More Men May Be Singing Your Song. Shifting Demographics in Healthcare Marketing & Advertising?

Steve Smith, Healthcare Success Senior Consultant, Writer & Account Manager

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Steve Smith Healthcare Success

Singer James Brown sang, “It’s a Man’s World,” but he could also have written a song titled, “It’s a Man’s World Except for Healthcare Decisions.”

Women still make approximately 80% of the health care decisions for their families, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, but that figure may be rapidly declining—and hospital and medical practice marketing & advertising planners take note.

Last year 82 percent of layoffs due to the recession affected men, reports the New York Times. And separately, more women than men are graduating college and entering the workforce. Combined, this means that more men are likely to have increased influence over the family decisions that were traditionally left to women.

Chief among those are the decisions related to healthcare. Fueled by the increasing role of the patients in their own care, men will present both new challenges and opportunities to those who are ready to address their particular needs.

The shift in demographics means that doctor / physician marketing & advertising materials may need a make-over. For your website, for example:

Provide more scientific information. Men will make decisions based on data so make it easy to find. Even better is to create a navbar button titled, “Research and Results.”

Write succinctly. The flowing prose that may have worked in the past may have less success with male website visitors. Your male target audience will appreciate concise, factual copy that arrives at your point as quickly as possible.

Review your images. Men will respond to the types of images we have been conditioned over the years to avoid. What women may see as boring or even scary images of scan results, men will see as supporting data for their decision.

Increase the presence of your calls to action. Because men are more likely to make a firm decision faster, every page of your website should have prominent calls to action at the top and bottom of each page so they can act swiftly.

As men become more involved in home health care decisions, the winners will be those who take regular steps to ensure that their specific fact-finding needs are met.

Steve Smith, Healthcare Success Senior Consultant, Writer & Account Manager

Stewart Gandolf
Chief Executive Officer at Healthcare Success
Stewart Gandolf, MBA, is Chief Executive Officer of Healthcare Success, one of the nation's leading healthcare and digital marketing agencies. Over the past 20 years, Stewart has marketed and consulted for over 1,000 healthcare clients, ranging from practices and hospitals to multi-billion dollar corporations. A frequent speaker, Stewart has shared his expertise at over 200 venues nationwide. As an author and expert resource, Stewart has also written for many leading industry publications, including the 21,000 subscriber Healthcare Success Insight blog. Stewart also co-authored, "Cash-Pay Healthcare: Start, Grow & Perfect Your Cash-Pay Healthcare Business." Stewart began his career with leading advertising agencies, including J. Walter Thompson, where he marketed Fortune 500 clients such as Wells Fargo and Bally's Total Fitness.

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