How to Gather Healthcare Customer Insights

by | Feb 19, 2024 | Blogs

The benefits of customer insights – from brand positioning to product development and marketing campaigns.

What are patients and healthcare providers’ priorities when it comes to choosing a treatment or pharmaceutical option? And why does it matter now more than ever? Questions like these are exactly why healthcare customer insights are so important.

In a sector where understanding patient needs and preferences is paramount – customer insights provide a deeper understanding of what matters most to your audience.

You can use this information to inform many aspects of your brand. From messaging to product development to marketing campaigns.

This article explores the benefits of healthcare customer insights – and how to gather them.

  1. What Are Healthcare Customer Insights?
  2. 5 Key Ways to Leverage Customer Insights
  3. How to Gather Healthcare Customer Insights
  4. Tap into Customer Insights With a Market Research Agency

At The Link Group, we specialize in helping healthcare and pharmaceutical brands gather customer insights to power their brand and marketing. This guide leverages our decades of experience in market research to show you the benefits of customer data – and how to get it.

What Are Healthcare Customer Insights?

In short, customer insights refer to customer needs, behaviors, and preferences. Within the healthcare and pharma sectors, these might be the patients, doctors, or healthcare providers that would be the primary recipients of your offer.

But customer insights go a layer deeper than simple customer research.

Insights are gathered by speaking directly to your customers, and understanding what’s important to them on a deep, personal level. It involves conducting interviews, surveys, and focus groups to learn their needs and preferences in their own words.

This is particularly important in the healthcare sector given the nuanced needs and preferences that patients and healthcare providers hold. Tapping into their insights enhances the success rates of your project – whether you’re launching a new product or refining your messaging.

Here are the key benefits of gathering your healthcare customer insights:

  1. Patient-Centric Product Development. Understanding patient preferences for treatments, ease of use, side effects, and overall health can help you develop more effective and well-received healthcare products and medications
  1. Identifying Ideal Patients. Assists healthcare professionals (HCPs) in pinpointing the right patients for specific therapies, which increases the likelihood of prescription and success rate of medications.
  1. Enhancing Sales Rep Performance. Equips sales representatives with tailored strategies to effectively communicate with physicians – addressing their questions and concerns about treatments.
  1. Targeted and Effective Marketing Campaigns. Create marketing campaigns that resonate deeply with your target audience. Customer insights allow you to go beyond surface-level traits and understand what’s deeply important to your audience.
  1. Improved Patient Adherence and Outcomes. Discover the roadblocks that prevent patients from following their medication or treatment regimens. This enables you to create strategies and support that improves adherence and outcomes for patients.
  1. Strategic Decision-Making and Forecasting. Customer insights help you predict future trends and patient needs. Having this foresight allows you to stay ahead of the curve in innovation and address emerging health concerns proactively.
  1. Personalized Healthcare Experiences. Gaining insights into individual patient journeys is key to offering personalized healthcare experiences. By understanding specific unmet needs and identifying barriers to treatment, healthcare providers can tailor treatment plans and wellness advice more effectively.
  1. Competitive Advantage. In a highly competitive market, understanding and addressing patient needs better than competitors can lead to increased market share and a stronger brand reputation.
  1. Regulatory Compliance and Risk Management. Insights into patient experiences and feedback also helps healthcare and pharma companies navigate regulatory requirements more effectively and anticipate potential risks.
  1. Cost-Effective Resource Allocation. By knowing what really matters to patients, companies can use their resources smarter. They can focus on the things that make a big difference and not invest in the areas that don’t work as well.

Imagine a healthcare/pharma company as a gardener and its patients as a unique garden.

Just as a skilled gardener understands that each type of plant requires specific care – the right amount of sunlight, water, and nutrients – to flourish, the company must understand the specific needs and preferences of its patients to nurture their health effectively.

Customer insights are gathered from careful observation and feedback. They guide a company in providing tailored care like healthcare services and medications that ensure each patient thrives and impacts the entire healthcare landscape for the better.

5 Ways to Leverage Customer Insights

As a healthcare brand, leveraging customer insights can significantly enhance most aspects of your brand lifecycle – including brand positioning, product development, and marketing.

Unfortunately, many companies overlook the importance of engaging with their audience before developing these critical touchpoints. You can achieve greater success by shaping your business or offerings based on the actual needs and preferences of your audience.

To illustrate the impact, let’s explore six key areas where you can tap into customer insights to substantially benefit your brand.

  1. Marketing Campaigns

Consumer insights are helpful in all stages of marketing – from developing the strategy to testing the creative. It’s crucial to have a deep understanding of who you’re targeting and the context that you’re operating in.

Example: Let’s say you’ve created a marketing campaign for a new medication. Before launching, you could conduct a test via in-depth interviews that represents your target demographic to see how they react to the campaign.

Feedback from this test group would help refine your message, ensuring it resonates with your audience and addresses their concerns, increasing the campaign’s effectiveness upon the launch.

  1. Segmentation & Targeting

Like they say, when you talk to everyone, you reach no one. Segmentation allows you to break up your audience into different groups based on their behaviors and attitudes. Once segmented, you can then send them targeted messages that are hyper-relevant and therefore much more impactful and successful.

Example: Let’s say that you’re launching a new allergy medication and you want to create a series of emails that speak to the pain points of this experience. By segmenting your audience you can reach the ones who are motivated to pursue treatment and are significantly impacted by their symptoms.

When your audience groups are segmented, you can also receive more nuanced feedback and follow-ups from each group.

  1. Product Development

Product development is about understanding and balancing customer preferences. How much does a specific feature matter to your customers? How can you ensure the product delivers on its promise and remains user-friendly? Consumer insights enables you to get the product into the hands of real users, gather feedback, and refine.

Example: Imagine you’re developing a new fitness tracker. By placing prototypes with a diverse group of users and gathering their feedback, you discover a high demand for a hydration tracking feature.

This insight allows you to prioritize this feature in the final product, ensuring it meets customer expectations and stands out in the market. Continuous refinement based on real user feedback is an effective approach.

  1. Brand Creation

Creating a brand is about making a memorable first impression. Our approach involves identifying disconnects and unexplored areas in your market, allowing your brand to connect deeply with your customers’ core values and aspirations.

Example: For a new eco-friendly skincare line, we help identify the emotional connection customers seek with sustainable products.

By tapping into these insights, the branding can emphasize environmental responsibility, clean ingredients, and ethical sourcing, aligning the brand with the values of its target audience and making a strong initial impact in the market.

  1. Brand Evolution

Brand evolution is a continuous journey that adapts to new market challenges and opportunities. It involves understanding your existing brand equity and effectively leveraging it for repositioning, creating line extensions, or exploring new indications.

Example: Imagine a pharmaceutical brand branching into a new therapeutic area while aiming to maintain a unified brand strategy. The challenge is to resonate with distinct patient groups for each disease state – while retaining an overarching brand identity.

By leveraging customer insights, the brand can fine-tune its messaging to appeal individually to each patient group’s needs and concerns. This ensures the expansion is perceived as an authentic extension of the brand.

Your evolution strategies can be informed by market insights but are also continually refined and aligned with your customers’ evolving needs and preferences.

As your brand navigates the ever-evolving market landscape, a key to success is your ability to adapt and grow. Embracing change, while staying true to your audience’s needs and what they expect from you helps you exceed the shifting expectations of your customers.

How to Gather Healthcare Consumer Insights

At this point you likely understand the full benefits of gathering customer insights. But how do you actually go about talking to your customers – and making sure that you get a response? 

Here are a few examples of the research methods and practices you can pursue, or hire a market research agency to help with:

  • Immersive Ethnography

Immersive ethnography is a research method where researchers are immersed in the environment and daily lives of the study subjects to gain a deep and comprehensive understanding of their behaviors, motivations, and cultural contexts.

Example: Let’s say you’re launching a new health tracking app. Observing users in their daily environment can be enlightening. For instance, maybe you learn that users forget to log meals, leading to the introduction of push notifications for better engagement.

Executing this type of research well takes expertise given it requires a level of comfort with the audience. At The Link Group, we’re meticulous about earning your customers’ trust in the process as they let us into their space and dive deeper into their lives.

  • Quantitative and Qualitative Research.

Combining quantitative and qualitative research methods provides a comprehensive understanding of healthcare customer insights. Quantitative research involves collecting numerical data through surveys or questionnaires, offering a broad view of customer trends and preferences.

Qualitative research, on the other hand, includes methods like interviews and focus groups providing deeper insights into the ‘why’ behind customer behaviors.

Example: In a study for a new medication, quantitative research could reveal how many patients prefer oral pill form over injectables, while qualitative research might uncover the reasons behind this preference, such as ease of swallowing or perceptions of effectiveness.

  • Focus Groups.

Focus groups are a vital tool for gathering healthcare customer insights. By bringing together a group of individuals from your target audience, you can facilitate discussions that reveal their thoughts, feelings, and reactions to your products or services.

Example: For a new wellness program, conducting focus groups with potential participants can reveal what aspects of wellness they value most, such as stress reduction or physical fitness, guiding the development of the program’s components.

This method allows you to speak directly to your audience and create a safe space for them to offer feedback and insights.

It may feel intimidating at first to get feedback from your customers and the marketplace. But it’s so much better to empower yourself with this information – so that you can make changes and evolve in a way that matters to your customers.

The good news is you definitely do not need to conduct your customer research alone. There are market research agencies that can conduct every piece of this process for you.

If you’re ready to take this journey of continuous evolution and want a trusted partner to guide you, The Link Group is here to provide the expertise and support you need. 

Tap Into Consumer Insights With a Market Research Agency

Want to tap into your customer insights, but don’t know where to start? Every research methodology this article covers is a practice that The Link Group specializes in.

We understand that healthcare customer insights are absolutely essential for your success in reaching your customers – whether you’re serving a B2C or B2B space.

Our approach includes strategizing the best way to get the insights that you need – and spearheading the process in getting those insights. So you get the data while saving confusion and time on the actual research process. 
Are you ready to tap into the potential of deep customer insights for smarter decision-making and better campaign results? Get in touch with The Link Group today, to get a customer plan tailored to your needs.

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