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Psychographic Segments Defined: Direction Takers

In the field of consumer research, marketers use several different methods to define and understand their target audience. Grouping people according to demographic factors such as age, gender, income or ethnicity has been a staple of consumer segmentation for decades now. And while it does offer an introductory level of insight into the similarities among consumers, it falls short of recognizing the vast differences in beliefs, values, motivations, and priorities that can exist even within a single demographic variable.

Psychographic segmentation, on the other hand, takes these differences into account, as it focuses on categorizing people according to shared psychological traits and characteristics. By segmenting audiences according to the principles, values, emotions, beliefs, and interests they have in common, psychographic segmentation enables marketers and other stakeholders to mine deeper insights into the customers they're trying to reach, enabling them to create more effective messaging and marketing strategies.

While psychographic segmentation has also been employed by Consumer Products and Retail companies for years, it is relatively new to healthcare. c2b solutions has developed a proprietary psychographic segmentation model to help healthcare providers and marketers better understand their target audiences and enhance patient engagement. This model identifies five primary types of healthcare consumers:

  • Self Achievers
  • Balance Seekers
  • Priority Jugglers
  • Willful Endurers
  • Direction Takers

In this article, we’ll focus on the smallest of the five segments, Direction Takers.


Direction Takers: An Overview

Direction Takers comprise only 13 percent of the general population, but they are the segment that tends to rely upon the healthcare system the most. The propensity of the Direction Taker is to seek the advice of a medical professional when a health concern arises.

Direction Takers place a high value on credentials and professional expertise, so they will defer to the advice and recommendations of their doctor on health-related matters. Our research shows that 95 percent of Direction Takers visit their doctor at the first sign of any health concerns, and they look to their healthcare professional for direction and guidance on how to maintain their well-being.

Interestingly enough, Direction Takers are not always prompt to comply with the advice being given to them by their physician, but it's not because they do not value or agree with that advice; rather, Direction Takers often find it difficult to integrate their doctor's advice into their daily routines. For this reason, it's safer to apply the "Direction Takers" moniker to this segment rather than "Direction Followers."


Direction Takers and Health Insurance

According to our research, 93 percent of Direction Takers have health insurance, although only 10 percent purchased a health insurance plan through one of the federal or state exchanges.

In terms of what Direction Takers feel is "good" health insurance coverage, 74 percent of this segment agree that health insurance companies should offer plans that feature incentives for motivating and rewarding healthy behaviors.

This could include providing discounts off monthly health insurance premiums (more than half  of Direction Takers were in favor of this approach), offering opportunities to earn money back that was spent on deductibles, and possibly adding stipends to enrollees' paychecks.


Keys to Engaging Direction Takers

When it comes to engaging this segment, keep things straightforward, simple and concrete; avoid metaphors in marketing to Direction Takers. In clinician-to-patient interactions, “cut to the chase” with Direction Takers. They don’t like to be asked a lot of questions, assuming the clinician is the expert and should know the answers.

Direction Takers are transactional in healthcare. Direction Takers embrace the concept of value-added offerings, and they pride themselves on being able to exercise frugality to extract the maximum amount of value for the least amount of money.

This is an important cue for health insurance marketers to pay attention to, because you can garner the interest of Direction Takers more easily when you can show that your costs and coverage are favorably priced in relation to the value being offered. Health insurance companies would also do well to incorporate the opinions and recommendations of healthcare providers into their messaging, as Direction Takers widely view these professionals as trustworthy and authoritative.

c2b solutions strives to eliminate much of the guesswork that comes along with engaging healthcare consumers. The remarkable diversity of this audience requires a much more robust approach to segmentation than what traditional methods can afford, and this is why our psychographic segmentation model is so effective.

Instead of focusing on external or physical factors (e.g., age, gender, location, health condition, etc.) to determine what type of messaging to create, we leverage relevant psychographic data that gives providers and marketers a deeper understanding of how various groups of healthcare consumers think.

In other words, our approach illuminates the underlying motives that drive consumer behavior, which cannot be ascertained by simply observing demographic or socioeconomic data. Contact us today to see how our unique approach to segmentation can supercharge your healthcare consumer engagement efforts.

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


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