Are You Connecting with Women?
Does your marketing speak to the gender that most influences healthcare choices and buying decisions? Effectively marketing your medical practice to women isn’t just smart, it’s necessary if you want to attract and hold onto these valuable decision-makers.
Why Marketing Your Medical Practice to Women is So Important
Think about how many of your patients are women. Now, think about the men who see you. How many are influenced by the women in their lives when it comes to making healthcare and cosmetic surgery decisions?
To put it in corporate terms, women occupy multiple seats at the household boardroom table. Two of those influential seats belong to the family CEO and CMO (in other words, the Chief Medical Officer). The significance of women’s purchasing ability and influence is an increasingly powerful marketplace reality.
The fact that women are major influencers when it comes to the “household purse strings” is not a new revelation. And that’s why there’s a lot of material out there on the topic — frankly, more than a busy medical professional has time to sort through.
Instead of you having to search out the actionable nuggets of wisdom from all those articles and data points, we’ve done the legwork. We’ve also connected some important dots you’ll want to consider for how your medical practice communicates with women.
What follows is a breakdown of key points on engaging with and marketing to women.
Women Make the Spending Decisions
- Women make the majority of household spending decisions — whether it’s a purchase for themselves, a spouse, child or other family members. They identify the need, initiate the research and make the choice as to where the money will be spent.
- Author of Why She Buys, and CEO of consulting firm Female Factor, Bridget Brennan, says this — “Women have a multiplier effect. They are multiple markets in one. Because women serve as primary caregivers for children and the elderly in virtually every society in the world, women buy on behalf of the people who live in their households, as well as for extended family (such as older parents and in-laws) and friends.”
- Women’s role in healthcare spending is no different. Managed Care magazine states, “It’s long been recognized that women interact with the health care system more than men—as patients, as caregivers, as coordinators of care for their loved ones, as the managers of medical bills.”
What to Know About the Chief Medical Officer
(Source: The Center for Talent Innovation — The Power of the Purse; Engaging Women Decision-Makers for Healthy Outcomes)
- A woman’s role as Chief Medical Officer (an apt name coined by the report writers) is defined as primary or joint decision makers for spouse/partner, children, parents, in-laws, other family members, and/or other loved ones.
- “These decision makers, whom we call the Chief Medical Officers (CMOs)…set the health and wellness agenda for themselves and others, choose treatment regimens, and hire and fire doctors, pharmacists, and insurance providers.”
- 94% of women make decisions for themselves, 59% make decisions for others, and 94% of working moms make decisions for others.
- 79% of women said that health means spiritual and emotional well-being, and 77% said being physically fit and well-rested.
- Multi-tasking women are starved for time. 77% of women don’t do what they should to stay healthy and 62% say they lack the time [to do so].
- 53% of women think the best health info is online, but only 31 percent of these women trust online info.
- Only 65% of women trust their physicians and those who do trust them say they foster dialogue and clear communication.
- In general, women lack time, relevant information and trust. They are often not confident in the healthcare related decisions they make, for themselves and their families.
For Effective Messaging
- Because women want and need time, highlight how your practice delivers convenience and respects your patients’ time.
- Provide clear and easily accessed information, so women feel confident and equipped to make decisions.
- Because women are looking for trust, transparency is critical — in process, cost and expected outcomes. Be authentic. Women know when you’re not being real with them.
- Ditch the stereotypes and condescending messaging. Skip the pink, and forget about generalizing.
- Emphasize and legitimize with genuine patient testimonials, pictures, and stories. This goes back to being authentic and building trust.
- Of particular relevance for those offering cosmetic and elective procedures is the growing wealth and disposable income of Baby Boomer women. They are at a personal and financial life stage that warrants your targeted attention and best “marketing foot forward.”
What to Know for Your Marketing Strategy
(Source: Girlpower Marketing)
- Women are not a homogenous group; there is no one female demographic. It’s important to recognize a woman’s life stage as well as her chronological age.
- Where men are typically more transactional by nature and motivated by status and envy. Women are more often are driven by empathy — they want to belong and to be understood. Whereas men more often want to be admired, women want to be appreciated.
- Tell an inspiring story. Storytelling builds trust. When it comes to health and wellness content, stories make a significant impact on the way readers respond to your brand. Whether it is about your commitment to sustainability, social responsibility initiatives or your brand values, these stories should not be promotional. Instead, base them on great content.
One last thing
Putting aside marketing for a moment, there’s something else you should know about women.
According to a recent Gallup poll, women are consistently more likely than men to put off medical procedures due to cost.
To help women take advantage of elective surgeries, procedures, and treatments they might otherwise put off, offer flexible payment options. Point-of-need financing can provide an easy, budget-friendly payment alternative that allows patients to afford what they need, when they need it.
Beyond helping your patients feel and look their best, financing will help your business thrive, too.