The Coffey Blog

Marketing healthcare to women in 2016

Posted on: Monday, February 15, 2016

Marjorie Reece, Lead Senior Editor

When it comes to healthcare, we know that women aren't a sweet little niche market. They're the superstore, the main event, the powerful purse strings. 

Here's a statistic that's widely quoted: Women make 80 percent of the healthcare purchasing decisions in the U.S. 

So, what's it take to engage and empower this influential audience? 

The simple answer?

Good content. You could start and stop there and win your share of female consumers. But let's set the bar even higher—and look at some strategies to really shine in marketing healthcare to modern women. 

What women want in their healthcare content

Maybe it's odd to start this list with a caveat, but it's an important one: Women are a widely diverse group. 

We certainly can't speak for all of them, and we wouldn't dare try. But we believe the themes that follow represent a thoughtful and current approach—with notions that will resonate with many women, whether they're millennials, moms or mechanical engineers—or all of the above. 

In your healthcare content: Be trustworthy. Explain what needs explaining—and deliver on what you promise. 

There's a movement for more transparency in the price and quality of healthcare, but this goes beyond that. It's also about creating reliable and relatable content—from accuracy to accountability. Maybe that's clearly outlining what to expect before and after an outpatient procedure or helping people understand your billing process.

In your healthcare content: Create content that solves problems for women and makes their lives better and easier. You'll earn loyal fans—who are also likely to share their high opinions with their friends and families, on social media or at the neighborhood coffee shop.  

And think mobile. No question—we live by our screens. In fact, take a look at how often female iPhone users check their phones daily, particularly young women. Here's another device-related trend to keep an eye on in 2016: location marketing or micro-moments

In your healthcare content: Acknowledge that women have choices for themselves, their health and their families. What's right for one, may not be for another. 

Healthcare has had its share of strict must-dos, from what to eat to which screenings to have. But times are changing—it's no longer one-size-fits-all. In your content, encourage a personalized and collaborative approach to healthcare. Share options and tips versus lectures and directives.

Of course, some health education calls for giving it to people straight—flu shots, colonoscopies and calling 911 for heart attack symptoms come to mind. In these cases, help women understand why it's so important to make a wise choice. 

In your healthcare content: Share genuine stories about real people—their struggles and successes. A couple weeks ago, we encouraged our blog readers to harness the power of patient testimonials.

In your healthcare content: Provide value—and show you care. 

Women can be savvy bargain shoppers certainly. But research also shows that today's consumers gravitate to brands with heart. They want organizations to offer useful products and services, to care about them, and to make the world a better place too. 

In your healthcare content: Lead women to better health, not by frightening them with risks and warnings, but by inspiring them. Help them feel confident in themselves—and put less emphasis on the outcome. Remind them the journey can be satisfying too. 

We started this list with a caveat, so let's end with one too: Marketing to women isn't about pigeonholing females or excluding men. It isn't about pink ribbons and frilly fonts. In fact, it's more about diversity, inclusion and strength. As Serena Williams says, it's time to defy labels

Here's to inspiring more women in 2016!

Need help putting these ideas in to action? Want to see samples of compelling content that speaks to these themes? Contact us for more information about all our healthcare content services

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