Author: Design the Planet

Marketing Healthcare To Women: Do’s And Don’ts To Reach Your Target Market

By Design the Planet Member Blog

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:

Women wearing masks

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.

Should I build my own website or pay someone to do it for me?

By Design the Planet Member Blog

Behind The Smoke Screen of Squarespace and The Pitfalls of DIY Website Development

Provided by Design The Planet

Thanks to YouTube, TikTok, Pinterest and others, everyone is into DIY (Do-It-Yourself) these days. DIY is great for making hand-crafted candles or a holiday wreath, but we wouldn’t recommend it for a website that is supposed to represent your brand on the World Wide Web.

We’ve all heard the adage, “The lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client.” and while they’re often told to, no physician really “heals thyself.” Having access to Web MD doesn’t equal years of medical school and experience any more than DYI website options like Squarespace, Weebly and Wix make you qualified to design/build your own website.

Man holding split wire

Many business owners are enticed by the seemingly cost-efficient and convenient templates, or the annual one-time service fees that Squarespace or Wix offers. They are convinced their internal marketers or maybe even their administrative assistants have the time and ability to knock one of these out for them. But do know, most successfully operating businesses need more than what the basic DIY templates offer, and you usually get what you pay for. Everyone wants to save money, but the issue is most people aren’t accomplishing that goal in the end. Internal marketers who start with the basic DIY package often discover they will have to pay more to get the platform’s designers involved at some point, and the results are generally lower quality than if they contracted a professional design team. The truth is, what seems like a money-saving tool often costs a company more money than expected and wastes a bunch of time.

Do-It-Yourself websites are okay options for hobbyists getting started or small micro-startups who can’t hire a professional web design team, but you should know the initial “savings” you receive by using these DIY services are a way of attracting you to their platform. The unrealized, hidden costs of these services quickly add up to similar price tags charged by agencies and design firms, but with one glaring difference: you’re stuck doing all the work! But that’s not the only pitfall to consider before jumping on the DIY bandwagon. Before you consider planning, designing and building your own website, you should know it will require an immense amount of time to get it done correctly.

Even a simple DIY site will take 23-30 hours to get up and running – really running – unless you have worked within a CMS before. Thirty hours at $125 per hour amounts to $3,750. DIY website services argue it will only take a couple of hours to set up a professional looking site, but users disagree, and the evidence is all over the web in the form of blogs and reviews. Additionally, if you need a more complex website with components like e-commerce, modern design features like parallax dynamics, or carefully designed UI/UX, the hours invested are more like 58-80 or approximately $10,000. Even if you have the time to invest in your site, you may want to consider all the skillsets that go into professional website construction:

  1. What level of expertise do you have planning website navigation, visitor flow, and structure? Can you make sure visitors don’t get frustrated or lost?
  2. Can you develop navigation and content to convert visitors and generate sales?
  3. What training do you have in SEO (Search Engine Optimization)? If your site isn’t cataloged properly with Google and Bing and users can’t find you, then what’s the website for anyway?
  4. Are you an experienced writer? While you may have a vast amount of knowledge about your industry and your brand, you will also need writing skills specific to website design. Content is king for search, and using the right words, grammar and sentence structure to make search engines happy is different than writing a blog, whitepaper or a proposal.
  5. How are you at selecting, editing and placing images? Do you know image-usage laws? What about load time management and descriptions? These are very important controls.
  6. If you run into a problem while working in the CMS template, how much time do you have to spend troubleshooting or on the phone with tech support? How much will that “support” cost you in addition to your time?
  7. After the website is launched, do you know how to look at and translate website analytics to see what’s working for you and where you need to make improvements?
  8. What about the task of relentlessly adding/changing content to maintain your hard-earned SEO rankings? Do you know if there are other site maintenance issues that will come up weeks or months after you launch your DIY site? Who’s watching for those?

The point is, many people are attracted to the idea of a DIY website but have no idea the amount of time and expertise required to do it correctly. For a well-branded, search-engine-optimized, sales-generating website that gets you the online visibility you want and need, consider hiring a professional website design and development team before you try to DIY.

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