Winning the Hearts and Minds of Today’s Healthcare Consumer

By April 7, 2016Health, Strategy

From managed care constraints, single-payer restrictions, organizational integration caused by mergers and acquisitions, pressure to reduce costs while improving patient satisfaction, increased competition from powerful and competent competitors—there is certainly no shortage of opportunities and challenges facing hospitals and healthcare systems right now. As the healthcare marketing arm of Walz Tetrick Advertising, WT Health focuses on helping healthcare clients reach, educate and motivate prospective patients to believe in their organization and rely on them first for their healthcare needs.

The healthcare population and its subsequent behaviors are changing. Not long ago, a key strategy for hospitals and healthcare providers was to place low-key, name-recognition advertisements and promote community involvement. Times have changed, and so have healthcare marketing opportunities. Research shows that the quality of healthcare outcomes is almost always directly tied to the level of patient compliance. To be successful, healthcare organizations must realize and understand that consumer decision-making and patient expectations regarding communication, engagement and education can lead to greater patient engagement and compliance and, as a result, better patient outcomes.

At WT Health, our experience and understanding of the consumer decision-making process helps our healthcare clients influence prospective patients and ultimately change their behavior. We find consumers and engage them where they are, creating and placing high-impact, meaningful and motivating messages. As a strategic partner, we work to identify key customer segments based on more than just basic demographics. We identify the distinct traits, needs and behaviors that define the targets selected. As a strategic partner for Olathe Health System, we work to identify key customer segments for their specific service line offerings. These segments are based on more than just basic demographics, such as age or gender. We identify the distinct traits, needs and behaviors that define the targets selected. This strategy can clearly be seen in the “Cancer Answers” oncology service line promotion. The WT Health team crafted a direct, realistic and comprehensive message that demonstrates an understanding of the questions and fears patients face with a cancer diagnosis, then positioned Olathe Health Oncology as the place to find answers and a clear path forward. Understanding, reassurance and answers—Cancer Answers at Olathe Medical Center. This is just one example of how a well developed creative approach paired with a comprehensive promotional strategy can lead to positive increases in interest, trust, brand equity and patient engagement.

In addition to segmenting customers by specific lifestyle and disease-specific segmentation, healthcare organizations must connect with and appeal to six specific living generations. On a macro-level:

  • Generation Z/Boomlets, born after 2001, are not able to directly influence their healthcare but are growing up in communities that are redefining the roles of government and insurance.
  • Tech-savvy Millennials expect healthcare systems to be continuously accessible and connected.
  • GenXers view healthcare as a personal responsibility they proactively support with independence and education.
  • Baby Boomers expect the healthcare system to be a two-way interaction that involves them in the decision-making process.
  • The Mature/Silent Generation, ages 65-82 represent a large group of healthcare consumers who engage with providers on a frequent basis.
  • And, finally, the Greatest Generation looks to the healthcare system for specific direction, guidance and support as they face the challenges of declining health and aging bodies.

It is a battle to win the hearts and minds of each generation. To appeal to this vast array of potential patients, healthcare organizations need every available tool and advantage. No matter how good an internal marketing team is, it’s easy to fall into the trap of telling consumers what the brand wants them to know without addressing the issues and concerns consumers really care about. Our strategic partnership equips healthcare organizations with third-party insight, experience, tools and the expertise to create compelling, effective marketing plans and creative execution.

Together we educate, influence and change behavior.

See how your organization can benefit from the strategic services of WT Health. Contact us now for a free conversation and consult.