November 5, 2012

Finding the right doctor for every age

How do marketers make patients “brand” loyal to their PCP?

The days of doctors making house calls may be making a full circle as the new focus for insurance companies is promoting the importance of the primary care physician. In a world where people change doctors like they change their socks, how do marketers make patients “brand” loyal to their PCP?

I suggest starting with an understanding of the wants and needs in a primary physician, based on age, gender, and life events. Here are a few patient scenarios to consider when brainstorming your next PCP campaign:

The 20-something immortal.

She’s 25 with a new job; she has left the nest! She is immortal in her own eyes. She may consider the doctor’s age, degree, and accessibility—she wants someone smart but also someone she can relate to. For this audience maybe the use of Internet resources, such as ZocDoc – a website that offers physician credentials and the ability to book an appointment right on the spot, is the way to go.

The Honeymooners.

This 30-year-old male and female recently married and are expecting a little one in 9 months. They care about the health and well being of their family-to-be. This couple wants a Family Doctor. They want someone they can go to for a baby’s fever at 5am or a backache from painting the baby’s new room. The best way to market a physician to this group is through a little old-fashioned media relations. This group is most likely boning up regularly on Mommy blogs and magazines that promote healthy living. Get your PCP in the spotlight and plugged into these media outlets.

The new man in town.

He’s a seasoned professional who just relocated due to a job change. He doesn’t know anyone in the new city, and he recently found out he has high blood pressure. Where will he look to find a doctor he can rely on? Referral, referral, referral—the uncertainty of the unknown will keep this consumer from obtaining a PCP, unless he is sure, through personal testimonials, that a doctor is right for him. This is a great opportunity to offer internal incentive programs for your current patient’s referrals, whether it is free screenings or discounts on your next visit, this is an opportunity to promote your physicians through your presently loyal customers.

Healthy as an ox.

She’s 55 years old, runs a 5k every spring and has not seen a doctor. Since 1996. She believed that she has her health so why go looking for something when it just ain’t there. The opportunity lies in educating her of the potential problems she may already be incurring by providing her with blood pressure, cholesterol tests, and other routine screenings. Promote your physician by offering complimentary screenings at your local mall, supermarket, or other easily accessible locations for this demographic.

What are you doing to market your organization’s PCPs?