Healthcare Marketing: The Emergence of Cross Cultural Marketing

A current trend for brands is to communicate a singular message across several demographic and cultural audiences instead of communicating different messages to different social cultures and demographics.    

For years, marketers have watched as America has become more and more culturally diverse.  In response to this diversity, brands have looked at different demos and cultures and developed somewhat different marketing strategies for each.  But as a result of the 2010 census, a new trend is being discussed and is emerging.  It is being called cross-cultural marketing, aimed at a general market that is more of a mosaic than a melting pot.

Stuart Elliot, writing for the New York Times states that “cross cultural marketing is aimed at appealing across demographic groups to appeal to consumer similarities rather than differences.  By contrast, traditional multicultural marketing is directed at specific demographic groups like Hispanics, African Americans, Asian Americans, women, etc.”

For quite some time now marketers have grouped audiences into segments, which emphasized their differences.    But now researchers and marketers are looking more to being cross-cultural and emphasizing those things the groups have in common.   Advertisers no longer want different messages segmented and targeted to different audiences but fewer messages or maybe even one primary message that seek to appeal to the common traits among differing groups.   It’s more of a mashup of cultures.

This has probably been the primary approach most healthcare marketers have always taken.  Because there is a universal need for the products and services we provide, it’s easier for us to take a cross-cultural approach to marketing.  But we have sometimes segmented markets and tailored our message specifically to these separate markets.  It makes sense to seek those commonalities and similarities across various cultures and communicate a singular message.   It certainly will make our brand stronger.   

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