The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports 80 percent of women make decisions regarding insurance and healthcare, for themselves and for their families. Some indicate that percentage may be even higher. Perhaps it’s because more women have entered the workplace than ever before or because the average household has changed so much. Nevertheless, women make most of the healthcare decisions today, and that influence will only continue to rise as they utilize social networks and web tools to influence friends and family regarding those decisions.
So what’s the best way to speak to women about healthcare? As always in marketing, determining the “voice” and best methods for communicating the brand begins with understanding your audience. For women, that means starting with a relationship that recognizes their individuality. Women play many roles today—homemaker, head of household, mother, caretaker, business owner and more. Even women of the same race, age and economics can have entirely different needs.
Don’t Sell: Build Relationships
Many healthcare organizations are beginning to address the needs of women, especially those juggling a family and career. In order to accomplish this, they build connection, communicate with creativity and offer a “genuine” message. Simply put, women don’t want to be sold to; they want to be understood. With 66 percent of women indicating that healthcare providers “don’t get them,” this can be a challenge.
Most women are juggling full baskets that are close to tipping with work, family, hobbies and personal causes. They primarily seek convenience (short wait times, easy parking and a variety of services in one place) and understanding (follow-up calls and quality of care). The following are recommendations for some ways to achieve this:
- Branding. Create a brand that moves the heart, mind and soul; consider a logo specifically designed for women.
- Social media. Make your brand visible on sites that women visit; provide rewards for praise and address negative concerns promptly.
- Community. Women are relational, so step into their world by getting to know them and sharing stories that are meaningful.
- Causes. Many women are passionate about causes, such as Susan G. Komen for the Cure or a children’s charity, so center a promotion on what concerns them.
- Convenience. Take the hassle out of healthcare and provide easy access to information, such as opt-ins to mobile calendars and online registrations.
- Creativity. Design your messages with women in mind. Talk to them one on one in ways that grab their attention, despite everything else they are busy juggling.
- Custom photos. Women want an honest feel and message. Studies indicate that custom photos, rather than stock, seem to work best.
It’s important to integrate your message across all the media you use—whether advertising, Web, public relations, blog, email, text or video. Seek professional assistance as needed to ensure your message is consistent, or it will be viewed as less than genuine.
Using a variety of media will help capture attention in different ways. Then, amplify your message by cross-selling and upselling your services. Maintain contact to cultivate loyalty by offering fresh ideas, free advice and information they can use for themselves, family and friends. Remember that word of mouth is very important to women, so make it easy for them to share. Finally, service them through convenience and stress reduction as much as you can. This often means providing services and/or facilities designed especially for women. As you do, you’ll build long-term relationships and loyalty for the healthcare services and products you offer. iBi