Healthcare marketers should target insured young Hispanic women, a rapidly growing demographic that increasingly serves as healthcare gatekeepers, according to a new national survey commissioned by Cultúr Health, a partnership between Hispanic marketing specialist the vox collective and healthcare public relations firm Cooney/Waters.

The survey found that Latinas aged between 25 and 35 are managing their own health needs and frequently those of their families, parents, grandparents and other relatives as well. At the same time, this group relies heavily on families and community sources for healthcare information and product recommendations, highlighting the importance of engaging all relevant influencers.

“Our survey underscores the need for healthcare marketers to specifically target Hispanic women 25-35 years of age in their communications programs,” says Fred Lake of Cooney/Waters. “Culturally relevant content is as important as ever to reach these Hispanic gatekeepers, but we also place particular emphasis on developing programs designed to increase word-of-mouth and drive family and community awareness of a product or service.”

When asked where they first go for help with a healthcare concern, the majority of young Latinas named a “doctor” (59 percent); however, more than 30 percent named other sources, including a relative, spouse, friend or pharmacist.

Similarly, personal connections play a large role in purchasing decisions. When asked who influences their decisions to buy consumer or over-the-counter healthcare products, respondents? most frequent response was “friends, family and neighbors” (64 percent), followed by “pharmacist” (52 percent). Conversely, only 21 percent cited “advertising.”

"Reliance on social networks is a hallmark of Latin culture, with family members, neighbors and local figures of authority influencing even the most important healthcare decisions," says Roberto Ramos, the vox collective?s president and CEO.

Among the younger generation of Latinas, Spanish-language healthcare content is no longer required. The majority of respondents (76 percent) said that they prefer consuming this information in English, and even “culturally relevant English content” was preferred by more respondents (13 percent) than Spanish-language content (3 percent); additionally, 9 percent reported that the language didn?t matter.

Furthermore, when asked whether the news media influence their purchasing decisions for healthcare products, more than twice as many respondents (15 percent) said that they are influenced by English-language news outlets (newspapers, magazines, TV/radio stations and websites) than Spanish-language news outlets (5 percent).

“Language is only one part of a culture,” says Ramos. “The younger, acculturated Latinos who handle their family’s health needs now consume health information in English, and then ‘translate’ it for their older, Spanish-speaking relatives. Healthcare communication programs need to speak to both generations, through both the message and the medium.”

Finally, the survey shows that Latinas take disease prevention seriously, with 64 percent of respondents reporting that they take a vitamin, multivitamin and/or food supplement daily.