Healthcare Marketing: Here’s How You Can Reach your Patients Effectively

One of the most difficult parts of the healthcare sector is to reach senior citizens. Many get upset or feel insulted when you address them as ‘seniors’. This makes them feel that they are over the hill, which is contrary to their younger self-image. That being said, this is also the most affluent segment of our society. Nearly half of all India purchasing power comes from senior citizens.

So, the general perception is that once a person turns 60, he/she will be treated as a senior by various hospitals, medical systems, and more. But quite often, this is not the case.

You Need to Rethink Your Creative and Media Perspective While Marketing to these patient
The core mistake every healthcare marketer makes is that it generalizes the term senior and does not take into account the fact that regardless of the chronological age, they self-identify with younger age. So, the message can come up as patronizing or insulting to them. This is because most people do not like to be termed as ‘senior citizens’. Seeing such messages make them feel obnoxious about their age and they feel that they are becoming ancient, old-timer, wrinkly, and more. But how old is old? Well, for starters, let’s define this term first and later on avoid using it. Here’s a typical example of generational breakdown:

  • Gen Z, iGen, or Centennials: Born 1996 – 2015
  • Millennials or Gen Y: Born 1977 – 1995
  • Generation X: Born 1965 – 1976
  • Baby Boomers: Born 1946 – 1964
  • Traditionalists or Silent Generation: Born 1945 and before

For your reference, here is a broader classification of human age according to the World Health Organization (WHO):

  • 0 to 17 years: Underage
  • 18 to 65 years: Youth or young people
  • 66 to 79 years: Middle-aged
  • 80 to 99 years: Senior
  • 100+ years: Long-lived Elderly

That said, marketing professionals need to consider the age that people self-identify and not the chronological one. This makes a huge difference when you are marketing to seniors. Studies have shown that people who feel younger tend to live longer and healthier. In most cases, people feel about 20 per cent younger than they actually are. So, for example, if a person is 50 years old, he/she might feel about 10 years younger. And this gap only widens as people grow older.

How to Effectively Frame Your Message to these Patients
In order to effectively create a marketing message to seniors, one should devise an on-target creative message. One should understand that nearly every creative message should begin with an awareness that the target audience is likely to have a younger self-image. It is essential that marketing to seniors allow for a subjective age. However, there are some expectations as well. So, in order to overcome this hurdle, one must first identify the target audience sub-sections. For example, is your target audience retired, still-working, inactive, and more. Also, be sure to remember the family members that also act as influencers. That being said, here are some of the important things you should consider while marketing to older adults.

Some of the things your creative message should consider when marketing to older adults:
Always Keep Subjective Age in Mind: As we said that the word ‘elderly’ or senior is a powerful negative that can easily alienate your target audience. So, you need to be creative keeping in mind that it does not offend the mature audience.

Build Trust: It is an undeniable fact that mature individuals have enough life experience, so need to be careful with your message here. With personal data and product assurances, one can build a certain level of trust and provide a sense of security.

Patience is the key: This is probably one of those few groups that do not jump at ‘limited time offer’. They usually have less concern for implied urgency.

Here are some other points that you keep in mind:

  • Provide straight-forward marketing facts
  • Add value and affordability to your product
  • Be direct and speak their language
  • Make it simple and easy
  • Add a touch of personalization

How to Reach the Mature Audience?

Here are some ways through which you can maximize your reach to a mature audience:
Multichannel Marketing: This is perhaps one of the most effective ways to reach your target audience. The 50-plus crowd routinely uses various communications, both traditional and digital. So, you need to select the right mix of both mediums when it comes to marketing to seniors.

Traditional Media: The best way to advertise to seniors is through traditional media. These include newspapers, broadcast, direct mail, and more. The Boomer group watches more TV than any other generation, which makes it a fine medium for advertising.

Digital media: This particular age group also has plenty of time to browse the internet via laptop, mobile devices, and more. This will help you to get the message faster to this age group. YouTube and Facebook continue to be mostly dominated by the old audience, which makes it probably one of the best platforms to advertise.

If you think it’s time to expand your market share of Senior Citizens, Healthcare Marktech is there to help you. We will help you to get your messaging right to this age group ahead of the competition.