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The “General Market” Illusion: The New Majority in Healthcare Marketing

By Stewart Gandolf, Chief Executive Officer
target people new majority

There's a the New Majority in town.

On December 21, 2010, the U.S. Census Bureau announced the results of Census 2010—the resident population of the United States is now 308,745,538. But Census 2010 data isn’t just about counting noses. You may be surprised to learn that there’s a “new majority” in town, and there’s an important paradigm shift underway for healthcare marketing and advertising.

Before you become mired in numbers and analysis, here’s quick background note. Healthcare Success clients are healthcare providers—private practices, physician groups, hospitals and healthcare businesses—throughout the United States. And although healthcare providers are not usually thought of as sophisticated marketers, we often work with savvy clients who understand the importance of audience demographics and the need to think in multiracial terms.

The new census numbers reveal shifts in the population, and a “new majority” in healthcare marketing. What’s more, a “general market” audience profile is an illusion.

Advertising industry publication AdAge puts it this way: “The takeaway is simple: America is more ethnically diverse than ever; 50% of babies born today are non-white. And when these babies grow to be adults, they will be in the majority, as so-called ethnic minorities.” Their article, titled How Brands Must Adapt to the New Majority Marketplace, has important insights for healthcare marketing.

In our previous post about Census 2010, we looked at a report from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Their analysis observes—among several disruptive changes—that, “Business leaders will have to figure out how to design, package, and label goods and services that cater to the needs, cultural preferences, and consumer purchasing behaviors of both a ‘graying’ and ‘browning.’” (The report is available here.)

The reality is that a broad and general approach to healthcare marketing has always been less effective than precision audience identification. The high altitude observations about Census 2010 are only the starting gate for savvy marketers. Each of us needs to take an extreme close-up look at the specific demographic changes in our specific service area.

Our recommendations: First recognize that there have been significant changes in the population, and that there’s a new majority to consider. And finally, the healthcare marketing objective now—as it always has been—is to define a target group in precision terms and not generalities.

You can always connect with us here about sharpening your “new majority” focus.

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