The Future of Hispanics & Healthcare: Brand Considerations for 2018

Today, healthcare continues to be at the forefront of media and consumer conversations and Hispanics, as a community, represent an enormous opportunity for the healthcare sector. As we approach 2018, we wanted to share one of my recent articles, “How to Reach Hispanics in a Changing Health Care Climate,” which originally appeared in the American Marketing Association Journal.

How to Reach Hispanics in a Changing Health Care Climate

By: Natalie Boden, founder & president, BODEN


– Hispanic health care consumers pose a large opportunity for marketers, if they know how to communicate and draw data appropriately.

– There are still 58 million Hispanics that make health care choices for their families.

– In fact, Hispanics account for $10 billion in health, wellness, prescription drugs and over-the-counter products. As a segment, they can sometimes be overlooked and labeled uninsured, but they continue to represent an enormous opportunity for brands.

– When developing 2018 Hispanic-specific initiatives, it will be important to take the following into consideration:

What is your target Hispanic segment?
The $1.3 trillion Hispanic segment is a diverse one, not merely by country of origin or amount of time residing in the U.S., but by age and psychographic. For example, when developing campaigns for a Medicare-age consumer, a dual-pronged campaign is important because Hispanics 65 and older rely greatly on their children for large decision-making moments. Their children, unlike them, are primarily English-dominant. The 65 and older segment is mostly Spanish-dominant. Both targets are just as important when communicating about health services and products. The narrative, language and target media for each should be different, both laddering up to a larger campaign message.

How will you gain their trust?
Amid the health care debate in the U.S. and the prevalent negative rhetoric about diverse segments (to put it lightly), Hispanics are losing trust in the system. As a result, they are looking carefully at which brands they choose. Mistrust is ubiquitous; the health care industry amid Hispanics has always been a source of confusion and doubt, and today that mistrust is even more prevalent. As a result, brands need to continue to invest in health care education. A brand that takes the time to educate—in culture and in language—is a brand Hispanic consumers will trust and stay loyal to.

Are you taking both a short-term and long-term approach?
Many brands want to market to Hispanics during open enrollment or during Hispanic Heritage Month. A one-off campaign can be impactful, but an ongoing approach is key to win with this consumer in the long term. Your yearlong strategy can focus on making the biggest impact during open enrollment, but if you take a month-to-month, year-to-year approach, your initiatives might not help you foster a deeper relationship with the Hispanic community.

Do you have the right data?
As you dive deeper into the needs of a Hispanic consumer, it’s important to start with census data, but it’s even more important to take an in-depth look at your consumer as it relates to your industry. Data from interviews of 1,000 Hispanics isn’t sufficient to make long-term decisions on how to capture $1.3 trillion in spending. You wouldn’t base your other marketing communications decisions on 1,000 interviews, so why do it for Hispanic populations? Invest in industry data, and you’ll win.

As brands head into 2018, it will be more important than ever to keep a close tab on your Hispanic consumers. Invest in them both from a marketing and a communications perspective, despite the negative rhetoric, and with a voice that continues to elevate how important this market is to your brand.

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