Telemedicine, or the use of technology to virtually provide healthcare to patients, could reach $36.3 billion by 2020. While that sounds high, consumption of telemedicine is low - only 2% of Americans have ever tried it. However, a 2017 poll from the Advisory Board showed that 77% of healthcare consumers they surveyed were interested in trying telemedicine. So if people are interested, why aren’t they using it? The answer lies in segmenting your telemedicine marketing to the right audience.
Benefits of Offering Telemedicine
Despite the data suggesting that over three-fourths of Americans are interested in telemedicine, the reality is that not many people are using it yet. This doesn’t seem to add up when you look at just some of the unique benefits of telemedicine:
It can give those with fewer health issues a way to maintain regular check-ups without disrupting their busy schedules.
Rural healthcare consumers can visit with their physicians without having to travel long distances, which is becoming more prevalent now that nearly a quarter of rural hospitals are at risk of closing.
Some urgent care and emergency locations use telemedicine to understand who needs help imminently and triage those high-risk patients first.
Telemedicine can cut down on patient congestion and mitigate physician shortage - two problems that commonly plague emergency rooms.
It makes sense to highlight these benefits and more when marketing your telemedicine program to acquire new patients. But psychographics show that not every audience perceives these benefits in the same way.
Which Psychographic Segments Are the Most Likely to Use Telemedicine?
Psychographic segmentation, or using a person’s values, lifestyles and motivations to determine their behaviors, can help you reach patients who would be particularly interested in telemedicine. With the help of psychographics, you can determine how to best phrase your marketing messages and target your efforts to the two segments that are statistically more likely to use telemedicine and make up 70 percent of those who use it:
Self Achievers are proactive and open to investing in whatever is necessary to improve their health. They are the most likely to try anything to build their access to care. Digitally savvy Self Achievers want to try telemedicine because they like the idea of it being the “latest and greatest” technology since staying current with trends and looking ahead appeals to them.
Willful Endurers tend to prioritize everything else above their health. They value telemedicine because of the convenience of not having to leave their homes. Willful Endurers only go to the doctor when they absolutely must, and reaching a clinician from home takes much less effort on their part, meaning it may improve the chances of them being more proactive about their health.
How to Help Your Patients Choose Telemedicine
Now that you know the types of people most likely to actually use telemedicine, it’s time to discuss how to reach them. Combined, Self Achievers and Willful Endurers make up about 50% of the population of the U.S. This gives you a strong base with whom you can share your message. It’s important to remember, however, that Self Achievers and Willful Endurers respond to very different messages.
Because Self Achievers value their health, they are likely to respond well to praise of their efforts to take care of their themselves, as well as confidence in their ability to continue to be in charge of their own wellbeing. Show Self Achievers how telemedicine offers them a new way to be ahead of the curve in caring for their health.
Willful Endurers, on the other hand, need to be reminded of how easy and convenient telemedicine is. Because they often let their health slide, show them how telemedicine can help them act quickly with minimal effort, or give them an option when they’ve waited too long and now they have no choice but to “see” a doctor.
Telemedicine is a growing technology, and finding the right patients to use it now is key, as new advancements and applications are being discovered in the industry. With a strong marketing strategy founded on insight gleaned from psychographic segmentation, healthcare systems, doctors’ offices and urgent care clinics can reach their ideal telemedicine patients with messages that resonate with them.
Find out more about how you can acquire new patients using psychographics in our case study.