By Stewart Gandolf
Chief Executive Officer
As a HealthLeaders Media commentary put it recently, “Expecting patients to shop for discount cancer treatments and bargain heart procedures is, of course, a non-starter.” But coupons, discounts and special offers can take many forms in healthcare and hospital marketing.
What’s more, the search for savings, and being value-conscious, is no longer a middle-income trait. Recent research confirms that wealthier, more educated and metropolitan Americans are making money-saving coupons part of their lifestyle.
“With the development of digital and mobile tools that make savings more convenient, accessible and in sync with consumers’ modern lifestyles, couponing has truly become a learned behavior,” according to a new survey by Harris Interactive® and commissioned by Coupons.com, the largest provider of digital coupons.
By the numbers…
MORE AFFLUENT: Six out of 10 adults (61 percent) with a household income of $100,000 or more have redeemed a coupon in the past six months. Additionally, about four in 10 adults (39 percent) in this income bracket have redeemed coupons printed from an online source in the past six months, making them nearly twice as likely to do so as adults with a household income less than $35,000 (21 percent).
MORE EDUCATED: Adults with college degrees are almost twice as likely to have used coupons in the past six months as those who didn’t graduate from high school. This further dispels the perceived lowbrow stigma of couponing. In fact, the survey shows that this group of grads is also more likely to make a purchase specifically to redeem a coupon, visit a product’s website to get a coupon and search for coupons online.
MORE METROPOLITAN: More than three in four adults (77 percent) who have used coupons in the past six months live in metro areas.
And similar info comes from the Consumerology Report in Canada. “The stereotype of the typical ‘couponer’ as a thrifty penny pincher is becoming a thing of the past…couponing is now seen as a trendy way to save. More than half of Canadians report using coupons more today than before the recession (52 percent) and coupon use now spans all income levels. Those with an annual income of over $150,000 are just as likely to use coupons as those making less than $50,000. One in three Canadians also report using coupons regularly (36 percent).”
A temporary change? Probably not, the Harris Interactive survey tells us. Eight out of 10 US adults plan to continue to engage in couponing activities. It seems that couponing is here to stay. The “new normal” for medical and hospital marketing in tough economic times means re-thinking healthcare advertising offers. Click through here for our previous article for more on that topic.