If achieving a superior ROI on ad spend is your top goal, you need a superior media strategy to realize it. The key differentiator between an average media strategy and a superior one emerges from effective, innovative analytics. In fact, modern healthcare marketers have overwhelmingly realized this simple fact. In a recent poll, 61% of healthcare professionals reported that “better analytic tools were among their chief goals for 2018 according to eMarketer.


With better tools, what sorts of marketing goals could be easily within reach?


For one, better-targeted media.

In this second installment in our series on psychographics, we’ll explore what types of media work best for the different types of patient dispositions across the spectrum.


Segmenting Dispositions

Rather than segmenting people by standard types of demographic data, e.g., income data, age, or gender, we take this idea a step further by segmenting patient dispositions. These dispositions can be described as people’s behavior or attitude toward a thing—in our case, these dispositions specifically concern healthcare.

The spectrum of dispositions, as we see it, can be broken down into three categories: Avoid, Sustain and Thrive.


Patients who fall into what we’ve determined to be the “Avoid” category are among the least likely to engage with healthcare. Reasons for their lack of engagement span across a substratum of types that separate the avoidant further. An avoidant patient is this way because of a fear of health providers, an unwillingness to spend money on healthcare or due to a lack of priority toward health. Often, the avoidant sector includes the poorest and least educated of all patient segments. They do not go out of their way to seek information about healthy living or care options.

A media strategy to target these avoidant types should steer clear of channels which require a moderate to high level of user engagement—content marketing, social media and paid search all rely on user interaction to result in any kind of ROI to the marketer. Since these users are more passive toward healthcare, it makes sense that when marketing to these patients, more traditional media channels such as television, outdoor and direct mail are more likely to resonate. Still, these channels often prove troublesome when tying marketing efforts back to results.


Conversely, patients grouped in our “Thrive” category take an active role in their own wellness journey. These groups of people are the very opposite of the “Avoid” category. These people make healthcare decisions based on their own research, often choosing non-traditional or holistic routes to their care. This patient segment also comprises those with higher levels of both education and income compared to the avoidant segment. Therefore, when targeting this type of patient, educational content marketing, social media and paid search are ideal channels—these users naturally engage with information, so measuring touchpoints through digital marketing is much easier than with the avoidant category.


Our third group called “Sustain” represents the mainstream health consumer. Notably among this segment are those well-educated individuals with high household incomes who’re more likely to follow doctor’s orders. Visualize this group as the middle of the bell curve. These users are also actively involved in their and their family’s wellbeing. Market to these individuals with social media, display advertising, video and content. Paid search is also ideal for stimulating demand in a population that’s hungry for information and solutions. Be sure to include these individuals in your strategy—they spend generously on quality insurance and healthcare.


Man using a laptop to video conference with his primary care physician


We’ve been able to verify these facts through our own research and analytics tools, an endeavor inspired by the work of healthcare scientists like Dr. Frederick Navarro who developed the PATH methodology.


While developing a strategy to reach these segments may seem straightforward, there are challenges in execution that befall nearly all who attempt this kind of psychographic segmentation.

For example, here are some types of questions you should be able to answer:

  1. How do you know the makeup of a population?
  2. In what concentration do these segments appear?
  3. Where on the map could you find “Sustain” users?
  4. Which “Avoidant” zip codes should you exclude from a paid search campaign promoting preventative screenings?


This is where advanced healthcare tools like Response Mine Analytics become essential.


Because having demographic data isn’t enough.


Being able to visualize and interpret that data, as well as slice it and repurpose it in manifold ways is paramount to generating the kind of insights needed to craft clear, psychographic personas. Equally important is knowing what questions to ask of your data.

If all of this sounds like a lot, we’re with you. Multiple unique variables go into correctly identifying the location and concentration of any psychographic segment. Beyond this, it also takes strategic expertise to apply these findings to create a media portfolio that makes the most of your advertising dollars.

At Response Mine Health, we’re not just waging healthcare marketing— it’s healthcare marketing science.


To learn more, stay tuned for our next installment where we’ll further delineate the three patient dispositions and drill down into the data on a granular level in our case study on segmenting patient prospects for prostate cancer in a metropolitan U.S. market. Don’t want to wait for the study? Contact us today to learn how we can help you market to your ideal patient!



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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