With approximately 60 percent of U.S. adults seeking healthcare information online, hospital marketing campaigns must focus on the most effective ways to reach and convert these empowered consumers. The key often lies in understanding the personal traits and online tendencies of these prime targets. Interestingly, this knowledge can be found by reviewing the demographics of these health-conscious and tech-savvy people. The Pew Internet and Life Project recently compiled a list of five demographics that should be considered when developing hospital marketing campaigns to reach these coveted consumers. HealthcareCommunication.com offered an overview of the demographic details.
1. Analyze Age – While it would be assumed that older consumers make up the majority of online healthcare seekers, the youngest people actually account for the largest percentage. This can be attributed to the fact that these 18- to 29-year-olds tend to be the most computer-savvy and use the Web most often for daily activities. The next highest percentage of online health seekers is people between the ages of 30 and 49. Their need to handle the healthcare needs of their kids, their parents, and themselves attribute to this high Web usage. The 65+ age group may be the smallest percentage of online health surfers, but they are a rapidly growing segment due to their increasing healthcare needs, higher life expectancies, and growing familiarity with the Web.
2. Go Over Gender – Women comprise almost two-thirds of the people seeking health information online, which can be attributed to their frequent role as family caretakers and generally longer life spans.
3. Examine Ethnicity – Interestingly, ethnicity makes little difference in the overall demographics of online healthcare surfers. Slightly more than 60 percent of Caucasians go online to find specific disease data, while 50 percent of both Hispanics and African Americans search the Web for health information.
4. Inspect Income – It’s no surprise that people with higher incomes dominate the online healthcare search. A full 83 percent of people earning $75,000 a year use the Web for health searches the most, followed by merely 41 percent of consumers earning less than $31,000 a year. While the higher earners may be a more active online audience, these lower earners still comprise a sizable market and should not be overlooked when developing effective hospital marketing campaigns.
5. Evaluate Education – Higher education corresponds to a higher percentage of online healthcare searchers. More than 80 percent of people who went to graduate school go online to find health data, compared to only 24 percent with some high school experience. Many are worried about this low percentage of less-educated online health seekers because people need to be educated about their health options regardless of their level of schooling.
Finally, the results also revealed that 66 percent of online health searchers seek out information about specific disease states of medical conditions, while 56 percent search for medical treatments or the latest procedures, and 44 percent go online to find a doctor. Approximately one-third of online health seekers look for information about hospitals or their health insurance options.
Armed with this demographic data, marketers can have greater insight into the healthcare consumers they’re striving to find. It also allows them to create healthcare and hospital marketing campaigns that will reach and resonate with the online health audience.
MDG Advertising, a full-service advertising agency with offices in Boca Raton and New York, NY, is one of Florida’s top healthcare marketing companies. Our 360° approach uses just the right mix of traditional and digital marketing to reach your healthcare marketing goals. While some industries may fare better in print and others online, we strive to create a balanced approach, where traditional, social media, and digital marketing efforts support each other and your message is tailored to the medium. To stay on top of the latest trends in healthcare and what’s new in hospital marketing campaigns, contact MDG Advertising.
Read more at healthcarecommunication.com.
Written by Michael Del Gigante