3 Lessons on Multicultural Marketing from Covered California

Covered California
Advertisers have marketing to minority groups all figured out, right? When it comes to healthcare, maybe not.

Covered California, that state’s health insurance marketplace, recently received press over its poor enrollment numbers with Latinos. The reason for the shortfall has been attributed to marketing materials that don’t connect with the state’s Hispanic population. How could a program in a state where Hispanics make up 39% of the population not connect with such an important demographic?

Turns out the mistakes made in California are classic marketing pitfalls. The preferences, habits, and decision-making process of a key segment got overlooked when rolling out the Covered California campaign in Spanish. When you build your next campaign targeting a minority group, here are three lessons to keep in mind:

1. Personalize the Value Proposition

The selling point in Covered California’s blanket ads was that no one can be denied coverage for a pre-existing condition. But most Hispanic-Americans have never applied for insurance, which means they’ve also never been rejected for a pre-existing condition. What got health policy officials all excited fell flat for uninsured members of this demographic. To be effective, Covered California needed to emphasize an element of health insurance that soothed a pain point for the Hispanic-American community.

Covered California

2. Earn Their Trust

In the Spanish Covered California television ads, no contact address or telephone number was given. Viewers were simply shown a web address. While a growing number of consumers have moved their entire path to purchase online, Latinos prefer to conduct the final transaction face-to-face. For them, it’s about trust. How was Covered California not aware of this key preferential difference? Knowing how a consumer segment evaluates a product is where thorough consumer research can make or break a campaign.

3. Don’t Get Lost in Translation

There are countless stories of advertising translations gone bad. The Spanish version of Covered California’s tv ads were word-for-word translations. The result isn’t offensive but it’s not exactly compelling either. Most marketers know that using customized language to speak to a target demographic makes the message that much stickier.

Learning from Covered California

How can you avoid making these and other common mistakes when marketing to Hispanic-Americans? Hiring an agency with experience reaching this segment seems like a pretty good answer. With 120,000 creative agencies in the US, a country that is 39% minority groups, there are lots of agencies with this expertise (1). The challenging part is finding the right multicultural marketing agency for your brand.

That’s where Agency Spotter’s search filters help you avoid the pitfalls Covered California experienced. Want to market to the LGBT community? Yeah, there’s a filter for that. How about Asian-Americans? There’s a filter for that too! We’ve invented a better way to search for every kind of agency you need. So head on over to Agency Spotter to get a leg up on your next agency search!

Related articles:

Claire Wallace