October 13, 2009

What Women Want (in their Healthcare) Part 1 Though the film What Women Wants, starring Mel Gibson, carried a romantic comedic theme, it brought up a point that all marketing professionals – especially those in the healthcare industry – should strive diligently to incorporate into their marketing structure: women run the free world. Arguably the most complex creatures on earth, the female population is responsible for 80% of all consumer spending and healthcare decision-making in the U.S. (Gallop). In the movie, Mel Gibson was blessed with the ability to hear women’s thoughts – a great gift in today’s world. Instead of using this gift to further his clients’ strategic initiatives, he steals his new female boss’ ideas and claims them as his own. Though we don’t have the ability to hear the secret thoughts of female consumers, we know a great deal about their (or our) healthcare wants, needs and buying trends. Wants A Relationship When dealing with matters as intimate as one’s body and health, having a relationship with her healthcare is crucial for any woman. She wants to be able to speak freely and know that she matters to her healthcare team. Respect No adult wants to be talked down to or patronized especially when you feel poorly. As in any relationship, she wants to feel like her physician and his or her staff listens to her and is on her level. And if you fail to meet her standard of respect, it is likely she will find someone who does. Communication If you do not adequately communicate with your female patients, they will have no problem communicating with their friends and family members about your hospital’s lack in communication skills. According to Dr. Vicki Lucus, the number one reason that women change health care providers is poor communication. Dr. Lucus goes on to explain hat if women are satisfied with their services, they will tell 3-5 people but if they are dissatisfied, they will tell ten times that number. Be on the positive end of that statistic if at all possible.

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