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Beyond demographics: Understanding the values that drive women's health care choices


How marketers can increase visibility among women looking for trusted physicians and health care brands.

multigenerational women at park: © Sabrina - stock.adobe.com

© Sabrina - stock.adobe.com

Women’s economic influence is undeniable, yet a critical gap exists in the health care industry – their voices are often unheard, and their needs unmet. This is particularly true for issues like menopause, where a recent McKinsey report unveils a staggering global market potential of $350 billion for treating related symptoms. Despite this massive opportunity, a disconnect persists between women and health care providers.

This untapped market highlights both a challenge and opportunity for the health care industry, including for independent family medicine practices who want to attract and keep women in their patient panels. But by implementing targeted strategies, health care brands – including family doctors, the foundation of the health care system – can bridge this gap, foster trust, and increase their visibility among women seeking reliable health care solutions. The question is: How?

Unveiling new dimensions in women's health care

© Resonate

Ericka Podesta McCoy
© Resonate

Traditional market research often paints a one-dimensional picture of women in health care, relying solely on basic demographics. Women have also been historically excluded from medical research, leading to a lack of understanding of how medications and treatments affect them.

Imagine, however, a human-centered approach that dives beyond granular data points to reveal the intricate details of women's daily routines: how they manage their time, the topics that spark their interest, and the values that guide their financial decisions and scheduling choices. This in-depth understanding extends to their budgets, revealing the economic realities that shape their health care access.

Consider the possibilities: amplified female voices influencing medical research, investment flowing towards solutions that genuinely meet their needs, the rise of femtech that addresses their specific concerns, and even a shift towards more women in health care leadership roles. This comprehensive understanding empowers marketers to craft communication strategies that resonate, finally breaking through the noise to reach women on a deeper level.

Connecting with women through personalized communication

A woman's health journey is a complex interplay of biological factors, social determinants, and unique life experiences. These factors shape how she views and engages with the health care system. Therefore, it is necessary to blend the potential of artificial intelligence segmentation with qualitative research methods. Resonate utilized a genetic algorithm to reveal five distinct segments of women's health:

1. Juggling demanding full-time careers, family commitments, and vibrant social lives, "Family-Centered Professionals" represent highly engaged women. They prioritize both personal well-being and the needs of their loved ones. This translates to the most discretionary income, but don't mistake them for impulsive spenders.

Family-Centered Professionals are thoughtful and selective buyers, carefully vetting information across various digital media platforms – radio, streaming services, and social media are all part of their consumption habits. They crave engaging, relevant, and respectful advertising that resonates with their values and busy schedules.

2. Primarily homemakers with a high school diploma, "Home Harmonizers" prioritize creating a nurturing environment for their families. This dedication translates to a focus on budgeting, making them manage a tighter income than others.

However, this doesn't mean they're out of touch. Home Harmonizers are active consumers of media, particularly during the daytime. Their media diet consists heavily of television and online videos, offering opportunities for targeted messaging. They also leverage social media platforms like Pinterest, Facebook, and Snapchat to connect with others and find inspiration.

3. Educated and ambitious, "Joyful Explorers" are workers who often hold down full-time jobs. Their drive is reflected in their higher education levels, which translates to healthy household incomes, granting them greater spending power than others.

Joyful Explorers are a digitally savvy group that consumes information and entertainment across various platforms. Social media like Pinterest and LinkedIn help them stay connected and informed, while online videos pique their curiosity on a wide range of topics. They're also active listeners, tuning in to radio and podcasts for their daily dose of news and entertainment. Live concerts and events add a touch of excitement to their lives.

4. Carving their own path, "Empowered Creators" are well-educated entrepreneurial women. Their financial security and disposable income paint a picture of success. However, they prioritize saving and demonstrate a cautious approach to spending, particularly post-pandemic.

Empowered Creators see social media as a multifaceted tool, using it for professional networking, learning new skills, exploring shopping options, and indulging in hobbies. Their digital world extends beyond social media, with internet radio providing a soundtrack to their busy lives. They're also drawn to online videos and movies that cater to their interests, often focusing on beauty, fitness, home improvement, and pet care.

5. Facing unique challenges, "Wellness Navigators" are primarily older women, typically aged 65 years and older. They manage a lower household income compared to others, with limited discretionary spending due to their stage in life. Despite this, their commitment to well-being remains strong.

While a significant portion are single, and most lack young children in their homes. Wellness Navigators primarily consume media through traditional channels – television and magazines remain their go-to sources for information. They also show interest in online videos, particularly those focused on lifestyle and wellness topics.

Beyond the one-size-fits-all approach

This application of AI unlocks a treasure trove of insights that researchers, service providers, and brands can leverage to create a roadmap for personalized well-being solutions. Most importantly, marketers are no longer limited to a one-size-fits-all approach or cold, unrealistic datasets; this kind of thinking and the actionable insights reveal the complex and dynamic health care needs of women across different demographics and lifestyles.

It's important to understand that women's financial situations vary depending on their health segments. For instance, Entrepreneurial Creators navigate a volatile economy, while Wellness Navigators, who have had lower incomes historically, prioritize budgeting. Family-Centered Professionals and Joyful Explorers generally have more financial security, but they all stress the importance of wise spending.

Home Harmonizers hold family and natural remedies in high regard, often taking a cautious approach to doctors but playing an active role in childcare with natural products. They see caregiving as a form of love, extending their care to relatives and neighbors.

Joyful Explorers, who are often single or have independent children, value medical expertise and prioritize their own well-being. While they may offer occasional help, caregiving isn't their top priority.

Empowered Creators, much like Home Harmonizers, prefer natural remedies, but they prioritize the involvement of children in health care. Their caregiving network extends beyond family, as they see it as an expression of individuality.

Wellness Navigators managing chronic conditions rely heavily on medical professionals. They focus on their own health and receive care from spouses, children, or professionals.

The fact is people are not simply statistics; they are motivated by deeply personal values and priorities. Health care marketers seeking to connect with women must move beyond granular data and embrace a more human-centered approach. Understanding the unique ways women navigate health care, from prioritizing family care to managing chronic conditions, is crucial to fostering trust and building lasting relationships with these vital consumers. Only then can health care brands achieve true visibility and relevance in the eyes of the women they seek to serve.

Ericka McCoy is chief marketing officer at Resonate, a consumer intelligence company that creates a more personalized world with unparalleled consumer data, intelligence and technology. She is a global marketing executive experienced in building brands, facilitating growth and driving revenue in the high-tech, telecom, manufacturing, energy and hospitality sectors across North America, Europe and Asia.

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