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Crafting Culturally Sensitive Messages to Reach Diverse Audiences and Improve Patient Outcomes


In this Pharmaceutical Executive video interview, Amanda Powers-Han, Chief Marketing Officer, Greater Than One, discusses how improved DE&I in healthcare marketing strategies can not only reach diverse audiences more effectively but address their specific healthcare needs

With an ever-increasing focus on DE&I, how can improved DE&I in healthcare marketing strategies not only reach diverse audiences more effectively but also contribute to improved patient care outcomes?

The first really important point that I will share is just how critical this is to us advancing healthcare as an industry, and ultimately helping all of the people that deserve to live their fullest lives. You may know this already, but Greater Than One is a women owned business and also LGBTQ certified. So, it is at the heart of our DNA and something that we live and breathe every day. And kind of simply put, the better job we do breaking down some of these barriers, the more people are going to be reached effectively, the more people are going to seek care and the quality care that they need. And then ultimately, the better the care experience, the better the outcomes. So, I just wanted to say that right off the bat. And then in terms of how we can engage and address this really important issue.

First and foremost, we need to understand the individual audiences, the cultural sensitivities, and ultimately the needs of each of these groups and the broader group collectively, so that we can develop content and engage them effectively. And that's something that you know, is not a one size fits all approach at all. It takes hard work, it takes investment. And it takes some real effort in understanding the individuals and what's going to motivate them, support them, and ultimately help them be healthier on an ongoing basis. And there's a couple of examples that we have seen. The first that I'll share with you, is in the sickle cell disease space specifically. So, as you may know, sickle cell disease impacts people of color much more than it do others. And their experience in the healthcare system has an incredible bias against them. And so, as we think about building programs for sickle cell disease, we have to put ourselves in the shoes of those customers and recognize the experience that they have in the healthcare system is not always a very positive one in the context of what they suffer from, and their incredible pain going into the emergency department and truly needing help from those doctors and healthcare staff. Sometimes they don't get it because there's this incredible bias against them from the top. So that's just an example of something that is not fully solved for yet, but really important for us to understand that experience as we develop marketing campaigns and engage them. And then one other example, if I may, is in the context of rare diseases.

Rare diseases, as you may know, they are under research, they are underfunded. And we do a tremendous amount of work in the rare disease space about 50 or 60% of our business is in rare diseases specifically. And so, as we think about building marketing programs and solutions for rare disease, patient populations, and the healthcare professionals that support them, we think about the importance of precision targeting and getting to those individual patients, finding the patients first and foremost, so that they are exposed to that great content, and they can educate themselves and then ultimately advocate for themselves as they're going through their diagnosis in their treatment journey.

What challenges do healthcare marketers face in crafting culturally sensitive messages that resonate with diverse audiences and address their specific healthcare needs?

We have to understand the specific audiences and the individuals first in in a very rich in a deep way. So, putting ourselves in their position, leveraging different forms of research and ultimately having a deep understanding of what they need, what makes them tick, what drives them what they're afraid of behaviorally, of course, in how, through that incredible understanding, we then have an opportunity in a much better chance to create something that's going to resonate with them. And great insight is not sometimes easy to find. So, it's not a data point, it's something that is much deeper, that we can latch on to deliver something truly special that's going to connect with them both in terms of their heart, their heart and in their head. Because that's when we do the best work. That's when people are motivated to advocate for themselves. And ultimately, that's when you know, we are able to drive the better outcomes that we're all after. Another challenge is budget. So, creating content, and segmenting audiences can sometimes be more expensive. There are, of course, really interesting technology solutions now that are coming forward, that are helping us build content much more efficiently and effectively. And then in the context of that idea, also, as we think about the need to sometimes translate materials into other languages, so from English to Spanish, as an example, it's usually not just a direct translation, there are cultural sensitivities, and the need to take what has been developed in English as an example, and to work with professionals and experts that then can help develop and translate that content not only through machinery, but ultimately the right human touch so that we get it culturally right.

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