The Ways Hospital Marketers Can Connect with Women

by | May 16, 2016 | Content Strategy

Women make about 80 percent of healthcare decisions for their families, according to the United States Department of Labor — learn best practices for marketing healthcare to women and creating content that connects with these key decision-makers.

Gen­der-based adver­tis­ing has tra­di­tion­al­ly walked a thin line between suc­cess­ful and stereotypical—and results haven’t always been pos­i­tive. The major­i­ty of women feel mis­un­der­stood by mar­keters in all indus­tries, includ­ing health care. This may be because gen­der is often the only demo­graph­ic con­sid­ered when craft­ing mes­sages for women. But a woman’s socioe­co­nom­ic sta­tus, age and life stage, and occu­pa­tion all play roles in her deci­sion-mak­ing and learn­ing the ways hos­pi­tal mar­keters can con­nect with women is crit­i­cal to hear­ing their concerns.

To reach female audi­ences, mar­keters need to look beyond gen­der when iden­ti­fy­ing their tar­get audi­ence. They also need to con­sid­er how women share and con­sume con­tent when devel­op­ing mes­sages. Here are four do’s and don’ts to help orga­ni­za­tions bet­ter mar­ket their brands to women.

1. Do make use of social media when considering ways hospital marketers can connect with women.

While the over­all num­bers of men and women using social media have become com­pa­ra­ble in recent years, women still reign supreme on sev­er­al sites, includ­ing Face­book, Pin­ter­est, and Insta­gram. They not only use these sites to stay in touch with fam­i­ly and friends, but also to find infor­ma­tion. Most women research brands and prod­ucts online, and 70 per­cent of women make pur­chas­ing deci­sions based on sto­ries and rec­om­men­da­tions found on social media sites, accord­ing to an info­graph­ic by Cox Business.

Make sure your orga­ni­za­tion has a sol­id social media pres­ence, and don’t be afraid to move beyond text to cre­ate Insta­gram- and Pin­ter­est-friend­ly images, info­graph­ics, and videos.

2. Do incorporate women’s voices into your healthcare marketing and content when developing marketing strategies for women.

Women crave authen­tic­i­ty and want to hear from oth­er women who can relate to the chal­lenges and expe­ri­ences they encounter on a dai­ly basis. When mar­ket­ing health­care to women, quote female sources about top­ics per­tain­ing to women’s health and well­ness. Female nurs­es, physi­cians, nutri­tion­ists, and oth­er pro­fes­sion­als can often pro­vide tips that reflect the dai­ly real­i­ties of prepar­ing healthy meals, stay­ing active, and putting their health first.

When pos­si­ble, also incor­po­rate a patient voice into your con­tent. Women want to hear first­hand how a health­care orga­ni­za­tion ben­e­fit­ted oth­er women, chil­dren, and fam­i­lies, and patient sto­ries lend both cred­i­bil­i­ty and authen­tic­i­ty. Use these tac­tics when mar­ket­ing tele­health ser­vices to women, as well. 

3. Don’t rely on the ‘mom’ stereotype when marketing to women.

Sure, women may over­look pages splashed with pink or images of har­ried moms in mini­vans rush­ing to drop their chil­dren off at school. But in worst-case sce­nar­ios, these tac­tics may be deemed con­de­scend­ing, mak­ing any mes­sage that fol­lows fall on deaf ears. Even if you’re mar­ket­ing to moms, remem­ber that they have inter­ests beyond mini­vans, strollers, and car­pool­ing. Empow­er the woman first. Make her role as “mom” secondary.

4. Do employ the principles of audience segmentation to reshape healthcare marketing.

Women play many roles—they’re moms, sis­ters, wives, friends, daugh­ters, and cowork­ers. Not all women can iden­ti­fy with each role. Find out the demo­graph­ics of your tar­get audi­ence. Are they young, sin­gle women inter­est­ed in the lat­est diet and fit­ness trends? Are they old­er women who are search­ing for tips to safe­guard their health, as well as the health of their spous­es, chil­dren, and grand­chil­dren? Are they finan­cial­ly sta­ble, or have they just land­ed their first job?

All of these fac­tors influ­ence pur­chas­ing deci­sions and the types of con­tent and health­care mar­ket­ing that women embrace. Review these tips when con­sid­er­ing ways hos­pi­tal mar­keters can con­nect with women.

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