Patient Engagement Strategies for Men's Health Month
Hockey, basketball and, of course, baseball — June is tailor-made for sports fans. Add in the kick-off to barbecue season and perhaps that’s why Congress selected June to observe Men’s Health Week back in 1994. Since then, the health observance has expanded from a week-long effort to encompass the entire month.
Driving patient engagement in Men’s Health Month activities — and throughout the rest of the year — however, can be a challenge. Men are, in general, less proactive and wellness oriented than women. And despite the unique health concerns that men share, a one-size-fits-all strategy lacks the reach needed.
Hospitals and other healthcare providers need to gain a better understanding of the attitudes, behaviors and motivating factors that distinguish different segments of male healthcare consumers and develop engagement strategies fine-tuned for each segment.
Using Psychographic Segmentation for Meaningful Insights
Based on extensive experience developing psychographic segmentation models during their decades-long tenure in P&G marketing, the founders of c2b solutions have developed a proprietary Consumer Segmentation Model that identifies psychographic segments with 91.1 percent predictability. Psychographics pertain to consumers’ attitudes, beliefs, lifestyles and personalities, and segmentation groups these consumers according to shared characteristics; in this case, consumers are grouped according to their health & wellness motivations and approaches.
When combined with insights gained from deep consumer research, the information allows hospitals and other healthcare providers to identify ways to differentiate patient engagement campaigns that are highly relevant for five distinct psychographic segments. PatientBond has collected healthcare consumer data across two national market research studies among adults ages 18 and older, and validated the stability of its psychographic segmentation model from before the implementation of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) individual mandate through the second open enrollment period.
32 percent of males are Willful Endurers (vs. 29% general population)
A male-dominated segment, Willful Endurers are younger (note, there is only a 10 year difference in the average age between the youngest and oldest segments) and the least engaged with their health, generally waiting until absolutely necessary to visit the doctor. In fact, over a third freely admit to being a “couch potato,” which is a significantly higher percentage than all other segments. Willful Endurers are also statistically more likely (95% confidence) than all other segments, and approximately 50% more likely than the general population, to agree with the following statements:
- I don’t want to give up things I enjoy; I may over-indulge in unhealthy habits (e.g., eating, drinking alcohol, smoking).
- I know what I should be doing to be healthy, but I don’t make my health a priority.
Willful Endurers live for the moment, and don’t think in terms of future benefits or consequences. While challenging to motivate behavior change, keys to activating Willful Endurers include simplicity, focusing on immediate gratification, and helping them see how desired behaviors can make today the best day it can be. Because they look to their families and friends for healthcare advice, and also more likely to engage in social media, hospitals and other healthcare providers could find greater success by developing men’s health programs that are promoted through shareable social media posts and offer flexible scheduling — like walk-in men’s health screenings — to catch these consumers in the moment.
20 percent of males are Priority Jugglers (vs. 17% general population)
Priority Jugglers also skew male, with higher income and education levels; they reflect age ranges similar to the general population. Often married with children in the household, Priority Jugglers manage many responsibilities and tend to prioritize the health of others over their own. Their work or families come first. Priority Jugglers are statistically more likely than all other segments to agree with the statements:
- I don’t let being sick get in the way of my family.
- I’m more worried about other family members’ health than my own.
- I don’t let being sick get in the way of my work.
Because Priority Jugglers emphasize the needs of others over their own, communications from hospitals and other healthcare providers can play to this tendency. A campaign could, for example, focus on convenient prostate health screenings, emphasizing that a few minutes from their busy schedule now can help these men avoid bigger problems in the future that might keep them from meeting obligations to their careers or loved ones.
14 percent of males are Direction Takers (vs. 13% general population)
Direction Takers are the last of the five segments that skews male. This is the oldest segment (again there is only a 10 year difference in average age between Direction Takers and Willful Endurers). They are high utilizers of healthcare and look to physicians as the authority, with 86 percent of survey respondents citing their personal physician as the most credible authority for health and wellness information. Direction Takers are the most likely among the segments to agree with the statements:
- I do whatever my doctor tells me.
- I will go to the doctor at the first sign of health concerns.
Direction Takers are more likely to indicate they are compliant in taking prescribed medications, however they do tend to have higher BMI indexes than other segments, indicating that they aren’t necessarily compliant with all medical advice. A key is to help them incorporate healthy behaviors into their routines. Hospitals and other healthcare providers might try offering men’s health action lists for prevention to engage these consumers and minimize high utilization where feasible.
17 percent of males are Balance Seekers (vs. 22% general population)
While Balance Seekers skew female and younger, many males belong to this segment. They are wellness oriented, but do not necessarily believe that medical solutions are the only ones that can support healthy living. Balance Seekers are more likely than all other segments to agree with the following statements:
- I like to take care of myself and don’t like going to the doctor unless I’m really sick.
- Physicians are just one resource for me; I consider many sources when managing my health & well-being.
They are, however, proactive. Because they are very self-sufficient, they look to the internet, friends, family and print to weigh treatment options, including alternative medicines. Hospitals and other healthcare providers need to engage these patients where they are with online resources that validate — or debunk — healthcare alternatives. By supporting the Balance Seekers’ desire to stay informed with relevant content, providers can increase the level of trust and drive more engagement from Balance Seekers.
17 percent of males are Self-Achievers (vs. 18% general population)
Although Self-Achievers are also slightly more likely to be female, a healthy percentage of males fall into this segment. This segment tends to be older, married, and higher income. Health and image are a priority among these individuals who are motivated by task lists and goals. Self Achievers are the most likely segment to agree with the statements:
- I actively take steps to prevent illness.
- I am already healthy but I take steps to be even better.
- I invest a lot of time and effort in improving my health.
They prioritize physicians as the most credible source of health information, but they will also look to a variety of sources for healthcare information including the internet, health insurance websites, employers and friends. Self Achievers are also peer “chat leaders” and like to share their opinions and experiences about health and wellness with others. Hospitals and other healthcare providers may connect with harder-to-reach male healthcare consumers through their Self-Achiever spouses.
With more relevant communications via the best channels for each psychographic segment, hospitals and other healthcare providers can ensure that their efforts during Men’s Health Month and beyond, hit a homerun with patient engagement.