How to Create an Effective Health and Wellness Marketing Campaign (A Complete Guide)

Effective Health and Wellness Marketing Is Essential for Unlocking Value Within the Health and Wellness Industry

Reading Time: 15 minutes

January 24, 2024
Sudipti Kumar – Director, Cultural Insights

Half the U.S. Population Prioritize Wellness Yet Their Needs Remain Unfulfilled

Approximately 50% of U.S. consumers prioritized wellness in their daily lives in 2022. This marks a significant increase from 42% in 2020. 

However, despite this widespread emphasis, the health and wellness market is inadequately addressing consumer needs. Collage Group’s research indicates this gap is particularly pronounced among Hispanic, Black and Asian Americans.

To close this gap, brands need to understand the influence of Multicultural American culture on the health and wellness market, and how attitudes and behaviors in the industry are evolving across different ethnicities. Specifically, brands must understand:

    1. The health barriers Multicultural consumers face.
    2. Consumer challenges and relationships with health insurance companies across ethnicities.
    3. Multicultural consumer perceptions of mental health.

Health and Wellness Marketing: Empower Consumers to Overcome Health Barriers

According to Collage Group’s 2023 Pulse Check on Health report, 54% of Americans state “they think a lot about what can go wrong” with their health and wellness. Health is top-of-mind for the majority of consumers. Yet, accessing the right healthcare is difficult, especially for Multicultural Americans who experience heightened systemic barriers due to their racial and ethnic background. 

For example, there’s a shortage of Latino doctors, as highlighted in a study by Health Affairs. This means the Hispanic community is inadequately represented within the healthcare profession, and there’s a limited understanding of their needs. 

Additionally, Black Californians modify their appearance or behavior to mitigate the risk of discrimination and bias in healthcare settings such as hospitals, clinics, and doctor’s offices. 

Plus, anti-Asian racism within the medical field was highlighted in a study by Yale.

Keeping these examples in mind, it’s clear that, for Multicultural consumers, race is a significant barrier that prevents them from receiving high-quality healthcare.

To gain a deeper understanding of the challenges consumers face in accessing healthcare, Collage Group conducted the following survey. Participants were asked to indicate whether factors such as ethnicity, age, gender, and sexuality posed obstacles to receiving optimal care.

Notably, 37% of Black consumers state their race hinders healthcare access. Hispanic consumers also share this sentiment (29%). These results are significant when compared to the only 14% of White (non-Hispanic) consumers who agree.

As such, Black and Hispanic consumers seek brands that make an extra effort to understand the cultural, racial and healthcare barriers they face. With this in mind, outlined below are the main health and wellness barriers Multicultural consumers face. These are presented alongside key measures health and wellness brands should take to demonstrate solidarity in their marketing efforts.

The Health Impact of Labor-Intensive Work Is Palpable Among Hispanic Consumers

The health of Hispanic individuals is disproportionately affected by their employment status. Hispanics are more likely to be involved in labor-intensive occupations, such as construction. This adversely impacts their health due to the physically demanding nature of the work. Moreover, employees are exposed to health and safety risks, leading to elevated rates of injuries and fatalities among Hispanics as indicated by the National Journal of Insutrial Medicine.

Money Is the Biggest Factor Keeping Multicultural Americans From Achieving Their Best Health

Collage Group asked survey participants: ‘Which of the following is the biggest factor that keeps you from achieving your best health?’

Collage Group found that across Hispanic (39%), Black (37%), Asian (33%), and White (39%) consumers, money was the most significant obstacle to health and wellness care. In fact, consumers will avoid or delay the healthcare they need due to financial issues. Specifically, 51% of the total population avoided and delayed needed medical care, a sentiment most pronounced among White consumers (55%). However, Black (43%) and Asian (37%) consumers are less likely to avoid the medical care they need.

Another noteworthy discovery was the proportion of Asian Americans highlighting time as a barrier to healthcare. The findings mentioned above could explain this result. That is, Collage Group reveals that Asian (and Black) Americans are less likely to postpone their medical care, emphasizing the importance of time in their considerations. 

Based on Collage Group’s group trait research, the above observation aligns with the discerning nature and planning mindset of Asian Americans.

White Consumers Encounter Significant Healthcare Barriers Due to Negative Experiences in Medical Care

While a proportion of multicultural consumers do report negative experiences in medical care, White consumers are more likely to cite this as a significant barrier.

36% of White consumers state medical care is rushed. This figure contrasts with rates of 24%, 21%, and 23% reported by Hispanic, Black, and Asian consumers, respectively.

White consumers also feel their health concerns are dismissed, and note inadequate explanations of health issues. 

Multicultural Americans are younger than White Americans, on average, which may explain the lower rates of citing negative experiences in healthcare  – their overall incidence rate is lower. 

Overall, 51% of Americans, irrespective of race or ethnicity, seek another doctor following a negative healthcare experience.

Privacy Is Highly Valued by American Consumers When It Comes to Healthcare

Multicultural Americans seek a secure space to openly express their concerns about their well-being. 

Collage Group asked American consumers about their preferences for keeping their thoughts, in relation to health and wellness, private. 56% of Hispanics, 55% of Black, and 57% of Asian consumers shared this preference, in contrast to 47% of White consumers. As such, it’s inferred that privacy is important for Multicultural Americans. A conclusion that aligns with the broader research trends on this topic. That is, privacy is consistently identified as a major concern for consumers worldwide in the context of health and wellness.

Multicultural Americans Seek Doctors Who Understand the Implication of Ethnicity for Their Health

88% of Multicultural Americans express the importance for doctors to be aware of the risks associated with their racial and ethnic background. 69% of White consumers share this view. 

In addition to these considerations, language plays a pivotal role in the healthcare provider selection process for Multicultural Americans. For instance, 64% of Hispanics highlight the importance of their healthcare providers being able to speak Spanish. This sentiment is echoed by Black consumers (52%) and Asian consumers (44%).

Despite These Obstacles, Consumers Take a Proactive Approach When It Comes to Addressing Their Health Needs

Despite the obstacles highlighted above, American consumers (60%) continue to take a proactive approach when it comes to looking after their health and wellness. This proactive approach is most pronounced for Black (64%) and Hispanic (61%) consumers.

This forward-thinking mindset guides how consumers pursue health and wellness insights. Specifically, individuals rely on easily accessible media for culturally relevant and comprehensible information. Among American consumers, 46% address their health inquiries through online searches, 32% utilize social media for insights, and 22% obtain relevant information from advertisements.

These patterns are particularly prominent among Asian Americans, with 53% sourcing their wellness information from online searches, and 39% from social media. Regarding obtaining health and wellness information from advertisements, 26% of Black consumers do so, surpassing the rates observed in the overall population and other ethnicities.

Insights to Action  Support Effective Health and Wellness Marketing Strategies

Multicultural consumers seek health and wellness providers who not only understand their cultural and ethnic background but also acknowledge and address their specific and unique health barriers.

Here are crucial steps brands must implement to drive a successful health and wellness marketing campaign for the new year:

Marketing for Health and Wellness Insights #1 – Implement Cultural Competence Training

Equip your team with cultural competence training. This means educating your team to be culturally fluent. Collage Group’s cultural fluency insights can support you in this step. You and your team need to understand that external factors like housing and employment significantly influence Americans’ health, with Hispanics facing unique challenges related to employment status and labor-intensive work environments.

Marketing for Health and Wellness Insights #2 – Provide Money-Saving Solutions

Money is a significant obstacle consumers face when it comes to meeting their health and wellness needs. The products and services a brand provides must offer affordable, quality care.

Marketing for Health and Wellness Insights #3 – Know Customer Testimonials Matter

Highlight your worth by sharing impactful customer testimonials. Showcase the positive experiences of your customers.

Marketing for Health and Wellness Insights #4 – Focus On Privacy:

When it comes to the health and wellness industry, privacy matters. Implement robust data encryption measures and stringent access controls to ensure sensitive information is securely stored. Additionally, foster transparent communication about privacy policies and obtain explicit consent from users before collecting and using their data.

Marketing for Health and Wellness Insights #5 – Provide Uniquely Tailored Health and Wellness Care:

Invest in comprehensive patient questionnaires exploring various facets impacting health, such as employment, housing, and financial situations. Engage with Multicultural Americans to identify the external barriers they face. Find and implement solutions to these challenges. 

Your aim is to understand the distinct health and wellness challenges linked to individual ethnicities.

Marketing for Health and Wellness Insights #6 – Supply Readily Accessible and Accurate Health and Wellness Information

Adopt an omnichannel marketing strategy prioritizing education. Collaborate with health and wellness professionals to deliver precise, pertinent, and current information, ensuring accessibility through channels like a company blog, white papers, and social media.

Health and Wellness Marketing: Understand Consumer Relationships With Health Insurance Companies

The role of health insurance companies is pivotal in shaping the health and wellness landscape for consumers in the United States. Health and wellness brands play a vital role in addressing gaps and assisting consumers in overcoming challenges related to accessing appropriate healthcare through insurance. However, to do this effectively, such brands must understand these challenges, plus the dynamics and evolving relationships consumers have with health insurance companies. The insights given below assist this understanding, and from it, measures are presented to devise an effective health and wellness marketing strategy.

Not Every Multicultural American Is Covered by Health Insurance

Black and Hispanic consumers exhibit lower reported rates of health insurance coverage at 82% and 77% respectively. These figures are in contrast to White (89%) and Asian (88%) consumers.

Across ethnicities, employer-based insurance remains the predominant source, particularly among Asian Americans (53%), surpassing rates for White (36%), Black (33%), and Hispanic (30%) consumers. Other insurance sources include Medicare, Medicaid, direct purchases, and government/state medical programs.

Preventive Care and Emergency Family Protection Are the Main Reasons Consumers Have Health Insurance

Key motivations for Multicultural Americans seeking health insurance include prioritizing preventative care and ensuring family protection, with Asian Americans placing particular importance on these factors. These findings align with the discerning nature observed in Asian Americans, as derived from Collage Group’s group trait research.

To gather these insights, Collage Group asked Multicultural Americans about the most crucial reasons for having health insurance. Across race and ethnicity, regular check-ups and preventative care ranked high, with agreement from 59% of Hispanics, 65% of Black, 74% of Asian, and 72% of White consumers. The next significant reason for health insurance across ethnicities was protecting oneself and the family in emergencies. 60% of Hispanics, 62% of Black, 72% of Asian, and 66% of White consumers agree.

Black Americans Are More Likely to Have Health Insurance for Childbirth-Related Services

Research from Collage Group reveals that Black women face a higher risk of mortality and trauma during childbirth compared to other consumer segments. A notable 25% of Black Americans believe that the most crucial reason for having health insurance is for services related to pregnancy and childbirth, contrasting with 21% for the total population.

Multicultural Americans Embrace the Benefits of Health Insurance for Their Well-Being and See Providers as a Partner

71% of the entire American population perceives health insurance as an ally in enhancing and sustaining their well-being. This is also a sentiment consistent across ethnicities, with 71% of Hispanics, 73% of Black, 74% of Asian, and 68% of White consumers in agreement.

Interestingly, Black (27%) and Asian (26%) consumers are more inclined to view insurance companies as obstacles preventing them from improving or maintaining their health. High costs, inadequate coverage, and the absence of complementary medicine are the primary obstacles preventing consumers from accessing health insurance.

For those harboring a negative view of health insurance, Collage Group identified factors that would transform an individual’s perception. Among the respondents, 52% expressed a desire for insurance to become more affordable, 48% wished for improved coverage in health insurance pl

Hispanic and Black Americans Are Most Receptive to Diverse Support From Health Insurance Companies

A significant portion of the overall population (60%) expresses a preference to receive reminders regarding checkups, annual screenings, and exams. This sentiment holds across ethnicities, with 67% of Hispanic, 66% of Black, 63% of Asian, and 57% of White consumers sharing this need.

Furthermore, Hispanic and Black Americans stand out as particularly receptive to a range of support services from health insurance companies. In addition to reminders, these consumers also express interest in tools that help them find and compare healthcare providers in their vicinity, as well as educational content and information on maintaining a healthy diet.

Insights to Action: Tackle the Healthcare Challenges and Gaps Created by Health Insurance Companies

Marketing for Health and Wellness Insights #1 – Ensure the Affordability of Services and Products

The primary obstacle preventing the majority of Multicultural Americans from accessing the necessary health and well-being support and coverage is the cost of health insurance. This financial barrier leads consumers to perceive health insurance companies as hindrances rather than partners for their well-being. To bridge this gap, health and wellness brands should prioritize offering affordable options and market these offerings as such.

Marketing for Health and Wellness Insights #2 – Emphasize Preventative Care

The majority of Multicultural consumers seek health insurance as a means of preventative care. Health and wellness providers can address this demand by giving access to tools and services that concentrate on preventing illnesses and injuries, rather than reactive solutions. In their promotional materials, marketers should highlight this preventative approach as a central value proposition.

Marketing for Health and Wellness Insights #3 – Address Diverse Aspects of Health and Wellbeing

Consumers express a desire for health insurance companies to support their overall health and well-being across various dimensions, including spiritual, mental, social, and financial aspects. This demand is reflected in the preference for health insurance add-ons. To meet these expectations, health and wellness providers should offer a comprehensive package that caters to multiple facets of value, positioning themselves as a one-stop shop for health and wellness.

Marketing for Health and Wellness Insights #4 – Communicate the Benefits Effectively

Asian Americans, in particular, consider health insurance as a crucial tool for preventative care and emergency protection. Additionally, Black Americans place importance on health insurance coverage for safe pregnancy and childbirth – given the higher risks for Black women in maternal health. Health and wellness providers should tailor their communication strategies to effectively convey the benefits that align with the unique well-being priorities of Multicultural Americans.

Marketing for Health and Wellness Insights #5 – Provide Educational Content

Consumers, especially those from Black and Hispanic ethnicities, actively seek educational content that supports their health and wellness. Utilizing an omnichannel approach, health and wellness providers should deliver informative content addressing various aspects of well-being to meet the educational needs of their diverse audience.

Health and Wellness Marketing: Understand Consumer Perceptions of Mental Health

Approximately 21% of adults experienced a mental illness in the year 2019-2020, equating to over 50 million Americans. Well-being hinges on mental health, and as such, health and wellness brands must address mental health issues and challenges across the multicultural consumer landscape.

Effective health and wellness marketing needs to adapt to the evolving attitudes toward mental health. This understanding will allow brands to tailor products and services that genuinely meet the mental health needs of consumers, establishing a more authentic connection and enhancing the overall impact of their marketing strategies.

Consumers Want to End the Stigma Surrounding Mental Health

Across different racial and ethnic groups, Americans (69%) prioritize their mental health for improved well-being. This perspective is particularly pronounced among younger Americans, with 74% expressing its significance compared to 65% among the older generation.

Despite this, mental health remains a sensitive and seldom-discussed topic across various demographic segments. This highlights the need to destigmatize and normalize conversations about it. 40% of Americans advocate for normalizing discussions on mental health. This view is more pronounced among younger Americans with 46% sharing this sentiment, compared to 36% for older generations.

In response, consumers (61%) want brands to take more action to reduce mental health stigma. This is a sentiment consistent across ethnicities, with the majority of Hispanic, Black, and Asian consumers in agreement.

Furthermore, 67% of Americans believe that brands should actively address the mental health crisis, a viewpoint similarly shared across ethnicities. There is also a specific emphasis on the issue of loneliness, with 50% of Americans desiring brands to address the loneliness epidemic. Again, this view is consistent across the Multicultural consumer landscape.

Access to Mental Health Support Is Limited

While mental health coverage is included in the majority of insurance plans, a significant number of consumers are uncertain about their plan’s inclusion of such services. This uncertainty is particularly notable among Asian Americans (29%), surpassing the percentages for Hispanic (21%), Black (22%), and White (24%) consumers.

Consequently, many individuals opt to seek mental health support from alternative outlets, with family being the primary choice for Americans across ethnicities. 

Collage Group’s trait research found that strong belief is a characteristic of the Black American community. As such, Black American consumers were also found to seek support through religious channels, with 17% of individuals from this ethnicity expressing this choice. In comparison, 13% of Hispanic, 12% of Asian, and 11% of White consumers turn to religion for mental health support.

Social Media Can Cause Stress From Social Comparisons

Navigating a content-saturated world, Americans find themselves inevitably engaged in comparisons on social media. This holds for both Multicultural women and men. Specifically, 31% of the overall population acknowledges the detrimental influence of social media filters on their mental health, with percentages breaking down to 28% for Multicultural women and 32% for Multicultural men. Additionally, 29% of the total population admits to frequently comparing themselves to others on social media, with figures standing at 27% for Multicultural women and 29% for Multicultural men.

Multicultural Americans Are Open to Receiving Mental Health Support From Brands

Collage Group’s research team inquired with Multicultural American consumers about the types of support they find most helpful in their day-to-day lives for maintaining or enhancing their mental health.

Relational support, involving planned social outings for connecting with others, as well as counseling and therapy, consistently emerged as the primary proactive method for improved mental health. This trend was observed with 51% of Hispanic, 44% of Black, 54% of Asian, and 46% of White consumers in agreement.

Following closely were reminders delivered through phone notifications and emails, encouraging healthy habits such as relaxation, walking, or meditation. This feature held particular significance for Hispanic (39%) and Black (42%) consumers. Educational content focusing on mental health also ranked high in importance for Multicultural consumers, with 38% of Hispanic, 34% of Black, and 36% of Asian respondents agreeing. These figures are in contrast with 24% of White consumers.

Insights to Action: Support Consumer’s Mental Health

Marketing for Health and Wellness Insights #1 – Alleviate the Stigma Surrounding Mental Health

Despite the increasing prioritization of mental health among Multicultural consumers, a significant number still grapple with the associated societal taboo. Brands are urged to play a proactive role in destigmatizing mental health, potentially through collaborations with influencers and celebrities who champion mental health advocacy. This partnership can help foster open dialogues and reduce the stigma attached to mental health.

Marketing for Health and Wellness Insights #2 – Highlight Mental Health Resources and Coverage

Although mental health is a prevailing concern for most consumers, many feel there’s a lack of access to necessary resources and support. To address this gap, health and wellbeing brands should prominently feature mental health resources and coverage in their offerings, and market these offerings. Additionally, brands should develop tools and resources to aid individuals on their mental health journeys, along with implementing daily reminders through opt-in emails to encourage healthy habits like walks, journaling, and gratitude practices.

Marketing for Health and Wellness Insights #3 – Utilize Social Media as a Mental Health Support Platform

Brands must leverage their social media accounts to provide mental health support. This involves promoting body-positive imagery and sharing informative content that highlights healthy habits beneficial for mental health. By transforming social media into a positive and supportive space, brands will improve the overall mental health and well-being of their audience.

Best Health and Wellness Brands: Effective Health and Wellness Marketing in Action

Demonstrating effective health and wellness marketing in action, below are two case study brands that implement the insights and actions given in this article.

Vaseline Provides Uniquely Tailored Health and Wellness Care

Vaseline engages with multicultural Americans through its “See My Skin” initiative, demonstrating how technology can enhance medical diagnostics. The initiative provides a free online database that precisely assesses skin conditions in black and brown individuals, connecting them with knowledgeable dermatologists.

This campaign promotes a more inclusive and equitable future in skincare. This campaign enhances its Fit and Relevance among Multicultural Americans by highlighting the role of technology in fostering culturally competent healthcare. 

Vaseline effectively understands the unique needs of Multicultural consumer groups. The See My Skin campaign successfully engages Multicultural Americans to identify the unique skin challenges they face impacting their health and wellness. These challenges are addressed with Vaseline’s unique and comprehensive healthcare solution.

Blue Cross Blue Shield Association Addresses Mental Health Challenges and Provides Uniquely Tailored Healthcare

The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association has initiated a National Health Equity Strategy aimed at mitigating racial disparities in maternal health. Through the provision of access to doulas, food and nutrition services, and mental health resources, the brand promotes Fit and Advocacy among Multicultural Americans. Particularly, the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association addresses the specific needs of Black Americans who face a higher likelihood of experiencing maternal health disparities.

Unlock the Full Potential of Your Health and Wellness Marketing Campaign With Collage Group

Effective health and wellness marketing is crucial for unlocking the value this industry has to offer. However, brands must prioritize serving consumers above all else, to meet their unique health and wellness needs. The Collage Group’s 2023 Pulse Check on Health in America: Multicultural Consumers report provides unique insights into the diverse health and wellness needs of consumers across ethnicities, guiding brands in this aim. 

Join the Collage Group today to delve into the complete report and gain in-depth insights

This article presents the various health and wellness barriers faced by Multicultural consumers, urging brands to implement cultural competence training, provide money-saving solutions, and highlight customer testimonials. Additionally, addressing privacy concerns, offering tailored health and wellness care, and supplying accessible information are vital steps for successful marketing.

Understanding consumer relationships with health insurance companies is also pivotal. This means addressing financial barriers to insurance, offering, and marketing preventative care solutions, and addressing the diverse aspects of well-being. 

In tackling mental health challenges, brands should work towards alleviating stigma, highlighting mental health resources, and utilizing social media as a support platform. 

Incorporating these findings into your health and wellness marketing strategy will yield positive results in your marketing endeavors, while also enhancing the well-being of Americans regardless of their ethnicity.

Other Recent Research Articles & Insights from Collage Group

Sudipti Kumar

Sudipti Kumar

Sudipti is a Director of Cultural Insights on Collage Group’s Product and Content team. She is a graduate from NYU’s Stern School of Business where she studied finance and marketing, and Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs where she received her Masters in Public Administration. In her spare time, Sudipti enjoys reading, cooking, and learning to crochet.

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