Healthcare Marketing: Moms Have Changed… Has Our Marketing?

Today moms are older and more likely to be Hispanic and single.  And because of that our marketing to them has to change.

A key segment for healthcare marketers is women.  Women who are giving birth.  Women with young children.  And today this segment of the market is very different than they were just a few years ago.

In 1970 one in a hundred births were to women 35 and older.  Today it’s one in twelve. According to the National Center for Healthcare Statistics that continues to decline with the number of births falling another 2.6% last year.

The U.S. Census Bureau reports the medium age of marriage for women is now 25.9 years old compared to 22 years old in 1980. But marriage is becoming less of a prerequisite for having children.   Everyday Health cites that almost 40% of births were to unmarried women.  And unlike what one may think, only 23% are to teenagers.    Women in their 20’s made up 60% of unwed mothers and 17% were women in their 30s.  Just 64% of moms are married – leaving over one-third of moms as single.

Additionally, one in four births are to women who are Hispanic. The number of Hispanic births has risen 95% since 1985 while the births of non-Hispanic women has fallen 3%.  A full 20% of moms in the U.S. were not born or raised in this country.

Very interesting stats.  And especially interesting to healthcare marketers.   Traditional stereotypes of moms are basically out the window now.  The faces of moms have dramatically changed and this impacts how we market to moms and potential moms. Who we need to reach and what we need to say is changing. Mediums, tones, styles and content should be re-examined. According to the Marketing to Moms Coalition 42% of moms found ads to be ineffective and 28% found ads directed to moms as fully unappealing!

This creates a tremendous challenge to healthcare marketers.  We have to be sensitive to the changing landscape.  We have to explore new and different ways to speak to these moms.  Their needs are different.  Their perspectives and attitudes are different.  And our marketing should also be different.


Hospital Marketing: Patients’ Search for Health Info Can Drive Traffic to Your Hospital’s Website

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Healthcare is a key area of internet study with 6 in 10 Americans going online for health information.  Many patients are well-educated on their problem BEFORE they visit the doctor. 

On a recent visit to my doctor’s office I shared with my primary care doc that I thought I had plantar fasciitis because I had studied my symptoms on the web. He quickly commented to the accompanying medical student that so many patients know their diagnoses before they come in-especially in a well-educated, high-tech market such that we live. 

Research from Pew Internet & American Life Project confirms that patients are going online and refers to them as e-patients.  The results from the study say that:

  • 59% of e-patients have consulted blog comments, hospital reviews, doctor reviews and podcasts about health and health care.
  • 20% of e-patients have posted comments, reviews, photos, audio, video or tags related to health care.
  • The internet comes in 3rd place behind (1) asking a health professional and (2) talking to friends and family members when asked where they turn for health care advise.
  • 60% say they or someone they know has been helped by following medical advise found on the internet.  That’s an increase from 31% in 2006.
  • 3% of e-patients say they or someone they know have been harmed by following medical advice found on the web-a number that has remained constant since 2006. 

While the medical professional is still the number one choice for patients to turn, patients do come to their doctor visits with more knowledge and are better prepared to discuss treatment options. 

What does this mean for those of us in hospital and healthcare marketing? Consumers are searching and using online health info. Provide it to them on your hospital website through third party sources such as A.D.A.M, links to the CDC, American Cancer Society, etc. Use social media and internet ads on other websites to drive traffic to your own site. Offer something of value with a compelling headline and entice the reader to click thru. (i.e. “What does your body type tell you about your future health?”) Then you have the opportunity to sell other aspects of your hospital while they are on your website.