteristics of Hispanics and their view of healthcare and patient preferences and responses.
1) SDI Health VONA audit, TRx comparison calendar year 2009
2) Univision, Nielsen AdViews
3) US Census