(Huge) Untapped Opportunity

Sep 01, 2004

Mark Bard
There's a reason the political parties have formally embraced the Hispanic market this election year: The number of US Hispanic adults (age 18 and older) is topping off at almost 25 million in 2004. And there's a reason the parties are using culturally relevant messaging and Spanish-language content: 40 percent of US Hispanics are foreign born.

So pharma product teams should take a lesson and realize that US Hispanics represent an untapped opportunity, especially in light of the growing presence of Latin culture in the mass media. A recent analysis of this important consumer group by Manhattan Research reveals that the internet presents a unique complement to music, TV, and radio mass media for targeted segmentation of a market that is increasingly in need of better drug information and resources along the treatment continuum, from acquisition to retention.

Targeting the "Right" SegmentsBeyond knowing the impact of this market's size, it is critical to understand relative opportunities by therapeutic category. (See "Leading Therapeutic Categories Researched Online.") This enables product teams to properly allocate resources and stage their introduction to marketing initiatives internally, as opposed to launching broad corporate initiatives.

Leading Therapeutic Categories Researched Online by US Hispanics
A Growing Role for OnlineUS Hispanics have historically trailed non-Hispanics in internet adoption. New data show that gap rapidly closing as younger Hispanics drive the segment's overall adoption rates. Hispanics are also increasingly using the internet for health information, as a complement to offline resources such as physicians, family, and TV. In fact, almost 10 million US Hispan-ics already get health information online. Close to four million are using it specifically for information about prescription drugs; 86 percent plan to increase that reliance in the near future.

Some product teams, including those for Lipitor (atorvastatin) and Zoloft (sertraline), have created culturally relevant versions of their leading product sites, but most have yet to offer resources targeted to the Hispanic segment online. Seeking to bridge the cultural gap, product teams must continue to evaluate their approach to the Hispanic market as a unique consumer segment—and a growth opportunity if addressed with culturally appropriate content and branding.

Today, DTC-driven sustained revenue growth remains a challenge. So a growth opportunity such as this—where a competitive market advantage is achievable—should be a welcome revelation.

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