Data is transforming healthcare, and marketers know that data is their starting line in the quest to target patients. So, they review patient data, do informal research, and then spin what they've discovered into vivid patient personas.

A persona is a profile of a fictional patient who represents the characteristics, habits, and preferences of people you see in your practice.

Personas help marketers shape messages that prompt response and select media channels those patients trust and view frequently.

Building Patient Personas out of Data and Interviews

Creating personas begins with patient data. They show you where your patients cluster in demographic terms such as age, income, location, and education. This points you toward composing personas who are well represented in your patient roster.

Next, ask staff and clinicians about the types of "typical" patients they see. Interviewing some patients also helps make your personas more true-to-life. Look for information from both groups that answers these questions:

  • Do patients have children? Are they married or in a significant relationship?
  • Do they work? What are their occupations?
  • How do patients spend their free time?
  • What health conditions are patients dealing with now? How could those conditions affect their future?
  • Are they guided by specific religious, moral, cultural, or other values that may affect their healthcare decisions?

Meet Cindy and George, Your Sample Personas

Use what you've learned to sketch some key patient personas. Give each persona a name and a sketch or picture (be careful, of course, not to draw these from actual patients).

Cindy is a married, 67-year-old mother and grandmother. Her husband is 75 and retired, has Type 2 diabetes and heart disease. A retired pharmaceutical researcher, Cindy is an avid volunteer. She visits "Dr. Google" often with health questions for her and her husband. As her healthcare provider, you're concerned about her weight and signs she may have depression.

George is a single, 46-year-old male who works in a high tech firm. He runs, plays tennis, and enjoys watching sports on streaming services. His family history includes heart disease and colon cancer. He hasn't had a physical exam for years, visiting the practice only when he's had a sports injury or the flu.

Take Patient Personas to the Next Level

In these examples, "Cindy" and "George" typify two types of patients that a practice wants to reach with its marketing: Senior women with mounting health issues and younger men who ignore preventive care.

CMG Health Marketing can help identify the media channels that your personas favor and trust. Contact us for help improving your marketing efforts reach and response.