45 Reasons Why People Buy: Your Universal Marketing Plan Checklist

By Kathy Roy Gaughran
Senior Marketing Strategist

people buyOne of the unique dynamics and challenges in devising a healthcare marketing plan is to properly anticipate why people buy
A health and medical services plan considers the future needs of an ever-present audience. As the familiar expression reminds us, the challenge is to engage consumers today for solutions they may need tomorrow.
Our regular readers understand that no one goes shopping to buy “a surgery,” or a medical treatment. We’ve given away the answer in previous articles. Prospective patients shop for some form of personal wellbeing.

The Why People Buy Checklist

A common (but generally misguided) notion is that a doctor, medical group or hospital should advertise their capabilities. Their marketing plan fails to consider the basic reason or reasons that people buy any product or service.
The following list is nearly always a sub-set of delivering happiness. And having a good understanding of a buyer’s motivation or mindset improves your targeting and sales ability. Guerrilla marketing expert and author Geoff Ayling lists dozens of reasons. These are the first 10 reasons on his list. People buy to:
  • make more money
  • be more comfortable
  • attract praise
  • increase enjoyment
  • have things of beauty
  • avoid criticism
  • make their work easier
  • speed up their work
  • keep up with the Joneses
  • feel opulent

This checklist is nearly endless…

For your awareness and planning purposes, here is a compilation of some of the most common motivations; why people buy.
  • to access opportunities
  • to attract the opposite sex
  • to avoid the effort
  • to avoid physical effort
  • to avoid trouble
  • to be accepted
  • to be entertained
  • to be excited or gain excitement
  • to be in style
  • to be informed
  • to be more efficient
  • to be organized
  • to be popular
  • to be trendy or innovative
  • to be unique or special or to feel significant
  • to become fit and healthy
  • to buy at a lower price and/or higher value
  • to conserve energy
  • to emulate others
  • to escape or avoid pain
  • to escape the stress
  • to feel connected to others
  • to feel safe or confident
  • to feel superior
  • to feel or look younger
  • to gain convenience
  • to gain praise from others
  • to gratify curiosity
  • to have peace of mind
  • to have something that’s scarce
  • to leave a legacy
  • to grow the reputation
  • to protect the family
  • to satisfy an appetite
  • to save time or for convenience
Consider this checklist as an idea-starter for healthcare planning and advertising. Make a direct connection to the individual’s purchase motivation. People invest in a product or service to avoid pain or a loss, or to gain something positive or pleasurable. Ultimately, the one and the only reason that people buy health care is for happiness.
Kathy Roy Gaughran
Senior Marketing Strategist at Healthcare Success
In her career, Kathy has helped over 4,000 clients all over North America achieve their growth goals. As an award-winning strategic marketing planner, Kathy has been involved in both the high-level strategies required for long-term sustainability, plus the tactical execution used to accomplish the day-to-day successes. Kathy’s clients include practices with annual revenues well over $10 million and with annual marketing budgets up to $900,000. In addition, Kathy is an accomplished speaker, appearing at countless national, local and state healthcare associations. Kathy is a member of the American Marketing Association and The Direct Marketing Association.



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