Insights on Today's Healthcare Consumer

Meet the ‘Balance Seekers,’ Healthcare’s Self-Reliant Consumers

Posted by Brent Walker on Mon, Oct 07, 2013

balance seekersIf you stood in the lobby of your hospital and watched the steady stream of patients come and go, you would see many come for the same care and services, but they would have unique and varied motivations.

The key for healthcare providers is to fully understand these consumer motivations, behaviors and views on key healthcare issues.

The c2b Consumer Diagnostic and its proprietary consumer psychographic segmentation model identify health consumers and separate them into five key segments that each have their own set of thought processes and distinguishing characteristics as they pertain to health and wellness.

  • Balance Seekers
  • Willful Endurers
  • Priority Jugglers
  • Self Achievers
  • Direction Takers

Once you understand how your patients make their decisions you can maximize outcomes and optimize patient outreach; for example, streamlining the content you place on the internet, what you post to social media and the information you share in your advertising.

Today we’re focusing the analysis to help you provide the best results for segment one— those patients that we at c2b solutions call the “Balance Seekers.”

The following profile data comes from the c2b Consumer Diagnostic market research study (n=4,878 respondents; n=4,184 nationally representative sample of adults age 18+).

Demographics and Socioeconomics

  • Balance Seekers are more likely to be female.
  • Average age of Balance Seekers is 43.57.
  • Balance Seekers are 70% White or Caucasian and 13 % Black/African American; 11 % Latino; 5 % Asian and 1 % Other.
  • Over half of Balance Seekers are college graduates and one in five Balance Seekers have post-graduate degrees.
  • Average Income of Balance Seekers is $65,849
  • Balance Seekers are the most likely to be employed with a small company.

What are their attitudes towards their own health?

Balance Seekers are wellness oriented and proactive about health education.

  • Balance Seekers educate themselves on health issues and are outspoken about health and wellness, often advising their friends and family on healthcare issues.
  • 95 percent Balance Seekers visit health oriented websites and are the segment most likely to use medical apps on a smart phone or other device.
  • Though Balance Seeker will take precautions because of genetic risks, they also believe that they can directly influence how long they will live regardless of family history.

Balance Seekers invest a considerable amount of time and effort into improving their health.

  • Balance Seekers are believers in the power of exercise, statistically more likely (95% confidence) to claim that they get more exercise than all other segments except Self Achievers (the subject of a future article), with whom they get equal exercise. They engage in an activity that requires physical exertion at least 3-4 days a week.
  • They maintain healthy nutritional habits and are more than twice as likely as other segments to do searches for information about nutrition and healthy diets.

How do they engage with healthcare providers?

You probably won’t find a Balance Seekers in the ER or doctor’s office as frequently as some of the other segments.

  • Healthcare providers are one among many resources upon which Balance Seekers rely. Balance Seekers tend to consider themselves self-sufficient—more than half report being in very good health— and seek out direction from a healthcare professional only when absolutely necessary. 
  • They tend to take manage outward symptoms of illness on their own, and equate outward appearance with healthiness, so when they look good, they feel good.
  • They are the least likely to let sickness get in the way of commitments or responsibilities, as they report that “when I’m sick, I continue on with my daily routine even though I’m not at my best.”

When they do seek a professional, it may not be for a physical complaint.

  • Balance Seekers believe that mind, body and spirit are each important, and they are just as likely to seek attention for a mental health issue as they will a physical illness—though they do tend to do their own research before seeking professional help.
  • Balance Seekers place importance on finding a balance between their work and personal lives, but they still report the second highest level of stress.

How will they react to changes or difficulties in their care or treatment?

  • Balance Seekers are relatively comfortable with change, if they understand the context and point of that change.  While they are not the biggest supporters of the Affordable Care Act, they are likely to take the changing healthcare landscape in stride and adjust accordingly based on their own investigation of their options.
  • Despite being proactive and taking ownership of their health and wellbeing, Balance Seekers indicate they are not likely to file a lawsuit against a healthcare provider if they do not receive the expected level of services. They believe in taking responsibility for their own health and wellness.

These are just a handful of the many insights on the Balance Seekers segment found in the c2b Consumer Diagnostic. In addition to their own, unique set of characteristics, Balance Seekers are also influenced and motivated by different messages and communication vehicles than are other segments.  Understanding these differences will help you provide the best possible care for your patients, whether Balance Seekers or one of the other four segments. 

Click Here to Learn about Our Health Care Research

Image credit: auremar / 123RF Stock Photo

Brent Walker

Written by: Brent Walker

As Chief Marketing Officer, Brent's primary responsibilities include leading marketing strategy and execution for c2b solutions, development of c2b solutions' proprietary consumer segmentation model and insights products, research on healthcare consumers’ motivations and behaviors, and providing marketing guidance to c2b solutions clients.

Tags: Healthcare Consumerism

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