Diverse market still largely untapped

Rapidly changing demographics are affecting the complexion of America, and many groups aren't adequately targeted for healthcare products and services.

“It's not about black and white, it's about green,” green as in dollars, said Sheila Thorne, president and CEO, Multicultural Healthcare Marketing Group, at the Pharmaceutical Marketing Research Group conference on October 20.

One in 10 Asian Americans have chronic Hepatitis B, compared with 1 in 1,000 among the general population, said Hiroko Hatanaka, VP, IW Group. 

“In many cases, Chinese don't know what Hepatitis B is,” she said. “Marketing is a way to raise disease awareness in this community.” Among Dominicans in the Washington Heights section of New York City, 72% don't use asthma drugs, noted Jorge Petit, former commissioner at NYC's department of health and mental hygiene. In order to reach these groups, marketers have to work with ethnic media and craft messaging that resonates (not simply translations).

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