Unlocking the Power of Healthcare Audiences: Segmenting Stakeholders and Maximizing Impact

By Justin Luh, Brand Strategist

A strong core brand strategy serves as the bedrock of effective downstream marketing efforts, especially in the healthcare and med tech industries. However, reaching multiple stakeholders with a single, overarching brand message can lead to diluted impact. Personalizing messages for individual audience segments is essential for resonating deeply with a variety of personas, from investors and patients to healthcare providers with differing needs and knowledge levels. To make the most of your marketing efforts and be an effective brand, the need exists to expand upon overall brand strategy by segmenting audiences and crafting dedicated messaging that speaks to individual stakeholders. This article uncovers the importance of audience segmentation, how to classify your audience groups, and the unique personas that influence the healthcare industry.

Recognizing Diverse Needs Among Stakeholders

Each stakeholder group has unique concerns, priorities, and criteria for evaluating healthcare products and services. For example, financially-oriented investors or health system executives may be interested in things like cost-savings or practice efficiencies, while end users” that could be providers or even patients tend to prioritize ease of use and time to result. By identifying these nuances and crafting messages that address specific challenges that your product solves, brands can optimize their marketing efforts for more impactful and meaningful connections to their target audiences.

Using the Sales Process as a Guide to Audience Segmentation

A look at your sales process can help drive segmentation by assessing the different stakeholders at each stage of adoption. Personnel within a single organization can play different roles when it comes to healthcare product adoption and decision-making. While it is common to target your champion or primary end user, they may not always have the final say when it comes to purchasing your product or choosing to onboard a new service. For instance, physicians might be a critical champion in getting traction during initial conversations, but value analysis committees or procurement teams also play a crucial role in determining deal success within a hospital system. To connect effectively with these varying decision-makers, brands can develop dedicated messaging that closely aligns with each stakeholder’s priorities and evaluation criteria throughout each juncture of the sales cycle.

Unique and Influential Personas in Healthcare

Healthcare products and services live and die based on their appeal to audiences that are unique to this space. While patients are the most popular and abundant of the four P’s” of heathcare, other crucial decision-making segments such as payors, providers, and policymakers cannot be overlooked. Payors, like insurers, focus on holistic cost savings and provable improvements to patient outcomes. To appeal to payors, it is essential to demonstrate an understanding of the requirements and guidelines of policymakers as well. While many organizations do not directly market to policymakers, unbranded educational campaigns can be implemented to support and stay ahead of regulatory requirements. At first glance, healthcare providers may seem like a homogeneous group, but it’s also important to acknowledge their diversity and to segment based on their disciplines and roles within healthcare organizations. Common themes that resonate with providers include ease of use or integration, streamlined operations, and improved decision-making. Understanding and effectively messaging to each of these niche audiences is key to breaking down barriers for the success of your product.

Unlocking Stakeholder Insights with Market Research

When commercializing a new product, you may not initially have a full understanding of what your stakeholders care about. Market research plays a crucial role in not only identifying customer segments but also their unique needs. For instance, industry analysis, which involves researching your competitors’ customers and reviewing their marketing strategies, can provide valuable insights into existing target audiences for similar products. For more granular data, custom surveys and stakeholder interviews can provide context for purchasing decisions or pain points, informing actionable insights for your organization.

Crafting Effective Persona-Based Marketing Strategies

Understanding your audience is the first step to maximizing impact. By creating dedicated messaging matrices that highlight specific key benefits and the value proposition for each audience, you can map out the optimal content for each stakeholder. Building upon this messaging framework, targeted ad concepts can be crafted with corresponding imagery and copy that cater to that specific audience while maintaining a cohesive brand image. When deploying campaigns, consider leveraging unique keyword groups based on stakeholder messaging platforms to streamline your paid media efforts. By doing so, you not only ensure the relevance and effectiveness of your campaigns, but you also maximize your return on investment.

Making Targeted Messaging a Strategic Priority

Now that you understand the importance and methods of segmenting audiences, how to craft dedicated messaging, and effective targeting tactics, these strategies can be integrated into your healthcare marketing plan. Review your existing messaging and target audiences to find opportunities for customization and improvement. For further information, consider consulting with industry professionals who have navigated this complex landscape. Your ability to resonate deeply with individual stakeholders is the key to building a brand that is differentiated from competitors, resonates deeply, and is set up for long-term success.

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