Univision study finds demand for in-culture communications to Hispanics

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Healthcare marketers need to work on building trust among Hispanic audiences and improving adherence through targeted communications, according to a survey by Hispanic media giant Univision Communications.

Hispanics are 21% less likely to be diagnosed with disease than non-Hispanics, said Univision, citing United Healthcare data, though once diagnosed, treatment rates reach parity with non-Hispanics.

“We know that if the Hispanic share of prescription sales equaled their share of the total US population, the pharma industry could capitalize on a $12 billion growth opportunity,” said Univision VP brand solutions/healthcare Eric Talbot.

The company's Patient Journey study of Spanish-dominant and bilingual patients in New York and LA found 45% reported visiting a doctor or specialist three or more times a year for their primary condition compared to 32% of non-Hispanics. Hispanics, the study said, tend to want a deeper relationship with their physician, with fewer Hispanics than non-Hispanics agreeing that their doctor understands their fears, respects their opinion, understands their needs and makes them feel at ease. Far fewer Hispanics said their doctors discussed benefits and side effects of drugs with them – just 29%, compared to 53% of non-Hispanics.

“Drug marketers should consider portraying doctors in campaigns as personable and willing to spend time cultivating a relationship,” said Univision's Talbot. “This could help cultivate trust.”

The study found a strong correlation between in-culture communications and medication adherence.

“We found that targeted communications have a strong influence during the adherence phase,” said Talbot. “If marketers connect with Hispanics in their language and culture, they tend to feel more comfortable about taking the medication.”

A Google study of Spanish-language search found tremendous unmet need for Spanish-language health content. Spanish-language online health queries grew an average of 588% per subcategory from 2006-2011. Google searches on “Salud” grew 272% for the period while “health” searches rose only 29%.

“Our research proves that Hispanics crave more health content in Spanish as they empower themselves to learn more,” said Google's Manny Miravete, Hispanic industry manager.
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