Managing Your Brand Pt. II: Attracting Your Ideal Patient With Personas and Segmented Marketing
Welcome back! In part one of our Managing Your Brand series, we discussed what a practice brand is, why it's important, and basics of how to build and maintain the brand.
This week, we delve more deeply into how best to target your branding, by discussing how to segment your marketing using Patient Personas.
What Are Patient Personas, and How Do They Help Build Your Practice?
According to our friend Paul Herreras, President at Practice Success Coaching, “Branding is making a promise to your community, and never breaking it.” Patient Personas should help your practice analyze if you’re making the right kind of “promise” to pull in your ideal patient.
Patient Personas are archetypes constructed by your practice to reflect the types of patients you’re hoping to attract through your branding. Once these personas are built, you’ll get a better picture of whether your practice is employing the right strategies to attract these patients, as well as where you may be able to improve.
Some of the questions you should ask when building your Patient Personas include:
- How old is my ideal patient?
- Do they or their family members have specific eyecare or eyewear needs I can address?
- What is my ideal patient’s financial situation? How does this affect their budget when discussing products and services?
You'll also want to keep your practice's current marketing goals in mind. Not all types of patients will be good for all practices. To learn more about assessing what types of patients best meet your practice's needs, click here.
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Using Personas To Plan and Evaluate Your Practice Branding
To illustrate how Personas can help you better plan and evaluate your branding decisions, let’s create two different types of Personas that a practice may want to target. Having discussed the general elements of branding in Part 1 of the series, we can now tailor them to the specific patients we’re targeting.
We’ll name our imaginary patients Joe Elderman and Samantha Younglady.
Here’s a little bit about Joe:
- Joe is 60+ years old. This makes him a card carrying member of the Baby Boomer Generation.
- As an older gentleman, Joe is predisposed to eye diseases such as Glaucoma, Macular Degeneration, Diabetic Retinopathy and Cataracts. These or other conditions may cause Joe to have Low Vision issues as well.
- Joe is affluent and is now retired, or is approaching retirement.
And a bit about Samantha:
- Samantha is 30 years old. She is a single mother, with two young boys, ages 5 and 7.
- Samantha has worn contact lenses successfully since she was 18, visits the eye doctor annually for her yearly exam, and makes sure that her two boys see the eye doctor on the recommended schedule as well. Her older son wears glasses.
- As a single mother, Samantha does not have a great deal of disposable income and chooses her eye care provider based on her insurance.
Knowing just these few things about our two imaginary patients, and with a bit of general research, we begin to see how we can use our Personas to evaluate our existing branding efforts.
Practice Branding Efforts For Joe
A practice targeting Joe would want to have content with a strong emphasis on detection and treatment of diseases such as Glaucoma, Macular Degeneration and Diabetic Retinopathy. The practice may also want to target Low Vision Care, including products that help Joe live a normal life despite the complications of Low Vision. The practice website would also have backlinks and citations from authoritative sites that discuss these same subjects.
Practices looking to find Joe on social media should look on Facebook first, where he is likely to be heavily engaged with family and friends. Joe’s age group sees themselves as still young, healthy and engaged. Advertisements on Facebook and other mediums should not relate to Joe as “elderly” or “in his golden years,” as Joe is unlikely to connect with advertisements using these terms. Joe is less likely to be found on social platforms such as Instagram or Snapchat.
Since Joe is in a stable financial situation, practices can present him with high-value products and services, without too much worry about the price tag. Fashion eyewear, advanced testing and treatments are all valuable services that practices can offer to Joe to grab his attention, thus standing out from the crowd.
Practices that target Joe would want to get as many positive reviews as possible from patients in Joe’s age group, dealing with Disease Management, Medical and Specialty Eye Care Services, and Low Vision Services & Products.
Practice Branding Efforts For Samantha
On the other hand, a practice targeting Samantha would want to emphasize the latest in contact lenses and children’s eye care and eyewear, since Samantha has worn contacts for so long, and one of her sons wears glasses. Since Samantha is on a budget, the practice would also want to have content discussing holiday deals and special sales. A page discussing insurance brands that they accept, and the benefits for people carrying those insurance policies, would also help cement a Practice Brand that will attract Samantha.
The practice’s website would also benefit from backlinks from other authoritative sites that discuss children’s eye care, such as WebMD, or leading providers of various eyewear/contact lens brands and children’s eyewear.
Samantha would look for a practice whose brand includes being kid-centered or at least kid-friendly. This would include back-to-school social campaigns and promotions, a well stocked children’s optical, and online reviews stating that the eye doctor is good with kids, and has a good chairside manner.
Practices wanting to be found by Samantha can look for her across many social media sites, including Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook. As a Millennial, Samantha will engage with content of varying length, and is likely to promote products and services she appreciates across these social media platforms if the form of the content is easily shareable.
The above Patient Personas are just examples of some of the archetypes your practice can create, and give a good picture of how these personas can help evaluate and inform your branding efforts. At EyeCarePro, we’re well practiced at helping our clients create these personas, and we can walk you through applying the insights you gain from them towards an effective branding effort.
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