Do these comments sound familiar? “We could feature an African American family in this maternity ad.” “Let’s get these service line brochures translated into Spanish.” “How can we speak to our Asian American community?”
Just a few years ago, comments like these typically were the
extent of the conversations hospital marketers were having about multicultural marketing.
But simply including images of diverse families in your banner ads and offering
translated collateral is no longer enough. Cultural differences are about more
than skin color and language. They’re about perceptions, beliefs, customs and
Traditional married couple households are no longer the norm.
The typical family, a man married with kids, now represents only 20% of households in America. The 2010 US Census indicates that households with married couples make up only 48% of households and married with children are only one in five. In contrast 45 million women are heads of households, which is double the number in 1980.
Women are more in control in American households than ever before. Women are heads of households and women earn much more money than just a few years ago. In 37% of married households, the woman makes more money than the man. In the last 30 years female’s income has risen 59% while men’s income has increased only 4%. One reason for this increase is only 14% of women had a college degree in 1980 compared to over 30% today.
And also contributing to these numbers of women who are heads of household is that as the population ages, women who live longer than men, will become an even larger majority of all adults.
To hospital marketers, women have always been the primary targeted audience. With these rapidly changing numbers the importance of targeting women is even greater. Women are heads of more households, they make more money than ever before and they make healthcare decisions. Therefore it’s imperative we understand women, what motivates them and how they make healthcare decisions.
It’s also important that as women take on a more active and stronger role in American households we must tailor our healthcare services to meet their needs. We must deliver healthcare in ways, places and times that fit their needs. And we must market in mediums that effectively reach this influential market.