Three Methods All Healthcare Marketers Can Use To Study Consumer Behavior

A smart marketer knows how to communicate effectively with their consumers. A smart marketer understands how to send the right message to the right audience, at the right time and through the right distribution channel. In fact, targeted communication is essential for the success of a business. According to AZCentral, “Targeted communication means finding an appropriate audience and ensuring that your messaging reaches them to increase sales, reduce wasteful efforts, and work toward strong brand equity.” So, how do you become a smart marketer? The first step to efficient communication is knowing who you are communicating with and understanding consumer behavior is a vital component of this.

There are three major scientific approaches used in studying consumer behavior, and luckily for you, I’m reviewing all three of these and how they apply to consumers in the healthcare industry. Let’s dive in…

  1. Observational learning. Taking an observational approach to study consumer behavior is one of the most fundamental ways to learn about your audience. Naturally, we are always observing. Whether it’s people-watching at a mall or scrolling through your Instagram feed, we are always observing other people. As a healthcare marketer, a good way to take advantage of this method is by observing how our consumers interact with our content. For example, if our online consumers are responding more to a patient testimonial video instead of a written quote, then you may want this to be your next approach. You can also observe your patients when they come into your facility. What are they looking forward to? What are the questions they ask their nurses? 
  1. Interviews and surveys. By implementing interviews and surveys, you can get a better idea of what your consumers are thinking. Whether it’s positive or negative, interviews and surveys will give you an inside look into how your consumers feel. In healthcare, every patient is given a survey to rate the care they received. The survey is called a Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) and it asks patients core questions about their care, including quality, service and cleanliness. Marketers use interviews and surveys to get intel that will help them figure out what their next marketing strategies will be.

Image source: Tickit Health

  1. Experimentation. The third methodological approach to researching our consumers behavior is by taking action. Many marketers experiment with different digital platforms to see how they can influence consumers. A common social experiment marketers use to test different variables of a campaign is an A/B test. An A/B test using an email blast will allow you to control all of the variables in the two different emails while altering one element. For example, if a healthcare marketer wants to determine how their consumers react towards a specific call-to-action button, the A/B test will allow the marketer to send out two different email blasts with different CTA wording. This type of research involving data will give you a clear understanding of what your consumers respond to. 

Image source: MethodMill

As you can see, communication isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. By implementing observational, reactive and experimental research approaches, you can learn more about what influences your consumers, hence, getting you one step closer to becoming a smart marketer.

Did you enjoy this post? Learn more about how to persuade patients to trust your brand in my last post.

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