Conducting effective healthcare market research is hardly a simple task, especially when you consider the profound diversity of the healthcare consumer audience. For example, it's unwise to assume that individuals with similar health conditions would respond the same way to a certain type of messaging, or that they would demonstrate the same approach to disease management, prescription utilization patterns, and so forth.
Traditional demographic data does not account for the differences in motivations that drive patient behavior, and this can leave healthcare providers and marketers at a significant disadvantage in terms of being able to communicate in a way that will resonate with their target audience.
Enter psychographic segmentation. This innovative form of audience profiling, for which c2b solutions developed a proprietary model, involves grouping audiences based upon psychological or intangible characteristics such as beliefs, attitudes, values, interests and motivations.
Using psychographic segmentation, healthcare providers and marketers can obtain more detailed insight into the drivers of patient behavior, as well as the not-so-visible factors that can sometimes influence behavior change.
c2b solutions’ robust psychographic segmentation model delineates five major audience groupings: Self Achievers, Balance Seekers, Priority Jugglers, Willful Endurers, and Direction Takers. In this article, we will highlight the Willful Endurers segment.
Willful Endurers: An Overview
By and large, Willful Endurers are highly independent and can endure much of what life throws at them. They live in the "here and now," and generally do not devote much time to thinking about the future.
Willful Endurers are typically not motivated to be proactive about health management, because they generally believe that there are too many other important things to focus on in their day than their health and well-being. This doesn't necessarily mean that Willful Endurers are unhealthy; rather, they believe that taking care of their health is a bridge to cross once they come to it. They simply do what they like and march to the beat of their own drum, and they are challenged to change their habits once they become set in their ways.
Willful Endurers and Health Management
Willful Endurers are ardently self-reliant, and they generally possess a very resilient attitude. Most Willful Endurers view going to the doctor as a last resort, and would rather simply "tough it out" when grappling with a health issue.
Willful Endurers might have a propensity for indulging in unhealthy habits (e.g., drinking, smoking, overeating, etc.), and even if these habits become harmful to their health, Willful Endurers have a hard time giving them up because they enjoy doing them. Our research shows that over a third of Willful Endurers will admit in a survey that they consider themselves "couch potatoes,” and although they are aware of what they need to do to stay healthy, they do not prioritize their own health and wellness.
Keys to Engaging Willful Endurers
- Keep in mind that Willful Endurers are a hard segment to persuade, so instead of approaching them from an opposing or contradictory standpoint, adjust your messaging to go with their flow. One simple yet effective way to do this is to tailor your communications in a manner that appeals to their affinity for living in the "now." For example, you could show them how your recommendations will benefit them today instead of focusing on the future, or emphasize how your services will help them live their life to the fullest in the "here and now."
- Be patient and take it step by step when encouraging a move towards healthier behaviors. Focus on securing their commitment to take the first step rather than presenting an A-to-Z plan.
- If they have made any positive steps to-date, be sure to praise and validate their efforts. What's rewarded will often be repeated.
Willful Endurers may present a challenge for healthcare providers and marketers, but it’s not impossible to motivate behavior change. c2b solutions worked with a Fortune 50 employer to motivate blue collar plant workers — many of whom were Willful Endurers — to enroll in a 12 week intervention program for Metabolic Syndrome. Seventy-two percent of eligible employees signed up for the program, arguably more successful than many corporate wellness programs.
Psychographic segmentation is one of the most effective ways for healthcare providers and marketers to develop targeted strategies that can speak to the specific needs and wants of a given audience segment. For Willful Endurers in particular, communications that have been informed by psychographic segmentation can break down barriers of resistance to change that are characteristic of this segment.
c2b solutions offers proprietary solutions that can spur higher levels of engagement among Willful Endurers, as well as the other four psychographic segments. Contact us today to see how our extensive consumer insights can refine and enhance your healthcare consumer engagement efforts.