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The Diversity of Digital

Intouch Team

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Certain diseases and health ailments can strike some communities harder than others. Take HIV/AIDS as an example — 50% of all new HIV infections are among African-Americans, although African-Americans comprise only 13% of the population. Given disease prevalence among certain ethnicities, multicultural marketing can be a valuable resource.

Why Pharma Should Pay Attention to Multicultural Marketing

The buying power among minority communities is growing. According to recent multicultural economy projections, U.S. Hispanic buying power will grow faster than African-American, Asian, and Native American buying power. And all of these target markets will grow much faster than the Caucasian market.

So, what are they buying? Considering Intouch Solutions’ niche expertise of digital marketing in pharma and health care, we’ll center on these important points from recent Experian® SimmonsSM and Univision findings:

  • Twice as many Hispanics are willing to pay for branded prescriptions as non-Hispanics (31% vs. 15%).
  • Hispanics are 38% more likely to buy from an advertiser than non-Hispanics (Index 131 to 95).

Consider this: online use by Hispanic populations increases with education level and generation sequence (80% of second-generation Latinos are more apt to go online than their immigrant parents). As these individuals become responsible for their own health care, we’re bound to see an increase in online use. African-Americans reportedly spend 58% more time online than the general population and are 35% more likey to use the Web for searching about health-related issues.

Connect the dots and we have those inner light bulbs screaming "opportunity!"

More Than a Picture

Just like our mantra of start digital, marketing online to multicultural audiences needs to be a well thought out campaign, not just an add-on with a little translation. It’s true that targeting multicultural audiences may mean translating text on materials, including your Web sites. But really, there’s more to it if you want to introduce the campaign in the right way.

  • Avoid just swapping out images that match the face of your consumer. When choosing photography, consider age, familial relationships, and backgrounds that represent markets with higher incidence to address cultural relevancy.
  • Take the time to research and understand any cultural sensitivities in the market. For example, one disease may be discussed openly in one culture while in another it’s considered taboo.
  • Understand who plays decision maker and who is an influencer when it comes to health.
  • How does the community play a role? What about access to the Internet? Some homes may not have broadband, but patients may be accessing via their mobile devices.
  • Pay attention to how your translations are done.
    • Allow some flexibility within your content upon translation. Straight word-to-word translations will be obvious to a native reader and appear insincere.
    • Make note of subtleties within the same language — much like British English is different from American English, the many Spanish-speaking countries very much have their own dialects as well.

Think about how your product impacts the health of specific communities — age, gender, ethnic background and socioeconomic status. There are countless opportunities to build brands within niche markets online. We would be happy to brainstorm these and other strategies as you look to 2010 planning.

For more information, contact your Intouch Solutions representative, or contact us at


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