By Stewart Gandolf
Chief Executive Officer
It’s the woman who makes the healthcare decisions in most households. That fact hasn’t changed much over the past few years. Estimates have it that eight out of 10 times, it’s the woman, wife, mother who is the keeper of the family health choices for spouse, children and herself.
The the “mom” sector has been exploding, with more women and mothers drawn to social media. With nearly 40 million US moms expected to be online within the next 12 months, it’s time to look at what your doctor and physician marketing is saying to women in general and mothers in particular. You may need to refresh and update your “mom message.”
Moms are making a social statement according to Digiday. “Women in general and moms in particular have embraced social media as a way of acquiring and sharing information about products and services, according to a study conducted by the “Mom-entum” division of Big Fuel Communications.
“It’s not surprising that women are active social networkers. A result of a separate survey released this week by the Pew Internet and American Life Project reveals that 58 percent of all Facebook users are women and they post, comment and “like” on the site far more often than men. On Twitter, the divide is even greater; 64 percent of all Twitter users are women.”
The rapid adoption of social media among the female audience seems like a natural. Women are increasingly connected via healthcare and healthy living blogs, Twitter, Facebook and others. Just about every stage and aspect of motherhood and childcare bring women together to connect, learn from experts, communicate and share experiences. They find, according to one female blogger, “a large and diverse community of women with advice, support, humor, tears and encouragement.”
Challenge questions for your online physician marketing.
Physicians, surgeons and other medical providers should take a fresh and objective look at your marketing message and materials, especially the online and social media channels. Some professions, specialties or subspecialties will have a stronger female connection than others, but this is a worthwhile exercise for nearly everyone. To begin the challenge, ask yourself…
- What products/services do you provide, or could be provided, to women, moms or family members?
- When was the last time you evaluated your patient mix and product mix? What might you add or feature?
- Do you have more than one female demographic or psychographic segment? (Working women, moms-to-be, new moms, moms of teens, “empty nesters,” or other life stage categories?)
- Have you described products/services in terms of benefits/solutions for women?
- What social media tools are you using? (More women than men use Twitter and Facebook)
- Can you/should you add a blog, forum or Twitter stream that unifies this audience around a topic or issue of common interest?
- What special information or expert insight can you deliver that informs or educates this audience?
- How do you engage this audience and what feedback do you hear? (And how are you responding?)
- What new opportunities are available for you to identify, reach and engage this audience?
If you’d like help with these questions, or if you’d like to discuss changes in your doctor/physician marketing for a fresh, stronger, more effective plan to reach this target audience, give us a call anytime.