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Health Care Consumer Market Segments Demand More than Advertising

The right health care strategies help pharmacies reach the reluctant consumer.If there is any single consumer group that businesses in the health care industry most struggle to reach, it would be the segment that we at c2b solutions call the “Willful Endurers” — a group of people who seem determined to stay outside of the traditional health care system.

Nearly half of Willful Endurers are in their 30’s or younger, and at that point in their lives, many are relatively healthy. They have been able to get by with little contact with the regular sources of healthcare. 

However, across the c2b Psychographic Segments, Willful Endurers are among the least likely to characterize themselves in Excellent or Very Good health. Moreover, as the consumers themselves require more regular care as they get older or have families, they will necessarily seek products and services to treat their conditions. However, as this consumer segment is very loyal to brands they trust, ignoring this group of consumers until they need your services is not likely to be a strategy that will win your brand much support.

Start cultivating customer relationships early.

According to our healthcare market research, Willful Endurers represent 27% of the potential healthcare-consuming public. They are, in fact, the largest single segment of the whole population.

To ensure later profits, you must reach out to them now and develop an ongoing relationship even if they are not yet a steady customer.

Retail pharmacies must focus on anticipating customer demands.

This isn't a difficult proposition for pharmacies in a retail setting, surrounded by vast retail operations that sell everything from groceries to hardware. So it’s probable that even the younger consumers are already making their way through the front door of the store.

The key is getting the uninterested majority to make the pharmacy, or broader “Health Zone” of the retailer, a part of their trip into the larger retail operation, and the answer is the same as it is in any business — have products, services, wayfinding and advertising that appeal to them.

Understand how customers seek out health care.

Willful Endurers are self-reliant and highly reactive when it comes to their health. They purchase products that enable their self-reliance and will not go to the doctor unless absolutely necessary. They live in the “here and now” and do not think about the future as far as their health is concerned. These are not “wellness consumers”.

In our national study of the U.S. healthcare consumer, Willful Endurers were statistically more likely (95% confidence) than other segments to agree with the following statements:

  • I often feel like I lack energy
  • I often feel anxious or nervous
  • I look at myself in the mirror and don’t like what I see
  • I eat the foods I like regardless of calories
  • I consider myself a couch potato
  • My exercise routine has not changed in the past few years

What can a retailer do to capitalize on these motivations and behaviors? 

There are supplements and other OTC products that address some of the issues listed above, such as energy boosters on one end of the spectrum and melatonin on the other. The “look good/feel good” connection could be bolstered among Willful Endurers linking beauty & grooming to health.  Making exercise a fun activity without moving 4 feet beyond the couch might be accomplished through interactive gaming systems like Wii Fit.

Retail clinics should see much growth among this segment as access to primary care physicians tightens with 30 million newly insured pouring in under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The immediacy and affordability of these clinics will appeal to Willful Endurers, and represent an opportunity to steer these shoppers to other products in-store that can help them address health issues.

Speaking of the uninsured, Willful Endurers are also more likely than the other segments to lack health insurance. In the confusing environment under the ACA, a retailer that can help Willful Endurers navigate the insurance Exchanges will likely cultivate loyalty among this segment.

Winning with Willful Endurers means becoming known as a pharmacy that assists people in meeting their immediate health needs across product and service categories and rather than simply being a place where people turn for acute OTC products when they are ill.

Psychographic Segmentation and its Practical Application in Patient Engagement and Behavior Change


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