Sunday, September 10, 2017

Hospital Marketers, It’s Time to Stop Age-based Segmentation and Marketing.

A funny thing happens when you get older.  Brands, especially those in healthcare, suddenly decide that based solely on age, that one is now in need of senior services, specialized care, and other age-based items. Hospitals are particularly brazen at this because really, most are unaware of the deep segmentation characteristics of who uses them and how.

Age-based segmentation is wrong on many levels. And is not in any way shape or form, reflective of the new market realities of how someone of any age uses technology,  their experiences or expectations as individuals, as well as how they relate to the world, their beliefs, self-perceptions, attitudes, and lifestyles’.

I am an individual. I am not a demographic segmentation based on age.

And just because I reached that magic age, I did not become an invalid, incapacitated, or suddenly in need of “senior services.” I did not suddenly need a geriatrician.

In this age of personalization with the wealth of segmentation data available, it is sheer laziness on hospital leadership and marketers to rely on the old traditional age-based segmentation assumptions.  I even propose to you, that relying on age-based segmentation and assumptions of the age group and their needs is a form of racism and bias that perpetuates age-related stereotypes in society.

It’s time for marketers to stop their dependence on outdated and irrelevant age-based assumptions and segmentation to become people, oriented marketers.  Becoming a people-oriented marketer will lead to brand growth and success.

The sooner you realize and start removing traditional age-based assumptions and segmentation from your marketing efforts, the more effective your marketing will become
And even better, by dropping age-based segmentation, your messaging will become more relevant, more personalized, more effective. And you won’t be reinforcing age-related biases and discrimination in the society either. Your brand will be seen in a very different light.

Now, it isn’t that hard, is it?

Michael is a healthcare marketing business, marketing, and communications strategist and thought leader.  As an internationally followed healthcare marketing strategy blogger, his blog, Healthcare Marketing Matters receives over 20,000 page views a month and read in 52 countries.  He is a Fellow, American College of Healthcare Executives, Professional Certified Marketer, American Marketing Association and HubSpot Academy- Email Marketing, Inbound Marketing & Inbound Sales Certified. Post opinions are my own.

For more topics and thought leading discussions like this, join his group, Healthcare Marketing Leaders For Change, a LinkedIn Professional Group.