Using Segmentation to Target the Senior Population

by Sam Bussmann, Data Scientist - 12/14/15

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Individualized, targeted messaging that is specifically tailored to your audience is an effective way to connect with adults age 65 and older, who may be subdivided into three unique categories.

Insight: According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, adults age 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of healthcare consumers. What key numbers illustrate this conclusion?

Bussmann: Yes, the Medicare-eligible population is becoming a larger slice of the pie every day. Approximately 10,000 baby boomers will turn 65 every day for the next 15 years. And by the year 2030, roughly two in 10 people will be age 65 or older. Just 10 years ago, it was more like one in 10.

Insight: From a marketing perspective, how should the senior audience be addressed?

Bussmann: Many marketers treat this population as a single group, while others don’t communicate with them at all, considering this group an unprofitable segment to engage with due to low Medicare reimbursement rates. But older adults are an increasingly diverse group and should be addressed accordingly.

Many of them continue to work and will consume medical services for years to come. In fact, nearly four out of 10 adults who are eligible for Medicare are still working and are covered by employer-based commercial insurance.

Insight: Could you share details about the unique categories of adults age 65 and older?

Bussmann: When True North analyzed this population for the purposes of content marketing, we identified three distinct segments. These groups are different with respect to their current health status and their healthcare habits.

One group is quite healthy and proactive about their care. Another group has limited resources to cover copays and coinsurance. As a result, they may be reluctant consumers of health care, with only the sickest among them seeking care. The third group falls somewhere in the middle. They are neither proactive nor averse to care and have average health. Speaking to these segments in ways that are meaningful for their health and habits can be a game changer.

Insight: Why is distinguishing the different segments an important strategy for healthcare providers?

Bussmann: Our research shows that when excess capacity exists, marketing that drives incremental patient volumes from the three segments we identified can increase top- and bottom-line revenue.

With the tools we have at our disposal today, such as predictive modeling, we can be more discerning about who we engage with. Our work has shown that marketing dollars spent to deliver the right message to the right groups, like the younger, healthier, more proactive seniors, pay dividends in terms of ROI.

Audience segmentation is just one example of the useful tools we offer our clients at True North Custom.

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Topics: Healthcare Insight Magazine

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