The How & Why of Patient Behavior: How Psychographic Segmentation Improves Healthcare Marketing ROI
All too often, hospitals and medical practices rely on sterile healthcare marketing campaigns. Some highlight cutting-edge technology or specialist expertise—which is good for potential patients to know, of course, but not terribly inspiring. Others take a one-size-fits-all approach—based on demographics or a shared diagnosis, for example—that fails to deliver the desired engagement.
These tactics may have worked in the past, but today’s healthcare consumers have different expectations. It’s time to get personal.
The Value of Personalization
Providers who want to improve patient acquisition must move beyond impersonal healthcare marketing. Now, more than ever, consumers expect healthcare organizations to provide the same type of customer-centric experiences delivered by global retailers like Amazon, Disney or Netflix.
The value of personalization—when approached correctly—cannot be ignored. In a 2016 report, McKinsey found that personalization can reduce acquisition costs up to 50 percent, increase revenues by 5 to 15 percent and boost marketing spend efficiency by 10 to 30 percent. Not surprising when you consider that 80 percent of consumers are more likely to choose brands that offer personalized experiences.
So, how can healthcare organizations achieve the insights they need to meet consumers’ expectations?
The Role of Psychographic Segmentation
When it comes to personalization, demographics, social determinants of health or even past behaviors aren’t enough. Healthcare marketers need to understand how and why patients make healthcare decisions—and that means using psychographics to uncover the attitudes, beliefs and motivations that individuals bring to the exam table.
Psychographic segmentation helps hospitals, medical practices, insurance providers and other organizations better understand the factors behind their patients’ decisions. The model addresses the following questions:
- Is a patient proactive or reactive regarding their health and wellness?
- What information sources influence a patient’s choice of healthcare provider?
- Which communication channels does a patient prefer?
In turn, healthcare marketers see a side of consumers they never saw before.
Psychographic Segmentation in Action
Earlier this year, PatientBond released results from its latest national market research study, which surveyed more than 4,100 U.S. healthcare consumers on their attitudes, beliefs, needs, behaviors and preferences related to:
- Healthcare professionals, including physicians, nurses and pharmacists
- Hospitals, health insurance providers and urgent care centers
- Shopping habits related to prescription and over-the-counter medications
- Use of health technology like smartphone apps, wearables or telehealth
The survey leveraged c2b solution’s proprietary psychographic segmentation model, classifying respondents into five distinct segments.
- 19 percent were Self Achievers who are proactive and wellness-focused.
- 17 percent were Balance Seekers who are also proactive but open to alternative sources of health advice.
- 18 percent were Priority Jugglers who tend to be proactive about accessing healthcare for loved ones but reactive when it comes to their own health.
- 15 percent were Direction Takers who trust and seek guidance from healthcare professionals but struggle to comply with physician recommendations.
- 31 percent were Willful Endurers who are the least engaged when it comes to health and wellness, preferring to live in the moment and seek care only as a last resort.
By looking at consumers’ preferences through the additional lens of psychographic segmentation, healthcare organizations can target specific segments to improve healthcare marketing effectiveness.
For example, PatientBond found that 67 percent of frequent urgent care patients are Willful Endurers. Additionally, the survey revealed that two segments—Self Achievers and Willful Endurers—account for 70 percent of all telehealth use. Providers who offer virtual visits can increase patient acquisition by specifically targeting these segments.
The survey also digs into consumers’ preferences for receiving information about their health conditions. Nearly half of all respondents favored email.
Email ranks at 51 percent for prescription refill reminders, as well. Text messages take a close second at 41 percent, at least among Gen Z and Millennials populations. If you want to acquire younger patients, you need to utilize these channels.
Observing how patients behave is important. But understanding how and why patients behave in a certain way empowers hospitals, medical practices and urgent care centers to finesse their marketing messages to drive higher engagement.
It’s not just providers who can benefit from psychographic segmentation, though. The survey found that 37 percent of Willful Endurers and 45 percent of Self Achievers said they were “Extremely” or “Very” likely to participate in a free condition management program. Employers, as well as public and private payers, can leverage this information to improve health outcomes for individuals while reducing the costs associated with chronic conditions.
What insights do you still need to achieve measurable returns on your healthcare marketing?
Download our whitepaper for more on psychographic segmentation as it relates to patient acquisition.