Hispanic Health Care

26 Jul 2005|spalacios

From my earlier posts we saw that Hispanics are a growing — and largely untapped — market for health care. You want in. To reach them, you will have to understand the influence their culture has on their behavior and preferences. Entering the Hispanic health care market is straightforward. You can do it in five steps:

1. Understand what “Hispanic” means by segmenting appropriately.

2. Learn about Hispanic health practices and attitudes generally, and relative to illness and treatment.

3. Locate the channels you can use to reach them, including informal channels.

4. Assess your products and resources, and find the right niche for them.

5. Translate what needs to be translated into Spanish, and create culturally relevant communications.

Notice that translating into Spanish is the last step. Most companies think it’s the first. While language is a real issue, it’s not the lead issue: it’s a tactical issue you can address as you develop materials. The lead issue is to understand Hispanic health culture and to develop specific strategies for Hispanic markets.

To be effective, your offers, channels, messages, and branding should reflect the needs and attitudes of Hispanic culture. Translating your existing materials won’t work. In addition, you’ll have to back up your marketing programs with a solid infrastructure. You’ll need Spanish-language human resource staffs, 1-800 customer service operators, sales representatives, culturally adept corporate strategists, and so on. If you put out an ad in Spanish, Hispanics are going to call.

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