Author: Annette Malave, SVP/Insights, RAB
Like many other tasks, events and obligations impacted by the pandemic, many consumers delayed their healthcare visits throughout 2020. According to the NRC Health 2021 Healthcare Consumer Trends Report, people delaying their healthcare was approaching a five-year low. In Q1 2020, 22.4% of healthcare patients had deferred. That figure increased significantly to 40.4% by Q2 2020. Forty percent of patients who delayed their care, state COVID-19 as the reason.
Similar to the experiences by consumer brands, consumers seeking healthcare do not have a preference for a brand/provider. Specifically, 36% of respondents stated that they didn’t have a preference in 2020 and, due to the pandemic, 45% stated that they had already changed their healthcare brand preference. Sixty-two percent said they would probably change their healthcare brand once the pandemic is over. What did matter to consumers when it came to healthcare decision-making? Forty-nine percent stated that convenient locations was the deciding factor, but when it came to a healthcare brand choice, 52% said convenience.
Radio listener behavior was similar to the respondents in this study. According to a December MRI-Simmons COVID-19 study, 37% state that they had delayed, postponed or canceled doctor or dentist visits due to the pandemic and 29% had already rescheduled or plan to do so in the next one to five months.
Radio listeners are both concerned for themselves and their family (77%) and are becoming more aware of their health. Eighty-eight percent will buy about the same or more of health and wellness items such as vitamins, essentials oils, fitness trackers, etc., per MRI-Simmons.
As a top reach medium, radio can target healthcare consumers. Last year we shared radio’s ability to drive search for physicians. How? Radio reaches 90% of adults who have visited a chiropractor in the past year, a cosmetic surgeon in the past three years or other medical and healthcare providers.*(Click here and select Radio Reaches Patients)
As the healthcare industry continues to grow to meet the demands and expectations of consumers, private practices and organizations will need to ensure that they include safety, convenience and ease of working with their practice in their messaging. As a trusted voice within the community, radio can build brands, drive awareness and traffic.
*Scarborough USA+ 2020 Release 1 Total (Jan 2019-May 2020) A18+