Today, healthcare providers are faced with some unique challenges, foremost of which is healthcare consumerism. The digital marketing trend in healthcare is only growing, with digital channels outpacing traditional marketing channels at a record pace.

The title of Eric Topol’s book, “The Patient Will See You Now,” contextualizes in just six words the overall dispositional shift of healthcare consumerism. No longer are patients at the mercy of the provider for diagnosis or a final word on treatment. Patients are increasingly turning to digital sources of information for their first and second opinion—websites like WebMD and the Mayo Clinic are among the web’s largest aggregators of healthcare content intended to provide basic information on a variety of conditions and treatments. Second to these authoritative sources are people’s social networks—a crowd-sourced phenomenon that coincides with the acceleration of information in the digital economy.


doctor’s hand drawing a circle around the ideal patient segment


At the same time, the issues of insurance chaos and pricing transparency have changed consumer expectations—people are spending more money than ever on healthcare, and as such, are placing higher demands on providers to be transparent about prices and treatment options. If a patient isn’t happy with price or the choices offered, they are empowered to go elsewhere for another opinion or to explore treatment alternatives.

Alternatives and substitutes such as natural and holistic treatments are growing in popularity—recent data suggests that more than 38% of Americans are currently using some form of Complementary or Alternative Medicine (CAM). To learn more about the Nine Drivers of Healthcare Consumerism, watch this short video or download the whitepaper:



Patient Segmentation in the Era of Healthcare Consumerism

At Response Mine Health, we are dedicated to helping healthcare organizations and businesses grow, and we believe that, at the cornerstone of new growth, effective patient personas are paramount.

Our point of view on healthcare consumerism isn’t just academic—this industry-changing trend is booming, and we’ve got the data to back it up. Recently, we surveyed patients, doctors and medical marketers about the influence of different media platforms. eMarketer predicts that U.S. healthcare entities will spend more than $3.3 billion in digital marketing in 2020, an average of 14.8% growth over the five-year period between 2015-2020.

While there are no guarantees that healthcare marketers will be successful in generating ROI from their digital campaigns, there are ways of improving strategy.


The key is effective segmentation.


Traditional marketing posits that people make buying decisions based on emotion—in healthcare, that’s only partially true. So much goes into making a decision about a healthcare provider. Traditional marketing also puts a heavy focus on demographics as the chief mode of segmentation. Less known and more difficult to identify are psychographics—segmentation based on behavior patterns differentiated from standard demographic categories like age, race, income, gender or location.

Leverage psychographics to capture a better share of relevant audience segments that will be likely to choose your healthcare brand or organization over the competition.


What if you could target consumers whose attitudes were primed to make a buying decision in your favor? What if you could predict where to find them based on location?



At the heart of psychographic segmentation is a keen understanding of user behavior—why would you target users with internet marketing who better respond to direct response television ads?

If you were marketing a lung cancer treatment, would you find value in being able to target smokers by zip code?


In the next installment of this series, we’ll show you how to effectively set up designing a patient persona using the methods we’ve described. If you don’t want to wait for the next article, contact us today to learn how we can help you craft expert patient personas that drive results!



Daniel Lamb is a Copywriter for Response Mine focused on direct response copy and content marketing strategy. His firm belief in targeted messaging drove him to spearhead Response Mine’s customer segmentation strategy creation. He also enjoys reading, playing guitar and brews a fine cup of coffee.
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