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Tackle the Big Issues in Men's Health Month

doctor with male patientMen’s Health Month is a big month — and not just for the men who receive valuable tips that will help them to live long and healthy lives. It’s also a big month for the physicians, practices and hospitals that dispense this information. With the right touch, Men’s Health Month is an essential marketing platform that can build the kind of loyalty and connectivity you can’t put a price tag on. But it takes a delicate approach to pull this off successfully. Segmenting healthcare consumer populations goes a long way when approaching the potentially sore subjects covered during Men’s Health Month.

The Truth about Men

Perhaps the biggest obstacle in the way of progress during Men’s Health Month is the very nature of the month’s subject. Simply put, many men are averse to putting their health first. Men have been conditioned for their entire lives to be strong — or at least act strong — which makes them unwilling to get help for conditions they think they’re supposed to avoid.

As a result, more than half of all men in the United States haven’t seen their physician in the past year. That’s in spite of the obvious danger inherent in avoiding symptoms of potentially hazardous conditions. All of this makes it very difficult to reach out to men during any month, let alone Men’s Health Month. With men predisposed to tuning out medical information, how can you reach this group?

Psychographics

We’ve all been trained to break groups of people down by demographics or socioeconomics — old vs. young, male vs. female, educated vs. non-educated, high income vs. low income. And while there’s something to be said for these categories, they don’t tell us everything.

Within each of these groups, there are subgroups that aren’t visible to the naked eye. Because everyone is motivated by different factors, we simply can’t rely on demographics or socioeconomics anymore — especially when it comes to something as challenging as men’s health.

That’s where psychographics come in.

Psychographics are critical for segmenting consumers into unique groups that consist of people in similar mindsets. Instead of seeing men simply as people who happen to be male, psychographics allows you to dig deeper and see what’s lying beneath the surface.

You can link people together based on what makes them unique, such as their beliefs, values, behaviors, motivations and lifestyles. Grouping people in this way gives you tremendous insight into what makes them tick as individuals, making it much easier to reach them on a personal level.

For example, c2b solutions’ proprietary healthcare segmentation model (patent pending) classifies consumers according to one of five psychographic segments. Relative to the General Population, males are definitely over-represented among the most reactive or health-disengaged segments:

male healthcare consumer psychographic segments 

Thirty percent of males are Willful Endurers, who are the most difficult to activate toward healthy behaviors. Willful Endurers live for the “here and now” and do not think about the future ramifications of their behavior.

Priority Jugglers go out of their way to make sure their loved ones receive proper care, but they will sacrifice their own, personal health out of duty to others.

While their behaviors regarding their personal health and wellness may appear similar, their motivations are very different. Accordingly, the propositions or messaging you would use to activate healthy behaviors will also be different by segment.

The good news is that, while patient activation among more reactive segments is challenging, it can be accomplished. c2b solutions has successfully applied these insights to even motivate Willful Endurers to enroll in disease intervention programs.

Putting Psychographics into Practice

It’s wonderful to have the ability to segment people using psychographics. But unless you make good use of this enhanced knowledge, psychographic segmentation is a wasted endeavor. It’s important to take the lessons learned from grouping people and apply this information to literature and marketing efforts that help men become healthier.

There are different approaches to take when talking health care, and psychographics help you understand which is the best course of action. If you’re dealing with someone who habitually avoids going to the doctor, for instance, it’s difficult to explain the importance of coming in for an annual physical. You’re much better off discussing the benefits of a prostate exam, which is more serious and more generally accepted as a necessary screening. The talk about an annual physical can come when you get over the big hurdle of getting that patient in the office where he will speak with his physician.

On the other hand, patients who come in regularly don’t need such circuitous tactics. With these individuals, you can take a more wellness-based approach, giving simple pointers where necessary. It all depends on what motivates a patient and how they behave because of it, and psychographics provide an efficient way to anticipate the needs of patients and influencing their behavior.

Traditional demographic segmentation has its place, but it’s being augmented by psychographics in a big way. Men’s Health Month provides a powerful litmus test for the power of psychographics — helping to achieve the seemingly impossible — getting men to listen to pertinent information about their health and getting them to take the appropriate corrective action. It’s all about segmenting consumer markets, learning their needs, motivations and triggers, and finding a way to speak their language.

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

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