Provided by Design The Planet
Are you having trouble with patient growth or community awareness for your practice? Chances are your marketing message isn’t resonating with your target audience, and that audience could be predominately female. According to the United States Department of Labor, women make up to 80% of all healthcare decisions for their family. No matter which medical field you practice in, women are making the majority of decisions on what care to receive and where to get it.
Marketing on a gender-focused campaign has always walked the line between successful and stereotypical because when marketing to women, gender is often the only demographic considered. There are more factors to consider when marketing to female decision makers such as: socioeconomic status, age, stage of life, caregiver roles, and their occupation all come into play. Their interest lies beyond a pink color-schemed Ad with a minivan full of kids. Women are more interested in authenticity, quality of service, specialization, and consistency when making healthcare decisions. They want reliable information, not fluff, and that is what you have to show them.
What works with women? Here’s a whole bunch of do’s and don’ts:
Do make use of social media.
Women still dominate social media usage over men on several sites, including Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram. They use these sharing platforms not only to stay in touch with family and friends, but to seek out information. Women will most often research products and services online and over 70% make decisions based on reviews and recommendations found on social media. (Cox Business, Social Media Strategies in Marketing to Women).
Consider the way women share and consume data when crafting a message to them. We recommend developing a strong social media presence for your practice or healthcare service, and to incorporate images or infographics in your messages. Don’t be afraid to venture beyond the written word. People are 65% more likely to remember information presented to them in an image or through video.
Women relate to each other. DO Include their voice in your marketing strategy.
Women listen to the opinions of other women because they relate to each other on daily struggles and life experiences. It is a good idea to incorporate quotes from female nurses, physicians and patients in your marketing message; including elements of relatability can result in feelings of reliability and trustworthiness.
DO use audience segmentation in your marketing strategy.
Women have many roles – they are sisters, mothers, wives, friends, athletes, daughters, college students, coworkers. Find out the demographic of your female audience. Do not sum up gender as the entire demographic. Every demographic has specific needs, interests, and language, so be sure to target your marketing messages specifically to a variety of these.
DO NOT hyper-focus on gender.
There is a difference between gender targeting and gendered messaging, and the latter is often unsuccessful. According to a study by market research firm Fluent, 74% of women surveyed said they prefer gender-neutral marketing messages. In order to target women, there will be some gender-specific language involved, but remember, you are marketing to the human first and the woman second. People of all gender identities have healthcare needs. If there is too much focus on the concept of “women”, your message may come across as generalized or stereotypical to the female population.
DO NOT cling to the ‘Mom Stereotype’.
Believe it or not, women are more than just mothers. A campaign adorned with tulips and women pushing strollers may be overlooked, and worse, be perceived as condescending. They want to know that you see them more than just the caretaker of the household. If you are targeting an audience of mothers, keep in mind that you are talking to a woman first and a mother second.
The point is that women have been considered secondary to their partners throughout history and are not stereotypically recognized as the main decision-maker of their household. It’s time to reconsider how healthcare marketing speaks to women. Marketing your practice to female decision-makers so they understand how your services cater to their needs first, apart from gender or motherly roles, and then to the needs of their loved ones.