Using Segmentation to Target the Senior Population

by | Dec 14, 2015 | Consumer Engagement

Individualized, targeted messaging that is specifically tailored to your audience is an effective way to connect with adults in the senior population (ages 65 and older) who may be subdivided into three unique categories.

Insight: Accord­ing to data from the U.S. Cen­sus Bureau, adults age 65 and old­er are the fastest grow­ing seg­ment of health­care con­sumers. What key num­bers illus­trate this conclusion?

Buss­mann: Yes, the Medicare-eli­gi­ble pop­u­la­tion is becom­ing a larg­er slice of the pie every day. Approx­i­mate­ly 10,000 baby boomers will turn 65 every day for the next 15 years. And by the year 2030, rough­ly two in 10 peo­ple will be age 65 or old­er. Just 10 years ago, it was more like one in 10.

Insight: From a mar­ket­ing per­spec­tive, how should the senior audi­ence be addressed?

Buss­mann: Many mar­keters treat this pop­u­la­tion as a sin­gle group, while oth­ers don’t com­mu­ni­cate with them at all, con­sid­er­ing this group an unprof­itable seg­ment to engage with due to low Medicare reim­burse­ment rates. But old­er adults are an increas­ing­ly diverse group and should be addressed accordingly.

Many of them con­tin­ue to work and will con­sume med­ical ser­vices for years to come. In fact, near­ly four out of 10 adults who are eli­gi­ble for Medicare are still work­ing and are cov­ered by employ­er-based com­mer­cial insurance.

Insight: Could you share details about the unique cat­e­gories of adults age 65 and older?

Buss­mann: When True North ana­lyzed this pop­u­la­tion for the pur­pos­es of con­tent mar­ket­ing, we iden­ti­fied three dis­tinct seg­ments. These groups are dif­fer­ent with respect to their cur­rent health sta­tus and their health­care habits.

One group is quite healthy and proac­tive about their care. Anoth­er group has lim­it­ed resources to cov­er copays and coin­sur­ance. As a result, they may be reluc­tant con­sumers of health care, with only the sick­est among them seek­ing care. The third group falls some­where in the mid­dle. They are nei­ther proac­tive nor averse to care and have aver­age health. Speak­ing to these seg­ments in ways that are mean­ing­ful for their health and habits can be a game changer.

Insight: Why is dis­tin­guish­ing the dif­fer­ent seg­ments an impor­tant strat­e­gy for health­care providers?

Buss­mann: Our research shows that when excess capac­i­ty exists, mar­ket­ing that dri­ves incre­men­tal patient vol­umes from the three seg­ments we iden­ti­fied can increase top- and bot­tom-line revenue.

With the tools we have at our dis­pos­al today, such as pre­dic­tive mod­el­ing, we can be more dis­cern­ing about who we engage with. Our work has shown that mar­ket­ing dol­lars spent to deliv­er the right mes­sage to the right groups, like the younger, health­i­er, more proac­tive seniors, pay div­i­dends in terms of ROI.

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