“Know thyself” goes the ancient aphorism but for doctors trying to market their practice to today’s digitally savvy aesthetic consumer, it might better read “Know thy patient.” And for those who still harbor doubts about the role the Internet plays in those patients’ healthcare decisions, consider the following statistics:
37% of women on a global basis use the Internet. That’s less than the 41% of men who do but it still works out to 1.3 billion female users.
74% of American women use social networking sites vs. 62% of men.
48% of women regularly view a brand’s social media pages vs. 42% of men.
Think about it: Women are heavy users of social networks; they account for most healthcare consumer purchases, and they feel misunderstood by healthcare marketers. That combination presents both a challenge and an opportunity for doctors as they navigate the constantly evolving universe of social media.
That’s especially true when the product or service being marketing is usually expensive, the reasons individuals pursue it are deeply emotional and the decision-making process can last weeks, months or years. And while engaging with such consumers requires an ongoing commitment (the challenge); it also provides countless opportunities to convey authenticity, practice empathy and build trust.
All of which leads to that 7th statistic. Considering that women account for more than 90% of all cosmetic procedures in the U.S., you don’t have to have a Ph.D. in stochastic systems to recognize the value of understanding what those patients — and millions more potential ones — are looking for when they go online and the importance of demonstrating why you’re the best person to provide it.