Case Study: Harvard Pilgrim Health Care 


As it is typical with many New England companies, HPHC had only used the English language in all their internal and external communications. Their internal capabilities did not include expertise with “ethnic” markets and this situation needed to change sooner than later.


The challenge faced by this HMO in 2004 is that their management was concerned that its marketing strategy did not reflect the changing demographics impacting their market area, namely Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine. The company did not want to “rush” into it by translating ads and merely buying space in newspapers or airing radio spots.


HMS recommended an organized, 10 point plan that consisted of; getting buy-in (financial) and support (performance-based initiative) from top management, carrying out secondary and primary market research, developing a multicultural marketing plan, creating in-language and in-culture messaging,  media placement for the highest ROI, and provided culturally relevant training from a marketing and customer service perspective.\


Currently we are at the beginning phase of the plan. HMS  won this account from Boston and New York competitors based in our track record and strength in our team. HMS has already finished the market research section and we are simultaneously working in preparation to draft the multicultural marketing plan.