Creating patient personas is key for effective targeting

To optimize efficiency in healthcare marketing, you need to build a detailed patient persona that points you toward the right prospects. However, without awareness of the critical factors to include in your persona profile, you won’t set the stage for personalized marketing strategies.

The following is a look at several of the most important factors to include when building your patient persona so you can execute effective healthcare marketing.

Your Typical Patient Demographics

The simplest and best place to start in crafting a patient persona is with basic demographics or other segmentation criteria that your marketplace shares. Age, gender, marital status and income level are among common demographic factors that may help define your typical patient. Some providers serve a diverse audience, but others find their typical patients are in a common stage of life. For instance, practitioners that specialize in obstetrics may normally deal with married women in their 20s or 30s.

Geography is another common persona factor. Is your typical patient within a very small radius, or is your practice a destination for people from a broader metropolitan or rural area?

Functional and Emotional Needs

Marketing messages that speak to the core functional and emotional needs of prospects are most impactful. Therefore, in defining your patient persona, list the primary functional service needs and emotions people have.

Naturally, fear, confusion and uncertainty are common among people considering healthcare. However, you also want to consider general levels of familiarity with treatment options, support from family and friends, and alternative sources of care.

Healthcare Behaviors

People utilize healthcare in different patterns. More importantly, they seek information about health conditions in diverse ways.

Ninety-three million Americans search for health information online, and the majority also use mobile applications. How does your patient persona conduct an investigation? How does she maintain communication during ongoing care? The answers help direct your communication strategies with prospects and established patients.

Align patient personas in your strategy to situate different tactics for different audiences











Why They Have Interest in You

The ideal healthcare marketing match occurs when your patient persona has interest in particular treatment options your practice provides. Knowing what distinguishes your facility from alternatives is vital to differentiation.

Consider what motivates your target to seek out healthcare, and which services or cultural factors are most vital.

Current Perspective on Your Industry or Brand

You need to know how your patient persona currently views your industry and practice. Someone in a pre-diagnosis stage looking for information on an ailment likely begins with little to no information. Thus, offering thorough content is important.

In contrast, promoting a medical device or treatment alternative to someone well-established with a condition required a very different approach.


In healthcare marketing, a great patient persona goes well beyond basic demographic and geographic factors. Take into account the needs of your prospect, typical healthcare behaviors, motives and stage in the healthcare life cycle.

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