One of the biggest jobs of any eyecare practice is providing top-quality care
and services that patients are looking for, but in order to do that a practice must first understand who their patient is! Where do they live? What do they do? How old are they? What’s their income? Demographic information can give you a lot of great insights about certain populations, but data collection and research doesn’t always make it to the top of a practice's priority list. Luckily there are resources out there that can help your practice gain valuable information about your patient base.
Using demographics to create patient profiles can help you determine exactly which products and services to offer, and what kind of customer service and marketing tactics will be most effective. Demographics are very useful to get the big-picture view of your patients and local community. We have gathered resources on how to start your very own demographic analysis, and how to apply this information within your practice.
How to Collect and Find Demographic Info to Build Patient Profiles
Online tools are probably the quickest and easiest way to gather demographic information. Websites like the U.S. Census Bureau, can provide quick, free, and “easy stats” on any city, town, or county in the nation. This simple information can give you a general overall sense of the people in your community, and help you target your overall audience more effectively. Conducting research reveals opportunities that exist within the market, and give you a broader idea of whom you can potentially gain as patients. We have put together a list of demographic statistical resources to help you find out more about your patients on a local and national scale to help your research efforts.
U.S. Census Bureau: http://www.census.gov/easystats/
Nielsen, “Claritas”: http://www.claritas.com/sitereports/basic-demographics-report-package.jsp
Civic Life in America: http://www.volunteeringinamerica.gov/
Bureau of Labor Statistics: http://www.bls.gov/bls/demographics.htm
Understanding Your Current Patient Base
Once you have an idea of the general demographic information of your local community, compare it to the information you have on your current patients. Do you currently serve more families, or are you attracting a younger single population to your practice? Looking at these types of distinctions will help you better understand how to use your demographic information in your business strategy.
Using Demographic Info in Your Business Strategy
Once you have gathered your research, the next step is to apply what you have learned into your business strategy. All of the characteristics such as gender, age, education, occupation, income, and family size will be used to target meaningful sub-groups.
Apply Your Findings to Your Practice
You can organize segments in limitless ways, depending on how descriptive or specific you want to get. For example if your demographic includes a large representation of families with younger children, you could apply this by increasing the lines of children frames you carry. Sponsoring schools and holding annual school vision screenings are examples of targetting and getting more involved with the youth community. Another example of a more general sub-group is senior citizens. Traditional marketing strategies like direct mail and radio might be more effective than modern techniques such as social media marketing. Get involved again with the community by visiting areas or homes where older people are living. Understanding that some of your most loyal and prevalent patients are older helps you target and gain new patients more effectively as the end goal!
Or maybe you've noticed that your practice is located in an area of town where family income rates are higher. This might lead you towards carrying more higher end lines of frames to target more high end buyers.
Analyzing your data can also reveal trends and content ideas for future optical marketing. Studying past trends can help you predict where the market might turn next and also how to organize your message to new sub-groups. Asking yourself important questions will help generate these ideas for your practice’s specific situation:
- What do you think your current customers will want next?
- How do you predict their needs will change based on what you see in the data?
- What do you think they will or should do next based on this info?
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to targeting patients; learn more by subscribing below to the Uprise blog!