The fabric of America has many interwoven threads of immigration with the most threads coming from Hispanic countries. As the threads change, so must your marketing. Here is why: In 2014, there were 55.4 million Spanish-speakers or Hispanics in the U.S., which makes up approximately 17.4% of the total U.S. population. This large number accounts for $1.5 trillion in purchasing power. So, when you want to tap into this Hispanic population through medical marketing, there are a few things to keep in mind and it all centers around their culture and technology use.
Take Time to Build a Relationship
The Hispanic population is a relationship-oriented population. They need to feel comfortable with the customer-service relationship. Building this relationship takes time. So, invest in customer care by slowing down. Give them time to gather information. Engage them in conversation. Devoting extra energy may slow the process, but it pays off every time with high customer loyalty and sustainable patient growth numbers among Hispanics.
Use Social Media According to a report by Pricewaterhousecooper LLP, “Hispanics are heavier social media users than non-Hispanics. Hispanics also rely on these virtual networks when making healthcare decisions.” This ties into their culturally ingrained family values and importance of networking and staying in touch with their support system near or far. They use apps and social media and internet searches to find doctors and gather medical and insurance information. So, it is imperative to use social media to build brand loyalty. When posting to social media in English, incorporate Spanish messaging as well. We recommend using a translation company to avoid the inevitable mistakes caused by computer translation. Also, keep in mind that Hispanics rely mainly on cell phones, not laptops and desktop computers or landlines.
Use Mobile Apps and QR codes Since Hispanics mostly eschew other types of technology, be sure to provide mobile apps for quick and easy access to your health information. An easy to navigate app with a Spanish language option will be very helpful. Or try creative QR codes that link to your website and thus deliver a richer, more contextual experience.
Stay Up-To-Date Be sure your contact information is accurate and visible on all major search engines. Check this often and update it as needed.
Be Mobile Friendly In the age of heavy cell phone use across all populations, companies should first design for cell phones and only then concentrate on the large screen. Not doing this could deter many consumers. Make it as easy for consumers to navigate your site.
Offer Spanish language options everywhere In addition to providing communication in Spanish via online communication, avoid misunderstandings by doing the same with all print communication. Sometimes you may need to develop separate advertising initiatives for Spanish-speaking populations.
Concentrate on Culture
Make your marketing stand out by using Hispanic talent, Spanish influenced music and vibrant, colorful imagery while avoiding any stereotypes.
It is also important to be culturally aware of cultural diversity. Know your dialect and market. Pay attention to regional differences and generational gaps among Hispanics. Older immigrants who are less apt to know English, prefer Spanish-speaking TV, radio stations and Spanish websites. Marketing strategies that emphasize traditional Hispanic cultural values and traditions including food, family, and holidays would keep them engaged. While Second-generation Hispanics born in the U.S. are more apt to know English and enjoy a mix of their heritage along with US customs and culture.
In your efforts to market to Spanish speakers, making the effort and taking the time to relate with them the way they relate to each other and the world at large will pay off. Understanding and respecting their culture, language, and customs will help you tap into a large percentage of the U.S. population.
By Ilona Knudson