Why Defining a Buyer Persona is Crucial in Healthcare Marketing

1. Defining a buyer persona brings your target demo into focus.

When you go through the exercise of defining a buyer persona, you write their story. By doing so, you are uncovering their hopes, concerns, behaviors, activities and needs. When you have a full picture of your target rather than just the basic demographics, you are better able to tailor your message to those consumers and reveal unique opportunities for establishing connections.

2. Inaccurate buyer persona’s can alienate your target audience.  

“As a rheumatoid arthritis patient and as a healthcare marketer, I cringe every time I see the TV commercial for a Humira. If doesn’t connect with me and, even worse, it perpetuates the false myth that people are suffering from RA can take an injection and then run off to build a playground during a rainstorm. Only 20 percent of patients achieve full remission.” Shannon O’Connell, AcrobatAnt Account Executive said. Much of today’s healthcare marketing includes lifestyle images of people running, biking, gardening and playing with kids. While we want to communicate the message that good healthcare will allow patients to get back to their lives and daily activities, healthcare marketers need to ask serious questions about patient outcomes before making that promise.

3. Buyer persona’s will often uncover ways to improve patient experience. 

The process of wiping the slate clean and thinking about things from the patient’s perspective will often uncover valuable wish list items that could make all the difference in getting word-of-mouth referrals or higher ratings in online reviews.

Easy steps for defining a buyer persona:

1. Research to find basic information such as gender, age range, education levels, household income and geographic areas.

2. Survey to discover their activities, priorities, how they source information, social media usage, most important factors, when seeking healthcare and any other lifestyle preferences that could be relevant to your facility.

3. Define their needs and expectations as well as any struggles or issues where they will seek relief.

4. Define how others influence their buying decisions.

5. Survey to discover your practice’s strengths and what makes you stand out from competitors.

6. Use this information to group similar consumers together.

7. Develop an anecdotal story about a fictitious person who represents each type of group.

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