Marketing Healthcare to Women: The Do’s and Don’ts
It is no secret that marketing to women is a top priority in the healthcare marketing industry. Women make up to 80% of all healthcare decisions for their family, according to the United States Department of Labor. It doesn’t matter if your practice is offering pediatric or orthopedic services, women are making the majority of decisions on what care to receive and where to get it.
Marketing on a gender-focused campaign has always walked the line between successful and stereotypical because when marketing to women, gender is often the only demographic considered. There are more factors to consider when marketing to the female population: their socioeconomic status, age, stage of life and occupation all come into play. Their interest lies beyond a pink color-schemed Ad with a minivan full of kids. Women are more interested in authenticity and consistency when making healthcare decisions; they want reliability and that is what you have to show them.
Do make use of social media.
Women still dominate social media usage over men on several sites, including Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram. They use these sharing platforms not only to stay in touch with family and friends, but to seek out information. Women will most often research products and services online and over 70% make decisions based on reviews and recommendations found on social media. (Cox Business, Social Media Strategies in Marketing to Women).
We have to take into account the way women share and consume data when crafting a message to them. We recommend developing a strong social media presence for your practice or healthcare service and to incorporate images or infographics in your messages – don’t be afraid to venture beyond the text. People are 65% more likely to remember information that is presented to them in an image.
Women relate to each other. DO Include their voice in your marketing strategy.
Women listen to the opinions of other women because they relate to each other on daily struggles and experiences. It is a good idea to incorporate quotes from female nurses, physicians and other patients in your marketing message; including elements of relatability can result in feelings of reliability.
DO use audience segmentation in your marketing strategy.
Women have many roles – they are sisters, mothers, wives, friends, athletes, daughters, college students, coworkers. Find out the demographic of your female audience. Do not sum up gender as the entire demographic. Every demographic has specific needs, interests, and language so be sure to build your marketing efforts around these.
DO NOT hyper-focus on gender.
There is a difference between gender targeting and gendered messaging, and the latter is often unsuccessful. According to a study by market research firm Fluent, 74% of women surveyed said they prefer gender-neutral marketing messages. In order to target women, there will be some gender-specific language involved but remember you are marketing to the human first and the woman second. People of all gender identities have healthcare needs. If there is too much focus on the concept of “women”, your message may come across as generalized or stereotypical to the female population.
DO NOT cling to the ‘Mom Stereotype’.
Believe it or not, women are more than just mothers. A campaign adorned with tulips and women pushing strollers may be overlooked, and worse, be perceived as condescending. They want to know that you see them more than just the caretaker of the household. If you are targeting an audience of mothers, keep in mind that you are talking to a woman first and a mother second.
The bottom line is, women have been marketed to as solely mother of the household and secondary to the man throughout history. It is important to capitalize on how your services can cater to their needs and to not surround your entire campaign around gender or their role as a mother.