April 28, 2024

The Prescription for Healthcare Marketing Success: Creating Audience Personas


Before launching any marketing campaign, it’s crucial to thoroughly understand your target audiences. In healthcare, gaining deep insights into your current patients’ demographics and preferences is essential for effectively attracting new ones. This knowledge enables you to attract the right patients – those who are an excellent fit for your practice or hospital. While this may require additional effort, it ultimately saves time and money and enhances long-term results.

However, even if you believe you have a good grasp of your target patients, there are essential steps you can take to solidify these audiences. These steps will evolve into audience personas, a strategy widely utilized in consumer-driven industries to create personalized experiences. Significantly, audience personas hold equal importance in healthcare.

How to Create an Audience Persona

To start, it’s essential to make broad generalizations about the patient demographics you currently serve. In healthcare, women, particularly mothers, are often a key focus as they typically make significant health-related decisions. However, to develop targeted campaigns that truly resonate, we must delve deeper and gather more comprehensive insights into their needs and preferences.

For example, an OB-GYN practice that wanted to launch a general campaign to acquire new patients might begin by identifying some patient groups like: 

  • Young women looking for their first OB-GYN
  • Women of child-bearing years who want to start or grow their family
  • Women who don’t want to or can’t have children
  • Women who are done having children, and have concerns about menopause and health issues that come later in life
  • Post-menopausal women who want their general health needs taken care of

Each patient group possesses unique needs and experiences corresponding to their life stages, underscoring the importance of delivering pertinent information at the opportune moment. After all, the last thing you’d want is to inadvertently send a postcard featuring a mother and baby to a patient unable to have children. By tailoring your messaging to specific audience segments, you demonstrate to both potential and current patients that you understand and value their individual circumstances.

To achieve this level of customization, it’s crucial to gather comprehensive data about your patients. Reflect on what you already know and identify the information gaps you need to fill. Then, systematically compile and organize this data according to the sections outlined below.

1. Who They Are

Often referred to as the “about section,” this is the demographic and lifestyle information about a patient. Consider things like:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Income level 
  • Where they live
  • Type of insurance
  • Occupation
  • Personal interests and hobbies

2. Pain Points and Concerns

Find out why patients are coming to you for their care and what their specific medical needs are, especially their pain points (i.e., specific problems) and concerns. 

3. Motivations

Some patients are motivated by convenience, like walk-in appointments, extended hours, or locations close to their homes or work. Others are looking for expertise and want only the best. For many, cost is an important consideration, and they may make decisions based on whether you are in-network for their insurance.

4. Psychological Drivers

Consider what life situations or future aspirations might be driving your patients. This may be a desire to grow their family, fear of a health condition that runs in their family, or even a sense of duty to their own health needs.

5. Name Your Persona

Now, armed with all the insightful details gathered, it’s time to give your persona a personality. Think of a name and visualize an image that truly captures the essence of the audience or group this persona represents. By doing so, you’ll keep them front and center in your campaign planning and branding efforts, making it easier for everyone to connect with and understand how this group interacts with your services.

To make the most of your personas, you must put yourself in their shoes when making decisions about how you need to connect with them. This will help ensure they are getting the right message at the right time through the best channel to reach them. Healthcare marketing is all about trust and building relationships. Sending messaging that makes patients feel like you know and understand them, and can help them overcome their pain points is a huge win that will pay off with big results. 

Want more information? Visit our healthcare marketing hub to find a variety of case studies, helpful blog posts, and Agency for Change podcast episodes featuring other business leaders in the field of healthcare.

KidGlov is a full-service advertising, branding, and content marketing agency with B Corp and National Women’s Business Enterprise certifications. It is located in Omaha and Lincoln, Nebraska, and specializes in nonprofit marketinghealthcare marketingfinancial services marketingsocial impact marketing, and purpose-driven businesses.