New Research Reveals How Consumers, Namely Millennials and Parents, Choose Healthcare Providers

LIVONIA, Mich., Jan. 24, 2018: Valassis, a leader in activating consumers through intelligent media delivery, today released its Dynamic Healthcare Consumer findings, examining factors that influence how consumers select healthcare providers. Derived from over 1,300 respondents, the study reveals one-third of all consumers are “in the market” for a new healthcare provider, with this number substantially higher among millennials (56 percent) and parents (57 percent).

In today’s competitive landscape, customer retention is a priority, but also a challenge for marketers – with patients willing to switch for a variety of reasons. This consumer-driven challenge is more widely discussed in retail and grocery but also holds true in healthcare. Valassis’ research reveals that among those in the market for a new healthcare provider, 52 percent of millennials and 49 percent of parents could be persuaded to switch providers if an alternative was less expensive. Additionally, 55 percent of millennials and 51 percent of parents looking for a new provider would consider changing doctors or care centers if better service was offered.

Overall, the top three reasons healthcare consumers are looking to make a switch is due to relocation (27 percent); a change in insurance (23 percent); and dissatisfaction with their current provider (23 percent). Seeing advertising for a different doctor or center can also have an impact, influencing 17 percent of these consumers (and 27 percent of parents).

“Consumers are in control of how and what they purchase, and increasingly, the entire buying experience,” said Curtis Tingle, Chief Marketing Officer, Valassis. “We’ve seen this in the retail world – and the same applies in the healthcare environment. Healthcare providers need to identify new and innovative ways to compete, as customer loyalty can be unpredictable. To acquire and retain patients, providers must listen to what matters most to their target audiences – whether it’s price, convenience or services.”

Additional takeaways include:

  • Online research and print advertisements help fuel the healthcare decision-making process:

    • 25 percent of consumers found a new provider through online research, with this number greater among millennials (34 percent) and parents (32 percent).
    • 61 percent of parents and 54 percent of millennials say a print ad triggered them to research a new health condition or provider (vs. 39 percent of all consumers).
  • Location matters, so targeted advertising is key:
    • 24 percent of consumers select a healthcare provider due to its proximity to home, providing an opportunity for smaller, local healthcare centers to stay competitive.
    • A majority of consumers only want to drive a half hour or less.
  • Healthcare brands must engage consumers on an ongoing basis to be successful:
    • 39 percent of consumers – and 61 percent of parents – take as much time to research their doctor or healthcare center as they do when making a large retail purchase.
    • 64 percent of consumers who research when looking for a new healthcare provider do so at least a month in advance before making a decision.

For additional consumer behaviors and preferences in the healthcare sector, view the infographic: Recover From Loyalty Deficiency as well as additional insights and case studies here.

About the Study
Valassis Dynamic Healthcare Consumer insight is based on the Valassis Awareness-to-Activation Study, an ongoing study fielded in conjunction with The NPD Group, Inc., a global market research company. The sample was derived via an online survey, and all participants were at least 18 years of age and living in the contiguous United States. Approximately 10,000 respondents are surveyed annually. This specific data was gathered from research fielded July 28 through Sept. 27, 2017 to over 1,300 respondents and is balanced by age and gender to U.S. Census demographic profiles.

About Valassis
Valassis helps thousands of local and national brands tap the potential of industry-leading data through intelligent media delivery – understanding, engaging and inspiring millions of consumers to action with smarter cross-channel campaigns. We’ve been a part of consumers’ lives for decades, introducing new ways to deliver offers and messages that activate them — whether via mail, digital, in-store or the newspaper. NCH Marketing Services, Inc. and Clipper Magazine are Valassis subsidiaries, and RedPlum® is its consumer brand. Its signature Have You Seen Me?® program delivers hope to missing children and their families. Valassis and RetailMeNot are wholly owned subsidiaries of Harland Clarke Holdings.

Media Contact
Mary Broaddus
[email protected]