Tracking the Changing Consumer Behaviors in Healthcare

Carol Feigenbaum |
 05/06/22 |
5 min read

Tracking the Changing Consumer Behaviors in Healthcare

There have been many rapid changes in consumer behavior in the past few decades, and particularly in the past couple of years. So, how do companies keep up? We’ll share three specific issues plaguing the industry, as well as some of the ways leading HCPs are scaling efforts to keep pace – and keep consumers happy!

There are many challenges impacting the healthcare space, and three are ubiquitous regardless of industry – consumer loyalty (or disloyalty, rather); emerging service providers; and, innovation. Cast more widely, we see the latter two take shape as competitors and new products. We’ll speak to both below.

And as a first step, we need to understand what consumer conversations reveal in the healthcare space. As we can see below – the conversation clearly offers themes around the needs consumers find most pressing, with healthier lifestyles and maternity care chief among them this past month:


And regardless of which concerns are prevalent in the moment, the point is that HCPs must be aware of those shifting needs and how they manifest, specifically in various consumer segments. It requires a complete mind shift toward patient-centricity in everything HCPs do, which is something we explored in a recent webinar with Enviza: How Cerner Enviza Uses Digital and Social Media Data to Boost Patient-Centricity

Let’s see how this patient-centricity is critical to the largest concerns the industry is facing – fickle consumers, emerging competitors and new products capturing market share and pulling attention away from an already distracted and somewhat distressed population. And be sure to check out the entire presentation, linked above, for an expanded conversation of this concept!

Myth: Happy Patients Stay Put

According to McKinsey, in 2020, 36% of consumers tried a new product brand and 25% incorporated a new private-label brand into their regular shopping behavior. But – patients in healthcare settings are a bit more loyal to providers, no doubt? Wrong.

Although some patients develop a good rapport with their doctors and nurses, many do not. And even among those that do, the change rate is still significant, as patients search for new providers for a myriad oof reasons. The only real constant here, is that physicians often underestimate the likelihood of patients switching providers. And it’s dangerous to assume that just because all seems well, it actually is – meaning: the challenges patients face are in areas they may not share with providers during a regular appointment. And they’re certainly not calling up to announce they’ve left – and why. They just never come back.

HCPs need to understand why they’re leaving before they go, as it should inform short and long-term strategic planning. And they need real-time, accurate intel to inform this understanding, as doctor assumptions do not align with consumer reality:



Real-time Continuous Intelligence Informs Strategic Decision-making

HCPs need to have accurate data to understand the fast-evolving context the guides patient decisions – and only then can they make informed decisions for their business. But, just capturing data is not enough.

With more and more competitors emerging and more products created every day, the volume of mission critical unstructured data available online is just too much to handle. And when they’re unable to derive meaningful metrics or KPIs, nor can they draw conclusions based on the data.

And then there are information siloes to deal with in organizations, with intel almost guarded from other business units. This results in decisions that are made relying more on instinct than insight. And this is where AI-powered consumer and market intelligence comes in.

HCPs use it to discover unknown themes, unknown trends, or even uncategorized consumer insight that helps drive innovations. With it, a provider discovers patient needs to keep track of and can optimize its strategy accordingly to win market share and retain its loyal consumer base. But more than that – they need the ability to understand that data at scale – and to make sense of it all on a global level, and also, on a local level.  It’s a tall order, indeed.

As Forrester notes in its webinar about the latest new wave of AI-enabled consumer intelligence platforms, “To remain competitive, firms must continuously grow their ability to take actions that matter at speed and at scale using consumer insights analysis from quantitative and qualitative data, information, and evidence-based knowledge.” This means we need to discover those unknown needs, but also once we uncover them, we need to monitor them and then we need to revisit them on daily basis.

And this makes sense, as we have more and more competitors, which emerge quickly in many industries. Even when they’re small, they’re relevant – oftentimes more so, as the smaller competitors are nimble and data-driven, so they tend to pose a threat faster than existing known competitors that are bogged down in making decisions the old way.

With more than 30,000 new consumer products launched each year, sorting out which to pay attention to – and which new entrants in a market are coming for your consumer base, is harder than ever. This is why the data sources your tool offers for analysis matters

Monitoring Myriad Data Sources

With NetBase Quid’s continuous intelligence, companies have access to myriad and powerful data sources. It includes the social web, meaning social sites like Twitter, Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, also blogs, forums like Reddit, as well as reviews and comments, combined with a wide variety of company, investment, journal and patent data, global news, and media. And that’s not all, as you can also bring your own internal data, folding it all in for a deeper analysis than you thought possible.

Businesses often create analyses to vet potential investments or M&A, as they can parse the intel to uncover patterns to understand emerging innovations or potential opportunities that are revealed when combined with sentiment analyses of earning calls data – or just a heat map detailing the latest investments in your category:

company and category heatmap

And then, returning the whole “bring your own data (BYOD)” capabilities – this means you can look at employee-customer satisfaction, customer surveys, call logs and other CRM intel that’s typically siloed. Combining all of this into one single platform is game changing. It’s comprehensive, scalable, accurate, and, as we just detailed, also multi-source.

Scaling analytics is easy when you’re not limited in mentions, history, and have unlimited data uploads. And with global coverage spanning over 200 languages, you’ll find the intel you need world-wide. Reach out for a demo and we’ll show you what potential and current patients are sharing online right now, as well as emerging entrants (both patents and companies) that you should be aware of!

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